As the Bucs prepare to host the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots on Thursday, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga knows well what to expect from New England, having played there from 2013-15, including the Patriots' Super Bowl win in February 2015.
"I had nothing but great experiences there," said Siliga, 27, stout against the run and one of the biggest Bucs at 345 pounds.
Siliga had 13 starts in his three years with New England, totaling 83 tackles. He started and had four tackles against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and then switched sides, signing with the Seahawks last year and getting two tackles — one of Tom Brady even on a short run — in Seattle's loss in Foxborough last year. Siliga said what he remembers most about playing for Bill Belichick was how much time went into the details of being ready for each game.
"Coach Belichick is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach," Siliga said. "The education he has, the football IQ, you're already on the plus side. The way he prepares his team, I know for sure when they face us on Thursday they'll be prepared."
Siliga said he remains friends with several players from the Patriots defense, including linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Siliga's role with the Bucs has changed from week to week — he had three tackles in the loss at Minnesota when Chris Baker was sidelined by illness, then was inactive a week later when the Bucs went with six defensive ends for the win against the Giants.
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