Bucs Deactivate Cox After Arrest
Tim Brown, who earlier in the week on a national radio show criticized Bucs fans, was booed as he exited the field Sunday. ``I have been asked to not discuss this subject by a number of people and I don't want to be a distraction on this team right now,'' said Brown, who did not play in Sunday's game and extended his streak without a reception to five consecutive games. ...
Playing in his first NFL game, RB Ian Smart carried one time for a 25- yard gain on the Bucs' opening drive of the second quarter, which ended in Jay Taylor's 50-yard field goal.
The Buccaneersí victory over Atlanta was their fourth win in a row at Raymond James Stadium. The four-game winning streak is the teamís longest at home since they won six in a row during the 2002 season, from Sept. 29 through Dec. 8. The last win in that streak was over the Falcons.
Brian Griese has won each of his home starts for the Buccaneers. Griese, who took over Tampa Bayís starting job in Week Six, is now 20-6 in his last 26 home starts, including games with the Bucs, Dolphins and Broncos.
Michael Pittman scored the gameís first points on a four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Though he missed the seasonís first three games, Pittman has 10 touchdowns on the season, making him just the fourth Buccaneer ever to reach double digits in a single season. The franchise record for a season is 13, set by RB James Wilder in 1984. The last Buc to get 10 touchdowns was Mike Alstott, who had 11 in 2001.
Ronde Barber made his 100th career start, all with the Buccaneers. Barber contributed four tackles and a pass defensed on the day.
Brian Kelly returned his fourth-quarter interception 75 yards, tying for the longest non-scoring INT return in team history. Darryl Pollard had a 75-yarder at Chicago on Oct. 18, 1992. Those two plays tie for the fifth-longest INT return in franchise history. It was a career-long for Kelly.
Inactives: S Jermaine Phillips, CB Torrie Cox, FB Greg Comella, T Anthony Davis, G Jeb Terry, WR Charles Lee, DE Josh Savage and designated third quarterback Brad Johnson.
The Bucs took action against CB/KR Torrie Cox, who was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence, by making him inactive for Sunday's game against Atlanta. A police spokeswoman said a witness spotted Cox asleep at the wheel of his car on the Courtney Campbell Parkway. When police arrived they found him with his foot on the brake, the car running and ``he was passed out.''
Tampa Bay's defensive captain, CB Ronde Barber, said he hadn't spoken to Cox, but that he planned to. ``You live and you learn,'' Barber said. ``Everybody's been in that situation, done something stupid. We'll support the guy. We'll lift him up. We're not going to goad the guy because he made a mistake.''
Cox, a second-year player, was replaced on special teams by RB Ian Smart, who returned the Falcons' only kickoff 17 yards.
Linebackers coach Joe Barry ran off the field yelling ``goose egg, goose egg.'' And he wasn't talking about the large knot on Atlanta QB Michael Vick's forehead caused by a Derrick Brooks tackle. Barry was referring to the scoreboard and the zero points for Atlanta. It was the Bucs' first shutout since a 16-0 victory against Dallas on Oct. 26, 2003, and ninth overall. ``They have a lot of weapons over there,'' said Dwight Smith, whose interception in the end zone was one of five turnovers the Bucs forced. ``You have your Warrick Dunn, your Michael Vick, your Alge Crumpler. If you hold them to zero, you have to feel good about yourself.''
Ken Dilger was injured on the first offensive play of the game. Dilger had the wind knocked out after making a 16-yard catch for first down. He returned later in the first quarter. Greg Spires was injured on the Bucs' second defensive series of the game. After jogging off the field, Spires returned later.