Brees poses big test for Bucs retooled secondary - WFLA News Channel 8

Brees poses big test for Bucs retooled secondary

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

There may not be a lot of film available to study Darrelle Revis playing with his new team.
    
Not a problem for Drew Brees, who has seen enough of the star cornerback to know the New Orleans Saints need to be respectful of the so-called "Revis Rules" when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
    
To a point.
    
"Obviously in a game plan you have certain matchups that you are trying to exploit, you have certain coverages or looks you are trying to get and that kind of thing. But, I would say there are times where, hey, there's a corner and you just know he defends this certain route or this certain concept or this play very well. So all things, equal, let's go away from him," Brees said, looking ahead to Sunday's meeting between NFC South rivals.
    
"We definitely say there is a 'Revis Rule' as it pertains to some of those things where you just want to avoid those to give him the opportunities as much as you can," the New Orleans quarterback added. "Then again, we are going to execute our offense and there are going to be times where we are going to his side, throwing at him, but it is what it is. We are going to be careful about it and smart about it."
    
This will be the first big test for a revamped Tampa Bay secondary. Revis was obtained in a pre-draft trade and given a six-year, $96 million contract, and the Bucs also signed All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson to a five-year, $41.5 million in free agency.
    
Brees has only faced Revis once -  in 2009, when the three-time All-Pro player was with the New York Jets.
    
"Somebody brought up to me that we've played against each other in some Pro Bowls, but I guess that doesn't really count," Brees said. "I just know what I've seen on film. ... I know he's as talented as you get, the best corner in this league. One of those guys you've got to know where he is, how he's playing."
    
For the record, Brees threw for 190 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in that meeting, which the Saints won 24-10 on the way to a 13-0 start and, eventually, a Super Bowl championship.
    
Five things to look for when the Saints (1-0) visit the Bucs (0-1).
    
1. SPUTTERING BUCS: Josh Freeman threw for more than 4,000 yards and Tampa Bay set a franchise record for points scored last season, however, the Bucs offense was unimpressive in the preseason and still struggled during last week's 18-17 loss to the Jets. Freeman is in the final year of his contract and needs to pull the unit out of its funk ... and fast.
    
2. CONSTANT BREES: Brees enters Week 2 with 20 or more completions in an NFL record 53 straight games. He was 26 of 35 for 357 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 23-17 win over Atlanta. But because Brees throws so often and with such unbridled confidence, he is also vulnerable to turnovers, which could create opportunities for Revis and Co.
    
3. PENALTY MACHINE: The Bucs were flagged 13 times for 102 yards last week, including a personal foul on LB Lavonte David that set up the Jets' winnng field goal. Coach Greg Schiano said the mistakes were not the result of undisciplined play, but there's no question the team has to clean up the sloppy play.
    
4. TOUGH YARDS: Although coach Sean Payton is trying to keep defenses honest with balanced play-calling, New Orleans' running game hasn't been very productive. The Saints were limited to 78 yards rushing on 29 carries in their opener, an average of 1.2 yards per carry. Tampa Bay is searching for answers, too, after Doug Martin (24 carries, 65 yards) averaged 2.7 yards per attempt against the Jets.
    
5. THIN LINE: The Saints lost starting nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley to a right calf strain and reserve end Tyrunn Walker, a regular in the rotation, to a left knee injury last week, thinning the ranks of their new three-man defensive line. Still, the Saints did well getting pressure with a four-man rush, which included help from an outside linebacker attacking the backfield as an end might.

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