Notes: Bucs' Foster grateful for help on 85-yard TD
TAMPA -- The afternoon after his wild 85-yard interception return for a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Saints, Bucs linebacker Mason Foster proudly clutched the ball from the play in front of his locker, thanking his teammates for helping him get to the end zone.
Foster had a convoy of six teammates inside the 5-yard line as he scored, including fellow linebacker Lavonte David, who made a block on quarterback Drew Brees at the 30 to clear a path for Foster, who hurdled over receiver Robert Meachem at the 1-yard line for the score.
"I owe him lunch for that," Foster said of David's downfield help. "I was dead tired and he ran with me the whole way. That's my brother. It was great to have him blocking for me."
Foster said he hadn't seen his play on TV highlights, but enjoyed reliving it during film review with the team on Monday, now in the books with the third-longest interception return in Bucs history, trailing two other linebackers in Shelton Quarles and Derrick Brooks.
"I saw (David) the whole way. When I caught the interception, I saw him running up next to me," Foster said. "I knew if I could stay on Lavonte's hip, he was going to do whatever he can to help me score. This goes for both of us (holding ball). I have to thank him. It was a great effort by the whole defense to get out there and block."
Foster was pleased with the Bucs' pass rush Sunday, which got to Drew Brees for four sacks, this after totaling one in two games against New Orleans last season. The Saints tied for the third-fewest sacks allowed in the NFL last season, and had given up a total of 16 in the 12 games leading up to Sunday.
Tampa Bay will face a similar challenge this week -- New England gave up just one more sack than New Orleans last year, and Tom Brady, like Brees, isn't known for his elusiveness but is not easy to bring down.
MORE THANKS: RB Doug Martin's 144-yard game was the Bucs' most consistent plus on offense, and he said the work of the offensive line and the healthy return of fullback Erik Lorig (who missed the opener with a calf injury) was a huge part of his success.
"The running game was amazing. The line did an awesome job, getting a push off the line of scrimmage," he said. "I have to give a lot of credit to Erik Lorig. He also did a good job, and the receivers blocking downfield."
Martin had gone for just 65 yards on 24 carries in the opener at the Jets and said he felt better personally in the second game in addition to having strong performances around him.
"I kind of had to get a little used to NFL speed again," said Martin, who was limited in preseason with a hand injury. "This game, I wanted to come out and hit the ground running."
THIS AND THAT: Greg Schiano gave credit to backup tight end Nate Byham for his 34-yard catch Sunday, the Bucs' longest offensive play of the day, but said he was pleased that "Andrew was able to catch it." Schiano quickly caught himself, naming the fourth-year pro from Pitt and admitting that "Andrew (Bynum) is the baskeball player." ... Defensive end Derek Landri, who injured his left leg during Sunday's loss, had his leg wrapped at One Buc Place on Monday. There's no word yet on the extent of his injury.