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Olamide Zaccheaus

Wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus is new to the Eagles but extremely familiar with the team’s Week 3 opponent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into the game having won their first two, just like the Eagles. Having played against the Bucs six times in his five-year NFL career, Zaccheaus knows what they are all about.

“They are a sound defense,” Zaccheaus said. “They play really hard, and they play together.”

In his career, Zaccheaus has had 13 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa. During his time with the Atlanta Falcons, he played against the Bucs twice a year as NFC South division rivals. The 164 yards receiving is tied for Zaccheaus’ most against a single team in his career.

The wideout’s two touchdowns came last season, one in each game. His first of the season was a 19-yard pass from current backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.

For Zaccheaus, there is no rhyme or reason as to why he has success against the Bucs.

“It is just about making the most of the opportunity I get,” Zaccheaus said. “At the end of the day, it is just another game.”

This year’s Bucs team is like the ones Zaccheaus played before, outside of a few pieces and quarterback Baker Mayfield.

They bring the same energy on defense, and as Zaccheaus said, they play together.

Their run defense ranks second in the league, behind the Eagles, and their total defense is ninth. The Bucs’ defense has allowed 17.0 points per game, which is top 10 in the NFL.

Tampa Bay’s Head Coach Todd Bowles is known as a defensive mastermind around the league. Before being named head coach, he was the team’s defensive coordinator.

In his three seasons as defensive coordinator from 2019-21, Tampa ranked third in the league in takeaways (82) and third in sacks (142). In addition to the sacks and takeaways under Bowles’ guidance as defensive coordinator, the Buccaneers ranked first in rushing yards allowed per game (82.5), first in quarterback hits (352), first in defensive fumble recoveries (37), and first in passes defensed (241).

Bowles led the defense that was behind the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl win in 2020, and now he is in charge of the whole team.

“We respect them as a defense,” Zaccheaus said. “They are a great team with a great coach.”

With wide receiver Quez Watkins dealing with a hamstring injury, Zaccheaus could see his role elevated on Monday night.

“He brings a toughness. We trust him. He’s a savvy route runner,” Head Coach Nick Sirianni said of Zaccheaus on Friday. “He’s got great football instincts. If it’s turn to play this week, I’ve got a lot of faith in him that he’ll do a really good job.”

Watkins did not practice on Thursday and Friday as the team prepared for its Week 3 game.

Zaccheaus is ready for whatever he needs to do to help the team win and improve.

“I am going to do whatever I am asked to do with as much effort as possible,” Zaccheaus said. “It is another opportunity for us to hone in on the things we need to hone in on and the details of our scheme.” – Written by Owen Boyle

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