With Tampa Bay off to a 1-3 start and his offensive line struggling to create running lanes for rookie RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano is open to new ideas.
Schiano hinted Wednesday that veteran Jeremy Trueblood, recently replaced at right tackle by Demar Dotson, could soon see action at right guard, where Ted Larsen has started the first four games in place of injured Davin Joseph.
"When you lose a guy like Davin, you have to really work to figure out what's the best way to fill in,'' Schiano said. "I won't say replace, because I don't think anyone's going to replace a Pro Bowl player. With Dot taking over at right tackle, we've tried to move 'Blood around, take a look at him at different spots.
"I like his competitiveness, his fight, his desire. (Moving to guard) can be done. It's a matter of are you willing to do the things it takes to get the job done, and I know he is. Ted's in the mix, still, along with Cody Wallace and Jamon Meredith. We'll figure it out.''
The Bucs traded up to draft Martin late in the first round and he is averaging only 3.5 yards on 71 carries, with a long gain of 17 yards.
Larsen was flagged for a false start early in the fourth quarter against the Redskins with the Bucs attempting a two-point conversion after pulling within 21-19. With the ball moved back to the 7-yard line, Josh Freeman's pass intended for Mike Williams fell incomplete and Washington won 24-22 on a last-second field goal.
Trueblood was selected in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Boston College, where he started 36 games at tackle.
Bye and bye
As players scattered after practice to take advantage of the bye week, Schiano and his coaching staff expected to have a preliminary game plan for the Oct. 14 matchup against the Chiefs ready to distribute by Monday.
"This comes at a good time,'' Schiano said. "It kind of delays the opportunity to get back at it and feel good again, but I'm not sorry that the bye's now. I think this group has gone incredibly hard from July 26th to now. I really would like them to relax and get refreshed. We'll have an extra day of preparation for Kansas City, with Monday being a practice day.''
Left tackle Donald Penn is already California Dreaming, Dotson is Mississippi-bound and safety Russ Grimm can't wait to drop a line in the water.
Tampa Bay players have a variety of plans in place for a rare weekend without football.
"I'm going home to L.A.,'' Penn said after Wednesday's final practice of the week. "Just relaxing, just chilling.''
"I'm going back to Mississippi to see my son,'' Dotson said. "He's 3 years old.''
"I'm sticking around town,'' Grimm said. "I had a little golf planned for later (Wednesday), but the weather isn't cooperating. I'm definitely going to hit up the beach, probably do a little fishing.''
"I'm flying home to New Jersey,'' said WR Tiquan Underwood. "I'll relax with my family for a while, then go up to Boston and chill out with (Patriots CB and former Rutgers teammate) Devin McCourty. I've got my hoodie and my sweat pants. I'm ready to go.''
"I'm going back home (Alabama) to see family,'' rookie safety Mark Barron said. "I've got to have some of that home cooking. I can't get it here because I'm not cooking.''
Asked whether he was confident S Eric Wright (head injury) would be ready to play against the Chiefs, Schiano didn't hesitate: "Very confident.''. …The Bucs rank fourth in the league in third-down defense, limiting opponents to a 28 percent success rate which would set a franchise record. …Carolina's Steve Smith (20.5) is the only NFC receiver with a better yards-per-catch average than Tampa Bay's Mike Williams (19.9) and Vincent Jackson (19.0).