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11 December 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, December 11, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Tampa Bay LB Lavonte David leads all NFL linebackers in passes defensed this season (10) and is tied for the linebackers lead in interceptions (3). Since entering the NFL in 2012, David has 28 passes defensed, tied for the third-most by a linebacker in that span, while his nine interceptions during that timeframe stand as the second-most by a linebacker.
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Linebacker Bruce Carter
Linebacker Lavonte David
(Opening Statement)
“Injury report; [Jacquies] Smith’s hamstring is getting better. He won’t play this week, he’ll be out. George Johnson, we’re listing him as doubtful. We’ve seen a lot of improvement with him. Everybody else should be available, hopefully. Again, right now those are the only two that are in doubt a little bit of playing. Hopefully we’ll have the rest of the guys, they’re available. We’re ready to go. We had a good week of practice. Again, getting healthy, we realize what’s at stake in this game – December, we’re relevant, we need to play our best football, simple as that.”
(On the team’s rush defense)
“I think it’s all about gap control for us – trusting your teammate to be where he’s supposed to be, you do your job. Occasionally you break a couple and normally if your run defense is pretty good it’s saying the backend is keeping runs to minimum gains as much as anything, so good job by our secondary with that. We’ll need to, of course, answer the bell again. Whenever you just have to deal with a team that could only do one thing, whether it be run or the pass, you’re in a lot better shape. We’re having success on the other side of the ball based on being able to run and pass the ball.”
(On linebackers and defensive backs getting tackles for loss)
“Reading and reacting, we’re about attacking the line of scrimmage, playing downhill – all those things.”
(On if he watched the Thursday night game between the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals and the impact it can have on Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes)
“When I say tunnel vision I’m talking about for us. I’m a football fan. Yes, I did watch that game. This time of year there’s no sport more exciting than the NFL, where anybody, of course, can win each week. [It was a] good game. They’re relevant, both of those teams. We want to be the same.”
(On if defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been medically cleared to play on Sunday)
“No, we have a few more hours before game time. He’s right on pace to hopefully be ready by Sunday.”
(On linebacker Bruce Carter and if he has any doubts about his ability come Sunday)
“Not at all. A good player isn’t playing for us for a while, but you do have to move on. We didn’t have a great defensive lineman play for us last week in Gerald McCoy. Guys stepped up. Bruce Carter is a good football player. We brought him here to play good football for us. Normally if you keep doing things the right way you get an opportunity. He’s getting his opportunity. Again, he’s had a good week of practice, we’re excited about what he’s going to do.” 
(On his excitement for Sunday)
“[I’m] very excited. It’s an opportunity, with that being said you have to be prepared and you have to be ready. Coach Lovie [Smith], the whole defense, the entire coaching staff expects me to go in there and make plays. They don’t want any drop-off from when Kwon [Alexander] was in there and that’s what I expect to do – go in there and make plays. I’m a vet, I’ve been around for a while. I know what’s expected of me and I’m go in there and do it.”
(On stay motivated throughout the season)
“I love football. I can’t let my situation or whatever it may be get me down. I have to stay upbeat, stay positive. I have a great camp around me. I have great teammates. Just have to stay positive. You never know when your opportunity is going to come and you don’t want to be that guy that goes out there and has been doing anything for a long time. When I go in there I expect to be playing great and playing at a high level.”
(On playing meaningful games in December)
“It feels good. Everybody knows what we’ve got at stake. We’re going to go in there and keep that same energy we’ve been playing with for the best couple of weeks and just go out there and have fun.”  
(On how he is feeling)
“I feel good, ready to go Sunday and to get back out there.”
(On if he had a setback on Thursday or just resting)
“Just a precautionary issue. Nothing really serious. Just something to be smart about and they thought that was the best thing to do, so we went ahead and took action. I was back out there today full-go and I’ll be ready on Sunday.”
(On if there is any way he’s not going to play on Sunday)
“Ain’t no way. I already had a couple setbacks last year where I missed two [games]. I’m not trying to do that again.”
(On having the same chemistry with linebacker Bruce Carter as he does with Kwon Alexander)
“When you get used to a guy like Kwon, his attitude, his mentality when he’s out there on the field, it’s going to be difficult to adjust to somebody else you’re going to be out there with, but I have all the trust and faith in the world in Bruce. He’s a veteran guy, he knows what he is doing so I don’t think there is going to be any drop-off and the main thing we really have to work on is just our communication when we are out there – just talk to each other to make the game easier for both of us.”  

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