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03 November 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, November 3, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: CB Johnthan Banks is currently tied for the second-most interceptions by any player from the 2013 NFL Draft (Logan Ryan, 6; Banks, 5; Robert Alford, 5; Eric Reid, 5).
 
Below is a brief selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
               
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Cornerback Johnthan Banks
Safety Major Wright
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“We did a lot of things better yesterday – some things better yesterday. Of course, still couldn’t find a way to win the football game. Offensive side of the ball, great game by Mike Evans. [He] has really elevated his game the last few weeks. There was a point there where he was almost unstoppable. Made some great, great plays on the ball – wish we could’ve gotten him the ball even more. Vincent Jackson – our receivers played well throughout. [We] were able to run the football. Bobby Rainey [and the] offensive line did a good job [with] Oniel Cousins stepping in for Anthony Collins. But the turnovers really hurt us in critical situations. Need to play better at the quarterback position – I think that kind of goes without saying a little bit. They didn’t put enough points on the board, even with some production that we haven’t [previously] gotten. Other side of the ball, [the] defensive line put pressure on the quarterback. I like what we did against their run, shutting it down for the most part. Got pressure pretty much throughout. Johnthan Banks really played well – his best game he’s had; graded out as high as anybody on our team. But we gave up a big play on it, had a couple of big third-and-longs that we let them out of. So those are just things you can’t do on the defensive side of the football. And then special teams: special teams-wise, there was a lot of points that you could say was because of how we played on our special teams. The punt block, of course, was big – led to points. Having a field goal blocked, jumping offsides – letting them instead of getting a field goal going on and getting a touchdown. Those all contributed to the loss for us. Didn’t have a lot of injuries. Had a couple guys get bumped and bruised up a little bit. Hopefully we’ll get a little closer to getting some of our other players back, mainly Charles Sims, who, of course, hasn’t played. Hoping, of course, that Doug [Martin] will be ready to go this week.”
 
(On what he wants to see better out of quarterback Mike Glennon)
“We had a lot of opportunities. We had good matchups with both our wide receivers yesterday. Accuracy, some decisions we made with the turnovers – both of those turnovers should have been touchdowns, we feel like, instead of interceptions putting them in a favorable position. Starting off with that.”
 
(On if the quarterback starter is still being decided on a week-to-week basis)
“It’s always week-to-week with what we do. We look at who we think gives us the best opportunity to win this week, last week. Mike [Glennon] would be the first guy to tell you he’s played a lot better than he played last week. Josh [McCown] is healthy and ready to go right now. That’s the strength of the quarterback position that we talked about. Right now, we’ll see who’s available – we have a couple of days and we’ll kind of go from there.”
 
(On why he changed today’s schedule and had players come in for meetings and gave them a day off tomorrow)
“1-7, sometimes you need to change things up a little bit – something that’s small. No seriously, just wanted to get this game behind us as much as anything – wanted to see [the film] as soon as possible and go from there.”
 
(On if he ever considered changing quarterbacks against Cleveland)
“Yes. Whenever any position is struggling during the course of the game, you look at is there a better option at the time. I didn’t think that Mike played – I thought Mike would be able to come out of it.”
 
(On how he will base his decision on the starting quarterback this week and if it will be based on performance or how well each matches up against Atlanta)
“All of those. How we match up, play in practice this week, history also – last time we played, everything comes into play with that. And then it’s just a feel at the end on who we think gives us the best chance. I know that’s coach talk, but that’s what it always comes down to – who we think gives us the best chance based on who we’re playing, what type of game, what type of gameplan we think we’re going with. That’s something we’re just not talking about the quarterback position – we’re talking about all positions.”
 
(On why safety Dashon Goldson was not in the game near the end)
“He is coming off of an injury, but we had planned on playing – of course, Major Wright had a good game; he’s one of the guys that really played well for us. We wanted to play more than one guy. Bradley McDougald has done some good things, so we had options there.”
 
