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Buccaneer Quotes, Dec. 16

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Tampa Bay players will try to bounce back quickly from the disappointment of Sunday's loss in order to finish the season strong with two road games…And other discussions

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 33-14, on Sunday, a game they thought they had an excellent chance of winning if they could turn it into a close fourth-quarter battle. They managed to do so, scoring on the first play of the final period to pull within one score at 20-14, but San Francisco controlled the rest of the game.

That was obviously disappointing for the Buccaneers, perhaps a tougher loss to swallow than some of the others in 2013 because the team felt it had put itself in position to pull off an upset of the defending conference champs. Head Coach Greg Schiano felt the disappointment, knowing how hard his players had worked during the previous week, but wanted to make sure that it didn't affect the team during the final two weeks of the season…at least not negatively.

"I feel we have to use this to fuel our fire going forward this week because it’s going to be a huge test going on the road," said Schiano, whose team will finish the 2013 campaign on the road in St. Louis and New Orleans. "Our guys really put a lot into this preparation for this game, we watched it, we’ve got to flush it now and we have to move forward or otherwise the 49ers will get us twice and we can’t let that happen."

-- Rookie DE W. Gholston says things are starting to click after an adjustment period to the NFL
Players and coaches held meetings on Monday and reviewed the tape of Sunday's game, and the players will have the day off on Tuesday. They'll return to work on Wednesday and at that time they wanted to be completely focused on a St. Louis team that just took down the top team in the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints, 27-16.

“It hurts," said tackle Demar Dotson of Sunday's loss. "I still have that feeling in my stomach because I think that we prepared all week and worked all week and we had a good game plan going into that football game. To come [up] short, it hurts, but it’s a part of the game. It’s a part of life so we’ve got to put it aside because we have another game to play. We can’t let the San Francisco game carry into the St. Louis game.”

Moving on to the next opponent wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buc Place on Monday. Below are some additional thoughts from Buccaneer coaches and players.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“After having a chance to study the tape, several of the same feelings that I had last night – really disappointing because in our preparation we kind of scripted out how we thought we had an opportunity to win this football game. I’m really proud of our guys because it didn’t exactly come off the first half when we were down 17-0, that wasn’t exactly the script, but making it an opportunity where we could win the game in the fourth quarter or at least have the opportunity to. Our guys battled back, that two minute drive before the half, I thought was a critical score, and then cutting it to a 20-14 – being in that position until that third-and-12 play – but we were unable to get it done against the defending NFC Champs, one of the healthiest best teams, at least in our conference, and they’re kind of hitting stride right now. I’m not happy by any means by with by what the outcome was, but at the same token I thought there was a lot of positives in the way they played. We just didn’t quite have enough to get the job done.”

(On one of the positives being the two-minute offense)
“Yeah and just the way he stood in there versus pressure. One of the things that I talked to him about was there are times where you have to use your 'escapability,' which is better I think than people give him credit for, but there’s other times you just need to hang in the pocket and trust the protection. The hard thing for a quarterback is sometimes you have to trust something that maybe didn’t deserve it because maybe the play before because the play before it you got whacked, but you have too otherwise you can’t be effective. I thought he did a good job of that, he threw a few balls right at the last second that you could, yet he did escape and made some throws as well. Again, anything that I say can and will be prefaced with we didn’t do it well enough to win, so certainly I’m not satisfied, but there are some things – you have to look at these things objectively and grade the guys out and say ‘Ok we need to be better here. This was good enough to enough to win; this wasn’t good enough to win.’ That’s how we’ll approach it and then we’ll get back Wednesday with the guys. We met with them today, we’ll get back Wednesday with and have a plan for St. Louis.”

(On why he didn’t use the no-huddle offense more)
“There’s a lot of different no-huddles. We have really three different tempos that we go no-huddle and I’m not going to get into a lot of the specifics because competitively, but we jumped into one of the tempos of no-huddle, I think it was the third series and you can’t go much quicker than that. You can if you want to do the whole game, [but] I didn’t want to do the whole game. We’ve done that at different times this year. We’ve opened halves with it, especially when we weren’t very effective in the first half. It can be used to jumpstart sometimes, it can be used a way to put the gas pedal down on somebody if you’re rolling them pretty good – just a feel thing. You have to have, depending on which type of no-huddle you’re utilizing, one of them is your end of game no-huddle if you want to use that at any time, that’s one set of plays and then there’s a whole other – what you guys probably remember the Buffalo Bills used to do where they would huddle – they would be on the line but they would be able to run their whole offense from on the line or a lot of their offense. It’s definitely a weapon, but when you do that, when things don’t go well because we scored twice with it now people will say – I get home and they say ‘Why didn’t we do more of the no-huddle?’ I get the same things and I agree. I guess my point is against a team like that I really thought we would be able to run it better and get into a time of possession – when you go no-huddle, especially if they get you three-and-out, your time of possession is almost nil and I do think against a team like that who has the ability – that’s what sickens me about that third-and-12 play. That to me was the tipping point in that game because then we live to see a 10 minute drive at that point it might have been a minute-and-forty-second drive, but when you’re playing against a really a good opponent, a really good football team, there’s going to be those critical plays, those tipping points.”

(On how injuries have affected the offense)
“We have some inexperienced guys playing, but I don’t believe in this league that’s ever an excuse. I think you have to figure out if the guys you lost, they allowed you to do one thing, then you have to reinvent who you are and what you do, because there’s 16 games and we prepare all year for those 16 games. We have to find a way on all three phases to win games no matter who’s playing.”

