The Bucs defense made its mark in the win over the Bills: seven sacks, five takeaways. Similar stats would certainly be welcome in the Bucs' home finale this season, Sunday afternoon against the Forty Niners.
The Bucs compare San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick to the Panthers' Cam Newton. Kaepernick can hurt teams with his arm and his feet.
And Bucs coach Greg Schiano knows it.
"I think he's really talented. That guy has a huge arm, he throws the ball from the far hash to a 22-yard. I don't really see many throwing 22-yard comeback," Schiano said. "But he really rips it, and it doesn't leave much more than about seven feet off the ground."
The Niners' quarterback has been on Schiano's radar since he was the coach at Rutgers, and Kaepernick was the quarterback for Nevada.
Schiano recalled a visit to the University of Nevada where one coach was singing Kaepernick's praises.
"I can remember the coach there, Chris Ault, speaking to our staff about ‘Kaepy.' It was ‘Kaepy' this, ‘Kaepy' that. I said 'I have to see this Kaepy guy.' Well, I'm seeing him. I tell you, I'm seeing him in my dreams."
The Bucs don't make turnovers or sacks top priority this week. Stopping San Francisco is all about stopping the run, stopping the Niners' running quarterback -- and stopping Frank Gore.
Since 2011, when Gore rushed for 100 yards or more, the 49ers are undefeated, 11-0.
Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy says Gore is on the radar.
"I don't know why people don't focus on Frank Gore," McCoy said. "They can say he's getting old all they want. That guys till runs the ball the same. He can't run away from people like he used to, but he gets the yards as necessary, and for us, he's our focal point. I'll openly say it: Frank Gore is our focal point"
McCoy says the priority needs to be slowing Gore down.
"If you can slow that guy down then we can start worrying about everything else. It's not to downplay anybody else, because they have a great offense. But that guy, he makes things run. If he's going, their offense is going, so we've got to slow that guy down."
In Schiano's tenure, the Bucs have allowed only four opposing players to rush for 100 yards. They plan to prevent Frank Gore and San Francisco from running away with number five.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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