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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Cody Grimm steps up after big letdown



Cody Grimm could've spent the past two weeks dwelling on the deep touchdown pass he gave up early in the Bucs' loss to the Steelers before their bye week.

But then that might have prevented him from making one of Sunday’s biggest defensive plays in the win over the Bengals, a interception return for a touchdown that tied the score early in the second quarter.

"As a defensive back, you have to learn to let that go," Grimm said. "If you think about it too much, it can affect your next play. You’ve got to do what you’re coached to do. . . If you do that, the plays will come to you."

Grimm, a seventh-round pick who wasn’t expected to see much action beyond special teams, became the starting free safety when Tanard Jackson was suspended for 12 months for a violation of the NFL substance-abuse policy last month.

But he’s playing in big games and making big plays, enough to prompt tight end Kellen Winslow to come over while Grimm was doing his postgame interviews and laud the rookie to reporters.

Winslow was heaping praise on Grimm for his timely touchdown, which came with the Bucs offense struggling and the Bengals leading 7-0. With the Bengals backed up on their own 3-yard line, QB Carson Palmer looked left for WR Terrell Owens. But Grimm, who Palmer thought was going to blitz, instead dropped into coverage and jumped in front of Palmer’s quick throw, catching it in stride and running an easy 11 yards for the score.

It was a dagger of a play that left the Bengal stunned, but coach Raheem Morris said he wasn’t the least bit surprised.

"Cody Grimm had a phenomenal game his first game out," Morris said. "He gave up a big play. We tend as writers, we tend as an organization, we tend as people to get down on guys who give up big plays. But you have to have belief. You have to have faith."

[Last modified: Sunday, October 10, 2010 9:06pm]


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