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Buccaneer Coaches Quotes, Nov. 20

Posted Nov 20, 2013

S Dashon Goldson has changed his approach to the game significantly since some early-season personal fouls, but Head Coach Greg Schiano says the Bucs still need to go further to adapt to today's rules

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened their Detroit practice week on Wednesday without the services of starting free safety Dashon Goldson, who is serving a one-game suspension for a hit on Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White on Sunday. Head Coach Greg Schiano says that significant absence this weekend will be the result of an insufficient adaptation to the rules of the NFL in 2013.

"I think if you ask any defensive player it’s getting more and more difficult to play defense in the National Football League, but as I stated earlier that is the way it’s going to be and it’s to protect the game and to protect the players," said Schiano. "We need to modify how we do things and those who do it quickest are going to have the most success. As evidenced, we’re missing a valuable player because we didn’t quite adapt quickly enough.”

-- The Buccaneers are still working on adapting to the defensive rules of today's NFL
When Goldson returns to the team next week, Schiano will continue to work with the All-Pro safety to help him make the necessary changes. Schiano said that Goldson has already made significant alterations to his game since he received several fines for personal fouls earlier in 2013.

"Dashon is a great guy to have on your football team, he’s a great teammate, and he’s a great guy to coach," said Schiano. "We’ve just got to get that fixed, we’ve got to get that adjusted. Again you’ve got to look at – history I think is the biggest culprit in this instance.”

Goldson's absence wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday. Below are some additional thoughts from Schiano and Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“Good workout today, obviously a very good Detroit team we’re preparing for, but the guys practiced hard. We have a loss, certainly a big loss with [safety] Dashon [Goldson] not being able to play with the suspension, but that’s the way it is. It’s no different than if he were injured, we’ve got to find a way to rise up. We’ve got quite a few guys injured and guys are working through it, guys are taking advantage of their opportunities and that’s what I expect to happen in the absence of Dashon. [Safety] Keith Tandy will move into the starting role, we have some other guys that can go in there and play, but Keith will assume that position and we have confidence that he’ll play well. Some injury stuff – [cornerback] John Banks his shoulder is feeling better, but he was limited today; [linebacker] Mason Foster with the head, concussion, he did not participate today. He is still undergoing observation and tests. Other than that I think that’s kind of the injury front. It was a good day, good beginning, first [and] second-down stuff, but like I said they’re a huge challenge to defend and their front seven is as physical as we’ve played against.”

(On being disappointed by Goldson’s suspension and how critical it is to have him in the lineup)
“I think Dashon understands that, I know he does. It is what it is, it happened, you’ve got to look at it and determine what you believe, what you think it is, what I think it is, what Dashon thinks it is; but the reality is he got called for it and he got suspended for it and a lot of that has to do – I think – with his history. We just have to adjust better than we have. I thought he did make huge adjustments to his game since the last fine and suspension. This one they decided it was egregious enough to be suspended, so that’s what we’re living with.”

(On if they had concerns about Goldson’s history of helmet-to-helmet hits before signing him)
“It’s definitely something we spoke about. I think a couple of things have occurred, right? The rules of the game are forever adjusting and they’ve adjusted this year in 2013 more than they have in the past and that’s fine. I understand, I get the big picture, and we all want this game to keep moving forward. It’s the best game in the world and we don’t want to let it get jeopardized by something that is going on. The adjustment by the league, I understand it, we have to play within those rules, we have done a good job in a lot of ways doing that, but not in this instance.”

(On how the secondary will manage with the loss of Goldson and if losing him is a loss in experience)
“Well it is, but we do have guys that do have experience though with [cornerback] Darrelle Revis in there, he’s going to carry a big role and Keith Tandy is a leader, he’s leader in that rookie class, he’s a very smart football player, we have all the confidence in the world that he’ll step up like he did in the past and play well. We played two and a half games without Dashon and now we’re going to have to play another one.”

(On if he’s noticed a rising in the team’s confidence)
“There may very well be, but you’re right in the dog days of the season right now. We’re [in] Week 11, this is where guys – this is the gut check time. I think what we do is we go out and our guys have worked extremely hard every week and today was no exception. We had pads on for half the practice and we took them off at halftime, but the half we were in them, we were physical and guys did what they were supposed to do and I can’t ask for more than that.”

