The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5, 2nd NFC South) know that they will have their hands full this weekend as they welcome the Seattle Seahawks (7-2, 1st NFC West) but, the chances that they can pull out a win are at least 50-50 as the Seahawks are 2-2-1 on the road.
Head Coach Dirk Koetter knows that the key will be the Seahawks defense and hopes they can come up with a game plan to thwart it.
When you watch Seattle on film, that’s who we want to be. That’s who we want to be like,” Koetter said. “They’ve been doing it for a long time and even though they’ve been to the top, they still play extremely hard. We pride ourselves on being a team that plays hard. It’s a great example, all our guys have to do is turn on the tape and watch. We’re playing a good football team and we know it. We’re looking forward to the competition.”
Buccaneers looking to erase last weeks loss from mind
The secondary was torched by the Raiders last weekend to the tune of 513 yards and four touchdowns by Derek Carr and still the Bucs had opportunities to win.
“They tried to give us the game — two missed field goals and all those penalties,” Tampa Bay tackle Demar Dotson said. “We didn’t take it.”
“Totally unacceptable, no doubt about it,” said Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith. “Some of them are missed leverage and missed tackles, there were some that were short throws that we did not tackle well, there were some that we had miscommunication where we had the wrong guy hung on the receiver when he shouldn’t have been there. So, there’s a myriad of things that we have got to get better at. And I don’t think we should try to blame it on one player, one group. We work in tandem.
Now comes another top performing quarterback in Matt Ryan, who is having the best year of his career. With a QB rating of 115.8, Ryan has passed for 2636 yards and 19 touchdowns to only four interceptions.
Even though the Buccaneers have won three straight against the Falcons to include this year’s season opener, Ryan has his team humming at a high rate right now.
“Their offense has always been good. It looks like they’ve finally settled on who their second and third receivers are, they’ve kind of found their role. They’ve really developed the two running back system. The one second guy (Tevin Coleman) might be out — he was out last week — but what an explosive player that he’s turned into, much more so than last year, and (Devonta) Freeman’s been good the whole time.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston played like he was in mid-season form going 16-25 for 259 yards and two touchdowns in one half of work against the Cleveland Browns in a 30-17 win Friday evening. His counterpart, Robert Griffin III completed 8-14 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. RG III had a familiar face on the receiving end as beleaguered player Josh Gordon made his preseason debut for the Browns but will still be out the first four games of the season for violation of drug policy.
“I feel really good to be out there with my teammates, my brothers, Gordon said. “It was uplifting.”
Bucs receiver Mike Evans had five receptions for 115 yards including a 34-yard touchdown from Winston. Kicker Roberto Aguayo recovered from his less than stellar prior performances where his missed three kicks and kicked field goals of 48, 21 and 27 yards on top of his three extra points.
“I had to focus, lock in and do what I used to do at Florida State,” Aguayo said. “On the professional level, you can make 30 kicks in a row, miss one and the one miss is all they’re going to talk about. I’m glad I went out and did my job. I’m very happy to help the team.”
When Noah Spencer was drafted with the 39th overall draft selection, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers knew exactly whom they were going after. Spencer, a one time Buckeye, finished out his college career with Eastern Kentucky becoming an FCS All American in his senior year. RB Coach Tim Spencer’s son played with him before his ejection from Ohio State.
“He’s a pleasant young man,” Spencer said. “I didn’t get to talk to him much, but I get to talk to him now, to find out what type of kid he is.”
The defense will be led by new Coordinator Mike Smith who is tweaking the defensive package to become a “flexible” 4-3 based scheme.
“We’re looking for as much flexibility as we possibly can, to be able to scheme against our opponents, to be able to prepare for injuries,” Smith said Thursday. “You have to have multiple guys prepared at different positions.”