Bucs prep for running Chiefs
BY FRED GOODALL Associated Press
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 7:32 AM
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bracing for a heavy dose of Jamaal Charles when they face the struggling Chiefs on Sunday.
"They pride themselves on running that rock," Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib said, noting that Charles is the NFL's leading rusher. "The quarterback don't do nothing but turn around and hand the ball off in that situation."
That, of course, is not entirely true.
When Brady Quinn makes his first start in three years Sunday, replacing the injured Matt Cassel, the Chiefs will be counting on the sixth-year quarterback to be effective throwing the ball as well. Still, Talib is right that Tampa Bay's challenge defensively begins with containing the speedy Charles.
The Chiefs (1-4) have the NFL's second-ranked rushing attack at 221.6 yards per game, with Charles off to an impressive start after missing the final 14 games of last season with a knee injury. The fifth-year pro is averaging 153.6 yards rushing over his past three games, including a 233-yard performance against New Orleans three weeks ago.
Like the Bucs (1-3), the Chiefs feel their record would be better if not for critical mistakes. Kansas City has turned over the ball a league-high 19 times, including nine interceptions thrown by Cassel, who's out after leaving the fourth quarter of last week's 9-6 loss to Baltimore with a concussion.
Quinn, a former first-round draft pick, will make his first start since Dec. 12, 2009, when he was with the Cleveland Browns.
In addition to averaging 5.4 yards per carry and leading the league with 551 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Charles has 15 receptions and is averaging a league-best 133.8 yards from scrimmage.
"This ain't my first go-around playing this guy. I played him for two years" in college, Bucs defensive tackle and ex-Oklahoma Sooner Gerald McCoy said of the former Texas Longhorn. "He's dynamic. He's always been good. ... He's a patient but not patient runner. Once he sees a seam, he's gone. But he's patient in finding it."
At Tampa Bay
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles runs the ball last week against Baltimore. Charles leads the league with 551 yards rushing and two touchdowns. ED ZURGA / Associated Press