The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an opportunity on Sunday to not only start the season 1-0, but to start the season 1-0, on the road against a divisional opponent. We know the importance that divisional games carry.
They are the first tie breaker when it comes to who wins that division, so every game is a little more crucial. Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media following Wednesday’s practice and echoed similar words.
“It’s like a double win if you’re on the road. You know, when you’re the visiting team, I don’t know about a double loss. It’s definitely like a double win if you’re the visitor,” Koetter said.
The Buccaneers released their official 53-man depth chart earlier in the week and it had Jacquizz Rodgers as the main kick returner with Adam Humphries returning punts. Koetter got a little testy with the media following a question about who would be returning kicks.
“You know, sometimes I wonder if there’s any reason for fans to tune in and watch the game. If we just tell you guys everything, why would anybody tune in and watch the game? We’re going to have a kick returner out there and we’ll see,” Koetter said. “I’m not going to tell you guys every exact thing we’re going to do. That doesn’t do me any good. It might do you guys good, but it doesn’t do us any good.”
Last season, Saints running back Alvin Kamara absolutely torched Tampa Bay in both meetings. The Buccaneers simply couldn’t find a way to slow him down, whether it was in the pass game, run game, or the kicking game. If Dirk Koetter and Co. want to leave the Superdome 1-0, they must find a way to contain Kamara and Koetter eluded to that today.
“You’ve got to swarm tackle. You’ve got to get population to the ball. The guy – we watched some highlights of him today in the team meeting – he’s more powerful than you think. He’s faster than you think. He’s more slippery than you think. He jumps over tacklers. He runs through tackles,” Koetter said. “He’s definitely a game-wrecker that we’ve got our eye on and saying it and doing it are two different things.”
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Tampa formulates a game plan against Kamara, because not one team last season was successful.
Much was made over the off season about the handshake between Koetter and Sean Payton. It was awkward, we all saw it and it left us wondering what was going on their. According to Koetter, nothis is going on.
“I’m not sure, and again, I lose zero sleep over that. I’m sure he doesn’t. Two guys that want to win and are going to do everything they can to win and that’s it. I mean, other than that I’ve got the utmost respect for him,” Koetter said. “I study what they do. They’re one of the elite teams in this league and he’s one of the elite coaches.”