Tuesday, on the players' day off, Gaines Adams took Kong, his 42-pound brown boxer, to Greg White's house just to prove his dog is bigger than White's, a 42-pound white boxer named Blitz.
"We were really just clowning around,'' Adams said. "But my dog is bigger. It's a boy. His is a girl.'' It's like that on the field, too, the two defensive ends constantly nudging and elbowing one another in an attempt to get out front as the Bucs' most noted pass rusher.
"I want to be the sack leader, and he would like to be the sack leader, too,'' White said with a smile. "Right now, I'm ahead.'' It's a slim lead. White has 3.5 sacks; Adams, two. But Adams has an interception return for a touchdown. Don't think he hasn't let White know it.
It was so good, he led the Bucs with eight sacks. He realized, though, that he needed more moves to truly excel and has developed some, according to Wash. "I'd like to think I have a lot of moves, but really, whatever works, I'm happy with,'' White said. "As long as I can beat 'em around the corner and get to the quarterback, that's what I want.'' What the Bucs want from Adams and White this year are 20 sacks, minimum. And while they really don't care how they come by that number, the ideal is for each to get at least 10. Expectations like that, of course, only help to fuel their little rivalry, which quickly gained a new battleground after Adams laid claim to a slight victory in the size comparison between Kong and Blitz. "Yeah, his dog is a little bigger,'' White said. "But mine is better looking.''