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04 September 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, September 4, 2015

Below is a selection of quotes from Head Coach Lovie Smith’s day-after-game media availability:
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
‘Finishing with a win does feel a lot better. It’s a preseason game and we only had certain people playing - some of them won’t even be with us anymore – but it’s still good to get a win. It’s good to play our last preseason game, which gets you closer to the regular season game week. I’ve been talking a lot about being Tennessee-ready and we’ve gotten better and better throughout. I like our football team. I like where we are right now. We feel like we have established the roles that certain guys needs to play. Injury-wise not much has happened. We don’t have any more news, really, from what we had yesterday. Guys have the same injuries. We haven’t come to any conclusions or anything like that. We’ve starting the process talking to some of the players.”
 
(On how much harder the cutting the roster to 53-player limit is compared to last season)
“They’re harder and you want decisions to become harder and harder each year. Saying that, it’s good competition. You have people to choose from, but at the same time it’s one of the saddest days of the year for me, every year. It’s no fun stopping, postponing a guy’s dream. I’ve been on the other side [of the conversation] when someone tells you they want to go a different direction. Normally you land on your feet. That would be the case for hopefully all of our guys that we choose to go a different direction from.”
 
(On if he is concerned with injuries on the defensive line)
“Yes, it is concerning. It’s reality to us. Some years you have certain positions that are hit a little bit more with injuries. We have especially, of course, at the defensive end position. Hopefully we can get a few guys back soon. We feel like that will be the case. For us, that is why this weekend is so important when you have injuries like that. We are first up. We are the first batter. We just have to be ready. I feel like we know the group. We added [Jacquies] Smith last year at this time. You look at what we are able to do sometimes at the end. We found our kicker, we found our punter the last week before the season. We are going to hope that that momentum continues.”
 
(On if he looks at the waiver wire as a second draft)
“That’s exactly how we look at it. We felt early on that we established that we had two drafts. We felt good about the first draft we had. We’ve been preparing since that first one for this second draft. Again, we are almost on the clock on it, which is a good thing. We are excited about some potential guys added to our team.”
 
(On how comfortable he is with the offensive line)
“We feel good about it. When we say good about it, you look at the whole body of work. I’ve seen the line, I’ve seen young players take their first snap, seen them get better and better. I’ve seen them put in situations that will help them play better football during the course of the year- some positive, some negative. We feel good. We have a very good game on record where we saw what we could be. Now it’s about taking the next step. I think this weekend is important for guys. If you look at the guys that we are going to go to bat with next week, especially some of our younger players. They’re pretty much put in a college season you could say right now with the amount of reps they’ve gotten. I think it’s good to take a step back, refresh your mind and your body and get ready to go. You’ve made it to this point, now it’s on. Yes, we feel good about our offensive line.”
 
(On if safety Bradley McDougald, tackle Kevin Pamphile and defensive end Jacquies Smith are expected to be available for Week 1)
“All of them are in play, yes they are if we had to play Sunday – you know, we’re being cautious with some of our players knowing what’s coming up. Just like we were, not playing most of our guys the last preseason game. We are pretty close now, so we want to get his group to the game.”
 
(On the tackle positions going into Week 1 and tackle Donovan Smith’s health)
“It’s a concern with [Smith’s] health status, but with everyone healthy we feel like we are going to be okay. Without me giving specific names, with the group of guys we have at the tackle position with everybody healthy we feel good about the position right now. I can talk a lot more about Monday, Tuesday, in there after we know exactly who we are going with. Right now it’s like me talking before the draft on exactly what our football team will look like. The group we have right now we feel real good about, but who knows.”
 
(On if he has a starting five in his mind for the offensive line)
“Of course. We have a starting five. We know who are starting 11 are. I’m talking about possible guys that we can add to our mix. We’re not deciding who is starting right now. We know who that is, with every position on our football team.”
 
(On what challenges Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota brings to a defense)
“I think just in general any good quarterback poses problems and I think he is a good quarterback. He’s done a good job throwing the ball in the preseason. Of course his college video speaks for itself. Where he is different is he’s mobile and he can hurt you with his feet. That’s a concern, but it’s a concern any time you play a mobile quarterback like that. That’s why we need to just keep our eyes, which we do most of the time as a general rule. [We] put as many good athletes on the field that play hard and we feel like we’ll be okay against anybody we play.”
 
(On kicker Kyle Brindza and what stood out about him)
“It’s one game, but you can say that about every rookie that plays. There has to be a first time. You said rare and when you talk about his ability, I feel a lot better going with someone that has something that’s rare, that very few people have. I think it’s safe to say he has a strong leg that probably is rare. We feel good about that. It’s more than just having a strong leg. You have to have some accuracy too. It’s good to get in those situations and hit both of those field goals and for kickoffs too. That’s what we are looking for at the position. I still think we can be in a better position based on what we’ve gone through trying to get that position right. He’s an emergency punter also. He brings a lot of things to the table.”
 
(On defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers’ future and if he can still make a mark in the NFL)
“Yes he can. When you bring somebody back, you are saying something. For us, we had injuries at a lot of positions – I know Akeem Spence was out early on – we have a little bit of depth at that position. It’s not like he played bad or played himself out of a position. Sometimes with veterans, what we try to do is make decisions early and let them know to give them the best opportunity to get on with someone else. If they don’t I always talk about having options and we love for many options to be out there as possible for us.”
 
(On what his advice to Bowers will be)
“Just keep playing ball. There is nothing new up until this point. He did everything we asked him to do when he came back here the second time around – worked hard, stayed off the injury list for the most part. Just numbers caught up with him.”
 
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