That's perfectly fine with the Buccaneers, who know they have plenty for which to be thankful. Quarterback
“I think, in life, it’d have to be my family, my friends, my girlfriend, everyone that helped me grow and have a lot of good memories," said Glennon when asked what he was thankful for on Wednesday. "To be in the opportunity that I am [in], to play the sport I dreamed of growing up, to play for a living, is pretty amazing and just to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, there’s definitely a lot to be thankful for. There’s probably a lot more to be thankful for than just that, but football-related and family-related, that’s what means the most to me.”
Giving thanks wasn't the only reason the Buccaneers opened up on Wednesday. Below are some more thoughts from the Tampa Bay locker room on the day before Thanksgiving.
QB Mike Glennon
(On winning NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month)
“I was excited, obviously, but the truth is, that whole month, our run game’s been going, our offensive line’s been playing really well and our receivers have done really well, so it’s great to get the award, but it really was kind of the whole offense [that] helped contribute to that.”
(On what has led him to be successful this early in his career)
“I think the main thing is my preparation and just being consistent with it. They always talk about the rookies hitting that wall. I’ve constantly focused on, every day, not letting myself get distracted, staying the course, sticking to what I did the first week I was a starter, and staying fresh. On top of that, I think what I had done before I got here, my foundation with my college, with my coaches, and then also just the players around me have been a big help. They’ve help make a lot of plays for me and they’ve also just been – I enjoy walking into that huddle because I know they’re going to do whatever they can to help me succeed as well.”
(On the difference in the team since the last time they faced Carolina)
“I think we’re playing much better now than we were then. It seems like there’s always guys going down on our team but someone always steps up. I think, last week, we showed that we can play with and without some people, and no matter who’s in the game, we’re all playing together, we’re all playing hard, not that we weren’t before, but we’re just playing better and playing with confidence. When you play better, you play with confidence, the results follow.”
(On if he expected to succeed this quickly)
“I envisioned having success right away. That’s kind of how I visualize things, as playing well, but you don’t know until you do it. If you asked me last year, I would say I visualize it, but you kind of always visualize success and all that. I need to keep preparing well though. There’s still five games left in the season. We’re playing against one of the top defenses in the league right now, so I’m going to keep my head down and just keep working.”
(On the defense forcing turnovers)
“I think it’s been huge, our defense giving us short field, turning the ball over. When you have a five to nothing turnover margin, the game, you would think, wouldn’t even be close. They’ve been doing a great job helping out our offense. They’ve been scoring touchdowns. When your defense is playing so well, in the back of your mind, you know it’s not worth the risk of maybe turning the ball over, throwing the ball in there, because just punt the ball away and our defense will, who knows, they might get us the ball back right away like they did many times in that game last week. It really has been a full team playing well, and I think that gives the offense confidence to know that we can punt the ball away and be just fine.”
(On if he has a chip on his shoulder)
“I think there’s a little bit of me that has that little kind of edge to me that still gives a little fire in me, but I like to look at it in a positive way – I want to prove that the Bucs made the right decision. I want to do it for my coaches that believed in me and for the players on my team. Of course there is that little bit of me that is still [that way], but, overall, it’s more about proving those that believed in me right than proving those that didn’t believe in me wrong.”
(On if the game has slowed down for him)
“I think it has, but every week, it seems every defense kind of has their strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes a strength might be flying upfield. Last week, it was kind of a different something that I hadn’t played with; those guys in the middle [made it so] everything was just on my lap a little more than it has [been]. Every week, it seems like there’s something new. Sometimes those guys off the edge are really fast or the secondary, whatever it is, but I think it has but I’m still getting used to different flavors of defenses.”
(On what it means to him to have the support of Head Coach Greg Schiano)
“Right from the get-go, right when that decision was made, he said, ‘You’re our guy and you’re our guy going forward.’ I knew that I had to play well, but at the same time, he was sticking with me, and that gave me confidence in myself that they’re behind me , this team’s behind me and there’s no reason to worry about anything else. We do have a great relationship, and he’s helped in my development here and just [with] little things. It’s been great so far to know that he and the rest of the coaching staff have a lot of confidence in me.”
