Vikings RB Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards – his best rushing effort of the season – against Arizona last week. He went up against a far more stingy rush defense in taking on the Bucs.
The Bucs went into Thursday's game allowing a league-low average of 3.1-yards per carry, and the Bucs say the play-making skills of rookie WLB Lavonte David is one of the big reasons they're doing that.
"If you were playing pickup tackle in the back yard Lavonte would be one of the first guys you'd take when picking teams because he's going to make a whole bunch of plays,'' Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said.
David was one of the first players the Bucs took during last year's draft. They traded back into the second round to get him and he has responded with a team-leading 49 tackles, including a team-best nine for losses.
Compared to previous seasons, Bucs FB Erik Lorig has been a very busy man this year. After catching just seven passes each of the last two years combined, Lorig caught his eighth of the year Thursday when he hauled in Josh Freeman's 1-yard touchdown pass with 3:34 left in the first quarter. The TD reception was the first of his career for Lorig, who came to the Bucs as a defensive end and worked at tight end before moving to fullback.
The idea behind the Bucs decision to move RT Demar Dotson into the starting lineup as a replacement for Jeremy Trueblood was to provide better protection for QB Josh Freeman. So far the plan has worked.
Since Dotson replaced Trueblood as the starter for the Bucs' Week 2 game at the New York Giants, the Bucs have allowed just seven sacks. That's the third-lowest total in the league over that period of time.
|About the writer|
Roy Cummings has been The Tampa Tribune's primary Buccaneer beat writer for many years now and has a knowledge of the current players that is unsurpassed amongst local reporters. He also appears on Channel 8's news broadcasts on stories about the Bucs. He came to London with the Bucs in 2009 and was at Richmond Park to be part of the Bucs UK's most memorable day when the club took on the UK Patriots at touch football in front of many Bucs alumni and club officials.