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Bucs sideline

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 29, 2002

Veteran punter Tupa gains field position

Coach Jon Gruden calls it the area of hidden yardage, and so far veteran punter Tom Tupa is doing his best to help the cause. Tupa had two 50-yard punts in the fourth quarter Monday, the second pinning the Rams on their 6-yard line with 2:34 left. Derrick Brooks' game-sealing interception came six plays later.

"It was a great punt. It was inside two minutes and luckily it worked out for us," said Tupa, who is tied for first in the NFC with a 46.2-yard average. "Obviously, coaches know (it was an important punt). These days it's a game of field position, and it's become more and more so since I've been in the league."

Going with strengths

Derrick Brooks is likely to be in the starting lineup today despite his sore hamstring. But if Brooks can't go or is limited, strongside linebacker Shelton Quarles likely would move into Brooks' spot and backup Nate Webster would come off the bench to play in Quarles' position. Strongside linebacker Al Singleton will remain in place.

"You always want to be in a situation where you have your best guys on the field and the next best three are Nate, Shelton and Al," linebacker coach Joe Barry said. "Keep the best three guys on the field. It makes total sense."

No hats off to Smith

Quarterback Akili Smith is making his season debut today and is expected to inject some life into Cincinnati's anemic offense with his ability to move out of the pocket. Despite the lack of film on Smith, who has played 21 games in four seasons, the Bucs defensive line isn't concerned.

"How much faster could he be than Donovan McNabb?" tackle Warren Sapp said. "Kordell Stewart? (Steve) Air McNair? He doesn't even have the experience of those guys. It's not where we're going to pin our hats on Akili Smith. We're going to pin our hats on (running back) Corey Dillon. We put 11 hats on him, which (increases) our chance of winning this game tremendously."


In a 16-13 overtime win on the road last year, safety John Lynch stripped Bengals running back Corey Dillon at the 3 and recovered to set up Martin Gramatica's winning 21-yard field goal. The Bucs squandered a 13-3 lead in the fourth quarter.


Receiver Peter Warrick, the Bengals' first-round draft pick in 2000, hasn't had the impact many expected. He has nine receptions for 72 yards and no touchdowns this season. "We had 83 plays and I got the ball twice. I want to contribute, but I can't help (the team) if I'm getting the ball just once," he said last weekend. " ... I don't care what nobody says, I deserve the ball more than one time."


2: team-high touchdowns by Bucs LB Derrick Brooks.

20: point deficit for the Bengals in every game this season.

47: consecutive games the Bucs have at least one sack.

69.7: rushing yards per game for the Bucs.


"Every game counts. It's a big game regardless of where you're playing and who you're playing against. Your record is at stake, your season is at stake every game you play."

-- Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson on looking past the winless Bengals.

Back to the Bucs

Today's lineup


  • Gruden gives Bucs attitude adjustment
  • No new facility no surprise
  • Bucs sideline
  • High profile -- Al Singleton
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • You can't take country out of Dilger

  • Letters
  • Commercials make game secondary

  • Rays
  • Rays rally behind McRae
  • Winn moves atop the Rays' hit list
  • Worst in baseball? Maybe not

  • Lightning
  • Hodson looks better in win
  • Last season's backups now think they have all it takes

  • Other sports

    Ryder Cup golf
  • All square after a late American rally
  • Captains gambling on the lineups
  • Azinger tries to keep chin up on the bench

  • College football
  • Gators pull escape job
  • Bounced, big time
  • MSU receiver sets NCAA mark
  • Zook on special teams: 'I'll get it corrected'
  • All-purpose Gator delivers
  • Florida: By the numbers
  • OU tricked but mistake wipes out TD
  • South Florida: By the numbers
  • Bulls defense makes improvement
  • Around the state
  • Big East: Hokies run to victory
  • C-USA: Longhorns hold Tulane scoreless
  • SEC: Gary's return keeps Georgia on a roll 41-10
  • Pac-10: Washington State rallies behind QB in second half
  • Big Ten: Hawkeyes withstand comeback, win in OT
  • Big 12: Iowa State takes charge
  • ACC: Unfocused Wolfpack defeats I-AA UMass
  • Around the nation

  • NFL
  • Holmes wins over Patriots
  • NFL Game Day: Week 4

  • NHL
  • Theodore stops 25 in 4-1 victory

  • Motorsports
  • Jeff Burton beats Kerry Earnhardt
  • Time ticks away for Gordon's title hunt

  • Baseball
  • NL: D'backs roll to another West title
  • AL: Wells keeps Yanks on track for homefield
  • Bonds in, wants more
  • Raines bows out, says he means it
  • Summing up the 2002 season

  • Et cetera
  • Highs and lows

  • Preps
  • Masterson, Mustangs win Red Mule
  • King, Durant teams sidestep holes, foes
  • PHU teams dominate, defend titles

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Pros and cons of Woods, Ryder Cup
  • Back to Top

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