Maybe this isn't a big deal. It's probably a very innocent, perhaps accurate, observation made by Seahawks running back Julius Jones. I probably wouldn't even bother to point it out had I not made a post earlier today giving some love to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense. But here we go anyway.
This Sunday night, Jones and the Seahawks are traveling to Tampa Bay for a contest with the leaders of the NFC South. And Jones is looking forward to playing them because, you know, they're old. From Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune:
"They're smart players and what you have to do with those guys is kind of beat them athletically,'' Jones said. "I know a couple guys are up there in age and that's how we're going to try to get around those guys - beat them athletically.'' Isn't that another way of calling the Bucs defense old? Sure seems like it. Wonder if DeAngelo Williams thinks the Bucs are old. Kind doubt it.
Whether or not they're old, or up there in age, or whatever polite way you want to put it, the Buccaneers defense is playing extremely well right now, and they've run up against quite a few talented and athletic backs this year. Just a quick rundown:
Week Three: Chicago - Matt Forte: 27 carries, 89 yards.
Week Four: Green Bay - Ryan Grant: 15 carries, 20 yards.
That list contains two of the NFL's top-five leading rushers (Turner and Forte) and a couple of pretty good backs in Grant, Williams and Stewart. They've all been stuffed by the Buccaneers.
Is the Tampa Bay defense up there in age? A little bit (Derrick Brooks is 35, Ronde Barber 33). But they're still really, really good, and that's all that matters for Sunday night.