(On quarterback Mike Glennon’s decision making and making the right calls on the field)
“Well he does and I think it’s all a product of first off with his preparation. There’s very few players in the National Football League that work as hard as this kid does and I can attest to that because I see when he’s here, I see when he gets here and I see when he leaves and it’s not hanging around the players’ lounge time. It starts with his preparation, he’s very serious about what he’s doing. He’s been trained well, as I’ve said many times, in college where he knows how to read things out and the job [quarterbacks] Coach McNulty and [offensive coordinator] Coach Sullivan are doing with him, teaching him the offense and making things very clear and Mike does what we ask him to do. That’s a huge plus for Mike.”

(On Glennon’s knowledge of defenses being better than most rookies)
“I do think so, but I think he did have a good background, he understood defenses, but I think he just works and has worked since he got here incredibly hard. He came in here and approached it – Early in his time here, we talked about how hard you have to work to be an NFL quarterback and his question was ‘What do I do?’ He was very open about it ‘Well what does that mean?’ Whatever we told him to do he’s done. It’s gratifying as a coach.”

(On the matchup between Revis and Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson)
“We’re going to do several different things, because I don’t think you’ll do one thing, but you’re talking about two of the best that ever played their position in all of football. The fan in me has to step away and say ‘we have to make sure we do everything we can to put our eleven guys, in the best position to defend their whole offense. And certainly Calvin is a huge part of their offense, huge, but they have other weapons. If it was just Calvin, that wouldn’t be easy, but it would be easier; but you’re talking about [running back] Reggie Bush, you’re talking about their tight ends, their quarterback is outstanding. If you just look at the stats, they’re top ten in every major category, almost. You can be top ten in a few, but when you’re in every major category you’re pretty darn good.”

(On the comparison between defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy)
“They’re both great players in their own way, but you’re right they are a little bit different in their styles and their schemes are a little different that they play in. I think the thing you can say is that they both thrive in their scheme. I think they’re suited – Suh’s a little bit bigger probably, I don’t know the exact numbers, Gerald may move a little bit better this way, but again. you’re really picking at there. They’re two elite players in the National Football League at their position.”

(On McCoy’s performance this season and if he has improved from last season)
“I think so. I think we have a lot of football left to play too. I think Gerald is – we talked about him coming off the injury two years ago, he had dominating get off and where would that take him and he had a really good year a year ago. Now he’s taking that and incorporating that into different things, different techniques, his game has grown and I think his mental approach has grown as well, he keeps getting better. That’s the hard thing really for talented guys, to keep pressing themselves to get better, but he does.”

(On running back Bobby Rainey’s recent success and winning Player of the Week)
“That’s cool, really good for him. Here’s a kid who is humble, just trying to do his job, but I think that award goes to the entire offensive line. You look at what they’ve done since Seattle, that was [running back] Mike James, then Mike James and Bobby Rainey and [running back] Brian Leonard, and then this past game it’s Brian Leonard and obviously Bobby Rainey. The constant is that offensive line and I think Bobby would be the first one to tell you that, but in the same token Bobby really has a good feel for this run game and we need him to because that’s who we are.”

(On what makes it difficult to sack Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford)
“He knows where he wants to go with the ball, they have a good offensive system, he’s got good targets that he’s throwing to that get open. As we always talk about pass-coverage and pass-rush they always go hand-in-hand, unless a guy just whips a guy right at the point and gets to the quarterback immediately. They have guys that can get open. A big challenge of ours is going to be able to cover guys long enough to give our d-line a chance to get there. The second thing is their offensive line is good, really good. This may be the best o-line that we’ve faced all year.”

