Bucs-Rams Gameday Primer

Sunday's game between Tampa Bay and St. Louis is just hours away. Get ready for the game with Bucsblitz.com's "Bucs Primer," the most complete preview package for the Buccaneeers on the Web each week (P-Denotes premium story that can only be accessed with a Bucsblitz.com subscription).

Need to get ready for the game? Look no further than Bucsblitz.com's "Bucs Primer." Along with a game capsule, the Primer also provides links to all of Bucsblitz.com's coverage leading up to the game. So before the capsule, here's a look at our complete package of stories this week:

Monday

Gruden's, Garcia's relationship growing.

Jon Gruden's postgame press conference (P).

Press Pass: Ronde Barber (P).

Press Pass: Kevin Carter (P).

Tuesday

Film Session: Bucs vs. Saints (P).

NFC South Hot Topic: Week 2 review (P).

Wednesday

Postscripts: Sept. 19 blog.

Kelly, Chukwurah hit practice field.

Jon Gruden's Wednesday post-practice transcript (P).

Press Pass: Jeff Garcia (P).

Thursday

Press Pass: Scott Linehan (P).

Postscripts: Sept. 20 blog.

Ruud quells concerns about starting role (P).

Behind Enemy Lines: St. Louis (P).

Observation Deck: Give Brooks a break (P).

Jon Gruden's Thursday post-practice transcript (P).

Friday

Postscripts: Sept. 21 blog.

Bucs chat wrap (P).

Caddy signals arrival as goal-line back (P).

Jon Gruden's Friday post-practice transcript (P).

Hilliard, two others questionable for Sunday.

Rams leaning on pass attack so far (P).

Saturday

Fantasy Bucs: Week 3.

Observation Deck: Bucs-Rams Preview (P).

Press Pass: Greg White (P).

BucsBlitz.com's Matthew Postins will blog live from Raymond James Stadium during Sunday's game, followed by a post-game chat at 10 p.m. in the Bucsblitz.com chat room.

St. Louis Rams (0-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET

SURFACE: Grass

TV: FOX, Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, Chris Myers

SERIES: 16th regular-season meeting. Rams lead 9-6 and the Rams have also won two NFC championship games against the Bucs in 1979 and 1999. The teams haven't played since 2004, when the Rams won in St. Louis, 28-21. Prior to that, Tampa Bay won three consecutive games over the Rams, two of them in Tampa. The Rams haven't won in Tampa since 1992.

PREDICTION: Bucs 19-12 (Matthew Postins).

KEYS TO THE GAME: With his offensive line a mess, QB Marc Bulger is coming off a beating against San Francisco. RB Steven Jackson is anxious to be more involved -- and more productive. Given shorter passing situations, Bulger might have time to look for more than just his primary receiver. ... Bucs QB Jeff Garcia wants coach Jon Gruden to open up his vast playbook, and there are plays to be made against a thin Rams secondary without injured CB Tye Hill. But Garcia will have to make the right adjustments -- Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett implements a lot of shifting to keep the offensive line guessing where the pressure is coming from.

KEY INJURIES: RG Richie Incognito (ankle) is expected to miss at least one more game; Bulger (sore ribs) had an acupuncture treatment, but is taking his normal practice reps. Bucs: CB Brian Kelly (groin) is questionable and would be replaced by Phillip Buchanon. WR Ike Hilliard (ankle) and DE Patrick Chukwurah (knee) are also questionable.

FAST FACTS: The Rams, who opened with two home games, will travel an NFL-high 34,352 miles this season. ... Garcia leads the NFL with an average of 10.3 yards per pass attempt.

PERSONNEL NEWS:

Rams

OG Richie Incognito (ankle) might be getting closer to play, although it won't happen this week. Said coach Scott Linehan, "I see him improving some. After I get the report -- he had a workout we had planned (Thursday), some of it was indoors so I didn't get to see that. I'm getting more encouraged every day. He's close to over the hump. Last week was not so encouraging, so this week is different."

OL Adam Goldberg and Milford Brown might both get snaps at right tackle in Sunday's game at Tampa Bay because of the heat and the fact that Brown suffered a minor injury ankle against the 49ers.

LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (ankle) was better Thursday than he was Wednesday and will be a game-time decision whether he plays Sunday against the Buccaneers.

