“It isn’t like that with Dirk. It’s hard for defenses to prepare for us now. When we traded up to draft Julio last year, I was like ‘OK, we can be more of an explosive team, get in the playoffs and win more football games. Julio’s only helping me.”
DE Mark Anderson (knee) did not return to the practice field Thursday and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Houston. Anderson said he’s making progress and should be able to return in the near future. “I’m feeling good right now,” Anderson said. “I see the light [at the end of the tunnel].”
Barron is off to a terrific start. He’s third on the team in tackles with 35, including two for losses, with one interception (last week) and one forced fumble. In the Bucs’ opener, Olsen caught six passes for 56 yards but no touchdowns.
During the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints’ safety Roman Harper left the game with an injury. Harper sustained a concussion towards the end of the game and did not return to action. Despite not playing the entire game Harper led the Saints in tackles with nine as the Saints were defeated by the Broncos 34-14. Harper has been a veteran presence for the Saints this season and has been a bright spot for their terrible defense.
Kareem Jackson hasn’t exactly been matched up against a stud crop of receivers. In fact, outside of Eric Decker, who torched him, I don’t think he’s played a single good receiver. And I still question his ability to deal with a great spread attack like Green Bay’s when all of their weapons are fully healthy and in sync.
“I don’t know if they could compete with an NFL team, but they’re more disciplined than most NFL football teams. They’d stick in a game with a few teams. They’re just coached real well.”
Once the poster child for underachieving, Smith has improved — “night and day,” he said of his transition — and has emerged as a solid player. Pro Football Focus recently ranked the Bengals’ offensive front as the eighth-best in the league and Smith as the No. 5 right tackle in the NFL.
“It’s very disappointing. So we have to go in tomorrow and we have to game plan better for Dallas (Cowboys). I know that’s two weeks from here but we have a week off, we still have in our heads, at home or wherever we’re at, that we have Dallas to play next and we have to go out there and do everything we can. We have to make sure we get better every day while we’re just sitting at home resting our bodies.”