The KC Chiefs and Tampa Bay Bucs are only a few hours away at this point. I talked with Bucs Nation, SB Nation's Bucs blog, earlier this week about the game and came away with this Q&A.
Notice the part about Josh Freeman. That surprised me.
Here's the Q&A below, and check out more on the Bucs at Bucs Nation (including the Q&A I did with them).
1. Tell me something about the Bucs offense I don't know
While yardage wise the Bucs passing offense may seem inept - Josh Freeman has been deadly accurate on the deep pass this season. Big play touchdowns have gone to both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. The problem is the team has a physical mentality - run the ball, move the chains and they don't take as many shots deep as they should.
2. Tell me something about the Bucs defense I don't know
The Tampa Two is dead. Greg Schiano's defense is an aggressive attacking style that runs a lot of man and single safety high. The aggressiveness has allowed the Buccaneers to vault from dead last against the run last season to 4th in the NFL. The drawback is that the Bucs have been vulnerable to the big pass play.
3. What's the run down on Vincent Jackson this year? How's he doing?
Vincent is doing pretty well. He's dropped a few balls but he's also made some great plays for the Bucs downfield. I believe if Tampa Bay opens it up a little more and work with what they do well, Vincent will become a much bigger factor the rest of the way.
4. Three and a half years later: You like where Josh Freeman is?
Josh is not where we expected him to be. After been teased by his brilliant 2010, Freeman regressed in 2011 and has struggled with Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan's new offense. His accuracy in the medium routes has been questionable at best and he still has issues with his decision making.
With all that said, Freeman is still only 24 years old and he has given enough flashes of brilliance to not completely give up on him.
If he can ever develop consistency, Freeman could be the top five quarterback Vincent Jackson claimed he was.
5. What is Greg Schiano like? How have things changed since he got there?
To the outside world, Schiano is an arrogant bully that treats media and others poorly. I think the measure of Schiano is how much he cares about his players. He instills discipline and an attention to detail that was sorely missed in Tampa Bay. He works the dog out them but he generally cares about their well being (see Eric LeGrand). He also believes in what he's teaching them (including the kneel down attack) and he's not going to allow outside influences to change those core beliefs.