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12 November 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Thursday, November 12, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season, Tampa Bay has allowed only 24 plays of 20 or more yards, tied with Denver for the fewest in the NFL.
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Linebacker Lavonte David
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins
(Opening Statement)
“Injury list: Vincent Jackson, Ali Marpet, [Jacquies] Smith and D.J. Swearinger weren’t able to practice again like they weren’t yesterday. Alterraun Verner didn’t practice yesterday, he was able to go today. The guys that are limited are getting better – Austin Seferian[-Jenkins], Bradley McDougald and Major Wright with his hamstring.”
(On if defensive tackle Tony McDaniel practiced today)
“Yes, Tony of course was excused for personal reasons yesterday. [He] was back out in full force today.”
(On if safety D.J. Swearinger had a setback with his toe injury)
“[He was] limited yesterday. [He] couldn’t really go, started off [practice] today he wasn’t able to do much. He didn’t do a whole lot yesterday either. It’s limited when you’re not able to do everything. Again, he didn’t get a whole lot done yesterday either.”
(On if he is confident only dressing three safeties)
“As a general rule, you look on the roster each week, there’s two guys – two starters or whatever – there’s starters and then there is a backup at every position. We have a few positions where we can have a little bit more, where special teams comes into play. Especially late when you have a couple injuries it’s about the best you can do. Two plus one, we should be in good shape.”
(On red zone offense being one of the last hurdles a young quarterback will get better at as he gains experience in the NFL)
“I don’t know about last. It’s one of them, of course, you have to take care of. It can’t be acceptable for us to get field goals down there. Once we do get down there we need touchdowns. It wasn’t all on [Jameis Winston], that was definitely not the case. Whatever it might be; blocking a little bit better, a little bit here a little bit there, we need to find a way to get seven points once we get down there. Of course Jameis is a part of that.”
(On improving the zone defense and having a tough matchup against Dallas tight end Jason Witten)
“When you’re playing the zone defense there are some cracks, there are some soft spots and open spots and a quarterback in zone, he can complete those sometimes. We just have to be able to mix it up though. I’m talking about man and zone. In an ideal world, of course we would like to play more man. In an ideal world you probably want to play man every snap, but you have to mix in some of the zone. Looking at it the other way, when you have all eyes on the ball you have a better chance of intercepting the football when that happens. If you’re getting pressure and the ball is coming out on time, I would rather be in zone every time. We’ll just try to mix it up like we normally do.”
(On his relationship with Dallas Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli)
“Rod was at [USC], I was at Ohio State, of course you’re not supposed to get along. We’re about as different as you can imagine. When you come in as a new staff, you normally spend about three months with a roommate. Just so happened that we were roomed together. [We] found out that we had a lot in common. [We] created bond there – brotherly bond. I love him like I love my brother. That will never change. He’s a good football coach. There’s nothing like competing against your brother. You don’t want to beat anybody worse than you want to beat your brother. We know what they are going to bring to the table. It’s an important game for us. We won’t have a family reunion or anything like that this weekend though.”
(On what challenges Dallas’ offensive line presents)
“As big a challenge as there is. You said a gold standard. You go man-for-man across that line these are Pro Bowl, first-rounder, high pick – they have good football players there. I don’t think they’re going to go out and change their offensive line next year or any year coming up here soon, so it’s a challenge. On the other side of the football, you want to play against a line that’s touted that way. When our offensive line went against Houston [I] heard an awful lot about Houston having a great defensive front. You look forward to those types of challenges. For our defensive line, we haven’t played as well as we need to and as well as we will, but why not start it? You need your best this week and that’s what we plan on getting.”
(Opening Statement)
“Good afternoon everyone. [This is] a big game for us against the Dallas Cowboys. We need to play well on the defensive side of the ball and help our team to get a win, so big game for us.”
