Barry a fan of Bucs' new weapons
Joe Barry, who spent seven seasons here in his two stints as a Tampa Bay assistant, insists the new-look Buccaneers offense is for real. San Diego's linebackers coach couldn't say enough about the Bucs after Sunday's 34-24 Tampa Bay victory as the Bucs scored at least 28 points for the fifth consecutive game.
"I think they're darned good,'' said Barry, who won a Super Bowl ring as linebackers coach of the 2002 Bucs. "They've won four of their last five and they've got great weapons. (Rookie running back) Doug Martin is the real deal, their receivers are unbelievable and I've always been a Josh Freeman fan.''
Although they finished with a season-low 43 snaps, the Bucs averaged 6.5 yards per play, slightly higher than the NFL-best 6.2 average they posted in the first eight games.
Martin accounted for 68 of Tampa Bay's season-low 74 rushing yards, but had three catches for 51 yards, giving him 119 total yards. It was the fifth consecutive game and sixth overall Martin had more than 100 total yards.
Freeman completed 14 of 20 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns while compiling a passer rating of 137.5. He became the first Bucs quarterback to throw two or more touchdown passes in five consecutive games and extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown pass to 12. Freeman also became the first Bucs quarterback to post a passer rating of 100.0 or better in five consecutive games.
All of that earned a post-game hug from Barry, who hadn't been in Raymond James Stadium since the end of the 2009 season. "What's been most impressive is they've lost two Pro Bowl guards (Carl Nicks, Davin Joseph) and they haven't missed a beat,'' Barry said. "That's saying something. You have to call them legit because they've got firepower … legitimate firepower. And you want to know the scary thing? They're only going to get better.''
|About the writer|
Ira Kaufman has long been both a great writer for The Tampa Tribune and friend to the Bucs UK and BUCPOWER.COM. He writes on all sports for the paper but during the NFL season offers his stories on not just the Buccaneers, but also the NFL in general.