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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' dominant pass-rush effort goes to waste



ARLINGTON, Texas -- While the Bucs’ offense tries to figure things out, the defense had one strong bounce-back performance after recording the franchise’s worst defensive showing against the Giants last week.

Particularly impressive was the pass rush, which caused two fumbles from Dallas QB Tony Romo and was bearing down on him all day.

 “I feel like we’re making strides,” said DE Michael Bennett, who torched the Cowboys offensive tackles and registered two sacks. “I feel every week that we have the best defense in the NFL. I’m never going to shy away from saying that.”

That’s a debatable statement, but the Bucs, at times, were dominant. DT Gerald McCoy also had two sacks and the Cowboys seemed incapable of blocking him. While coaches last week called a number of stunts and twists for defensive linemen, the Bucs used fewer against Dallas and were more productive up front.

“I thought we had our best pressure of the season and we need to continue to do that,” coach Greg Schiano said. “. . . (The Cowboys) are a talented passing team and the best way to negate that is to put pressure on the quarterback.”

And the Bucs did it without using as many risky blitzes. Against the Giants, the Bucs left the defensive backs on an island, often with a single safety. With the four-man rush doing the job, that wasn’t necessary.

“They pressured a lot,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of the Bucs. “. . . Last week, against the Giants, they played a lot of single-high (safety), man-to-man coverage on the back end. This time, they were a little more conservative.”

[Last modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 8:07pm]


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