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Tampa Bay Buccaneers preparing for challenge of Cardinals’ defense

Heading into the Arizona Cardinals game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, most of the attention is on rookie Mike Glennon making his first NFL start for the Bucs. While it’s an exciting time for Glennon, he’s been a dealt a big challenge with the Cardinals’ secondary, according to his head coach, Greg Schiano.

In a conference call with Arizona media Wednesday, Schiano praised Arizona’s defense and particularly the secondary.

“It’s just such a talented group,” Schiano said. “It presents a challenge to any quarterback — rookie or not. I think it starts and ends with No. 21 (Patrick Peterson). He is as special player as there is in this league. You just need to be aware exactly of where he is, and then across the board with the group.

“If you aren’t careful, they will bait you into some things. You really have to work very hard in our preparation, and I know Mike’s doing that right now.”

While Glennon’s first career start is noteworthy, the Bucs are still a run-oriented team with Doug Martin at the forefront. Martin, who has 297 rushing yards on the season, said that even though the Cardinals defense is dealing with injuries, he still has to prepare heavily ahead of their matchup.

“They have a very nice defense,” Martin said, also on a conference call. “Unfortunately, they had their starting backers go down within two or three days, but we can’t look at that as a weakness. Those guys are going to be ready to go, and they’ll be hungry, so we’ve got to do film study and get to practicing and get ready for this week.”

Regardless of the injuries, Schiano believes whoever the Cardinals put on defense will present a challenge for his team.

“I think [defensive coordinator] Todd Bowles does a great job with the defense and puts you in some positions where you don’t really want to be.”