Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeSean Jackson

W2W4: Buccaneers at Redskins

November, 15, 2014
Five things to watch in Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins:

Mike Evans: The rookie receiver has been the closest thing the Bucs have had to a bright spot, particularly in the last few weeks. Evans has had 100 receiving yards and at least one touchdown in each of his last two games. If he can do it a third time, he’ll become the first rookie receiver since Randy Moss in 1998 to have three straight games with 100 receiving yards and at least one touchdown.

Charles Sims: Look for more action for the rookie running back, who made his debut last week. He’s not going to get 25 carries, but he will get a fair share. In last week’s loss to Atlanta, the Bucs ran the ball on 38 percent of the snaps Sims was in the game. They only ran 14 percent of the time when Bobby Rainey was in the game. You can look for a similar ratio Sunday.

DeSean Jackson vs. Tampa Bay’s secondary: This matchup doesn’t look favorable for the Bucs, who have had some problems in the secondary. Jackson could cause nightmares. He has nine catches of 40 yards or more this season. No one else in the NFL has more than five.

Robert Griffin III: After a stellar rookie season, the Washington quarterback has struggled. His record as a starting quarterback since his rookie year is 4-12. But Griffin is still dangerous as a runner and a passer and Tampa Bay’s struggling defense can’t afford to take him lightly.

Josh McCown: The Tampa Bay quarterback returned last week after missing five games with a thumb injury. McCown looked sharper than he did in the first three weeks of the season. The passing game got into a rhythm for one of the few times this season. But McCown faces a big challenge against a Washington defense that’s ranked No. 10 in the league.

The calm after the storm

October, 10, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – Wednesday at One Buccaneer Place had a different feel to it.

For the first time in what seems like a long time, Josh Freeman was not hiding from the media and controversy was not swirling. Freeman was released last week and subsequently signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

As the Bucs went through their first real day of practice since Freeman’s departure during the bye week, things were much quieter.

In the locker room, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had some fun with the media and cornerback Darrelle Revis talked about keeping up with Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson. That was about as close to controversial as it got.

It was not a great day for the media, which had gotten used to room-service news during the Freeman ordeal. But it was a good day for the Buccaneers.

I almost want to say things got back to normal, but “back’’ does not apply here. Since Freeman missed the team photo during preseason, nothing had been normal for the Bucs and I think it is safe to say that the distractions played some part in the team’s 0-4 start.

Now that things have quieted down, the Bucs finally can focus on football.