Sean Taylor – O
James Thrash – O
Randy Thomas – O
Mike Sellers – D
G Spires – O
M Pittman – D
BJ Askew – Q
M Clayton – P
courtesy of NFL.com
1. Chris Cooley vs. Cato June
Cooley, in my opinion is one of the games premier tight ends. He has had his share of off days this year receiving the ball, but that is due mostly to the injuries to the offensive line for the ‘Skins, and the his ability to make up for those losses with his superior blocking ability. Last week though, with a healthy O-Line, Cooley accounted for 8 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. Cato June primary job when not in our base Tampa 2 will be to shadow Cooley. June has been fantastic this season (besides being an obvious lush) and has contributed 49 tackles, an interception and 3 passes defended in 10 games thus far. He will have his hands full with Cooley on Sunday.
Pregame Quick Hits
- Big game for both teams, Skins are trying to avoid losing 4 out of 5 and leaving themselves a big hole to climb out of, not only in the NFC East, but in the playoff picture in general. The Bucs are trying to move to 7-4 and solidify there spot atop the NFC South.
- The Bucs are number one in the NFC in scoring defense and (15.1 points per game) and total defense (285.1 yards per game)
- We lost to the Skins in Jason Campbell’s first start last year, I would imagine the players nor the coaches have not forgotten this either.
- Why would Cato June possibly get a DUI on his birthday (which happened last Sunday after defeating the Falcons). This is incomprehensible to me.
- Barret Ruud is 12th in the NFL with 83 tackles.
- Ernest Graham has two straight 100+ yards game rushing.
- Sean Taylor not playing has to be music to our possesions receivers ears’. Him and Laron Landry provide a frightening duo at safety.
- Jason Campbell looks to me like he should be a solid NFL QB. He has an 80.7 QB rating.
- Before last week, I forgot that Santana Moss even played for the Skins (he had been nonexistent in the passing game).
- Gaines Adams, Greg White, and Kevin Carter will have their hands full with one of the more solid tackle combos in the league, Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels.
LB Derrick Brooks on seeing the Redskins frequently on the schedule:
“It doesn’t mean a thing. Jason Campbell made his first start against us last year, and if we even look at that tape, to where he looks right now, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. He’s a way better player at quarterback and he’s asserting his leadership, Clinton Portis, started slow, but he’s still one of the great backs in this league, and Santana Moss really showed in last weeks game that he’s really healing up. It’s a big test for us, no different from the past when they have come here, they’ve been very explosive and we have to go out and stop the running game. When we’ve lost to them, they’ve been able to run the ball and be very dominant on us. We’re going to have to stop the running game, get some turnovers and give our offense an opportunity to score.”
DE Gaines Adams on the Bucs’ defensive line coming together and knowing what their roles are:
“Everyone was brought in here for a reason, to turn this defense around and contend for a title, so that’s what we’re doing. We’re working hard and preparing each week, it seems like the rush is getting better each week, so we just have to keep rolling.”
Carter on the younger linemen improving:
“Our young guys are showing good maturity. It’s like they get over the wall. The Rookie Wall usually hits around Week Nine or 10 and you see some guys start to fade a little bit mentally because the college season isn’t quite as long as ours. They’ve actually persevered through it and now they’re on the other side of it and I think they’re actually really improving.”
Brooks on him and Ronde Barber being harder on the defensive players than the coaches:
“That’s one of those things that we don’t want to let out, but it’s just accountability, getting the young players to understand that the standards aren’t going to be lowered once out in the game. We’re going to expect you to raise your standard to the level of play and by saying that to them, we’re also saying it to ourselves. Guys are watching us, what were doing, how we’re practicing, we’re not allowing ourselves to get away with anything, so we say that to them, and it gives us that much more power because we’re harder on ourselves then anybody else.”
Brooks on if he was aware of winning the last eight games in which the defense has scored:
“The only thing I’m aware of is us winning the turnover battle. For this franchise, that is our history, that’s what we hang our hat on. No matter where we’re playing at, if we win the turnover battle, we win games and we’re going into this half of the season, its real apparent that we get turnovers on defense and our offense protects the football. We got off to a good start last week and hopefully we can continue it again this week.”
Garcia on a sense of awareness about a division title:
“It’s very attainable, but it’s a matter of execution on the field week in and week out. I know we talk about this and beat it until we’re red in the face, but we can’t necessarily worry about what other teams are doing and what they are not doing on any given weekend. We really have to be concerned about what we’re doing, if we handle our business it gives us that opportunity to win a championship within this division and a playoff spot. That’s really what the focus has been since the beginning of this season. We are taking steps in the right direction, now it’s just to continue to do that on a weekly basis. Again, just focus on ourselves and take care of ourselves and if we do that, we’re going to land where we want to be.”
Garcia on the creativity that he, Joey Galloway, and Coach Gruden have:
“I think Coach Gruden does a great job in putting us in position to have those sort of opportunities and when those opportunities are presented to you, you have to take advantage of it. I think more often than not, we’ve been able to do that this year. There have been a couple times where we have let it get away from us, by that I mean, we had an opportunity there and didn’t capitalize on it. More often than not we’ve been able to strike and strike big. He presents those situations, those mismatches on the field, even when they zone cover and play two guys over the top because of certain schemes. It allows us to still give him a look down the field and he has just been very opportunistic when the ball has come his way. He has latched onto it, and made a big play after. Once he catches the ball behind people or in stride, there are very few who can catch him.”