By ERNEST HOOPER
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000
Fox Sports Net's NFL This Morning
For the Washington Redskins to have a successful outing, they have to run the football, and I don't anticipate they'll be able to against the Bucs.
The Redskins want to average 120 yards a game, but right now they're only averaging 107. If they can average at a 120 clip, it forces any team, especially the Bucs, to get nosy with their safety. Then Brad Johnson can play pitch and catch with his receivers. The Bucs cornerbacks, Donnie Abraham and Ronde Barber, are pretty good in that Cover 2 scheme, but if the Bucs are forced to put them on an island with little safety help, it's going to be rough.
Stopping Stephen Davis has to be first on the Bucs agenda.
The Bucs also have to get more consistent play out of their quarterback. Keyshawn Johnson was the butt of everybody's jokes last week, but if Shaun King had hit Johnson when he was open, it would have been a different story. The Bucs had guys running open down the field all day.
I think King just reverted back to being a rookie. He had his worst game of the season. The reality of it is if you review the tape, you can't help but conclude the guy played like a rookie.
I know Bucs offensive coordinator Les Steckel will try to feature Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn, but for Tampa Bay to have any success, they have to push the ball up the field. The success they've had to this point is because they've done a great job making plays in the vertical passing game.
Jacquez Green has the highest yards per reception in the league and it's because Johnson has done the grunt work underneath. He has 15 receptions and 12 have gone for first downs or touchdowns. The numbers would be even more startling if Shaun King had got Johnson the ball last week.
The Tampa Bay Bucs can ill afford to have Shaun King playing like he did last week. I think that's their challenge against Washington.
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From the wire
From the state sports wire
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