The key for the Bucs beating the Chiefs on Sunday starts with stopping, or at least slowing, quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Here is what the Bucs said about Mahomes on Monday:
Larry Foote, outside linebackers coach
“I know their (offensive) line is banged up, but when you play that style of quarterback, I try to tell my guys there’s going to be plays when Mahomes is going to read the rush, he’s going to buy a little time, he’s going to see what you guys are doing. We call it ‘as the play breaks down,’ but I call it just ‘backyard ball.’ ...
“He’s going to make you miss. He’s going to step up where you’re not so you’ve got to try to keep him in the pocket. All four guys up front have got to keep their eyes on him. And that’s the dangerous part.
“We can have perfect coverage, perfect results, everybody’s in their lane, but those type of guys with that unique talent, they can break you down, they can slide through there, all they need is a little crease. This guy, he can throw an 80-yard bomb or he can run for 50 yards, so that’s the challenge that he presents.”
Clyde Christensen, quarterbacks coach
“He has fun. He enjoys himself. He loves the position. He loves leading his team. ... You watch him and you don’t know what you’re going to get and that’s awful fun.”
Kevin Ross, cornerbacks coach
“He’s like a point guard playing quarterback. He sees the whole field. There’s no throw he can’t make and there’s no throw he won’t make. You think it’s not going to come your way and it will come your way so you have to be ready at all times.”
Nick Rapone, safeties coach
“If you’re in man- (to-man coverage), you have to plaster your man. If you’re in zone, you have to somewhat stay in your zone until he throws the football. If you try to anticipate sometimes you get in trouble because he’s like (Pittsburgh’s) Ben Roethlisberger — you think he’s throwing one way and he’s going the other way.
“The guys is just phenomenal when he gets out of the pocket. His downfield vision is laser-like. If there’s a guy open downfield, I don’t care if it’s all the way across the field and back, he has the rare ability to find him. It’s a challenge. That’s why they have the numbers that they have. It’s a challenge. When he starts scrambling he’s dangerous. He can throw the ball 60 yards downfield on the run.”
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Lavonte David, linebacker
“Once the play breaks down, he finds a way to make the play happen again. You feel like the play’s over, but then guys are running away from you and get the chance to get the ball in the open field. And a lot of times they make their hay. So it goes back to us having the discipline on our part and being able to play through the down until the whistle blows.”
Todd Bowles, defensive coordinator
“Third and 10-plus, they convert a lot of them whether Pat does it with his arm or with his feet. He has a lot of weapons to go to.”
Mike Evans, receiver
“Mahomes is a beast.”
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