Schiano: 49ers are going to try to "maul us"
Bucs coach Greg Schiano was admittedly "gushing" about Sunday's opponent, the defending NFC champion 49ers (9-4), who have won three straight games, including last week against Seattle.
Aside from the 49ers stars, including LB Patrick Willis, LB Aldon Smith, DT Justin Smith, QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Frank Gore, Schiano said they have the best offensive line Tampa Bay has faced and biggest special teams.
"San Francisco is strong just about at every position, there's a reason that they were a pass interference away from winning the Super Bowl," Schiano said. "Just name a position, I'll give you a guy that's a Pro Bowl level player."
The 49ers boast one of the league's top defenses, and they're physical on both sides of the ball, Schiano said. Of all the weapons San Francisco has, from Davis to WR Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, the Bucs say they're expecting them to set the tone on the ground with RB Frank Gore.
"They have a good offense that is going to come in here and just try to maul us," Schiano said. "And we're going to have to be able to stand up to that."
Schiano said that while he was at Rutgers, his coaching staff went out to the University of Nevada to check out their offense, led by now 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Nevada coach Chris Ault would tell the Rutgers coaches about "Kappy." Schiano said he had to see this "Kappy guy."
"Well, I'm seeing him," Schiano said. "I'm seeing him in my dreams."
Though the Bucs have won four of their last five, Bucs linebacker Adam Hayward said a win over the 49ers could go along way in their outside perception.
"It'd be showing people that those games aren't flukes," Hayward said. "It'd be nice to prove we're a legitimate team."