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11 September 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, September 11, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“A good week of practice. Guys have done everything we’ve asked them to do. Once you get to Friday, you kind of go over your final game plan. Everything is pretty much done on what we want to get accomplished. We realize we have a good football team that we’re playing and it’s time to play. Preseason, really once you get to it, doesn’t mean an awful lot. It’s just kind of how you get ready for this first game. So that’s where we are.”
 
(On being in good spirits)
“My glass is always half full, but once you get to Friday of the start of your regular season, life’s pretty good. The opportunity – seeing what our football team has gone through, you kind of see the look on their faces now where they want to hear less. ‘Yeah, Coach,’ – they kind of know their role and they’re kind of ready to go. But this period of time between now and game time is critical. You can get an awful lot accomplished during that time. That’s where we are. Injury-wise, I think we have one player out: T.J. Fatinikun will not play this week. Besides that, our players continue to get better. Mike Evans was able to do some things out there; George Johnson was sick yesterday but he should be OK. This time of year, to have your injury list look like that is pretty good.
 
(On the status of wide receiver Mike Evans)
“It’s a Friday, keep in mind that. He was able to run around a little bit, didn’t have any pain or anything like that, so we are on the road to recovery. How soon he gets back full speed and how soon he’s ready to actually play, each day will tell us a little bit more.”
 
(On his memories from September 11, 2001)
“You know, it’s amazing on some things. Of course, Mary Ann would really be upset if I didn’t remember the first time I met my wife, which [was September 12], on a blind date at Tulsa. I know that you didn’t ask me that, but I’ll keep going – give you a little bit more information that you asked for. But [on September 11, 2001] I was in [St. Louis] with the St. Louis Rams, getting ready to play the Atlanta Falcons that week. We, just like everybody else – I had someone, Bill Kollar, the [current] defensive line coach with the Denver Broncos, [his] son was a couple blocks from it. I remember him calling and talking to his dad and then going where we couldn’t get a hold of him for a couple of hours. Just like everybody else, it’s a part of our lives from now on. A tragic thing that happened, but something that you need to acknowledge every year, really.”
 
(On the news that tickets are close to selling out for Sunday’s game)
“A smile has to come to your face when you hear that. Last year we didn’t do our job. The fans did. And it’s good they’ve come back out giving us another chance to get it right. One of our goals we have is to win all of our home games. You have to get that started with the first one. So, yes, in an ideal world, you want to start off at home and use that home crowd. In order to use the home crowd – of course, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to cheer when points are scored and big things happen, but the home crowd can really help the defense out an awful lot to make it hard for the communication and things like that. We’re counting on the crowd to come there, get there early, and we want to hear that cannon go off quite a bit.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On how he is recovering)
“I feel great.”
 
(On if feels good about playing in Sunday’s game against Tennessee)
“Yes. There is no official ruling yet. I hope I’m playing. I’ll leave it up to Coach [Lovie Smith], though.”
 
(On if the plan was to rest the hamstring as much as possible)
“Yeah, I think it has been working. I feel really, really good.”
 
(On if today is the first time he participated at practice this week)
“At practice, yeah. I’ve been running, but this is the first time I ran some routes full speed. I feel pretty good.”
 
(On how hard it’s been for him to sit out)
“It’s extremely tough.  I want to be out there practicing, getting better, getting ready for Tennessee, but I have to do things elsewhere – getting rehab on my hamstring and strengthening it back up. I feel good though so far.”
 
(On if conditioning or timing with his quarterback will be an issue if he plays on Sunday)
“I think I should be good. I have been doing a lot of extra work, so I should be good as far as conditioning.”
 
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