(On what linebacker Lavonte David has to do to improve)
“I don’t know if you can find a quote where I said he has to play better. I think Lavonte is doing some good things. What’s happening [is] we have another guy at the inside linebacker position who’s making some of those plays that we haven’t always had made at the mike linebacker position, at least not in my short time here. Some of those plays that Lavonte would have been asked to make in the past or has made in the past he hasn’t been making those plays, but for the most part, the plays that are designed for him to make, he’s making those plays. There are some tackles he needs to make. We had the one dropped interception, but by and large he has not been a disappointment, he’s done some good things. We always would like to see more splash plays from all of our players and the standard that he and Gerald [McCoy] are held to a higher one than the other players, but I’m not disappointed in his play. I’m just really pleased with what we’re getting from our other ‘backers – in particular our Mike – that kind of takes some of those plays that he would ordinarily be making, he doesn’t have to make now.”
(On limiting pre-snap penalties without showing defensive linemen’s get-off)
“You don’t want to mess with their get-off for sure, but those penalties they extend drives, make it difficult for you on defense. It’s first-and-10 all of a sudden it’s first-and-five or it’s third-and-five now it’s a first down. It’s a fine line. We want them to get off the football and attack the line of scrimmage, but offsides – they have hurt us. We’ve seen it the last two or three weeks. It’s something we are working on and trying to get fixed and hopefully this weekend it won’t show up, but we’re addressing it for sure.”
(On cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah)
“I think just going back to the offseason when we got him in training camp and had him going through some of the things that we put him through, he showed a great deal of poise for a rookie at the cornerback position, where you are going to be tested every day in training camp. He really never buckled, kept the same temperament and made plays throughout camp. We were conscious that he had some ability it was just a matter of how fast he would handle the speed of the game once we got to the preseason and played some games and he did a good job there. Now, with the up and down play on the outside and his consistency in practice, let’s give him a chance and see what he does, and he did a good job.”
(On signing former Dallas defensive tackle Henry Melton, cornerback Sterling Moore and linebacker Bruce Carter in the offseason and what has their transition been like playing in a similar defensive scheme)
“I think with Henry, because of the familiarity with what we do here – same defense that he played in in Chicago – it was a seamless transition for him and what he has brought to the table is an inside presence for us. [He’s] a guy that has accomplished a lot in his career as a defensive tackle. He has helped us with his pass rush – hasn’t gotten the numbers, but he’s had hurries that have helped us and helped us with some of the games that we’re trying to run inside. Sterling, his biggest contribution showed up on Sunday. That was big for us, the way he came in and competed. [He] did a good job for us at corner. Bruce, it’s been a matter of competition. We had him at the Mike linebacker position, which was not his cup of tea. He’s more of an outside ‘backer. Those guys have worked hard in their time here with us. They are contributing and we hope they will continue to contribute these next eight games in the regular season.”
(On if he is inclined to start Moore and Adjei-Barimah based on their play against New York or if he will choose the starters based on the match-ups from week to week)
“You would like to settle on two corners. That’s what you would like to be able to do and every week you know those are going to be your guys and how you tweak technique is how you do it, but you are doing it on those two guys. We’ve had a lot of different combinations out there in this first half of the season. Jude and Sterling did a good job for us, we’ll see how they do in practice this week. The ideal way is, ‘These are my two guys, let’s roll.’”
(On his familiarity with Dallas quarterback Matt Cassel and how does it benefit the defense)
“It’s a different system, different situation, but just understanding how he thinks a little bit and how he prepares. Hopefully it will help our guys, but at the end of the day, it’s what happens between the lines. We do have some idea of how he prepares, how he studies, what his strengths and weakness are. It’s a different cast, different system, so all those things weight in as well.”
(On at the beginning of the season if he thought the defense was going to carry this team because of the amount of young players on offense)
“No, not really. I have the mindset defensively, to dominate every time you’re out there on the field. We have the guys to do it. We just got to go out there and take care of business. There have been areas where we have been slacking here and there, but [it’s] small things that we can easily fix. Nobody around here is hanging their head or pouting. It’s an easy fix, that’s the good thing about it.”
