Keeping the heat on Tony Romo will be a top priority Sunday for the Buccaneers defense, especially considering the Dallas quarterback's ability to disrupt coverage with his patience and precision passing.
"Romo has the ability to break down the integrity of your coverage just because he'll sit there and stay in the pocket and he'll throw, eyes always downfield, always looking for his receivers," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Wednesday.
"He doesn't want to run the ball. He wants to go for the big chunks on you. That's what all the good quarterbacks do. So that's the thing with Romo. He'll tear down the integrity of your coverage because if you quit for one second, he'll stay with that wideout and that ball will come.
"There's a longer time clock in your head as a (defensive back) when you're dealing with a guy like Romo, because he's moving around making plays with his arm."
Added defensive coordinator Jim Bates: "Tony is an excellent quarterback. Two years ago he had as good a year as anybody in the league. ... He does a great job of scrambling. And he has the arm to make all the throws. ... There's nothing he can't do."
The goal of the defensive line, then, is to apply as much pressure as possible.
"That's what you have to talk to the D-line about, relentless rush," Morris said. "But it's got to be other people. Anybody's who got a chance to rush him can't stop, can't give up."
How does Bates plan to counteract Romo?
"We'll get after him," he said. "We've got to find a way."
CAPTAINS: Players selected their captains, voting for QB Byron Leftwich and CJeff Faine on offense, CB Ronde Barber and TChris Hovan on defense and SWill Allen on special teams. "I'm very proud," Morris said of the picks. "It wasn't a popularity contest. I told those guys before I left, I said, 'Pick the guys who have been doing the right things - around here, off the field, with the media, in the classroom, (and on) the football field.'"
INJURY REPORT: CB E.J. Biggers (shoulder), TEJohn Gil-more (ankle) and LBAdam Hayward (ankle) did not practice. Their status for Sunday's game is day to day. ... Morris said WRs Antonio Bryant (who missed all four preseason games and had surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee) and Michael Clayton (who played in one preseason game because of a hamstring injury) did participate fully.
WHAT, NO BUCS? Sporting News has compiled its list of the 100 greatest players in the league today, based on input from a panel of 106 Hall of Famers, major award winners, executives, coaches and other football experts. No Bucs players made the cut. The list is topped by Colts QB Peyton Manning, who just nudged Patriots QB Tom Brady, followed by Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson. View the complete list at tinyurl.com/nae24z.
NO TV BLACKOUT: Today is the deadline for selling out Sunday's game. Team officials said a limited number of tickets remain, but the game is expected to be a sellout and will air on Ch. 13.