Take a look at what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) are saying about the Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1) before the two teams meet in Week 12 at Raymond James Stadium.
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On playing against such a successful team like the Seahawks...) "When you watch Seattle on film, that's who we want to be. That's who we want to be like. 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."
(On what makes the Seahawks defense such a tough challenge...)"Number one, they're very, very talented. They've been in this scheme for a while. The veteran guys know how to play it. They've seen how people are going to attack them. They know where they have to cover up, they're relentless as pass rushers. As far as coverage they have a good secondary to begin with, and that's just the secondary. The secondary's best friend is pressure on the quarterback. They pressure the quarterbacks as well as anybody. They have multiple rushers, they can put pressure with four rushers, a lot of teams can't put pressure unless they bring more than four. Really good linebacker play. [Bobby] Wagner's one of the most underrated players in the league in my opinion. Good players, good scheme, time spent in the scheme."
(On what makes Bobby Wagner such a good player...) "He can do everything. He's leading the league in tackles. A lot of linebackers are not good blitzers. They bring him a lot, he's a very good blitzer, he's slippery, powerful and he can cover. There's plenty of linebackers in this league that can't cover very well. He covers like a safety, rushes like a d-end and tackles like a middle linebacker. Pretty good combination."
QB Jameis Winston
(On the Seahawks defense...) "The biggest challenge for me is not playing out of the game plan. Their defense is a very tenacious defense and they're going to do what they do. My job is just to not play above my head and just take what they give."
(On his relationship with Russell Wilson...) "You can learn just about anything from Russell Wilson. I personally believe that he is one of the best quarterback in this league, as far as passing and being able to use his legs. I like to view him and watch film on him just because he is a complete player. I had a chance to spend some time with him at the Pro Bowl, just seeing the type of guy he is. He's just a top notch, guy, a true professional. He actually helped me with my offseason preparation as far as eating right and making sure I kept my body right."
Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith
(On quarterback Russell Wilson ability…) "They're not turning the ball over, he's thrown two interceptions. He has been sacked, but he's a guy that can get away from trouble and he can extend plays and I think that's when they've had a lot of their success. He's got an uncanny to move in one direction and throw in the opposite and you can see that he was a baseball player because he can throw on the move. It's almost like he's coming across second base and slinging the ball over to first on a double play and he's very accurate. I think he's one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the National Football League, I really believe that. He makes plays when he improvises, he can do it with his feet, he can do it with his arm, so he's going to be a big challenge. I think he's playing at a Pro Bowl level this year."
(On if familiarity with Jimmy Graham during his time with the New Orleans Saints helps in game-planning for him this week…) "Well, we know he's a good football player and we're going to try to game plan and try to take him out as much as we possibly can. The issues that you have when you're playing an offense like the Seahawks is you've got [Doug] Baldwin that's a wide receiver that you have to put resources on and you've also got to make sure that you can control the quarterback and keep him in check. Jimmy's an outstanding athlete when you start talking about upper-echelon tight ends, and unfortunately for us we've not fared well against tight ends throughout the season. The two guys that you mentioned [Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce] had great games against us, so it's going to be important for us. We've got to continue to try to minimize his opportunities to catch the football because when he catches it he can go the distance. We're going to continue to try to give everybody an opportunity, I don't think you can put one guy on him and say shadow him all day because of the position that he plays and where he lines up and the different formations."
WR Mike Evans
(On handling any potential trash talk on the field with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman…) "This year I've slowed it down [the trash talk]. If somebody comes at me with the trash talk, then I'll give them a little something. But if Sherm does that, then that's all fun and games with me."
(On getting the sense that the Buccaneers can line up and play against anybody…) "I think so. We've proved it. We've got to keep proving ourselves though. We got a tough win in Arrowhead [Stadium] against one of the best teams in the AFC [Kansas City Chiefs] and now we've got one of the best teams in the League for the past few years coming into our house, so we've got to keep proving ourselves."
DE William Gholston
(On what makes Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson so dangerous…) "I remember playing him in college and the way he transitioned when he got to the NFL, he's a playmaker, he puts his teammates in great positions, he can evade the rush really well. Those are all qualities of a dangerous guy."
(On it being a long day for a defensive end going against dual threat quarterback like Russell Wilson…)"You never can think that you have him. You've always just got to stay focused and stay tuned into your keys, beat your man first and then make sure you stay on the up-field shoulder because he has a mean twist and can get around."
DE Noah Spence
(On Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson…) "He's really talented, one of the better players in the League. This is going to be a challenge for us, but we're just going to keep working all week and see what we can do with it."
(On playing a quarterback that can use his legs effectively…) "I think it's going to be a lot like practicing against Braxton [Miller] when I was in college. Someone with that kind of ability you've got to be on your angles and your rush lanes so you can't give him anywhere to just run. If he can run free it's going to be a bad day."
(On it being a long day for a defensive end going against dual threat quarterback like Russell Wilson…)"Oh yeah, because you never know when he's going to come up with an amazing play. That's just the type of player he is."
- For more, head to Buccaneers.com
In their all-time regular-season series, the Seahawks and Buccaneers have faced off 12 times with the Seahawks leading the series 8-4. The two teams will play again this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.