(On how he fixes dropped interceptions and missed tackles)
“Holding myself accountable. Knowing guys depend on me to make plays and make those plays. I have to be harder on myself. I’m already hard on myself. I have to be even harder on myself knowing that’s not the guy I am.”
(On pre-snap and post-snap penalties)
“Pre-snap penalties can be an easy fix and also the post-snap penalties. You can’t fault guys for playing aggressive. They are just trying to finish. It’s an easy fix. We just have to be smart about it at the end of the day.”
(On the adjustment he has to make when facing a player like Dallas tight end Jason Witten)
“He’s a guy that gets open in sneaky ways. We have to be very conscious of that. We know that and in certain situations they like to go to him so guys on the field have to be real conscious of that.”
(On if he thought he, linebacker Lavonte David and the defense going to carry the team at the beginning of the season because of having so many young players on the offense)
“I don’t know if we felt like carry it, but with us being two of the best players on the team, obviously we have to carry our own weight. If you get voted as a captain then not just your teammates, but the organization is counting on you to play at a certain level. We always believed in our offense and what they are capable of doing. They showed signs of being a dominant offense in camp, it was just inconsistent. Now it’s starting to be more consistent and that’s why they are putting up the numbers and moving the ball like they’ve been doing lately.”
(On Dallas’ offensive line)
“The best. Yes, you can quote me on that. It’s the best offensive line in the league. They work so well together. Individually they are all talented, but what makes them so good is how tight-knit of a group they are. If one guy gets beat he’s never beat because there is always somebody helping him. That’s always a great thing for a running back or a quarterback – to have an offensive line of that caliber. For us this week there is definitely a sense of urgency. But, you have to look at it as an opportunity and experience. I’m sure people who play in the NBA one day when they retire, whether you may be in the Hall of Fame or al All-Star, whatever it is, you’re going to say, ‘Iplayed against Kobe Bryant. I played against LeBron James or whoever it may be. This is one of those offensive lines that comes across in a generation where you are like, ‘Man, I got to play against that group of guys.’ I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.”
(On correcting pre-snap penalties)
“Way too many. Discipline, stop guessing. Myself in general, I’ve been blessed with an ability to get off the ball. I don’t have to cheat the count. I don’t have to try and get an advantage on any offensive lineman in this league because I have the ability to move as soon as anything budges. I have the ability to get up the field in a hurry. It just comes with discipline. There’s no reason to cheat the count, especially when you know 32 of the teams in the NFL all go hard count of third downs. It’s just what happens. It’s how you check for blitzing or whatever it is. First and second down it may happen, but how you get better at that is more film study, knowing the situations and what team you’re are facing and when they like to hard count. Overall it’s just discipline. Cotton in your ears and move when the ball moves.”
(On former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez’s comment about Seferian-Jenkins being the next great tight end)
“I watch him all the time growing up and I’ve always been a huge fan of him and I’ve talked to him here and there. I met with him when we went to Atlanta and other things like that, so to get that praise from him is cool, but like I said, I want to get out there and play so we can stop talking about it and just see it.”
(On why he still hasn’t played in a game since injuring his shoulder)
“I’m doing my part, coaches are doing their part, everyone is doing their part, medical staff is doing their part. We have to make sure everyone is healthy and make sure it’s safe for people to go out there. I understand that people that people want to be out there and all that, but you have to make sure you are healthy and you can, first of all protect yourself, and then protect you teammates. I’m not going to go out there if I can’t protect myself and can’t protect my teammates.”
(On Dallas’ defense)
“The defensive coordinator was here at point, [Rod] Marinelli. He does a lot of similar things that we do on our defense. Watching them, they have guys that are flying around. Obviously they have Greg Hardy, a great defensive end, they have [DeMarcus Lawrence], they have [Jeremy Mincey], they have great guys. The defensive line plays at a high level. I don’t know if Sean Lee is playing this week, but [he’s] another guy that plays at a high level that really commands the defense. Brandon Carr – I can go on. There are great players all of over the field and we’re going to do our job schematically and do our job on the field and take care of opportunities when they presented them to ourselves. 

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