(On the performance of safety Bradley McDougald)
“I think he played OK. Major Wright played as well as anybody at the safety position, but Bradley made some good plays with his first time getting an extended amount of play.”
 
(On if he feels that the team lost the run-pass balance in the second half)
“We definitely lost some of that balance, but to me, that was OK because it’s just how you’re able to move the football. I thought yeah, we could’ve moved the ball in smaller chunks with the run, but we felt like we had good matchups in the passing game with how they played us throughout the game, right up until the end. So I was OK with us – you have to lean on what you think gives you the best chance to move the ball down the field, and that’s what I thought we had no problem with. I talked yesterday, late that last drive, we would probably like to have one of those calls back. But overall, had no problem with how we attacked them.”
 
(On if wide receiver Mike Evans is exceeding his expectations)
“I always have a hard time answering whether a guy is ahead of schedule or not. We drafted him in the top 10 – we liked him. He has been good since minicamp here. We have high hopes for him. I think he’s going to be a great player in the league. But you have to have that type of game that he had yesterday. But the last three weeks or so, he’s been stepping up his game. I just think that’s – we saw some of what he might be. I think he’s just going to be a force once it’s all said and done.”
 
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy saying after the game that he doesn’t think players are taking the losses hard enough)
“As I said before, I don’t tell guys what to say. And I want our captain speaking for our football team because that’s why they’re in those positions. But I’d say to guys – you know, no one likes losing. Once we get to a point where we really hate losing, seems like we’re going to do something about it. But we have to go on what we’ve done right now and that’s not good enough. I think that’s probably what Gerald is saying. We’re talking about ‘we’ – we’re all in that, we’re all a part of that 1-7 record we have right now at the halfway point of our season – it’s not good enough. But you look at that and then we’re at the halfway point of our season and we’re still within range if we can get it fixed.”
 
(On if there are certain rules about blocking downfield that players should know on blocked field goals and punts)
“Two different types though. Yesterday, how often do you see a guy just jump over the top? It shouldn’t. We have to get bigger, stand up – that shouldn’t happen. Very seldom see that. And as far as the punt team goes, that’s a standard one also that we shouldn’t get beat on but we did. What can I say? There’s been a couple of games out of the eight we’ve played where special teams have really let us down – yesterday was one of them.”
 
(On the progression of defensive end Jacquies Smith)
“We have some speed guys on our roster, especially on our defensive line – he’s definitely one of them. He can run, he’s quick, he can bend, and the last couple of weeks – really, since he’s gotten here; that’s why we signed him – we like his upside. He’s starting to feel it a little bit. Had some good rushes yesterday. The week before, he had some. Of course, he’s one of the guys with the arrow pointed up.”
 
(On if the decision to not play quarterback Josh McCown against Cleveland was because of his displeasure in his performance earlier in the season)
“As we look at the play and look back on it, there were a couple of plays that we would like to have back, but I don’t think he did anything to – he got hurt is what happened. He’s healthy right now, but Josh McCown is a good quarterback – we can win with him. So that’s kind of where we are right now.”
 
(On if he still has confidence in Glennon)
“Yes I do. Mike didn’t play well yesterday. He has played well during this stretch of starts that he’s had. You have to look at the body of work. It’s always about now. Yesterday, didn’t get off to a great start. But that hasn’t been the case. Mike has made all of the throws, made great decisions. So yes, I still have confidence in him. Again, we just didn’t play well yesterday.”
 
(On if running back Bobby Rainey has earned the starting job)
“Looking back at the fumbles [this season], can’t do that. But it seems like he’s taken care of that. Bobby has put together I know at least two very good games where he’s been the featured back. We have confidence in him. We have confidence in Doug too. You can’t have too many good running backs. We can’t wait to get Doug back, [and get] Charles back into the mix, but Bobby will be a part of that – I can say that.”
 
