Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians. I also scanned the Tampa Bay media websites and the Buccaneers website to see what else Bucs players and coaches are saying about this Sunday's matchup with the Lions at Ford Field.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Asked about the thumb injury quarterback Jameis Winston suffered last week in a win over Indianapolis, Arians said his quarterback is currently wearing a protective brace and remains "day-to-day."
Meet this week's opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2. Speaking of Winston, he threw for 456 yards last week with four touchdowns and three interceptions. In his first year in Arians' offense, Winston has 4,115 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Arians lamented the amount of interceptions Winston's thrown, though did appreciate how the fourth-year quarterback is able to shake them off pretty quickly. Arians said he'd like the touchdown-to-interception ratio for his quarterback to be closer to 3-1 than 1-1.
3. To that point, Arians said Winston better "be careful when you're throwing towards Darius (Slay)" this week.
Slay had six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and two defended passes in the last meeting against Winston and the Bucs two years ago in Tampa Bay.
4. Consider Arians a huge fan of Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who leads the NFL with 10 touchdown grabs. He said Golladay reminds him a lot of Bucs All-Pro receiver Mike Evans with his ability to run after the catch for a big guy and go up and catch 50-50 balls. Arians said Golladay really jumps out to him on tape. "I think he's really a hell of a player."
5. In addition to Golladay, Arians also showed Lions rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson some love. He said it was a shame Hockenson went to IR because Arians thinks he's going to be one of the best in the business.
6. I found an interesting statistic on the Bucs website in their scouting report of Sunday's matchup. They think it's an advantage for the Bucs late in the game Sunday if the contest proves to be a close one. They pointed to Detroit being the only team in the league yet to score in the final two minutes of regulation in any game this season.