Ten quick-hit thoughts on the Bucs

October, 21, 2009
10/21/09
5:39
AM ET

Getting to know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots' next opponent, with 10 quick-hit thoughts:

1. They are 0-6, with home losses to the Cowboys, Giants and Panthers, and road defeats to the Bills, Redskins and Eagles.

2. Raheem Morris, 33, is in his first season as head coach. He played collegiately at Hofstra from 1994-97 and has risen quickly up the coaching ranks, promoted to the top job after most recently serving as Tampa Bay's defensive backs coach.

3. Veteran assistant Jim Bates, who worked under Bill Belichick in Cleveland, is the defensive coordinator. Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was initially hired to be offensive coordinator, but he was relieved of his duties before the season and replaced by Greg Olson.

4. Josh Johnson, a 2008 fifth-round draft choice out of University of San Diego, has replaced Byron Leftwich as the starting quarterback. He's athletic, as evidenced by his 141 rushing yards ranking second on the team.

5. Opponents are averaging 8.47 yards per pass attempt, which ranks the Buccaneers' pass defense 32nd in the NFL. Opponents are averaging 6.78 yards per first-down play, which also ranks the Buccaneers' defense 32nd.

6. Cornerback Aqib Talib, a first-round draft choice out of Kansas in 2008, leads the team with three interceptions.

7. They've struggled with field goals with Mike Nugent (2 for 6) and Shane Andrus (0 for 1) accounting for the worst field goal percentage in the NFL. Andrus is now the primary kicker.

8. Tight end Kellen Winslow is the leading receiver, with 29 receptions for a team-high 286 yards and four touchdowns.

9. One bright spot has been on kickoff returns, where they rank first in the NFL with a 29.5 average. Rookie Sammie Stroughter has a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Their kickoff return coverage ranks second in the NFL, holding opponents to a 19.3 average.

10. Former Boston College players Chris Hovan (defensive line) and Jeremy Trueblood (right tackle) are on the roster.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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