THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and quarterback Matthew Stafford each held press conferences with local media Wednesday, discussing the challenges presented by the Bucs' defense (O'Connell), facing Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (Stafford), preparing for Brady and the Bucs' wide receivers (Morris), and more.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations, which you can watch in your entirety below:
"I think it starts with their d(efensive) coordinator. Todd Bowles has been one of the premiere defensive playcallers in the league for a long time." – O'Connell
- The Bucs bring a schematically sound defense with players who play hard to Los Angeles, according to O'Connell, and the combination of those things is what allows them to "push the envelope" from both a coverage and pressure standpoint to maximize the stress they put on an opposing quarterback.
- They also have a defensive front that makes it challenge for opposing teams to run the ball against them.
"Tom knows exactly what he wants to do with the football, and that's the key." – Morris
- Brady has an efficient start to the season, completing 56 of 86 pass attempts for 655 yards with 9 touchdowns against 2 interceptions.
- According to Morris, it's the result of demanding the same from the skill players around him, as well as the strong bond he has with Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
"I'm going against a great defense that's played about as good any in defense in league. The last year, year-and-half, they've been playing really good ball." – Matthew Stafford
- As much as Sunday's game is widely viewed as Stafford vs. Brady, Stafford said it's just about him going against one of the top defenses in the NFL and the two teams facing each other.
- "It's two teams that are playing good football right now going against each other, and I'm excited about it," Stafford said. "It's a big challenge for us. They've obviously won a bunch of games here recently and have a bunch of talent on their team, so we've got to go out there and play our best football."