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24 December 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Thursday, December 24, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season, the Buccaneers have had 61 starts by rookies, the most in the NFL.
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“Injury list is getting better, but did not practice today: Kourtnei Brown, Vincent Jackson and Akeem Spence haven’t done anything all week so you kind of know how that goes a little bit. Chris Conte has been able to do a little bit more. Logan Mankins was able to do quite a bit today. Bruce Carter has practiced full all week as [has] George Johnson and, of course, Gerald McCoy, so [we’re] in pretty good shape this late in the year. Couple of game-time decisions we’ll have, but we can’t complain with the amount of guys we have on our list. We know how important the game is, last home game. Everybody is celebrating. One way to celebrate is for your favorite team to win on Sunday.”
 
(On if safety Chris Conte was a limited participant in practice today)
“Yes, he’s been limited really all week. Knee. Again, limited, he’s been able to do some things, we’ll see.”
 
(On this Sunday’s game being a sellout)
“Sounds good. Last game [at home], we’re a better football team, we’ve been talking about that. We want to leave a good taste in our fans’ mouth and a team like Chicago travels well, that’s why it’s important for us to play well early on and give our fans something to be excited about the entire game.”
 
(On getting off to a fast start)
“It is a big mountain to climb [trailing an opponent early in the game] for us. It’s been like that, I think, throughout the league you can say that probably. It’s about that start. No reason why we shouldn’t start well. I know our guys are excited. When you get to your last home game you want to play your best ball and we practiced that way so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”
 
(On establishing the run game)
“Yes, I just know what we like to do and not like to do, that’s how we win. You have to establish the way you want to win football games and I think we’re on record now on how we want to do it. We’re committed to the run. We have a great running back who has had an outstanding year. Our [offensive] line takes that personally and there are so many other things for us to do. One area that we need to improve, though, is taking the football away. I’m going to go to the defensive side. That will help us start an awful lot.”
 
(On slow starts affecting the team’s offensive balance)
“Yes, the times when we have been criticized it’s because of that. When you get behind sometimes you have to get away from that balance that you would like. Again, we’re going to go back to that start so we can continue to play Tampa Bay Buccaneers style of ball, the way we want to do it.”
 
(On if they would be smart journalists by saying that Bruce Carter will be the starting middle linebacker on Sunday)
“You all are smart journalists. I try not to predict too much. I think we know each other well enough, we don’t have to communicate an awful lot for you all to figure out exactly what direction we’re going to go in, who’s going to play and all that.”
 
(On if he is excited for Christmas)
“Very much so. All holidays, but Christmas is special, especially when you have all your family with you, which we have. I’m excited about seeing the kids, grandkids all of that. Most years you don’t get a chance. Christmas is another day, we have practice, you have to keep the routine going, but to be able to get the game plan in for the week and it also is helping [the media] too. You can spend time with your families so I think everybody is happy on this and to answer your question, yes, I’m looking forward to spending time with [my family].
 
(On watching film this week)
“We’ll I’m not going to watch film an awful lot tomorrow, but I started early and watched a lot. There’s time on the other end. We’ll be as prepared this week as we ever have been.”
 
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