TAMPA — Gaining extra yards after the catch has been a problem for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.
Their leader in that category is wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who ranks 41st in the league with 288 yards. The team is dead last in the league with 987.
The problem is one the Bucs might need to rectify immediately if they hope to beat the Bills this week.
Buffalo leads the league in sacks with 43 and its ability to get to the passer will likely force quick, short throws. That will limit the passing game’s impact if the Bucs can’t break away for extra yards after the catch.
“To stand here and say that, (on) third-and-14 you’re going to stand back there and wait for these deep routes to get open — not so fast,’’ Bucs coach Greg Schiano said.
“We’re going to have to help (quarterback Mike Glennon). His accuracy, I think, is going to allow our receivers to run after the catch. And we’re going to have to do that in some situations to get the first down.’’
Glennon has completed 62.8 percent of his passes, good for 15th among all quarterbacks in the league. But he’s even more accurate — 66.2 percent — on throws from 1-10 yards downfield.
That’s good news for the Bucs. So, is the fact, Schiano said, that Glennon is spending extra time this week studying the Bills pass rush and what opportunities that may present for Tampa Bay.
“He’s burning the oil on this one, because they’re hard to prepare for,’’ Schiano said. “But if you can get it you’ve got opportunities, because there are some holes there. You just have to find them and you can’t find them when you’re on your back.’’
See you Sunday
Jackson (hamstring) was limited at practice for the third straight day Friday, but Schiano was “cautiously optimistic’’ Jackson would be able to suit up against the Bills.
Jackson’s absence from portions of practice this week shouldn’t make much of a difference, Schiano said, because he has had so many reps and works so hard when he does practice..
“Our biggest job with Vincent is pulling him back during the week,’’ Schiano said. “We have to limit his reps because he just goes all out in practice every time he runs a route. And then he finishes the route for about 30 yards and then he runs all the way back.’’
The Bucs rank 29th in the league with 24 sacks, but making plays in the opponent’s backfield really hasn’t been a problem. Tampa Bay has 50 run stops that resulted in a loss of yards for the opponent. Only the Rams have more with 55.
The Bucs finished first in that category a year ago, making 89 run stops for a total loss of 198 yards. Tampa Bay also ranked first in total stops for a loss with 129 in 2012.
Do the twist
One trait that has contributed to RB Bobby Rainey’s success this year is his ability to make tacklers miss. At 5-foot-8 and 212 pounds, Rainey has to have that ability, Schiano said.
“He’s a lot like Doug (Martin) and Mike (James) in that he doesn’t really give you a clean shot,’’ Schiano said. “He’s always kind of twisting and contorting his body and that helps. If you’re not a big guy you better be able to do that, and he can.”