Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers focus on limiting resurgent Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers

TAMPA — Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers gets another shot at Jeff Garcia on Monday night. That might not sound particularly intimidating given Peppers' limited impact against the Bucs in the teams' first meeting in October.

While Peppers had no sacks and five tackles in that 27-3 Bucs victory, he has zeroed in lately, recording seven sacks in his past four games, including three in a win over the Raiders.

The task of limiting Peppers will fall largely on Bucs left tackle Donald Penn because Peppers has moved from left to right defensive end this season.

But the Bucs will make sure Penn won't go it alone.

"Julius has been playing on Donald's side, but it's not just going to be Donald," coach Jon Gruden said. "It'll be the tight ends. It'll be our whole team. … But when Donald does have a chance to block him, we have to count on him being at his best because Julius is hot and he's a heck of a player."

Waiting game: A Monday night kickoff has already caused some alterations to the schedule, with the Bucs conducting a rare Saturday practice. And it means game day will be a long day for players whose routines include playing mostly day games. The problem for coaches is whether to leave players to themselves Monday at the team hotel or keep their minds occupied. The Bucs will opt for the former.

"Game day is the players' day the way I've always looked at it," Gruden said. "We might get them up in the early morning after breakfast and have a brief meeting or just a walkthrough. But the hay is in the barn after that evening meeting on Sunday night. We'll give our guys the opportunity to relax, watch a movie, be together and get ready to play."

Injury report: The injury list remained unchanged, with defensive end Gaines Adams (hip) listed as questionable but almost certain to play, Gruden said. Defensive tackle Jovan Haye (knee) is listed as doubtful and is not expected to play.

more panthers: Carolina owner Jerry Richardson, 72, has been readmitted to the hospital, a month after surgery to implant a pacemaker. Doctors planned tests to determine why he is feeling ill.

More NFL

Bills: Rookie defensive end Chris Ellis (ankle) went on injured reserve. Defensive lineman Corey Mace was activated from the practice squad.

Cowboys: Running back Marion Barber (toe) did not travel with the team to face the Steelers today, reported.

Saints: Running back Deuce McAllister and defensive end Will Smith rejoined the team after U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson on Friday blocked their four-game suspensions under the league's antidoping policy.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers focus on limiting resurgent Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers 12/06/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 8, 2008 11:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.