Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs offense on a record pace

Even if they fall short of earning a spot in the postseason, this could become a record-breaking season on offense for the Bucs.

Doug Martin already has broken the franchise rookie rushing record with 1,234 yards, surpassing the 1,178 of Cadillac Williams in 2005.

If Martin averages 103.7 yards over the final three games, he will run down the overall franchise record of 1,544 yards set by James Wilder in 1984.

Vincent Jackson leads the Bucs with 56 catches for 1,145 yards and is taking aim at the franchise yards record held by Mark Carrier, who had 1,422 in 1989. He must average 92.7 yards to break it.

Finally, the Bucs have never had a 4,000-yard passer. Josh Freeman, currently at 3,192, can do so by averaging 269.3 yards against the Saints, Rams and Falcons. He must average 206.7 to surpass Brad Johnson's franchise record of 3,811 set in 2003.

THIRD AND MISSING: Watching the Bucs struggle during the first half against the Eagles last week, including going 1-for-8 on third down, you had to wonder if Freeman could use a more physical slot receiver than Tiquan Underwood.

Freeman missed some receivers, and he must improve on short and intermediate throws.

But coach Greg Schiano said the Bucs present other inside options for Freeman in those situations, including Jackson and Mike Williams.

"Tiquan lines up in there, but Vince lines up in there. Mike lines up in there and (TE Dallas Clark)," Schiano said. "So we can format it any way we want. And the things we ask Ti to do in there lend towards his skill set.

"I don't think we're asking him to do any of the things that a traditional slot might do — muscling guys — because that isn't his game. But he is fast, and he's elusive. So we try to utilize his skills when he is in there and also when he is outside."

RED BARRON: The Bucs remain happy with the play of rookie S Mark Barron, the seventh overall pick in April. He has been a big reason why Tampa Bay's defense is first in the NFL against the run.

However, Barron has struggled, at times, in coverage. He blew an assignment against the Eagles and failed to make plays on the ball during critical situations.

But Schiano preaches patience.

"He's also making some plays that not many rookies make," Schiano said. "You're going to make some mistakes. There are some veteran guys that will make mistakes.

"He's learning that this is different and the skill people you have to cover at this level, they're the elite people in the world at what they do. But overall, I think he's good. He's a level-as-you-go guy, and he'll keep getting better."

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: DE Michael Bennett isn't bashful about letting everyone know he would like to earn a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. After recording his ninth sack of the season against the Eagles, Bennett did a hula dance. The Pro Bowl is played in Honolulu.

"He's just letting everybody know what his goal is," Bucs DT Gerald McCoy said. "I think he's just having fun. He put in a lot of hard work.

"It's not easy to get to a quarterback in this league. So when you do and you've had the success he's had this year, just have fun with it. I think it's cool."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

Bucs offense on a record pace 12/15/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say that the Rays are out of it, but they did score six runs Tuesday in a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off major right knee surgery, understandably often takes it easy running the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single.

  3. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  4. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman laughs after Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran reached first on an infield single during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
  5. 'Hard Knocks' star Riley Bullough still not a lock for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Bucs undrafted rookie LB Riley Bullough is perhaps the surprise star of HBO's Hard Knocks and has been productive in two preseason games, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Tuesday that he's caught in a numbers game competing for a backup spot on the Tampa Bay roster.

    Riley Bullough has made a good impression on Hard Knocks and on coach Dirk Koetter, but he isn’t guaranteed a job.