Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jonesin' to Play

While reviewing the remarkable start to his 2000 season, DE Marcus Jones also discussed the Bucs’ upcoming game against Minnesota

DE Marcus Jones, he of the 10 sacks through seven games, has gotten to the opposing quarterback at least once in six of the Bucs' seven games, including three in a row.

That's not the streak at the front of everyone's mind, however. The Buccaneers have lost four in a row and need a win over the 7-0 Vikings on Sunday to get back to .500. While answering questions regarding his own hot streak, Jones also hit on such Minnesota-related topics as…

…why not take on the only undefeated team in the league when you need to break out of a slump?

"Yeah, why not? We match up well against them, we understand what they do. We understand that if we can keep the ball in front of us we'll have a chance to win the game.

"We're really anxious. Minnesota's one of those teams that always plays us really well, and we always play them really well. It's a really good rivalry, and right now we really need a win."

…are the Bucs' doubting themselves on the eve of their biggest game?

"I don't think any self-doubt is creeping into the team. We understand that things haven't gone our way, and the reason why things haven't gone our way is because we've been making mistakes. Once we understand that and correct those mistakes, we'll win some games.

"It's a couple of things, a couple of things here and there, that's preventing us from winning games. We still feel like, if we keep it close, we have a chance to win."

…how will the Bucs counter hot quarterback Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings' deep passing game?

"We know that they're going to sit back and he's going to hold the ball in the pocket. If we can get some pressure on him and stop the run, we'll have a good game.

"Basically we need to keep the ball in front of us and getting a rush when it counted."

…can the Bucs' defensive line possibly play any better?"

"We have to. We have to. We've been playing well in the past, but I guess playing well isn't good enough. We have to step it up.

"If we're not winning, I guess it's not good enough."

…will the Bucs' defense wear down if the Vikings keep them on the field as long as the Lions did?

"We keep everybody in and out, and we keep everybody pretty fresh, so I don't think it's as much wearing down physically as it is just having a mental breakdown here or there."

…how can the Bucs get back on track?

"Right now, (the key) is to get a win against the Vikings. To do that, we've got to stop the run first before we can be successful mounting a rush."

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