(On what has stood out to him as most important from Coach Schiano’s teachings)
“I think just the importance of [protecting] the football. You always hear how important the turnover margin is, but I think Coach Schiano really made it clear to me how important it is to all teams but specifically [to] how he wants his teams to be [run]. Last year, in college, or just in college in general, I turned the ball over a little bit more – maybe I was trying to make too many plays – but now, it’s ingrained in me to not try to win it all on one play. I think that mindset has helped me play, for the most part, turnover free.”
(On electing to take a sack in the Detroit game to keep the clock running rather than throw the ball away as he did toward the end of the game against Miami)
“You’d be amazed how much can go through your head in that quick a time, but it was all in the back of my head and my instinct told me to do that, so that’s what I did.”
LB Lavonte David
(On if getting national recognition is important to him)
“No, not really. I look at it as I’m just playing the game I love, just playing the game of football. I love to play. I go out there and try to have fun as much fun as I can. When things like [winning Defensive Player of the Week] happen, it goes to show that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”
(On what kind of pressure Carolina quarterback Cam Newton puts on a defense)
“Obviously, he’s a good runner, once he breaks contain out of the pocket. He has a great strong arm and he’s taking care of the football. He’s got great game management and he knows how to find his weapons.”
(On if he thinks Newton runs less than he did last season)
“Yeah I think so. He’s got less designed runs for him because his players, his teammates, are doing their job. At first, they were putting a lot of pressure on him, he was trying to make plays on his own but now, everybody’s making plays, so it’s less pressure on him now.”
“[I] respect him even more. Since day one, we respected him, we knew he was a great corner. He won the Thorpe Award in college so we knew he was a lock down-caliber corner. So when his number got called, he stepped up to the plate, didn’t have any fear in his eyes, he was ready for it he was ready for the challenge. That’s what you come to the National Football League for, to take on the best players.”
(On how he feels)
"I'm good to go, man. I'm good."
(On not playing last week)
"It was just to be safe. I did what they told me but I'm ready to go now so I'm just moving forward."
(On missing a game for the first time as a pro)
"Oh man, it was hard. Watching the game at the house, I had to let everybody know: Unless you're going to be completely engaged, you need to get out. It was tough sitting at the house. My Dad and everybody in my family was there and we were all celebrating, chest-bumping. It was one of the toughest things to do, sit there and watch, but I'm glad the guys pulled it out."
(On the performance by the Bucs' defense)
"It was great. They were playing great defense. It was a great team effort. There was a lot of celebrating going on in the Foster house, with Lavonte [David] and [Keith] Tandy [making plays]. I felt like was out there with them. It's great to be back."
(On struggling against Carolina last time around and what's different now)
"Both teams are playing at a high level. I feel like we both are getting better, so it's going to be a great game. It's a divisional opponent, at their house, so I'm excited. We just have to go out there and execute and play hard. It's going to be a big-time game."
(On Cam Newton being tough to stop)
"It's exciting. He's a big-time competitor who makes a lot of plays with his arm and his feet. You've got to love that challenge, going down there to play against a great team. I'm excited. This is what you dream about as a little kid, playing in a big game against a great quarterback. It's going to be fun."
(On trying to contain Cam Newton better in this game)
"We've just got to execute. He's a great athlete so he's going to make plays, but you've just got to limit those plays. Keep him in the pocket. Force him to make throws down the field. Don't let him escape with his feet and make throws outside the pocket. Just keep him in there and try to contain Cam Newton."
(On how frustrating it was to sit out a game)
"It was real frustrating to be away from the team. And I didn't know the extent of being suspended. You couldn't be around the building, you couldn't have any contact with the coaches. I couldn't even be in the training room to get my body right. That was kind of a surprise to me."
(On if it was worse than sitting out a game due to injury)
"Yeah it was, actually At least sitting at a game I get to see what's going on, I get to be with the team and sit in meetings. Being suspended is nothing like that. It’s not a good taste."
(On watching young players step up on defense Sunday)
"It was vital. Those guys did a good job of just bowing up and playing football. It was no surprise to me how they played. Young guys stepped up. [Cornerback] Johnthan Banks stepped up, [cornerback]
(On if he wants another shot at Carolina like
"Definitely. One, I didn't play that game, either. I've been looking forward to this game, and I feel what Gerald is saying. We left a lot out there. We didn't play good as a defense. We let some things slip through, some big plays, and I think we can eliminate that if we just focus in on what we have to do. We're playing good football right now – we've [won] three straight and we're getting a lot of turnovers. That's good."