St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Simplicity leads to punt block

By ERNEST HOOPER and RICK STROUD

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 18, 2000


PONTIAC, Mich. -- The complexities of football are often too intricate for the common fan, but the Bucs' Ronde Barber said there was nothing sophisticated about his partial block of a John Jett punt in the first quarter. "Joe (Marciano) said, "Go block the punt,' " Barber said of his special teams coach. "So I went out and blocked the punt. It's an easy game sometimes."

Marciano changed the punt-coverage team at the last second. Barber was jogging off the field but quickly reversed track when Marciano called for a block attempt. Barber got in position just as the ball was snapped. That might have contributed to Barber going in untouched.

"It kind of helped us because I don't think their guy, who was settled in to protect, saw Ronde in his spot and lost focus," Marciano said. The block, which caused the ball to travel only 13 yards, helped set up the Bucs' second touchdown. In the second quarter, linebacker Alshermond Singleton cleanly blocked another Jett punt that gave the Bucs a first and 10 at the Lions 30-yard line. However, special teams failed to convert that into points when Martin Gramatica narrowly missed a 38-yard field goal. Overall, special teams were a mixed bag. The blocked punts were on the positive side, as was a 42-yard Karl Williams punt return in which he almost scored. Safety Eric Vance provided a key block to spring Williams, who would have made it if Terry Fair hadn't made a shoestring tackle from behind.

The negatives were kickoff returns of 70 and 63 yards by Detroit's Desmond Howard. Part of the problem was low kickoffs by Gramatica, plus the Lions' timing, which cleared a huge path.

The Bucs changed strategy by kicking to the corner of the field and pinning Howard. His returns after the change were 8, 23 and 25 yards.

"We were down a little bit, but we came back as a special-teams group," Marciano said. "Obviously, we have to do a better job, but our guys didn't quit. I thought we came back pretty good."

DUNN DEAL: Running back Warrick Dunn scored his first rushing touchdown in nearly two years on a 1-yard sprint to the left.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," said Dunn, who rushed for 34 yards on 10 carries. "It's been forever and a day. All I can do is hope there are many more."

His last rushing touchdown had been Nov. 1, 1998 against Minnesota.

NEW TIGHT END?: Don't look for guard Randall McDaniel to start demanding the ball. The 13-year veteran got his first touchdown reception on a 2-yard toss from Shaun King when he lined up as fullback, and one is fine with him.

"They don't have to throw me the ball the rest of the year," McDaniel said.

McDaniel almost had a second touchdown reception with the same play. This time, King threw the ball slightly behind him and linebacker Stephen Boyd flashed in front of the pass.

"It was tipped," McDaniel said. "That's my story and I'm going to stick with that. I couldn't believe when they threw it again. I thought I had another one. I saw a flash of him coming by, there's nothing else I can say. I should have caught it."

INJURIES: Rookie safety David Gibson re-aggravated his left foot sprain, cornerback Donnie Abraham sustained a knee bruise and Gramatica had bruised ribs.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Bucs, NFL
  • The Lion King
  • Special teams get attention
  • There's no need to fret over King
  • Bucs highlights
  • Simplicity leads to punt block
  • Bucs quick hits
  • Bucs defenders could gloat, but they won't
  • Hurricane winds followed by hot air
  • Red? Green? Whatever term, Bucs in a zone
  • Bucs chat
  • Bucs quotebook
  • Lions quotebook
  • McDaniel denies report that he failed to report
  • NFL briefs
  • NFL Injury report

  • Devil Rays, MLB
  • Rothschild chalks it up to experience
  • Rothschild looks for answers on Lopez
  • Martin still getting adjusted with Mariners
  • Baseball briefs

  • Lightning, NHL
  • Cloutier's back and he's taking the spotlight
  • NHL briefs

  • Other sports
  • Captain's corner
  • Sports briefs
  • Olympics roundup
  • Special teams save Bulls' night, pride
  • Gaffney gesture (throat slash) angers Spurrier
  • Bowden is not happy with comeback kids
  • Several drivers steamed on plates
  • No passing fancy: Jeff Burton leads all

  • Olympics
  • Olympic basketball is interesting for 3:29
  • Overcome with tears of joy
  • Olympics highlights
  • Lacy roars to opening victory
  • She only shares the wealth
  • Finally, the weight is too heavy for 'Pocket Hercules'
  • A big shot leads U.S. to victory
  • Ch. 8 won't rain on the parade
  • Olympics briefs


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts