Morris: Bucs "out-physicaled' by Saints
As huge a hole DT Gerald McCoy’s season-ending biceps injury creates, the Bucs already had problems for most of this season being able to stop the run.
Tampa Bay allowed 195 rushing yards in Sunday’s loss, when coach Raheem Morris said his defensive front was “flat-out out-physicaled” by the Saints. The Bucs, which rank 26th in rush defense (155.1 yards), won’t have it any easier Sunday, when the Texans’ second-ranked rushing attack comes into town.
Houston boasts a tough combination in RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate, who each ran for over 100 yards last week and are among the NFL’s top 10 rushers.
“I think they’re coming in hot,” DT Frank Okam said. “Arian and Ben Tate have been a dynamic duo back there. They’re playing (with) one of the top offensive lines in the league as a unit right now. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”
S Tanard Jackson said the Bucs struggles against the run Sunday were due to tackling. “We missed a lot of tackles,” Jackson said. “I wish I knew the stat, what the yards after contact was, but I’m sure it was a lot.”
The run defense could be aided with a potential return of Okam, who missed last week with a calf injury but hopes to be back.
“When you give up yards like that, you have to start back at the fundamentals,” Okam said. “Linemen assignments, angles to tackling, gang tackling to stop leaky yardage. It all goes back to fundamentals you hone in on in training camp. It’s about guys playing to our capabilities.”
-- JOE SMITH