Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/26/12
TAMPA, Fla. They have corralled Cam Newton and chased down Tony Romo, but the biggest test yet could come Sunday afternoon against a rookie quarterback who has become the talk of the National Football League. Thats when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will do their best to contain the multi-threat talents of Washingtons Robert Griffin III, the singular reason that the Redskins currently lead the NFL in scoring with 33 points per game in spite of a 1-2 record. Fortunately for the Bucs, their defense has been the most impressive part of their game to date in a 1-2 start of their own. The team that ranked dead last in stopping the run in 2011 currently ranks No. 1 in that category and has performing surprisingly well minus the fourth quarter two weeks ago against Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Still, that gives head coach Greg Schiano no sense of comfort when he envisions the potential havoc the 2011 Heisman Award winner from Baylor can wreak with his strong arm, elusive running and fearlessness under pressure. Griffin will be one of the five fastest players on the field without a doubt, Schiano said Wednesday at One Buc Place. So when he does decide to tuck it and go, theres not many people who can run him down. Hes got a cannon for an arm, so when he throws the ball down field, there are some impressive shots. And then theres his ball-carrying ability, compounded by the ever-present threat of an option pitch. Small wonder Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan wanted Griffin enough for the club to send the St. Louis Rams three first-round picks (2012, 2013 and 2014) and a second-rounder to trade up to the No. 2 overall spot. Suddenly, the Redskins went from an offense guided by a group of non-descript passers to one of the most electrifying in the game and Shanahan, who rose to greatness in Denver coaching John Elway, has a new franchise quarterback who could beat an opponent any number of ways. Theyre still running their core run game, which is the zone scheme, and theyre as good as there is as running it, back to the Denver days, Schiano added. Theres also that gun-run element, that shotgun run, where theres triple option and theres also double-option. Whether its just him reading Do I give it to the back or not? or Do I give it to the back, or do I keep it or pitch it to a pitch man? So its true triple-option in some phases, double-option in others. You add that on top of the traditional zone run scheme, his ability to throw the ball down the field, and his ability to run bootlegs and things like that, and you have a full plate to defend. And thats why theyre the No. 1 scoring offense in the National Football League. That wasnt the case a year ago. Whats changed? Theres the answer. Griffin has been phenomenal thus far. He made his debut by outdueling Drew Brees in New Orleans, completing 19 of 30 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-32 upset. In Week Two, he hit 20 of 29 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, along with 82 rushing yards on 11 carries and two more TDs in a 31-28 loss at St. Louis. And in his home opener Sunday, he was 21 of 34 for 221 yards and a touchdown, while carrying the ball 12 times for 85 yards and a score in a 38-31 loss to the Bengals. His quarterback rating stands at a remarkable 103.4 with only one interception so far. Yet Griffin has also absorbed more than his share of hits so far due to his penchant for running, and hes been sacked nine times. Bucs defensive players believe their best shot at containing the 6-2, 217-pounder is shutting down the Redskin running game ranked No. 2 in the NFL as they did against Carolina. They allowed the mobile Newton and potent Panthers ground game only 10 total rushing yards in a season-opening 16-10 win. Our philosophy is we have to stop the run before we worry about RGIII, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. Of course, stopping the run means clamping down Griffin, who ranks as Washingtons No. 2 rusher with 209 yards on 32 carries, behind Alfred Morris 263 yards on 61 carries. Hes such a great player and does a lot of great things his speed, his strength, his arm, left defensive end Michael Bennett said. Hes a dynamic player. It used to be Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb, and now its Cam Newton and Robert Griffin. We have to do what we can to contain him. Griffin does what he does, and were going to do what we do. Were not shying away from their offense, and they need to be aware of our defense. We have a great defense. Linebacker Mason Foster is bracing for a battle. Hes got a big arm; hes throwing the ball 80 yards down the field, he said. But as a last resort, hes a really fast, big-time athlete who makes plays with his feet. You just have to keep him in the pocket and everybodys got to swarm and play hard. But just because they enjoyed