(On if Detroit is the best big play team that Tampa Bay has faced this season)
“Yeah, I do think they’re probably the best. When Stafford scrambles, he is throwing the ball downtown and he’s got guys that can go get it. If in fact he does escape the pocket, we need to make sure we are tightly on our guys. Even then, you watch plays that you throw it up to Johnson, there’s three guys all around him, he just jumps up and catches it amongst the three. Give me the coaching point for that, but yeah we understand the significance of the challenge defensively and I think it’s going to be mixing up the schemes, mixing up the matchups, mixing up the pass-rush, mixing up everything and playing our rear-ends off. We’re excited about the challenge.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan

(On Mike Glennon’s decision making)
“There’s no question, you look back at the previous game – a lot of the things that happened, first and foremost, was protecting the football and making those decisions. Mike played a key part and I think [there’s] really a few reasons [for that]. He is a very mature young man, from the day he got here he was really just focused and hangs on every word, with regards to scheme and with regard to situations and make the right decisions. Very rarely have we seen him, in anything, make a repeated mistake. There’s a lot to learn, there’s always going to be lots of mistakes that are out there, it’s such a difficult and important position he plays. But I think it’s a credit to, I think he’s very mature, he’s very focused, he works extremely hard and just has a very good football IQ. I think also there’s a steadiness about him. He doesn’t let himself get too high or too low, he’s very even-keeled. I think when someone has that perspective, particularly as a quarterback, they’re able to remove themselves enough to go ahead in between series as continued part of his preparation to go ahead and focus and make those right decisions. We’re very, very pleased with where he’s at with regards to decision making and a lot of other areas as well.”

(On Glennon’s progress and if it can continue)
“I think it can, I certainly hope it can and we’re going to do everything we can to keep moving him in that direction. I think ultimately, there comes a time when once the quarterback has a mastery, if you will, of the offense, where it’s no longer calling the formation having to visualize it, no longer having to visualize where the play comes in. This is a guy that, as soon as we come up with a game plan, he gets the playlist and the formations and so forth sent on his iPad and he already has them memorized before he walks into the building on Wednesday, before today’s practice, so he’s not thinking it out, [he] just rattles it out. We had everyone’s favorite crowd noise out there and he’s able to focus on that so that’s one less thing. He’s not memorizing how to call, he’s really already taking the next step to understand the intent of the play, the issues that could occur on the play, and the things that have to change or get us out of the play. So he really is at an advanced level as far as that goes. That, I think, enables him to not necessarily have to process some of the basic issues as much as ‘Ok, how do I take it to the next step and then really be in a position to make those good decisions?’ So he’s certainly got a great foundation. I think as he continues to learn and grow and improve and just make the types of decisions in terms of the next step being where ‘Alright, the pocket collapses or I’m extending the play, keeping the eyes down field and hitting one of those open targets.’ Certainly there’s a time where he has to throw it away or you have to tuck and go. We’ve talked about that here a couple of times before and we’re certainly working on it out there, his ability to make some plays as far as extending the pass play.”

(On if Glennon’s deep ball accuracy can improve)
“I think it can be improved upon, it can be learned. I think there is a lot of merit to the thought process, the opinion that ‘hey guys can either throw deep or they can’t.’ Mike can throw deep. His arm is strong enough to get that stock post or that sail post 45 to 50 yards on the near hash. I think one of the ways that we have to improve on that is he has to get the timing down and he’s got to do it live out there on a Wednesday with [wide receiver] Vincent Jackson, which we did today and did the previous week. I think a part of it is also him being able to have the time to be able to step up. Some cases, it might not be obvious to the naked eye initially and maybe when you go back on the tape it’s not as clean, but there are other times where the quarterback can’t quite follow through if there’s any type of pressure or the pocket’s collapsing. To answer your question, I do think it can be improved upon, I think it comes through practice and actually doing it live, it comes through looking at the tape and just visualizing and knowing where the reception areas are and we have those ranges, we talk about where this pass should – if we put a dot out on the field, the ball should land somewhere within three to four yards [of it]. So you’re literally throwing to the spot and now it’s up to the receiver to get to that spot and it’s up to the quarterback to trust that he’s going to get there. You have to have the physical talent and ability, I think first and foremost, to be able to do it, which he does. There is the repetition to get that muscle memory and to get in coordination with the receivers and then I think also just the extra studying and really just understanding the anticipation of where it’s going to be. I think that we’ve had some success and obviously a great catch by Vincent in both instances but I think the more we do it the more comfortable he’s going to be and we’re really excited about that aspect of our game.”

