By Tom Krasniqi
Anything that happens off the field during the week means nothing once Sunday comes around. The Bucs have had their fair share of drama this week but they have no time to frown about it. A future Hall of Fame quarterback comes to town on Sunday and the defense had better be ready. And make no mistake about it, Drew Brees will throw it all over the yard.
“I think playing against a passing attack like this, that we’re going to face on Sunday, you’re licking your chops for this type of game,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “We know Drew is going to come out and New Orleans, they have a great passing attack. We know what we’re going to face, and we just have got to cover those guys, play tight coverage, and made it difficult for Drew.”
That’s easier said than done. Brees threw for almost 700 yards and 8 touchdowns in two meetings against the Bucs last season. He has weapons everywhere and he will utilize them all. In last week’s win over the Falcons, Brees threw for 357 yards and he completed passes to seven different receivers.
One guy who knows this Saints offense well is linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who spent four years in New Orleans before signing with the Bucs as a free agent. Casillas believes you can’t stop this offense because they have too many playmakers.
“You gotta make sure where 43 [Darren Sproles] and 80 [Jimmy Graham] is. Drew will do a good job of finding those guys and creating matchups for both guys,” Casillas said on Friday. Sproles. Graham. Marques Colston. Lance Moore. Kenny Stills. Pierre Thomas. Mark Ingram. The list goes on and on. Big test for the Bucs defense on Sunday.
As for the final injury report for the Bucs, CB Michael Adams (knee) and TE Tom Crabtree (ankle) are out. LG Carl Nicks (foot) was limited again on Friday and is questionable along with CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring). DE Adrian Clayborn (hip) and FB Erik Lorig (calf) are probable.
For the Saints, NT Broderick Bunkley (calf) missed practice all week and is out indefinitely. Veteran safety Roman Harper (knee) and DT Akiem Hicks (knee) were added to the injury list on Friday and both are questionable. CBs Jabari Greer (back) and Patrick Robinson (foot) are also questionable. Among the other notables on the injury report: LB Curtis Lofton (knee), WR Marques Colston (foot), G Jahri Evans (back), LB Junior Galette (hamstring) and T Zach Strief (neck) are probable.
News & Notes:
- Bucs LB Jonathan Casillas is not thrilled with being a backup: “I’m not totally happy with the amount of plays I’m getting because I want to play more.” Casillas is backing up SLB Dekoda Watson.
- Bucs head coach Greg Schiano on getting FB Erik Lorig back for this week: “I think it’ll help. He was our starting fullback [last year], and we haven’t had him all preseason, and now we’re going to have him Sunday, so that’s a good thing.” Lorig will certainly help open holes for RB Doug Martin.
- Saints QB Drew Brees has thrown 33 touchdown passes against the Bucs. That’s the most TD passes against any opponent.
- The Saints swept the season series from the Bucs last year. New Orleans scored a combined 76 points in the two games.
- Bucs WR Vincent Jackson had 216 receiving yards against the Saints last season during the first meeting at Ray Jay. QB Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and 3 TDs in that matchup as well.
- This just in: Jeff Demps is very fast. Watched him during the early portion of Friday’s practice on a kick return. He is a blur on the football field. The Bucs are getting him back in football shape and will likely use him at running back and special teams. Demps is on the exempt list and won’t play this week.
- Look for Bucs CB Darrelle Revis to shadow Saints WR Marques Colston on Sunday. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan hinted at that yesterday.
- The Bucs will have their home opener on Sunday against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 12 noon with the Floor & Décor Countdown To Kickoff show.
- For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage. Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the latest news and audio clips.