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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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The locker room
By STEPHEN F. HOLDER
Published November 13, 2005
INSIDE THE BUCS' MEETING ROOM
MAKE IT QUICK: The only way the Bucs beat the Redskins' relentless blitz is by getting the ball out of Chris Simms' hands early. He is particularly challenged when the pocket begins to sag and collapse, and this will happen often against the Redskins. The Bucs will have to employ the short passing game, in which plays won't take much time to develop.
BE COMMITTED: To the running game. The Bucs have shown some tendency to abandon it the past two games, largely because they were playing from behind. Should the game stay close, the Redskins might give up some yards. Cadillac Williams gets better with each carry, and even when he isn't churning up yards, he wears a defense down with his physical style. Washington opponents have averaged 141.7 rushing yards the past three games, including the Giants' 262.
GIVE AND TAKE: The Redskins aren't exactly a force when it comes to producing turnovers, and they do tend to give the ball away. Derrick Brooks and the defense need to make up for their lack of takeaways the past two games and exploit a Redskins weakness. Washington is minus-9 in turnover margin, having three games with four or more turnovers. They have struggled with fumbles, in particular, losing 11 in eight games.
TURN UP THE PRESSURE: The Bucs haven't managed to get quarterbacks in their grips much lately, but this might be another opportunity to break out of the sack slump. The Redskins have allowed 22 sacks and have an offensive line that isn't regarded as athletic. Left tackle Chris Samuels is one of the more solid players at his position, but he will have his hands full with Simeon Rice. Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell isn't the slippery, fleet-footed player he once was.
INSIDE THE REDSKINS' MEETING ROOM
GET ON GALLOWAY: Though opponents have had success pressuring Simms into mistakes, the all-out assault on the Bucs' quarterback has left receiver Joey Galloway with one-on-one coverage, often against a safety. This is not a position any defensive coordinator wants to be in. Galloway had this ideal scenario against Carolina and scored on a 50-yard touchdown. Galloway has three touchdowns of 50 yards or more.
BRING THE BLITZ: The Redskins are renowned for their arsenal of blitz packages, something that could make things especially difficult for Simms. Washington is relentless, and ranks sixth in the league against the pass partly because of that. A secondary that features Sean Taylor at free safety and Shawn Springs at one cornerback is able to fend for itself while the front seven (or eight or nine) home in on the quarterback. Taylor, though, is likely to miss today's game with a lingering ankle sprain. FIND MIDDLE GROUND: The Redskins have a legitimate deep threat in Santana Moss, who will take a defender or two down the field with him. That leaves the Bucs vulnerable in the middle of the field. We saw the Panthers' Ricky Proehl streak down the middle last week, taking Shelton Quarles deep. The Redskins, who like the underneath passing game anyway, might be able to utilize running back Clinton Portis and others this way.
MAKE PORTIS A FACTOR: At some point, Portis is going to break a big run if he gets enough carries. Portis has 73 yards in the past two games, but he could return to his early-season form, when he had three 100-yard games. Portis has averaged 2.9 yards during the past two games, far below his season average of 4.2. But the Bucs present a significant challenge, ranking second in league rushing defense (75.9 yards per-game).
Courtesy of Simms, who will face another aggressive defense in the Redskins today: "(They have a) great defense. A lot of team speed on the defensive side of the ball. They've got a good front seven, again. LaVar Arrington's playing a whole lot more, so he definitely adds to the speed factor. And in the secondary they're a pretty talented group."