-The Buccaneers will be facing off with the defending Super Bowl Champions on Sunday afternoon with the reigning Super Bowl MVP under center. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is arguably the toughest single player the Bucs will face this year because of how much he means to his team and his unprecedented and even unconventional skillset.
"I think he's a very unique individual," said Head Coach Bruce Arians about the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. "You teach young guys to never throw it back across the field, but he does it in a ridiculous manner – sidearm, underhand – and he's very accurate. I think most guys cannot do that. He has a different skillset than other people as far as throwing back across the field. But, you've still got to chase him around [and] you've got to plaster down the field. He also does a great job of running and getting first downs himself. It's a different, unique challenge when you start chasing him around."
But at least one of those guys chasing him around is looking forward to it. Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul went so far as to say he 'lives for moments like this' on Wednesday – meaning he welcomes challenging matchups. Pierre-Paul is also a unique player in his own right. If you need proof – just try taking him out of a game. His position coach, Larry Foote, who's a Super Bowl champion himself, tries time and again to give Pierre-Paul some in-game rest so as to help him not burn out. He's played 89% of the team's defensive snaps so far this season. Against the Rams on Monday Night Football, he played 70 of 72 snaps.
"My coach always tells me, 'I need you to get a little bit of rest,'" said Pierre-Paul on Wednesday. "Reality is, when is the time to rest when you're playing football, especially when you're trying to win a game? Me personally, I'm not going to come out unless I feel like I need to come out. I think me and my coach bump heads a little bit with that – he's always trying to look out for me – but I'd rather stay in because I know in the heat of the moment, anything can happen in just those couple of seconds. I understand where he's coming from, but at the end of the day, it isn't promised tomorrow that you're going to get another snap. Like I said, I'm always going to leave it out there. It doesn't matter if it's 100 snaps or if it's 50 snaps – you're going to see me giving it all out."
And you can keep Pierre-Paul in on every down because the guy can do a little bit of everything. Against the Rams, he had six total tackles, tackled running backs in the backfield, nabbed himself an interception and had two passes defensed. If you want to see more, I broke down his game for this week's Performance Review.
-Pro Bowl voting has begun and the league released the initial leaders at their respective position groups. Devin White currently leads NFC inside linebackers and Alex Cappa currently leads NFC guards in voting. All I have to say is that Lavonte David better be a close second to White. You can vote for your favorite Buccaneers here.
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