- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Cover Two guru Monte Kiffin continues to tweak the defense. A year ago, when the unit was beset by injury, opposing quarterbacks had a lusty 91.0 rating. So Tampa Bay signed June from Indianapolis to shore up the linebacking unit and drafted defensive end Gaines Adams of Clemson in the first round to replace Rice. "I've got a lot on my plate," Adams said during training camp. "Pro offensive linemen do some intelligent stuff." Barrett Ruud, a second-round pick in 2005, will start at middle linebacker, and Barber, Philip Buchanon and Brian Kelly can be a formidable cover trio. "We feel better about our defense," says Gruden. "Some players who had storied careers are gone, and we'll miss them. But it's time to get to work and have some fun with the guys we have now."
How much fun depends on Garcia holding together in his dotage, a young offensive line growing up quickly and Kiffin's defense getting much better in a year. It's a lot to ask--and a long way from 4-12 to respectability.
9 at Seattle
16 NEW ORLEANS
23 ST. LOUIS
30 at Carolina
7 at Indianapolis