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24 October 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, October 24, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: The Buccaneers have won their last six contests against the Minnesota Vikings, tied for their longest active streak against any opponent (Bengals, six games) and tied for the longest streak against any opponent in franchise history.
Below is a brief selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Linebacker Lavonte David
Quarterback Josh McCown
(Opening statement)
“Brandon Magee is out for the game. Besides that, everyone’s available. So we have our choice of – we realize only 46 guys can [be active], but it’s good to have everybody in front of us to be able to choose between them. The week has gone the way we wanted it to in all phases. Josh McCown has made it through practice – throwing the ball well. Michael Johnson’s ankle has gotten better. Johnthan Banks has been able to go through practice throughout the week. Dashon Goldson coming back off of his ankle injury. So our players that we needed to get in a little bit better shape are there, which should be good for us. Besides that, Minnesota, this is a – every game has been big, but we realize how important this game is. [We] get the chance to start the season over, per se. An NFC opponent home game – we haven’t won at Raymond James Stadium. There’s a lot riding on this game, and our guys know that and they’ve practiced that way. We’re anxious to play.”
(On former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon opting out of his contract)
“I heard that as I came off the field. That’s our loss of course. Joe’s a heck of a manager. Don’t know a whole lot more besides that.”
(On if he had met Maddon)
“Yes. Knew who he was before I actually met him and the great work that he’s done in baseball. Again, our loss.”
(On how ready newly acquired linebacker Orie Lemon is to play on Sunday)
“When you’re in a situation where you have to bring someone in right before a game like this, you try to find someone that has an idea about the defense, and of course in his case, he did. He has a background, of course, being in Dallas and then Kansas City a little bit too, so that helps. But still, it’s not the same. I mean, he’s been here a few days. It’s finals week – we’re cramming throughout to try to get him as much information on what we would like for him to do as possible. So that’s where we are in that situation. We feel OK as much as anything.
(On the offense’s level of physicality)
“As a football team, we – as we came back from our bye week, it’s about us being more physical. And that starts with our line upfront on the offensive side. We say we’re a running football team – we have to establish that. So yes, it goes on both sides of the ball. I’m talking about receivers blocking [defensive backs], cornerbacks tackling, all of the above. In order for us to make our climb, we’ll need that to happen.”
(On if the team needs a fullback on the active roster for this week’s game)
“I kind of go on our roster right now, do we have a fullback? Not on the active 53 [-man roster]. There’s a fullback on our practice squad, so we have that option still that way. Do you have to have a fullback to play the game? No. There’s a few different ways we can go with that also.”
(On which running back would be used as the fullback)
“We have a couple of different options on that too. We have options on just about everything as I talk on this Friday before we play and no one really knows, you can probably figure out why. [I can’t figure out why you would ask that when you knew how I would answer, but I guess I should know why you would ask it, but you know I can’t answer it. Have we hit that fullback position long enough now?]”
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“He’s healthier. He’s been fighting an ankle injury. When you have an ankle injury, you can’t see the full Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but he is getting better. We’ve seen through training camp some of the things that he can do though and that’s probably what he’s talking about more, ‘I can do a lot more.’ He should be a little bit closer, we’ll continue to try and get him the football and we’ll need him as we talk about being physical – he’s a big body – we’ll need him to be that also, whether that’s inline at tight end or wherever we’re going to put him. We’ve had him leading as a fullback in the backfield before, inline at tight end and a lot of other places.”
(On how it feels when he sees the defense at the bottom of the league in different statistics)
“I’m disappointed in where we are right now is how I feel, but I don’t spend too much time living in the past. If the season was over, I would be disappointed in how we played the season. We have 10 games left to go and we have a big one this week. We’re going to forget everything that’s happened when we show up this week and we play good defense, all sins are forgiven, that’s how we see it. We’re going to play better defense, better ball period – hopefully starting this weekend.”
(On what has been the key element to being successful coming off of a bye week)
“We have a routine that we go through. I just don’t believe in spending a whole lot of time trying to figure that out, whether it’s always the next opponent and for us, our football team preparing, we have two weeks to prepare. To me, the more preparation you have – in preparation, I’m talking about healing up, being able to put all of your guys on the football field and being able to look at more video, all of those things you can prepare a little bit better. I don’t know what the stats say, but I would say most teams in general coming off that bye should be playing pretty good football and I think throughout the years my teams that I have been on have come out fairly strong when we’ve been in that situation.”
(On if the players have had a chance to process more with the extra time)
“That’s a part of it and then you slow it down and then you can’t wait to speed it up. This week, when did we slow it down? We had an extra practice and maybe it’s as simple as that. You get an extra practice to prepare for an opponent, that’s helps a little bit. There are a lot of different things you can say, but I’ll keep talking about getting our players back on the football field and I think a bye if you have two weeks to recover from a game, that helps you as much as anything.”
(On the bye week)
“The bye week went well. I got a chance to go back home, spend time with my family. Just kind of unwound a little bit, get my mind off of football a little bit. But it was a great bye week. I missed football a lot during the bye week, so I was ready to get back to Tampa.”
(On if he knew Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at Northwestern High School in Miami)
“Yeah, I was a senior when he was a freshman. I knew him. He was a young, humble kid. From the time he was there, we always knew he was going to be a superstar in the making. Great kid, quiet, humble, like I said, hard worker. I knew him quite a bit. I know him real well.”
(On what he saw in Bridgewater that made him special)
“Just his poise, how he took command in the huddle. I saw him my senior year when I was leaving out and then we got the chance to watch their spring game and all the old guys came back and watched him. We knew that he was going to be the next star of our high school.”
(On if the bye week allowed the defense to better understand the Tampa-2 scheme)
“Yeah, during the bye week, we got a chance to go back to the basics and things like that. It’s coming along well. Guys are getting a real good hang of it. We had a great week of practice.”
(On how his thumb is feeling)
“It’s coming along good. From the first day it’s just been a day-to-day thing and every day it feels a little bit better. It’s good to actually get a little bit more work in this week and get a better feel for it.”
(On if the bye week came at a good time for him to get healthy)
“Absolutely, I think for any team that has injuries or anybody that’s injured, if you have a bye week in the middle of the weeks where you expected to be injured, then it’s obviously a bonus. That’s been a good deal.”
(On if he had to make sure he didn’t push himself too much this week)
“It’s hard not because you get back on the field, just practicing, and it’s hard not to want to push the gas on it and really throw yourself all-in to it because the thing with something like this is that it’s different than a leg injury because you can do everything: you can take your drops and you can do everything but the main thing for a quarterback and that’s throw. Being able to throw this week a little bit more has been helpful. Certainly as far as just the energy, you always try to come to work with good energy, but it’s certainly a different feel whenever you’re not practicing. It’s nice to be back out there.”

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