Cardinals vs. Buccaneers preview: 5 questions for Bucs Nation

Harry How

Our sister blog gives us some insight to their team.

The Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off on Sunday. We have previewed the game a lot of ways, including having SB Nation Bucs blog Bucs Nation join us on our podcast.

Sander Philipse from Bucs Nation was kind enough to answer a few questions about their team. Here is he said:

ROTB: Why was Greg Schiano so eager to go on with Mike Glennon? How hot is his seat? The move sounded a lot like when Ken Whisenhunt made the move last season from John Skelton to Ryan Lindley.


BN: Basically, Josh Freeman wasn't getting the job done. Not all of it was his fault, and he was playing better than his numbers suggested, but being 0-3 is a bad look for a coach who has had three All-Pros and a Pro Bowler added to his squad in free agency and trade the past two years. The Bucs must start winning, and the biggest problem has been the passing offense. Schiano's hoping to spark the offense, but the quarterback was only one part of the problem. It's the only realistic thing he can do at this point, though.


ROTB: What do the Bucs do best on both sides of the ball? What do they do the least well?

BN: On offense, the Bucs are at their best when they're running the ball. Doug Martin is a great running back and the Bucs have a lot invested in their offensive line, and they have a couple of players who can dominate there. However, they have no pass-catching tight ends and really struggle to attack the middle of the field. Tom Crabtree might provide a little relief there, but when you're relying on him, you don't have much.

On defense, the Bucs are dominant in run defense. They were the best run defense in football last year and they've looked good again this year, although the Patriots did find some room late last week. Still, they stunt and slant their defensive line a lot to mess up blocking schemes and then add in linebackers and defensive backs to fill any holes. It works really well. What doesn't work as well is the pass rush. Gerald McCoy is a great three-technique, but the Bucs have struggled to get any kind of edge rush this year. They've resorted to blitzes, which have worked well, but when they rush four they really aren't getting much done.


ROTB: ESPN predicts four Glennon INTs. What do you say to that?

BN: That sounds like a bit much, but then I wouldn't be surprised if that turned out to be the case. Glennon is a third-round rookie, after all, and they tend to be a little rough around the edges. From what I've seen of Glennon I would sooner expect a lot of sacks than interceptions, however.

ROTB: What Bucs player should Cardinals fans be most worried about hurting them?

BN: That's a tough question. Gerald McCoy to me always stands out on the defensive line. He has such a quick first step and can destroy interior linemen when he's allowed to rush straight. He's the one guy you have to gameplan for on the defensive line, and with Carson Palmer's struggles under pressure he could have a big effect on the outcome of the game.

ROTB: Who are some under the radar Tampa players that Cardinals fans should get to know?

BN: I don't know if he's all that under the radar, but Mark Barron is having a very good season. He was a first-round pick last year and was a little up-and-down as a rookie, but has blossomed in his second year as the Bucs have used him more and more in the box. The team plays a lot of dime defense, and Barron has a linebacker-like role when they do. He's all over the field in that role - covering tight ends, running backs, short zone, blitzing and playing run defense.

Another player to pay attention to is rookie nose tackle Akeem Spence. He doesn't play on passing downs, but he's been a force in the middle against the run and has even offered some pressure as a pass rusher.

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