Buccaneers Ruud: We're Not Executing Well

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Barrett Ruud knows what his team's problem is, but can he help them fix it? That will be a tough task this week.

The NFL game is one of adjustments, and the Buccaneers certainly haven't been making the right ones at halftime this season.

Tampa Bay has been outscored 47-7 in the third quarter this season. The offense has been completely shut out. The Bucs' lone touchdown came Sunday against Carolina on a 97-yard kickoff return by rookie Sammie Stroughter.

"We're just not executing there very well," linebacker Barrett Ruud said. "That's what it is. We just haven't executed for a full game, and we need to find a way to put four good quarters together.

"You can't get by in the NFL and you're not going to win very much in this league by playing well in only three quarters. You've got to put a full 60 minutes together."

The quarterback change from Byron Leftwich to Josh Johnson hasn't helped. In two of the past three games, Johnson has been picked off to start the second half.

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall intercepted Johnson in the third quarter of Johnson's first NFL start three weeks ago. One play into the second half of Sunday's game against the Panthers, Johnson tried to float the ball on a sideline route to Michael Clayton, and linebacker Thomas Davis made a leaping interception to set up a touchdown and a 21-7 Carolina lead.

"Those things are always going to hurt you," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said of the early third-quarter interceptions. "You get the ball coming out in the half and you've got an opportunity to do some things, and we just haven't."

NOTES
--CB Marcus McCauley, waived by Detroit last month, signed with Tampa Bay. He fills the roster spot vacated when FB B.J. Askew was placed on the non-football injury list with back and neck pain.
--QB Josh Johnson took a step backward last week against Carolina but will start against New England in London. Johnson has rushed for at least 40 yards in each of his three starts.
--RB Derrick Ward fumbled on his only rushing attempt Sunday against Carolina.
--RB Earnest Graham will continue to start at fullback against the Patriots.
--FB B.J. Askew was placed on the non-football injury list following a car accident that injured his back and neck. He will miss the remainder of the season.
--WR Antonio Bryant has just 12 catches this season for 141 yards and one touchdown.
--LB Barrett Ruud leads the Bucs with 86 tackles and has led the team in every game this season.
--DE Stylez White had a sack in his first start for the Bucs in place of Gaines Adams, who was traded to the Bears.
--KR Clifton Smith has a concussion and may not practice or play this week as a result of the hit he sustained from Carolina's Dante Wesley.
--DB Derrick Roberson, waived by Tampa Bay on Monday, was signed to the Buccaneers' practice squad the next day.


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