Eagles’ Scouting Report Of the Bucs

What to expect from the Buccaneers tomorrow, according to the Eagles.

Lovie Smith. (USA Today Sports)

Lovie Smith. (USA Today Sports)

After losing to the Dolphins and falling back below .500, a sense of urgency has continued to grow in the Eagles locker room.

“We’re 4-5. That’s your record. You’re as good as our record,” Connor Barwin said. “But I think there’s maybe some discussion that, ‘Yo, we got to tighten things up a little bit.’ Maybe we were able to get away with some mistakes before in years prior, but not anymore. There’s no room for any type of error anymore. And everything we do needs to be really tight and executed exactly right.”

The Eagles face the Buccaneers tomorrow as they try to get back on track, and we talked to players and coaches to get a better feel for their opponent. Here’s what they said, plus stats detailing where Tampa Bay ranks in the NFL in points per drive, yards per carry, passer rating and turnovers per drive on both sides of the ball.


1.81 (19)4.3 (10)80.1 (28).162 (29)

Chip Kelly on quarterback Jameis Winston: “I think he has gotten better as the season has progressed. You have seen from game one to where he is now, there is a maturation process that’s going on with him. I think he’s making better decisions with the football. I think most of his interceptions occurred early; they haven’t really occurred late. I think he’s being smarter throwing the football. [Offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter is doing a really good job with him in terms of what they’re asking him to do in their offense. But he has been impressive the last couple games.”

Bill Davis on Winston: “He’s impressive. He really is. As a rookie, I was very impressed with the poise. They’re actually giving him some checks at the line and he’s doing a good job with it. I think he’s protecting the ball well. He’s not forcing the ball.”

Kelly on wide receiver Mike Evans: “He’s a tough matchup. The first thing that jumps out at you, obviously we saw him coming out of college, is just how big he is. He looks like a basketball player. He’s in the Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant size, physicality-type thing. So he’s one of those guys, and I think Jameis seems like he’s developed a comfort level with him that he’s one of those guys that it looks like he’s covered, but he may not be covered because you can throw it up and he can go get it.

“He’s a vertical threat. He’s got very good speed for someone that size. Sometimes when you get a guy that’s that big, they’re not a deep threat down the field. But he’s obviously is a deep threat and is their number one target, and by far, he’s the number one receiver that we have to — especially with [wide receiver Vincent] Jackson being out recently and [tight end Austin] SeferianJenkins being out recently, I think Jameis has really leaned on Evans. We have to know where he is. They line him up in multiple positions, so we have to know where he is at all times on the field.”

Davis on Evans: “He’s very, very talented at going up and getting the ball. He has a wide catch radius. He’s a big man that catches the ball away from his body very well. He’s a great leaper. They go to him often. There’s a lot of vertical balls in this offense. They’re going to take eight, nine shots per game, and a lot of them are to him. That’s what he does best, is go up and get it.”


2.27 (28)3.6 (3)102.5 (30).165 (4)

Kelly on if defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is similar to Ndamukong Suh: “He’s similar. He’s one of the premier, three techniques in the league. I think, in that defense, when you have that type of guy and when the Bucs were in their heyday and they had Warren Sapp, you really need that three-technique type of player to be a disruptive force for you, and that’s what he is. We faced him two years ago and have seen him firsthand when we played them down there, and he was as advertised. He’s a very disruptive force in there and certainly someone that we’re going to make sure we’re aware of where he is.”

Jason Kelce on McCoy versus Suh: “Suh’s very much a penetrating, powerful guy. McCoy is a very slippery guy, especially in pass pro. I would say he’s got a little bit more wide range of moves. Not quite as powerful, though.”

Kelly on linebacker Kwon Alexander: “He’s in the Jordan Hicks mold of that three-down linebacker that doesn’t have to come off the field and is having a fantastic year, especially for a rookie. He’s calling the signals in that defense. So he’s wearing the green dot; it’s getting relayed in to him and to get everybody aligned. To do that in that defense and be the middle linebacker in that Tampa Two is a pretty impressive thing to do for a rookie.”

Kelly on how much the Buccaneers’ defensive line stunts: “I think [head coach Lovie Smith] is very systematic in what he does; Lovie is very disciplined in what he does. I think there is a certain percentage that he carries over whether he’s in Chicago or Tampa Bay. So it’s not a lot, but it’s part of it. I’d say about 20 percent of it.”