Wounded Bucs Look to Return to Winning Ways

<b>What:</b> Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) @ Washington Redskins (3-2)<br> <b>When:</b> Sunday, 1:00 p.m.<br> <b>Where:</b> FedEx Field<br> <b>TV:</b> FOX (Dick Stockton, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth)<br> <b>Radio:</b> WQYK (99.5 FM, 1010 AM)<br> <b>Line:</b> Bucs by 3

Washington Redskins' 2nd year head coach Steve Spurrier was known as an offensive mastermind when he left the University of Florida last year to try his luck in the NFL. The offensive cupboard was relativley empty save the departed Stephen Davis, who is looking for his 5th consecutive 100-yard game this weekend. The strength of the Bucs' next opponent is on defense, where cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Lavar Arrington give the Redskins an opportunity for a big play on defense with every snap of the ball.

The smack talk started early this week when Arrington told reporters that he planned on stopping warren Sapp from interupting any pre-game drills. The NFL then stepped in and threatened to fine Sapp to the tune of $15,000 if he ran through any other teams stretching excersises. Who knows what Arrington or the NFL were thinking by challenging one of the leagues most outspoken players not to do anything. They might as well offered to pay him $30,000 to do it.

The Redskins signed away most of the New york Jets in the off-season to give them a huge upgrade, especially at wide receiver. Laveranues Coles has lightning speed and good hands, a combination lethal to all defenses. But the Bucs seem to be more seseptible to big play receivers this year than the last. Coles is no Marvin Harrison but he is dangerous. To combat this, Dwight Smith will move from safety to corner in an attempt to stop the deep ball that killed the Bucs Monday night. Smith will stay at corner until Brian Kelly is back to 100 percent.

The Bucs are banged up on offense, especially at running back. Michael Pittman and Aaron Stecker are probable for the Washington game, but look for Thomas Jones to get a chance as the feature back while Pittman and Stecker are on the mend. Jones is not the only back-up that will see action sunday. Wide receiver Charles Lee and fullback Jameel Cook will find themselves on the upper half of the depth chart due to the injuries incurred by Keyshawn Johnson (probable), Joe Jurevicius (out), and Mike Alstott (out for the year).

The depth of the defending Super Bowl champions will be tested over the next few weeks, and due to the two losses already suffered, the Bucs will be fighting to keep their head above water until the starters return to full health. The season is aproaching the half way point and the Bucs find themselves in the middle of the pack. Having already spent their bye week the Bucs will have a harder time getting healthy, but the veteran Buccaneers will have enough to beat Washington this week to avoid falling below .500.

Bucs Blitz Top Stories