FB/TE Richard Owens might be active against Tampa Bay after being added to the roster last week. Owens could contribute as the lead blocker in certain situations.

Bucs

CB Brian Kelly said he 'wouldn't bet against him,' playing in Sunday's game against the Rams. Kelly returned to practice on Wednesday and is questionable for the game.

WR Ike Hilliard did not practice Thursday or Friday due to an ankle injury. Hilliard is questionable for Sunday's game officially.

DE Patrick Chukwurah practiced in a limited manner on Thursday and is questionable.

WR Michael Clayton could start Sunday in place of Ike Hilliard, who was held out of practice Thursday and Friday due to an ankle injury.

LT Luke Petitgout returned to practice Thursday and will start against the Rams. Petitgout has not surrendered a sack this season.

INSIDE THE CAMPS

Rams

The Rams' offensive line was in a meeting Wednesday morning when a surprise visitor entered the room. It was running back Steven Jackson, seeking to clear the air from a late-game incident Sunday during which it appeared Jackson was screaming at coach Scott Linehan and the offensive linemen.

A reconstituted offensive line struggled against the 49ers, and the result was six sacks of quarterback Marc Bulger, a bottled up running game and breakdowns in communication that included Jackson and other non-offensive linemen.

Said Jackson, "I didn't want anything to get out of hand. I didn't know how guys took it, so I didn't want them to read something and then think what they're reading is true. I wanted to let them know from my heart and talk to them without being scripted, let them know how I felt and what happened and explain to them that there were no problems."

Said center Brett Romberg, "The man was frustrated. He has high expectations and he's an amazing competitor. But he came in and apologized to everybody if it looked bad, and we said 'Forget about it, let's roll, we've got another game to play.'"

Jackson wanted to send the message that two games does not a season make, and he also pointed out the production of a reshuffled line at the end of the 2006 season when the Rams won their final three games.

"I told them there wasn't going to be any division on this team and I just wanted to apologize if anyone took it the wrong way," Jackson said. "I'm pretty sure everyone is forgiving and we can move on."

As for recalling last season, Romberg said, "Steven brought up a great point. There's no reason why we can't do the same thing."

Jackson also acknowledged understanding what the line is going through.

He said, "You do have to be more patient with what's going on. Everyone sets goals and I'm aware enough to know that it's going to take some time around here."

Bucs

Joey Galloway credits taking three days off each week for providing him with the fresh legs that allow him to run by defensive backs at age 35.

Galloway had four catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the Bucs' 31-14 win over the Saints Sunday.

Galloway takes each Wednesday off, giving him nearly three days to recover from the game.

"I can't even describe it, really, to be honest with you," Galloway said. "A lot of guys look at that and say, "Wow, I wish that was me.' And I say, "Look, it took years -- years -- to get to this.' It wasn't like I walked into the league and started taking Wednesdays off. And I had to pay for it with a groin tear. So it took time and it took a little bit of a payment to get there. But now it allows me to come out on a day like (Thursday) and get after it. We'll go hard, we'll go hard tomorrow and recover and I'll be ready for Sunday, so it's been great."

When Galloway joined the Bucs in 2004, he practiced almost every day, in part because of the excitement of learning a new offense under Jon Gruden. But Galloway suffered a torn groin in the season opener at Washington.

"It was my fault, also," Galloway said. "I was excited. I came from Dallas. I was not doing a whole lot in the offense. I got here. He was excited, I was excited. He took me to Hooters. We started talking offense. And the crazy part is, the more he could draw up, the more I wanted it. I was like just give it to me. They were like, 'Take a day.' I was like, 'Let me see what the offense is like first.' I would go down the script and say, 'Uh, uh, I can't take a day. There's some good stuff on that script, I've got to get in there.' So it was sort of both of us."

The next off-season, Gruden and the Bucs revealed a new training regimen for Galloway designed to keep him fresh in the Florida heat.

"So the next Hooters trip the next off-season, that's when we talked about 'We've got to do things differently,'" Galloway said. "It's come from him. I can't go to him and say, "I don't want to do something.' He has to say, 'This is what we want to do.' And even that next year, there'd be days when I'd say, 'I feel good. Let me go. We're going in pads or doing something.' He was like, 'Just stick to the plan and stick with it.' And it's worked."


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