The Buccaneers lost one of their best young players, a blow that will have a big impact on their special teams.
Kick returner/wide receiver Sammie Stroughter suffered a broken right foot in Sunday's game in
The Bucs weren't pleased with Yamon Figurs two weeks ago against the Jets, but he could get more action on kick returns in Stroughter's absence. Smith said Cadillac Williams, who is third on the depth chart at kick returner, also could see some action.
Stroughter had been a pleasant surprise for the Bucs this season, making a big impact as a seventh-round pick. Morris said he didn't have an estimate on Stroughter's return, but he said it would be sometime during the organized team activities.
"What Sammy's done this year is pretty impressive," Morris said. "You're talking about a seventh-round draft pick to come in here and not only make the team, which is credit in of itself, talking about a guy who's had a significant role all year as far as a third wide receiver in our zero package.
"You're talking about a guy who can go out there in multiple packages and do things for you. You're talking about a guy that can punt return, a guy that can kick return. You're talking about a guy that's given us max effort all year, talking about one of our better football players on our football team."
--The Buccaneers promoted wide receiver Mario Urrutia from the practice squad to the active roster. The team also placed wide receiver Sammie Stroughter on injured reserve.
Urrutia signed with
--Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson was on the hot seat last week after his unit's poor performance against the Jets. But he did a good job at
"I'm just happy for Greg Olson because anytime you come off a game like last week and you feel bad about it, you take too much of it on yourself," head coach Raheem Morris said. "I'm not the (point)-the-finger type of guy. I told Greg all week that I have complete belief in our plan and what we wanted to do. We just weren't able to execute the week before.
"To see him come out, execute a game plan and work the way he wanted it to work, for them to have success, the young quarterback and the running game, it was a good feel for all of us. Also to control the game at the end of the game. I think in that fourth quarter, I'm not sure the exact time right now, one of those drives there was about eight minutes left. We went on a five-minute drive. Olson came to me about taking a knee at some point and them potentially getting the ball back with 18 seconds saying, 'Is that OK, Coach?' I said, 'Get away from me (laughing). You've done your job.' I was just excited to have those types of conversations at the end of the game for a change."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--WR Mario Urrutia was signed from the Bucs' practice squad to replace Sammie Stroughter.
--S Tanard Jackson has a right knee sprain, and he did not finish Sunday's game at
--QB Josh Freeman ended a streak of 11 quarters without producing a touchdown when Cadillac Williams turned a screen pass into a score in the third quarter at
--RB Derrick Ward could get the bulk of the rushing attempts the last two weeks, as Cadillac Williams has worn down during the long season. Ward had 19 rushes to Williams' 12 attempts at
--WR Michael Clayton has a knee sprain and has missed three games. He will be questionable this week against the Saints.
REPORT CARD VS.
PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Despite throwing an interception on his first pass attempt for the second consecutive game, Josh Freeman settled down and had a great second half, going 11-for-14 with two TD passes. TE Kellen Winslow had a big day, and the backs caught the ball well.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Offensive coordinator Greg Olson was more patient with the running game, and it paid off. Both Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward had over 60 yards rushing. The offensive line did a better job with the power running game.
PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Bucs played their old defense, keeping the ball in front of them and frustrating Matt Hasselbeck into four interceptions and a forced fumble. Elbert Mack had two picks on deep balls, and Geno Hayes was all over the field with a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- It was a tale of two halves. The Bucs allowed some breakout runs in the first half and yielded 118 yards rushing. Then in the second half, they limited the Seahawks to 10 yards rushing.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Bucs did a good job of changing field position with PR Sammie Stroughter. After missing his first field-goal attempt, PK Conner Barth made his next three. He also had three touchbacks.
COACHING: A -- Raheem Morris had a good plan, and his team was prepared to play. The Buccaneers had not won on the West Coast since Super Bowl XXXVII. The question is whether it's too little, too late.