Buccaneers Quarterback Jameis Winston
The Oakland Raiders have been in Florida all week preparing for their matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders will take on a team with a lot of promise on the offensive side of the ball. The Bucs have a wide array of talent on their roster, with a lot of young emerging players. Heading into the matchup, members of the Buccaneers shared their thoughts on facing the Silver and Black this Sunday.
**Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Koetter shared his thoughts on the duo of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.
"Very impressive, very impressive. Those guys are playing at a very high level right now. Sort of reminds me of a few years back when I was in Atlanta, Julio Jones and Rodney White. I mean they're just playing at a very high level."
He discussed how you stop the athletic wide receivers and prevent the Raiders offense from being productive.
"Well, it's not easy that's for sure. That's why they're moving the ball on everybody like crazy is because it's difficult to do. The quarterback is doing a really good job of getting the ball out of his hands. That's the main way you stop receivers is pressure the passer, but they're not letting you get to the quarterback. They're doing a good job in that area. This is going to be a big test for our corners. The Raiders have big receivers. We have smaller corners, but I like [Brent] Grimes and [Vernon] Hargreaves for us. They're playing well. I think it's going to be a competitive matchup."
Koetter praised quarterback Derek Carr for his development and his ability to get rid of the ball efficiently.
"He's impressed us by how quick he gets rid of the ball. How accurate he is, especially outside the numbers. Just watching him in his interviews and everything, how he handles himself. It just seems like a guy that's comfortable knowing that he's the leader on offense and that he has everybody behind him. He's playing like a NFL veteran."
He acknowledged the career of veteran safety Reggie Nelson and what he's been able to accomplish in the league.
"Ball hawk. Just really impressed with his range. Because we had him in Jacksonville, when he went to Cincinnati, I thought they did a great job with how they used him in Cincinnati. He was good blitzer. He became a much better tackler. I just think Reggie just has such good range and such good ball skills. I've always been a fan. I won't be a fan on Sunday though."
**Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Evans broke down the Raiders defense, he emphasized the amount of weapons they have, and stated that it will be a challenge.
"We haven't watched too much film just yet. But, we know they're just a very good team overall, defensively. They have a big corner in [Sean] Smith. I've played against [David] Amerson, familiar with him. Khalil Mack, one of the best in the league. So, I mean, we have to watch more film but we know it's going to be a tough battle for us."
The third-year wide receiver talked about cornerback Sean Smith specifically and the problems he can present.
"He's really good at the line of scrimmage, obviously, he's better when he presses. He can run, so I'm just going to have to battle at the line and hopefully the refs let us play and it will be a physical matchup."
He expressed that growing up he was a big Crabtree fan and has always been impressed with his playmaking abilities.
"Oh, I was a big fan of Michael Crabtree especially when he was at Texas Tech. I think he was like the first ever to win the Biletnikoff [Award] twice. He was a great college player and he's a really good NFL player. He's finding the end zone and he's a sure-handed guy, runs really good routes and he plays with a lot of swag. Like you said, he's from Texas. So, yeah, I'm a big fan of Michael Crabtree and I wish him nothing but the best."
Evans talked about what he's seen from Cooper and how he's progressed since being drafted.
"I haven't seen too much this year, but last year he had a really good rookie season and I saw him a lot in college. He's explosive, he's one of the best young receivers in this game and I saw that at Texas A&M versus 'Bama days."
Quarterback Jameis Winston
The Bucs signal-caller made it clear that his team needs to be productive this week, especially against a strong Raiders team.
"Our main thing is to get a win in 'Ray-J' [Raymond James Stadium]. Oakland they're a winning team, I think they have the number one ranked team in road wins, so we've got to find a way to stop their streak."
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
McCoy shared how he feels about going against a dominant Raiders offensive line, and looks forward to the competition.
"I even talked to Donald Penn, I texted him and told him 'your group is legit, it's going to be fun.' There's no weak points, I don't care how many people they've got starting at right tackle, whoever's in there is making it happen. [Offensive line] Coach Mike Tice has got them rolling, I love playing against groups like that. I don't know how most people in the league feel, but when you got a dominant group of offensive linemen you have to up your game. It really challenges you, I'm excited."