Buc Up!…with Rob Kriete – NOVEMBER 7

-The NFL is seeing historic passing numbers in 2020. At 94.2% league-wide passer rating and 65.6% league-wide completion percentage, both are NFL records through 8 weeks.

-Tom Brady currently owns a 103.1 passer rating and a 66.2% completion percentage for the Bucs.

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

– Drew Brees currently owns a 106.5 passer rating and a 73.1% completion percentage for the Saints.

-ItsSportMagazine.com’s own, Leo Haggerty, spoke with New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton this week:
Leo Haggerty: “If you look at what Todd Bowles is doing in Tampa, he’s really bringing those inside linebackers, LaVonte David and Devon White, in his blitz packages. How much of a problem is it for you to prepare for that?”
Sean Payton: “Well, one thing is being able to bring them but, I would say, they’re good pressure players. In other words, both are able to create picks for the tackles and those are challenging schemes. You know, when you are picking a guard and coming off of a stunt. They are also involving the safeties. There’s a blitz percentage. When you break them down, in base and in nickel, they have had quite a bit of success with it. They have got outstanding pressure on the quarterbacks with it. The protections and the down-and-distances all become a premium when it comes to keeping you quarterback clean. I think those guys are very good at it and Todd puts them in positions and then you have a good combination”
Leo Haggerty: “This game may have the best two quarterbacks of all time in pre-snap reads. How much is this going to be a chess match between Tom Brady and the New Orleans defense and Drew Brees and the Tampa Bay defense?”
Sean Payton: “Look, there’s always that element of disguise in man and zone and who’s pressuring. I think that exists within each plan. It’s so hard for the fan to see sometimes, Sometimes it’s just who the quarterback is identifying as the Mike in a given protection. Ultimately, the game will be won with the turnover and the takeaway-giveaway differential and the hurries. I also think the down-and-distance on third down will be huge. We just played a game against Chicago where one of the keys was trying to keep ourselves out of the third-and-long situations. The game Tampa bay played the other night, those two takeaways in the second half were pivotal in their win.”

-Great Q&A, Leo!

-Former team captain, OG Ali Marpet, is out with a concussion for Tampa Bay. But Chris Godwin returns this week while Antonio Brown makes his debut for the Bucs.

-What is the wager for both Godwin and Brown to catch TDs this week?

– New Orleans RB, Alvin Kamara, had 163 scrimmage yards (96 rec., 67 rush) with 9 receptions last week against the Bears. He presents challenges for a strong Bucs defense. He scored one on the ground and one through the air against the Bucs in Week 1.

-Kudos to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for teaming up with the Hillsborough Education Foundation on a new Youth Leadership Program for students in Hillsborough County schools! HEF does a fantastic job of helping students across Hillsborough and this collaboration is a great example.

-Leo also asked Buccaneers kicker, Ryan Succop, “Is there a big difference kicking on grass and kicking on turf and, if there is, what changes do you need to make?” Ryan responded, “Yeah, great question. One of the things I do, knowing that we were playing in New York, I wanted to hit some balls in the indoor because I knew we would be on turf. I wanted to get comfortable with it. I don’t necessarily think that you need to change anything. Most of the time I would wear the same cleats. Occasionally, if we have a rain game and it’s wet and the field is sloppy, I look at using a different plant shoe to get more grip. You just prepare for what you’re playing on that week and try and get the best feel for it and go from there.”

-I appreciate the insight, Ryan.

-This week’s matchup will be much different than Week 1 with Tampa Bay really coming together as a team by cleaning up the mistakes and excessive penalties that haunted them early on. The Bucs secondary will be tested often. Yet, the encroaching tropical storm will most likely make it windy, if not rainy, for the Sunday night game, which may cause issues and possible turnovers in the passing game.

-Prediction of the Week: Bucs 28
Saints 24