Josh Freeman's interceptions have big effect on the defense
The impact of QB Josh Freeman’s four interceptions on the offense is obvious, taking away key scoring opportunities.
But the trickle-down effect on the defense is tangible, too.
Defensive players on Sunday said they need to take advantage of every opportunity for a turnover, and against the Rams, they did not.
The Bucs got one interception, in the first quarter from CB Danny Gorrer. But they missed a great opportunity for another when CB Leonard Johnson flattened WR Danny Amendola at the Rams 23, forcing a fumble. Johnson recovered but, in attempting run with the ball, lost it. The Rams ultimately regained possession.
“We got the interception and some opportunities to take the ball away,” DT Gerald McCoy said. “We have to get those if we’re going to even things out or cover our offense. When the opportunities come early, we have to take advantage.”
Asked how the defense could be successful on a day the quarterback committed four turnovers – one week after Freeman had five – S Ronde Barber had no obvious answers.
“You just have to keep playing,” he said. “On our side of the ball, we just have to control the things that we can control.”
Then Barber offered this dose of reality: “From a bigger perspective, if you lose the turnover battle, there’s a good chance you lose the game in this league. That’s the No. 1 correlation (to winning). We say it every week and it’s never going to change.”