By Tom Krasniqi
As if the Bucs season wasn’t challenging enough. Being 0-7 is not where they want to be. They are also dealing with injuries to key players. And it doesn’t get any easier from here. They head to Seattle this week to take on a 7-1 Seahawks team that many believe might be the best team in the NFL.
CenturyLink Field is regarded as the toughest place to play in the NFL for visiting teams. The Seahawks have won 11 straight games on their home turf. The “12th Man” as they call it is a huge home field advantage for them.
“If you’re going to have a good team, you have to dominate at home,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told the Tampa media during a Wednesday conference call. Boy, do they ever. In three home games this season, the Seahawks have outscored their opponent 94-33. Not an optimistic sign for the Bucs, who are 15 point underdogs this week.
Bucs head coach Greg Schiano is well aware of the odds this week. After all, his team is 0-7. The Seahawks are at home.
“It’s certainly a big challenge,” Schiano said after Wednesday’s practice. “Whether you’re going in short-handed or full-handed, going into that building is – their home record is pretty impressive especially with Russell Wilson as quarterback, so we certainly have a big challenge, something that we’re excited about.”
In order to prepare for that raucous Seattle crowd, the Bucs piped in extremely loud crowd noise and music during Wednesday’s practice. The offense will have a tough time hearing rookie quarterback Mike Glennon so communication will be a huge factor.
“It [presents] a tremendous communication challenge,” said Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. “Even though there’s the headset, the ability to communicate to the quarterback, that can be loud. If I talk really loud [in the press conference] it’s because outside [at practice] we had the huge [stereo system], my ears are ringing still.”
It’s imperative for the Bucs to get off to a good start Sunday. That will quiet the crowd and give them a fighting chance. If they don’t, it could be a long day.
“If we’re not on top of our game, it could get ugly,” said Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson. He’s not lying. Brace yourselves.
As for the Wednesday injury report, LG Carl Nicks (foot) and RB Jeff Demps (groin) are out. RB Doug Martin (shoulder) did not practice. LB Mason Foster (hamstring), FS Dashon Goldson (knee), SS Mark Barron (hip), LB Dekoda Watson (shoulder) and DT Derek Landri (back) were limited. RG Davin Joseph (knee), DT Akeem Spence (wrist), FS Keith Tandy (ankle) and WR Chris Owusu (foot) were full participants in practice.
News & Notes:
- Schiano is hoping to get LG Carl Nicks back this season: “We’re hoping so but I can’t really give you any more of a definitively right now, hopefully in a couple weeks we’ll be better able to predict that.”
- According to Schiano, RB Doug Martin (shoulder) is “getting better” but stopped short of saying he could play this week. Don’t count on it.
- Bucs DT Gerald McCoy on Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: “I believe personally he’s the hardest running back to bring down in the NFL.”
- Bucs LT Donald Penn is making his 100th consecutive start Sunday. That’s an incredible milestone at a physically demanding position.
- Penn joked about facing former Bucs DE Michael Bennett on Sunday: “I sent Mike a text--- ‘Just stay on the other side’—Mike’s playing some good ball.” Bennett certainly is. He leads the Seahawks with 4.5 sacks. Bucs miss him.
- In a conference call with the Tampa media, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked if he had any advice for Schiano. Carroll joked: “I would never give advice to Greg Schiano. He’s on his own right now.”
- Seahawks QB Russell Wilson played with Bucs QB Mike Glennon at N.C. State before transferring to Wisconsin. They still talk and have a good relationship. Wilson joked about Glennon dressing up as Napoleon Dynamite for Halloween one year. By the way, those pictures are must-see.
- Wilson has never faced Bucs CB Darrelle Revis but says on film he looks like a “tremendous player.”
- The Seahawks placed WR Sidney Rice (torn ACL) on injured reserve.
- On Sunday, the Bucs travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 12noon with the 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.