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28 November 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Friday, November 28, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: The Buccaneers have won each of their past six meetings against the Bengals and, with a win on Sunday, will set a new franchise record for most consecutive victories over an opponent. A win on Sunday would also bring the Tampa Bay’s all-time winning percentage vs. Cincinnati to .727, the highest mark in franchise history. The team’s current mark of .700 against the Bengals is tied for the best against an opponent in team history (Buffalo Bills).
                 
Below is a brief selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
                       
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Linebacker Lavonte David
               
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“Injury list: Evan Dietrich-Smith [has] some flu-type symptoms, so he’s been sick – kind of resting him up to try to get him as well as possible as soon as possible; Clinton McDonald has a hamstring injury still, which is getting better; Brandon Myers; Luke Stocker; Dashon Goldson is a new guy that we put on the list also – he’s sick, so we’ve got a couple of our players that have been kind of down under the weather a little bit. Hopefully they’ll be good to go. Beyond that, everybody at least practiced on a limited basis. Major Wright was even listed as full today. Few more guys than we would like on the injury list this time, but hopefully by game time we’ll be able to choose from all of them.”
 
(On if he has ruled anybody out for Sunday’s game)
“No. Everybody is kind of up right now. We will truly have game-time decisions.”
 
(On how much of a boost it is to the defense to have linebacker Lavonte David back out at practice)
“Quite a bit. Best outside linebacker in ball out there running around, getting closer to being full speed – that’s a good thing. Hamstrings, you have to be careful with them though. You can feel a lot better and you stop having pain, but you’re not quite there yet. Lavonte is close and that is definitely a big boost for our defense.”
 
(On what he has seen this week in practice from tight ends Cameron Brate and D.J. Williams)
“Haven’t seen a lot from D.J. Williams because, of course, he just got here. But Cameron Brate, we’ve seen a lot from him. There’s a reason why we’ve had him on our practice squad the entire time – has good hands, smart guy, good speed. He’s young still, but we like a lot of things about him. And that’s what you have guys on the practice [squad] for, in case – and not that that’s saying an awful lot; hopefully we’ll be able to choose from all of them. But tight end is a position traditionally that it’s just tough to have everybody throughout the course of a year. You need guys ready to go.”
 
(On the season defensive tackle Akeem Spence has had and if he expects him to have a bigger role in the defense)
“We’ve been dressing eight defense linemen for a good period of time now and all of them play. But Akeem Spence, if we were dressing seven, he’s a big part of what we’ve been doing. We feel very comfortable with him playing either the nose or the three technique position because of that.”
 
(On the importance of the opportunity to notch the first home win of the season)
“It’s very important. [To be through Week 12] and not have a home win is just so disappointing. So, yes, you’re right, we want to win every game – home, away. There’s certain opponents each week that you want to win for certain reasons. But yes, Raymond James Stadium, for us to be able to get a win is very important – that in itself, and, of course, you look at the importance of this game as a whole too.”
 
(On if center Evan Dietrich-Smith is unable to play on Sunday, who would back up offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey as the third-string center)
“We have some good options at that position. You’re always thinking ahead. At every position on our football team, we’ll have somebody that’s playing and we’ll have a backup that we feel pretty confident with – their abilities to come in and keep the train rolling if it calls for that.”
 
(On if Gilkey can play multiple positions on the offensive line)
“Normally, we dress seven guys. Of course, Gilkey has been the guy inside – whether it be center or guard – and normally we have one swing tackle. But from there, with your football team, you always have three guys that can snap the football. There’s some things that you work on, maybe not as much. So we have three guys that we’ve been able to see snap the ball.”
 
(On what gives him confidence this week that the team will come together and get this victory)
“I think if you just stay the course, that’s normally the experience for me as much as anything. You don’t have a lot of options, but experience tells me that if you keep doing things the right way, eventually, you get over the hump, and I’ve seen our team improve in so many areas. And at periods of time, we have played really good football. We haven’t been able to put together 60 minutes as often as we need to. So I’m going on what I see on the practice field and what I see within the league. There are some teams that are going to get hot right now that’s going to really keep it going through the playoffs. Believe me, we had planned on peaking a little bit earlier, but hopefully we saved it until now.”
 
(On running back Bobby Rainey being the next return specialist)
“I don’t have to answer an awful lot because – what did you say? You said Bobby Rainey was back there fielding some punts, something that he’s been doing throughout – I heard that part right, right? I’m just going to go on what you said. He’s been doing that and this week he was back fielding some punts, doing what he’s been doing throughout. At every position, we have someone that we feel comfortable starting and we have a backup at every position on our football team. Sunday I feel pretty confident with who we’re going to put out there.”
 
(On how Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton and inconsistent quarterback play)
“You can put Andy or you can put a lot of guys in that statement right there, sometimes. Seriously though and I think for the most part though I’ve seen more of his good games though. That’s why he got a big contract and that’s why their franchise is totally behind him. From high school, I’ve followed his career a long time being a Texas guy. He makes good decisions, he can throw the ball, he’s mobile enough to keep plays alive and of course he has some good targets to throw the ball to. He’s one of the better quarterbacks we’ve played this year as we see it.”
 
(On being aware of Dalton playing in high school)
“Guys from Texas keep up with guys from Texas. We’re just kind of in that club a little bit. But Dalton is a good football player and just like quite a few of their guys Marvin Lewis’s teams play a certain way and it’s going to be a big challenge for our group.”
 
LINEBACKER LAVONTE DAVID
 
(On he feels and if he will play Sunday)
“I’m feeling good and I feel real confident about Sunday. We’re just working right now and when Sunday gets here we’ll see how it goes and we’ll see what the verdict is.”
 
(On how difficult it was to sit out this past Sunday)
“It was hard – very hard. Just sitting out for the first time since ever, it was real tough for me. Being a competitor, I want to go out there and compete with my teammates – it was tough. I had to talk with my mom and she just helped me realize things better and I was able to cope with it.”
 
(On what the difference is for the improvement of the defense)
“It’s just everybody playing together, everybody holding each other accountable and guys just getting back into their playbooks and getting back to the basics. Everyone is doing what we’re supposed to do and that’s helping out a lot.”
 
(On the last time he sat out a game and why)
“High school, it was an ankle. We were playing a not so-good-team and they didn’t want to risk it.” 
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