Make us your home page

Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Lions' quick passing game stymies Bucs



Preseason numbers are among the most worthless stats available, but the fact that the Lions allowed just three sacks in the preseason – fewest in the league – is no accident.

Detroit used its quick-passing game to dice the Bucs with short throws that neutralized Tampa Bay’s rebuilt defensive line.

“I’m a speed rusher,” DT Gerald McCoy said. “. . . When those (offensive linemen) are sitting back deep, it’s hard to do that. When they were sitting back, they were getting the ball out (quickly). That basically eliminates the defensive line and puts all the pressure on the DBs. Now we have to go back and figure out how to rush that. That’s a gameday adjustment because we didn’t gameplan for that.”

Quick slants and outs were the order of the day for Detroit. While those shouldn’t often result in long gains, the Bucs’ poor tackling effort allowed the Lions to use their short game to pick up key first downs.

Stafford excels in the quick game, throwing accurately, even in traffic.

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to get these guys on first and second down,” Bucs coach Raheem Morris said. “. . . The ball comes out so quickly with the bubble screens, quick (throws) and things of that nature – the quick-designed throws.”

The defensive line didn’t get a single hit on Stafford, and the odds of that were reduced when DT Brian Price left the game in the third quarter grabbing his hamstring. After a complicated offseason surgery on his pelvis area, Price began the game getting better penetration than his linemates.

He didn’t offer details after the game but said he would “be all right” as he left with a slight limp.

[Last modified: Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:08pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours