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Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith spoke on Thursday about matching the Cowboys personnel groupings in run situations.

Dallas, which has one of the NFL’s elite offensive lines, often brings in extra down-linemen in place of tight ends to block for star running back Ezekiel Elliott. As such, the Bucs could look to counter that strategy with an extra run-stopper. At 6-foot-2, 345-pounds, Sealver Siliga would seem to fit the bill.

Siliga, who the Bucs claimed off waivers on November 16, has recorded just three tackles in four games with Tampa Bay. But the former practice squad journeyman has picked up the defense and impressed teammates and coaches in practice.

Sealver Siliga – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Sealver Siliga – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“He’s like three people,” said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Siliga. “You see him at practice or during the game, he just takes two grown men and holds them in place. It’s like, How can you do that? He just doesn’t get moved and is always in place. He’s really intelligent. He picked up on the defense within a couple days and it took us … when did we play Atlanta? Thursday night? He’s really intelligent and a big help for us.”

Defensive coordinator Mike Smith echoed McCoy on Siliga’s sheer size, calling him a “big, strong man who’s going to require four hands.” The need to double-team Siliga, Smith explained, could provide the Bucs an advantage against perhaps the NFL’s best rushing offense in Dallas. This could be the game Siliga sees considerable time.

“He’s been limited simply because of the type of teams we’ve been playing,” Smith said. “But we know, in December, usually the teams that run the ball the best and the teams that stop the run are teams that have a lot of success. The cycles are pretty consistent and it’s really interesting about running the ball and stopping the run in December.”

Tampa Bay will of course have its usual lineup of McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Will Gholston to try to contain Elliott, but deploying an extra run-stopper could prove effective against the high-powered offense.

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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4 years ago

They have done a good job rotating the DLine and keeping them fresher throughout the game… I’ll be looking for him on Sun night! Make the rookie QB beat you

4 years ago

I’m depending on our Defense to be quick and gang tackling. I don’t think Siliga requires double teaming considering the size of Dallas OL. Speed is what this should be about in this game; just my opinion.

4 years ago

Alright Chief, I want you to just stand right here.

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