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21 November 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, November 21, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks has recorded six career interceptions, tied for the most by any player who entered the league in 2013 (NE CB Logan Ryan).
                 
Below is a brief selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
                       
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Cornerback Alterraun Verner
               
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statements)
“Friday, the injury list: Lavonte David as you can see, we kept him out another day, he’ll be a game time decision and we’ll give him every chance to play – he’s a lot better, but we held him out today. Doug Martin is a lot better, he’s had a great week of practice to get back into the routine and so has Alterraun Verner. We’re starting to get most of our group there. We’ve had very few games where we’ve had really hard decisions on who’s active on game day, but that will be the case this week. Beyond that, it’s was a good week of practice, we know what’s at stake, we tasted success and victory last week, we like that feeling and we want to do it again. We realize what our record is, but we look more at where we are in the standings in our NFC South division and we’re right in the mix of it and taking care of business with this game.”
 
(On why the team has had more success on the road than at home so far this season)
“I can’t think of anything – normally you’re supposed to play a lot better at home and we haven’t gotten that part figured out yet, but I know we’ve gone into some hostile environments and we’re going into another one with Soldier Field this week, but you just have to really concentrate and be focus, which we’ve been. For whatever reason we have played well on the road and we expect it to continue.”
 
(On running back Charles Sims being on the injury report)
“He has just general soreness as much as anything. He’s been out a long time, his workload has increased quite a bit, but he should be good to go.”
 
(On deciding who will be active at running back on Sunday)
“We have four guys available, it’s pretty hard to dress four running backs, three tight ends – as you look across the board, but we like having those decisions. That’s an easy – it’s tough in a way, but it’s really not and that’s why practice is so important and we knew that we should have everybody back this week so we’ve been paying close attention and we have a plan we feel comfortable with.”
 
(On having a running back step up and take the starting role)
“I think they will, but you just have to look at how it’s all played out. Charles Sims [was] out to start the season, Doug’s the guy and he falls to injury and to me right now, if you continue to play guys they’ll tell you all of that, which they’re doing. Bobby [Rainey] has had his moments, Mike James has moved into his role, but yes we would like to see one of our running backs rush for 200 yards and he becomes the ‘bell-cow.’ Doug is back this week and that’s a good thing, he’s looked pretty good in practice and we feel real good about that group whatever three or four we go with."
 
(On Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett)
“In the mix – we know who he is. He is getting – it’s hard to give everybody the same type of recognition. But we’re aware of him. I know they like to go to him quite often too, but it’s just not him. We could talk the rest of the day, of course, about [Alshon] Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, but Bennett deserves some talk. But as much as anything, Matt Forte. Matt Forte is an excellent receiver, he can make you miss in the open field – excellent running back. So we have a couple of skill guys to deal with this week, but it’s normally that [way] in the league.”
 
(On his confidence in Tampa Bay’s tight ends)
“Confident in the group. We’ve talked about how we feel about Austin Seferian-Jenkins; he’s a heck of a player and we’ve tried to isolate him at different times, similar to how they’ve done Bennett. Of course, Brandon Myers, kind of joking around with him last week, he made a guy miss in the open field last week, so that was good to see him do that. He’s been a steady player throughout – and to get Luke Stocker back in the mix. So [we] feel good about our three. They all have a different role that they play on our team.”
 
CORNERBACK ALTERRAUN VERNER
 
(On how he feels coming off an injury)
“I feel good. Had a good week and was able to do a lot of things and hopefully they give me the green light to go this week.”
 
(On if he feels better than he did a week ago)
“No question. I was able to open up a lot more this week and I’m looking forward to hopefully being out there this week.”
                                  
(On Chicago’s offensive weapons)
“[Chicago’s] skill positions [are] very, very good. You can’t sleep on Matt Forte. The guy is elusive, can run the ball, catch the ball. I think he’s one of the most under-appreciated people in the NFL – I think he’s one of the best guys out there. And obviously the two outside guys present challenges with how big they are to go and get the football. They make a lot of plays. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We’ve got to show up in the back end. The D-line, you see them going, and we’ve got to be able to make plays on the ball to cause the quarterback to hesitate to help our D-line.”
 
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