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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Schiano: Allowing big punt returns "inexcusable"



In back-to-back games, the Bucs have given up a big punt return, an issue coach Greg Schiano says needs to get fixed.

One week after the Seahawks WR Golden Tate raced for a 71-yard return, Dolphins WR Marcus Thigpen came through with a 34-yard return, which negated a booming 62-yard punt by Michael Koenen and set up Miami for a field goal.

"That's inexcusable, No, 1," Schiano said. "That one (against Miami) was, we had guys not go to their landmarks, we had guys that lost contain, can't do that. That's how you lose games right there with field position. Fortunately the defense was able to make them kick a field goal. But absolutely it was a tremendous punt and all we had to do was do our job as a coverage unit and we get them down."

The Bucs are fifth-worst in the NFL in punt coverage, allowing 13.5 yards per return. The first seven games Tampa Bay gave up 63 yards on 10 returns; in the last two, they've given up 126 yards on four returns, including Tate's 71-yarder.

"Golden Tate, he's really strong," Schiano said. "There it wasn't much assignment as just not strong enough play. He broke six tackles on the play. We've got to get better at it. We've got to do our job and tackle better."


[Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:59pm]


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