TAMPA — In an opening half against the Redskins on Thursday during which little went right for the Bucs, LB Najee Goode picked off a pass from Pat White and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.
Goode, who played with White at West Virginia in 2008, caught the pass at close range and took it to the end zone, covering 2 more yards than the Bucs offense totaled over 24 first-half plays.
Goode was a fifth-round draft pick in 2012 and made the roster. But he barely played, getting in for three games and not registering a tackle. He started Thursday and had a team-high seven tackles and two passes defensed.
The interception came at a perfect time for a player on the bubble. Teams must cut their rosters from 75 to 53 by Saturday.
OH REALLY: Granted, this was before the game, but former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, speaking on a Monday Night Football conference call, said he likes his old team to not only make the playoffs, but win the NFC South.
"I think this is the year for Tampa to win the division and return to the playoffs," Gruden said. "Defensively, I think we were signing defensive backs at the Pepin (beer) distributorship when I was coaching the Bucs. When you bring in Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson, you immediately become formidable in the secondary.
"So I have a lot of confidence that Tampa is going to be a very good football team this year."
SURE, WHY NOT: The Bucs' running game generated 29 yards on 11 carries during the first half. That prompted coach Greg Schiano to try Mason Robinson, normally a defensive back but who played running back for him at Rutgers, during the third quarter. He finished with 12 yards on nine carries.
Robinson went to Rutgers in 2007 as a running back (behind current Ravens star Ray Rice) and had 78 career carries. He later spent time at receiver and returned kicks.
Robinson's cameo came on the same drive QB Mike Glennon connected on a 25-yard pass with former Penn State and Browns receiver Jordan Norwood. Norwood signed this week and wasn't listed on the roster distributed in the press box.
Norwood caught 36 passes for 405 yards and a touchdown over the past two seasons with Cleveland. He, too, got a shot at running back in the fourth quarter and gained 26 yards on seven carries.
KICKING BATTLE: With Lawrence Tynes sidelined with a staph infection, veteran Rian Lindell and Derek Dimke are competing for the kicking job. Dimke hurt himself by missing the extra point on Goode's touchdown, but he made a 30-yard field goal during the third quarter.
Lindell got his chance in the fourth quarter, making a 50-yard field goal to cut the Washington lead to 30-12.
THIS AND THAT: The White-Goode interception wasn't the only one involving a pair of college teammates. A Glennon second-quarter pass was picked off by his teammate at N.C. State David Amerson. The cornerback returned it to the Bucs' 9-yard line, setting up White's touchdown run. … Bucs backup QB Dan Orlovsky went 0-for-2 in the third quarter. Yet his passer rating at that point was higher than Glennon's. Glennon had two turnovers on 7-for-16 passing for 63 yards. … Former Florida State RB Chris Thompson, a fifth-round pick by the Redskins in April, returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first quarter.