(On backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky helping Glennon)
“Dan’s a consummate professional. This guy, he works extremely hard, he’s right there with Mike as a veteran voice, as someone to go ahead and bounce ideas off of and he will constantly be sitting beside him at practice or at the game; I’ll see those two talking at their locker, right before the game, and he’s going over the call sheet with Mike and quizzing him and just he really works very well with Mike and also with John McNulty, our quarterback coach, and with the rest of our coaches. [We’re] so fortunate that he’s here because he’s a valuable resource and, again, great attitude and Mike’s far enough too at this point, he’s got a few starts under his belt so he’s not too shy to say ‘Hey, I don’t quite understand this.’ He’s not just going to sit there and just nod his head if it’s something he’s not quite clear upon. But Dan is certainly someone else who, as far as with the discussion if something comes out that is not clean, if there’s an issue, if there is a grey area at all, he makes sure that we’re all seeing things through the same set of eyes.”

(On running back Bobby Rainey and if he’s surprised by Rainey’s success)
“Pleasantly, I’m surprised. I don’t know how you answer that, it’s kind of like ‘Well, if I’m surprised, then it’s like I didn’t think he had much and if I say I wasn’t surprised, then it’s like I think I knew it all.’ I’m just happy that he’s here and I think he’s – from the day he walked in, had a humility and yet also a confidence. I think I addressed it before where it wasn’t an arrogance but just someone you felt was going to get it, he worked extremely hard. [Running backs coach] Earnest Byner, I’ll say it again, has just done a phenomenal job with our backs since he’s been here and certainly Bobby has hung onto every word and has learned what we want to do. I think there are certain things that we’ve been trying to do in the run game that we talked before about, kind of like a menu at a restaurant; we have a lot of things on the menu and we might have a certain chef special that we want to feature a little more than others. Some of those are ones that are well suited for him, someone with his vision, his ability to slash. [He’s] just a great kid, so proud of him, of what he was able to accomplish in getting this recent award being the player of the week and so excited about him moving forward for us.”

(On the offensive line)
“I think it’s no mistake when we talk about the great job that the line has done. There’s no question that they have really taken and accepted the challenge and in some very difficult circumstances and certainly, what’s coming up this Sunday will be as difficult as it gets, in terms of a commitment to run football. One of the things that has helped is the continuity that we’ve had in having those same five people in those same five spots and being able to go through in a practice week and work the calls, work the communications, check, meet and talk about it afterwards. [Guard/tackle] Jamon [Meredith] is a tough, tough guy, hungry, like you’ve said. He got rolled up pretty good there in our game on Sunday and fought through it and came right back. Fortunately he did because he’s made some good plays for us and we’re really counting on him, particularly this Sunday with the great tackles that Detroit has.”

(On why it took so long to get Meredith in the lineup)
“It’s hard to say, there are so many factors that come into play. You take into account well, what’s exactly the situation with [guard] Carl [Nicks], in other words, where he was gone and all of a sudden he’s back and then the issue that arose there and just trying to find the right combination. You look at some other different type of options and it’s hard to say exactly what, to answer your question, took us so long, so to speak. But I think that the important thing is if we can continue to work the way we’ve been working and prepare the way we’ve been preparing and stay healthy to keep those same five guys, that’s going to give us the best chance to be successful in the future.”

(On if Rainey’s size is an advantage and if it is something that the team has tried to capitalize on)
“Yes and no. I think that you can also have some of that size and yet not have the vision, not have the cutting ability that he does, so it certainly goes hand in hand. There’s no mistake, you look at the tape, no disputing the fact that he does do – there’s a patience when there needs to be a patience and there’s an acceleration when there needs to be an acceleration. There’s really a combination, I guess. He makes the most of it, he makes the most of all the things that he has and, again, just a great job. Really, one thing just to point out too, just to recognize that all in the long touchdown run last week, [wide receivers] Vincent Jackson and Tiquan Underwood and [tight end] Tom Crabtree are making some key blocks at the second level. That’s a heck of a play, it’s going to be a positive play and it’s a great job by the line and certainly by [fullback/tight end] Erik Lorig leading up in there on to the linebacker. It’s just gratifying to see that the receivers are doing some of those things down the field and, conversely, it was very gratifying to see the line, the protection that we had, that Mike was able to have to go ahead and get some of those down field shots all coming together. But, again, just to answer your question in regards to Bobby, probably a combination of the two.”