TAMPA, Fla. — Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich turned 41 on Thursday. He wouldn't mind getting his birthday present on Sunday against the Saints.
Tampa Bay hasn't beaten New Orleans in their last five meetings.
"It’s a whole new ballgame Sunday night. All we can do is prepare," Leftwich said, after Thursday's practice. "We know what we’re up against. It’s exciting for us to have this opportunity to compete against a team like that."
Leftwich is charged with controlling an offense led by Tom Brady, but he says working the best quarterback of all time isn't a pressure-filled job.
"I was more excited to have a guy who’s been as accomplished as he’s been and have an opportunity to coach him," Leftwich said. "Nothing in me had any fear or doubt at all of being able to work with him. Having the opportunity to work with him is a great thing."
The 43-year-old Brady has clearly gelled with Leftwich, and he hopes their current five-game winning streak increases to six in New Orleans.
"I’ve always said continuity is the key in the NFL," Brady said at his weekly news conference. "There are so many situations that come up on a weekly basis. You can’t cover 1,000 situations every week because you’re just guessing at what the situation will be. Whether it’s offense, defense, or special teams. All those things are really important."
The Bucs and Saints kick off Sunday at 6:40 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The winner advances to the NFC Championship to face the winner of the Packers/Rams game.