Tampa Bay Times Buccaneers beat writer Stephen Holder will now forever be known as the first repeat guest on the Redskins Blog “Behind Enemy Lines Podcast.”
We spoke to Holder about a month ago as the Washington Redskins prepared to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in both teams’ 2012 preseason finales, a game the Redskins won going away, 30-3.
Lots has changed for both teams since that game, and we’ll see the same matchup on Sunday as the Redskins travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Holder, if you couldn’t already tell, is our guest again for this week’s “Behind Enemy Lines Podcast,” and spoke about a variety of topics, including Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano’s hatred of the victory formation and how Tampa Bay will move on without young stud defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in last Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The full audio of our interview with Holder is below, but first, here’s some snippets from the conversation:
On how the Buccaneers have changed since their preseason loss to the Redskins:
“I think we’ve learned a lot more about this team. You know, there was so much transition here with a new coaching staff, and new systems on both side of the ball, that what we saw in the preseason, while it was somewhat of a preview, you really didn’t know how it would translate in the regular season with regulars playing, you know, starting players on the field and the playbook be opened up a little bit more. So I think we’ve learned a lot more about what they’re going to be. I think what I’ve learned, at least, is that this defense is a very formidable defense — there’s no question about that. I think they still have some issues to work out, but I thought that they really showed what they could be against the Cowboys last Sunday, albeit in a loss.”
On the loss of Adrian Clayborn for the year at defensive end and how the Buccaneers will overcome the injury:
“Well, they’re going to have to look at a personnel move potentially, but even if they did that, I don’t know that they find anyone that’s going to be able to step in and be an immediate contributor. So I think they have to look inside, first and foremost, and so you’re looking at a guy like George Johnson, he’s not someone anyone’s ever heard of most likely — he’s been on the practice squad the past couple of years — but I think in some preseason work has shown some ability to be a playmaker. He’s a guy who played for Greg Schiano at Rutgers and is a hard worker and a guy who has some upside.”
On the Buccaneers’ offensive struggles so far in 2012:
“I think they have a little bit of an identity crisis, and this is just my personal observation. They want to be a run-first team — and they pretty much are, and they certainly have been in terms of the play-calling — the problem is I think that there are some opportunities for them to go to the air and they’ve been, in some cases, kind of hitting their heads against the wall with the running game, trying to establish it.”
On if Tampa Bay’s offense looks to go to the air against a struggling Redskins’ secondary:
“I draw a comparison to the Giants game, and I think a lot of people would say the same thing about the Giants, in some cases. Obviously you’ve got to be able to block their very-good defensive line, but if you can do that, you can maybe have some success through the air, and that’s how, I think, the Bucs approached that game, and they did have some success blocking their defensive line, believe it or not, and those guys were able to stand up against [Jason] Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck and those types. So, because of that, they were able to have some success through the air — I think three passes above 40 yards that game, so there was an ability to get down the field, and Josh Freeman has a big arm.”
On Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano’s attack of opposing teams’ victory formations the past couple weeks:
“I thought it was a big story, and I also think that it is a big story from this point: I think that it, really, has changed the approach of kneel-downs if you look at it. I think the Dallas Cowboys last week … the same scenario presented itself, and Tony Romo had to take a knee at the end of the game, and the Cowboys were more-than ready for it — they were definitely looking for it. So, I think Greg Schiano — whether you love it or hate it — he’s put some teams on notice and I think it has definitely got everybody’s attention.”
Here’s the complete interview with Holder, who you can follow on Twitter by clicking here:
2012 Behind Enemy Lines archive:
– Cincinnati Bengals (Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals beat writer Joe Reedy)
– St. Louis Rams (St. Louis Post-Dispatch Rams beat writer Jim Thomas)
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Tampa Bay Times beat writer Stephen Holder)
– Indianapolis Colts (Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz)
Tags: 2012 regular season, Behind Enemy Lines, Stephen Holder, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, washington redskins
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