- Work The Smash Route Against Barber, Talib
The Buccaneers defense is a study in having the wrong players stuck in a particular scheme. One year after losing Monte Kiffen, the Bucs now run every Packer fans' favorite scheme, Jim Bates' 4-3 featuring press coverage from the corners. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they have one of the, if not the all time best, Cover Two conerbacks trapped in a scheme he is completely wrong for in Ronde Barber. Barber is still effective when asked to blitz from the slot on 3rd and long, but that is about all he's good for in this scheme. Complicating matters for the Bucs is that his counterpart, Aqib Talib, is a complete mess both on and off the field. While possessing all the physical skills needed to be an elite corner, it's clear that he has not 'put it all together' yet. Jumping from one extreme to another scheme-wise is certainly not helping.
The Packers, as has been well documented, have had issues trying to work the ball down the field while trying to protect their quarterback. No need to worry about that this week. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver should find ample opportunities to work short, underneath routes this week, especially the smash. Really, it should be a clinic on Sunday - as poor as you might have thought the Bates scheme was when watching it with Woodson and Harris at CB, it is downright pitiful the way it is being played right now in Tampa Bay.
- If The Packers Can't Run the Ball This Week...
...they never will under Mike McCarthy. Tampa's 30th ranked rushing defense is, to borrow from Charles Barkley, turrbl.