success in pressuring Newton and Romo and Manning for more than half the game doesnt give the defense any sense of security for Sunday. Everybodys different and all that stuff is in the past, Foster said. RGIII is a whole different type of player and this is a whole different team, posing a new challenge. But we have a defense that loves challenges and loves competition. So its going to be exciting. Theyre using him in every way you can imagine, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said. They have a fantastic running game when he just hands the ball off. Yet theyre running the college gun-run stuff like we saw in the first week. And their offense is designed on first down and second down because they have such a good running attack to really throw shots down the field trying to get the ball over your head. In short, there isnt anything Griffin does that the Bucs have studied on tape and prepared for this week. But whether that will translate into stopping him is another matter entirely. NOTES: The Bucs rushing offense ranks only 21st in the league with an average of 94.7 yards per game, and compact rookie Doug Martins production has dropped each week (99, 66, 53). So perhaps not surprisingly, Schiano said that LeGarrette Blount, the burly former No. 1 tailback, will be worked more into the ground attack starting Sunday. We need to get him more involved, he said. Im not thinking of making any changes the way were doing it just give him a little more action. There was the whole thing with the (neck) injury (against Carolina) and then we werent sure what it was. It kind of threw things into flux. Hes practicing very well now and hes ready to go, so I think well have a good one-two punch like we envisioned early on. Asked about No. 1 pick Martin, he remarked, I think hes running hard. I think hes running well. I dont think weve done as good a job blocking as I thought we would. But then you lose Davin (Joseph). That throws it into a little flux. And were starting a new guy at tackle (Demar Dotson). So I think were going to clearly get better as we move forward. These guys (the Redskins) are going to crowd the box. Its going to be up-stream trying to run the football. Were going to have to be perfect to gain yardage running the ball. Schiano confirmed that newly signed return specialist Roscoe Parrish will handle punt-return duties Sunday against the Redskins. And Parrish couldnt have been happier to be a member of the Bucs, following seven seasons with Buffalo and several weeks at home wondering if hed get a phone call. I just have to put the offense in good field position and protect the ball thats the key thing, he said. Schiano labeled the punt return job as the most difficult specialty in football, given the spiraling trajectory of the ball and would-be tacklers bearing down on the return man. But Parrish says he thrives on that: Its difficult, but Ive been doing it all my life and I love it, he said. I love to be back there and make plays, with my quickness, speed and awareness. Thats what I do. He said he got the call from the Bucs on Monday morning after several weeks of uncertainty. Its something I never went through. I just appreciate being here and being back on the field. Its a blessing and a good opportunity. Parrish has a 12.0 career average as a punt returner, ranking second among active players behind Devin Hester (12.8). I dont envy those guys, said Schiano. Its a special skill set. And when you have one thats really good, dont take it for granted. With Adrian Clayborn out for the season with a knee injury sustained in Dallas, Schiano will start Daniel Teo-Nesheim, a third-year pro from the University of Washington, at right defensive end. He played in 2010 with the Eagles and seen only limited action with the Bucs the past two seasons. Daniel is a good football player and Ive been very impressed with his development since weve arrived, Schiano said. George Johnson can be a real good football player. So as Ive always said to the guys, one mans loss is another mans opportunity. And thats the way this game is. I have a great deal of confidence in Daniel. I think hes going to play well.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cavs, Pacers talking three-team George trade

In appreciation of Ichiro, the oldest man to play center field since at least 1900

WATCH: Adam Rosales sprints to fastest home run trot record

Report: Pacers not interested in acquiring Kevin Love

Vikings say they encouraged Floyd to drink kombucha tea

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jason Williams injured in first BIG3 game

Report: Mavs leaning toward two-year deal for Nowitzki

Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers Championship playoff

Tebow promoted by Mets to A-Advanced St. Lucia

Cam Newton reveals the one thing his life is missing

George denies he is already moving out of Indiana home

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker