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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs notes: Chiefs' Charles, NFL's top rusher, to test defense

Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 04:21 PM

Armed with the NFL's No. 4 rushing defense, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bracing for the arrival of Jamaal Charles.

Although the error-prone Chiefs are off to a 1-4 start, Charles is the league's top rusher with 551 yards, averaging a gaudy 5.4 yards per carry. He also leads all players in most yards from scrimmage (669) and only the 49ers have rushed for more yards than Kansas City.

"Jamaal was my roommate in college and he's doing something special,'' said Bucs defensive tackle Roy Miller, who played at Texas. "I've never seen a running back quite like him. His body is almost parallel to the ground when he turns the corner and if you don't catch up to him early, he's going to hit a home run.''

Charles, a third-round draft choice in 2008, has made a full recovery from a torn ACL that sidelined him for the final 14 games last season. In 2010, his average of 6.38 yards per carry ranked second all-time to Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who averaged 6.4 yards in 1963.

"He's (Charles) an extraordinary football player,'' Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said. "He's got that something special.''

Charles gained 140 yards in 30 carries during Sunday's 9-6 loss to Baltimore as the Chiefs committed four more turnovers to give them an NFL-leading 19 giveaways through five weeks. Kansas City's minus-15 turnover differential has undermined a club that is outgaining opponents by an average of 74 yards per game.

"You've got to give Charles a lot of credit for coming all the way back from his knee injury,'' said Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett. "He probably went from a 4.3 to a 4.4.''

After a bye week, the Bucs returned to practice Monday and began preparations for Sunday's home matchup against the Chiefs, who have been outscored 44-6 in the opening quarter.

Ready to go

After a bye week, the Bucs returned to practice Monday and began preparations for Sunday's home matchup against the Chiefs, who have been outscored 44-6 in the opening quarter.

"I'm a little recharged,'' Pro Bowl G Carl Nicks said. "The rest definitely helped. I wish it was longer, but it's good to be back to football. I don't think we've played near our potential. Although we're 1-3, and that's not a good record to have, it's encouraging to know we can battle with any team in the NFL.''

With three losses by a total of 15 points, the Bucs know they've been in every game.

"Our job is to not make 'em close at the end,'' Bucs CB Aqib Talib said. "That might work for us. That's the plan right there.''

Injury update

Bucs S Eric Wright, who suffered a head injury in the 24-22 loss to Washington on Sept. 30, practiced Monday and is expected to play against KC. Backup RT Jeremy Trueblood, who may be shifted to right guard in place of struggling Ted Larsen, was sidelined by a stomach virus, according to Schiano.

"We'll probably evaluate (right guard) tomorrow and try to lock into something by Wednesday,'' Schiano said. "That's a position that's been up in the air.''

Extra points

The bumbling Chiefs are on pace to turn the ball over 61 times, which would be four giveaways short of the all-time record set by the 1961 Denver Broncos of the American Football League. …Chiefs OLB Justin Houston, a second-year player out of Georgia, is tied for third in the NFL with six sacks. …The Bucs lead all NFC defenses in third-down efficiency, allowing a 28.0 percent conversion rate. …Ex-Gator standout safety Ahmad Black was strutting around Tampa Bay's locker room Monday, basking in the glory of Florida's 14-6 victory against LSU while calling out any former FSU player in sight.