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Rachaad White Owns the Screen Game, Tristan Wirfs Dubs 49ers' Trent Williams the 'Best in the NFL' | Brianna's Blitz

A look at the top quotes from the previous week heading into the Buccaneers’ Week 11 matchup with the 49ers

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49ers' Chess Pieces

Being disciplined in run fits, winning the battle in the trenches and tacking effective pursuit angles will be critical for the Bucs' defense on Sunday in facing San Francisco's myriad of offensive weapons. The 49ers use a lot of multiple personnel groupings, including 21 – two running backs, one tight end and two wide receivers – along with jet and orbit motions to create mismatches with their versatile chess pieces. Christian McCaffrey is a running back who can run routes like an All-Pro receiver. Deebo Samuel is a do-it-all phenom who can break tackles and redirect on routes with pre-stem fakes. George Kittle is a tight end who blocks like a lineman with solid pad level and works the seam with wiggle after the catch. There there is Brandon Aiyuk, who is a natural pass-catcher with crisp routes and instincts in the open-field. Kyle Juszczyk, the club's fullback, splits time at tight end and creates advantageous matchups all over the field. The Bucs' defense will have a steep task in Week 11 in Santa Clara.

"Tackling. The YAC-yards – him and Deebo [Samuel] break so many tackles, it's unbelievable," said Todd Bowles. "You have to gang tackle them. If you can't, you've got to be able to get him down and limit yards per catch and limit him in the run game if you can. He does so many things well, it's hard to just contain him. You just try to slow him down if you can."

Screen Game

In 2023, Bucs' running back Rachaad White has simumlated the run game through his open-field prowess off screens and empty packages (no player in the backfield, multiple receiving options). When teams transition to their smaller nickel or dime package to compensate, White is able to exploit down the perimeter to make the initial defensive back miss. As the Bucs continue to build their run game through mid-zone and duo concepts, White continues to make an impact in the passing game as a checkdown cheat code for Baker Mayfield. White is patient in reading his block development and is able to quickly transition from reactive mode to acceleration in space down the perimeter. His versatility keeps defenses guessing, bolstering the Bucs' offense. Against the Titans, White took a screen to the house on a 43-yard touchdown catch-and run that created momentum.

"You want to be able to call them [screens] in the right time, and in the right places on the field, as well," said Baker Mayfield. "Trying to time up either a pressure or if they're going to drop back into coverage. They pressured us on that play, so great timing by Dave [Canales] to call that one. As I've mentioned the past few weeks, it's continuing to get Rachaad more involved getting the ball in space, whether it's perimeter runs, screens – just some empty-package stuff to be able to get the ball in his hands and make people miss. Obviously, he's extremely talented at that, so it's just finding ways to do that."

Trent Williams' Lasting Legacy

In the NFL's Top 100 video on 49ers' left tackle Trent Williams for 2023, Bucs' anchor Tristan Wirfs dubbed him the best "tackle in the NFL." Williams, who has established himself among the hierarchy in the NFL, is a freak of nature with suddenness that cannot be mimicked or replicated. He plays with a tenacious demeanor that strikes fear and has been named as PFF's highest-graded offensive tackle in the three seasons since he arrived in San Francisco. Williams handles both speed and power rushes with ease and bulldozes defenders at the second-level when move blocking. With lethal lateral agility and movement skills, Williams sets the tone in San Francisco. He is the standard of excellence in the NFL and Bucs' premier left tackle, Wirfs, gave Williams lavish praise.

"Seeing how fast he moves around, his second-level blocking – that is what everyone tries to do," said Wirfs. "All tackles try to do what he does. I would put him as the No. 1 player in the NFL because he is that big, that fast and that athletic. Seeing how he plays is so fun to watch."

Championship Moment

The Bucs' offense faces the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL boasting an imposing pass rush tandem in Nick Bosa and Chase Young, along with one of the best linebacker duos in the NFL with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks has begun to change up looks at the snap by disguising A-gap blitzes and dropping players to create confusion. Wilks has made a concerted effort to get Bosa and Young into one-on-one scenarios to wreak havoc. In Week 10, the 49ers' defense got to Trevor Lawrence – one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the NFL – five times. Offensive coordinators have nightmares about building protection schemes for Bosa and Young because chipping or sliding protections to one is the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid over a gash. Their pass rush dictates the flow of the game and allows Warner and Greenlaw to flow freely with elite instincts and sideline-to-sideline range. Week 11's matchup will serve as a measuring stick for the Buccaneers.

"Yeah, big challenge," noted Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales. "Championship moment, right? Championship opportunities all the way, starting from Monday as we started to transition from the Titans to the 49ers. [We were] talking about like, 'We need these games. We need these games to go against the Eagles, to play the Lions, to play the 49ers this week to really see where we're at when we play such a talented group.' They tell you the truth about where you're at. We have to be honest and okay with that response of what that is. Just calling all the boys to see this for what it is – these are championship moments that we have to relish as we finish down the stretch. It's going to come down to winning the division. We're going to have these types of matchups. If you win the division, we get a home game and then you've got to go travel somewhere. That's the reality of it. You've got to win on the road against really good teams. [It is] just another good litmus test for our group going forward."

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