Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Saints: Donald Penn May Be on to Something

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer INovember 2, 2011

Donald Penn knows what makes quarterbacks great. (Getty images).
Donald Penn knows what makes quarterbacks great. (Getty images).Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

"Every quarterback is great when they get the run going."

 -- Buccaneer left tackle Donald Penn

 

Donald Penn is on to something here folks.

Can it be that simple?

Can it be so simple for the Buccaneers that all they need to do is rush for more than 100 yards on Sunday in New Orleans?

Form says so.

Form says that over the past two seasons, when the Bucs rush for 100 yards are more, they are 12-3.

Donald Penn is a genius.

He's also a pretty darn good lineman, he's probably been the most consistent Buccaneer this season on offense where there hasn't been much consistency through these first seven games.

Yet here the Bucs are, right on the doorstep of the lead in the NFC South.

A quick review of the last game with New Orleans here in Tampa, if you will.

First and foremost, the Bucs did it with turnovers. They got Drew Brees to throw three interceptions and they got Pierre Thomas to fumble. Four turnovers really, really spelled the difference in that victory.

Josh Freeman threw zero interceptions and it was Earnest Graham going for 117 yards.

Which leads us to the next question:

Can LeGarrette Blount become Earnest Graham?

You'd think he could do that and some. Blount was working his posterior off, getting better at his third down work. Josh Freeman says he's got it which means Blount can be an every down back on Sunday in the We Can't Afford Those Cars Dome.

In the process of handing the ball to Graham, Freeman also did something he hasn't done much of, he spread the ball around when he was passing.

Dig this: six balls to Mike Williams, five to Kellen Winslow, three to Arrelious Benn and two each to Preston Parker, Dez Briscoe, Erik Lorig and Graham. Now with Graham out, you'd think they'd want to get a pass or three or four to Blount. Remember that huge run he made in the preseason?

Can it be that simple?

Note to Greg Olsen: bash 'em with Blount, spread the rock to the receivers.

Can it be that simple?

That should just about take care of the offensive side of the football.

Now to defense.

You might want to keep an eye on Jimmy Graham, the tight end. He had seven for 124 if you recall the last time, he had a lot of fun at Raymond James. You would think that defensive coordinator Raheem Morris might want his charges to pay attention to Graham.

And while they're at it, check on Marques Colston. He had seven for 118. 

Can it be that simple?

The Saints only rushed for 70 against the defense last time.

Nice.

Can it really be that simple?

It can be and Donald Penn is right.

Just think, the greatness that is A.J. Feeley led the Rams to victory over these Saints last week.

Yes, THAT A.J. Feeley who simply handed the ball off to Steven Jackson 25 times and watched him run for 159 and a pair of touchdowns.

Donald Penn wasn't right, he was flat-out, spot-on right.

Even A.J. Feeley was great when he got the run going.