(On his thoughts when linebacker Lavonte David was down with an injury)
“I remember going out on the football field fairly quick to see if he was OK. You know what Lavonte means to us. Just a great player, the heart and soul of our team – all of that. Clean block. It was unfortunate for us – or I guess it’s fortunate for us that he’s OK. We need him out there as much as anything. He’s good to go.”
 
(On if suspended defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers and fullback Jorvorskie Lane are back with the team)
“They should be. That’s kind of – there’s a lot of other things at the top of the list when we started off this morning; that wasn’t right at the top of [it]. But hopefully we’ll get them back as soon as they can.”
 
(On safeties Goldson and Major Wright working together on the field)
“Major Wright played good football. He’s played good football when he’s gotten an opportunity to. So as far as the working together part, no, you just need two safeties doing their jobs. Of course, Dashon, I don’t have to say what all he’s done for us. Again, I like what all three safeties were able to do. Again, Bradley McDougald gives us something that Major or Dashon really have. So that’s good to get – you need as many safeties as you can possibly get to get through a season.”
 
(On if cornerback Johnthan Banks’ performance says a lot about him after dropping an interception last week against Minnesota)
“Says a lot about him. We all know what happened last week and he took it. He didn’t make any excuses – he just went back to work on the football field. He could not have played any better yesterday. It’s not only the interception – which was a great play – but I think there was about three third-down plays he made by himself. He tackled well. Just good overall play by him, which we needed to see that from him. Cornerbacks, it’s always, ‘What have you done lately?’ We know who’s coming back into town this week. So yes, it was good to see that and we need him to continue to play like that.”
 
(On the effort he is seeing from McCoy each week)
“We’ve kind of seen the same guy throughout. But now, he’s getting into – he’s dealt with an injury for quite a while. He’s getting healthier – he’s not even mentioning that. Gerald is being vocal by what he’s saying and what he’s doing. He’s a force and he was yesterday, and the rest of the defensive line – Clinton McDonald played well, Akeem Spence played well yesterday, we talked about Jacquies playing well also. So the defensive line, they’re taking steps.”
 
CORNERBACK JOHNTHAN BANKS
 
(On his performance on Sunday)
“I think I played a decent game. There were a lot plays I could’ve played a lot better and a lot things I could’ve done a lot better in that game. I’m still learning and growing and I’m getting better each week. I’m getting more confident in going out there and doing my job, not just doing my job, but trying to make plays on the ball.”
 
(On his interception)
“It was just one of those things we talked about with rushing and covering. I think we rushed the passer and we covered pretty well in the back end. They made some plays and we didn’t make enough plays, but one thing Coach [Lovie] Smith and Coach [Gill] Byrd are always talking about is when the ball is in the air, we have to get the ball and I think I made a great play on the ball and just tried to bounce back from the week before.”
 
(On being frustrated by letting Cleveland convert on third-and-16)
“That was a very frustrating down. We just have to go out and compete hard. I don’t know what we have to do in those situations, but we have to get off the field. We worked so hard to get that third-and-16, we just have to play better as a group. It’s not just one individual, it’s a group , it’s a unit thing and we just have to make it happen.”
 
SAFETY MAJOR WRIGHT
 
(On his performance on Sunday)
“I had a decent game. I feel like I left some plays out there that I could’ve made, but I feel like it was a solid game, I put together a solid game.”
 
(On the pairing of him and safety Dashon Goldson in the defensive backfield)
“I think we both communicate well on the field, we’re both veterans. We study together and it is what it is, I feel like we’ll be pretty good.”
 
(On safety Bradley McDougald)
“He’s a young guy that knows a lot, he’s smart and has good instincts as well. He’s going to be up-and-coming, he’s going to be a pretty good player for us.”
 
(On being able to keep plays in front of them)
“I think watching this film, you live and you learn. I think now we’re focused more on getting more depth and doing our jobs.”
  
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