(On if the game plan is different now compared to when he had all of the starters healthy)
“You have to adapt, you have to adapt”

(On having 11 total yards outside of the two-minute offense)
“You’ve known me now for two years I don’t think I’ve made excuses, I think that’s a funny way to say it.”

(On what he attributes the three-and-outs the offense continues to have)
“Negative plays – it’s just not the total yardage but some negative plays. We did hurt ourselves, I felt good, we come out, we run the football and then we get a holding penalty, which it was a hold, it’s not like there’s any problem there other than we lost a gain – a 10 yard gain became a 10 yard loss. We just weren’t very effective and I think that’s why we went to that, to try to stir it up a little bit, get it going. My hope was that we could go back-and-forth. I personally don’t [want to], that’s not who we are and we don’t practice that way and I don’t want – just because it works doesn’t mean that I want to go play a whole game in no-huddle if that’s not what we practice. Otherwise, why practice? Just show up on Sunday. It is a good tool, we practice it some, if you use it proportionately to how you practice it, I think it’s a good tool. Maybe you get a little out of proportion because it’s working and a day like yesterday – but yeah certainly those drives were frustrating.”

(On if the inconsistency of the running game is due to the opponents)
“Well, again, that’s who’s on our schedule. To me, that reason is not good enough. I mean they may be – and they are in this case – some great defenses, but that’s who we play. We have to be able to run the ball against who we play, if we’re going to profess to be a running football team or a team that likes to run the ball. We need to do better. There were some opportunities there, there were some things we were doing that I felt really good about, but it wasn’t consistent enough and then we got behind the chains a little bit and then you’re forced into throw and then we did like we talked about here, ventured into the no-huddle which worked. Then you’re not really running it other than popping a draw in there sometimes. There’s a lot of things that can get you going this way and if it’s working especially it may keep you that way. Quite frankly we get that stop I think we’re going right back to the no-huddle. I don’t think we’re going to lineup in a huddle and run the football, just because that wasn’t the way it was going yesterday. Why? If I had the answer I would have fixed it yesterday. Certainly we have to go to work and improve because we’ve been able to run the football effectively, but you’re right it’s not consistently. Effectively, but not consistently and that’s what we’re trying to get done.”

(On not being able to convert third downs)
“I thought they did a good job in coverage number one, flooded the zones a little bit. They have a front four that can get after the passer, so they can drop seven into coverage and they did a good job of matching routes, not just pure vision and break, but matching routes. They run pretty well so they were able to glue on to us pretty well. There’s a couple – I thought [tight end] Tim Wright made some plays, I was very excited about – again he continues to play at a level that excites you. You know this guy could be a component of a really good offense. Then there were some times where he got caught in there against those defensive ends in the run game – harkening back to your point – he may be not quite ready to do that at this stage in his career. I do come back to some promising things even in the third down stuff, but in the first and second down stuff where Tim made some plays and again rookie [quarterback] Mike Glennon throwing to rookie Tim Wright that gives you some encouragement.”

(On if there is any part of the offense that the coaching staff feels like Glennon is unable to run)
“I’m not, I don’t think our staff is in any way. Certainly you’re concerned with exposure to defenses, because no matter how great a learner he is, until you actually go through it – it’s kind of like you talk about driving, but until you get behind the wheel, the book and the actual doing it, cars pull out in front of you and little kids – I think I liken it often times to changing lanes. Now you drive you’re probably a little sloppy actually because you take a peek and go. When you’re a young driver, they’re looking over their shoulder and stuff, but he’s really caught on quickly. I think it’s more of the defenses than the offenses and one of the things that yesterday the no-huddle did is it kind of vanilla-ed them up a little bit. That helped, they kind of went into base stuff because they weren’t expecting it. Now I’m sure St. Louis will have a more extensive no-huddle defense package ready because they probably will watch the tape and expect it.”

(On San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick being able to extend plays and the team needing to play contain on the edges)
“A combination and it’s not always just the edge, you have to clear that up, sometimes it’s in and then out, sometimes it’s interior scramble lanes and then other times it is, just beats us around the edge. A couple of them were missed assignments – didn’t do our job. A couple of them were just physically got – underestimate, overestimate it however you want to look at it. Guy what we thought was contained all of a sudden wasn’t good enough. I do think that you look – I thought that there was a lot of times we applied good pressure, I think [defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy again plays at an incredibly high level, got his eighth sack yesterday and I look at a guy like Gerald and say when I arrived here there wasn’t a heck of a lot of excitement about Gerald, it was that “B-word” was even being mentioned and all he’s done is busted his rear-end to be in great physical condition and I think play to, obviously last year was a Pro Bowl season, I think this year is a Pro Bowl season. He’s really doing some great things in the pass rush and we’ve been able to do some more four-man, we also came after him yesterday, I thought it was a good mix. Vision and break, match-up zone, pressure, like I said it’s a mixture of reasons, that’s what makes it so frustrating. If it was just ‘Ah we can’t, just not going to be able to do it,’ but I don’t think that was the case. Is he a great mobile quarterback? I do believe that as far as escapability and those things, but when I watch the tape I don’t sit there and say we couldn’t of done it. That’s why it’s so frustrating because there was opportunity there. They’re going to run the football and there aren’t many teams they haven’t run the ball against. That’s what they do, they have a huge line, they have a really good running back, they multiple tight-ends that they use. I’m not – although I would’ve liked to stopped the run better, don’t confuse that, we made some mistakes there as well – but the plays that got us were the escapability plays and even the one where he jetted it to [San Francisco tight end] Vernon Davis, he didn’t just drop back and stand in the pocket, he flushed to the left, set his feet and then heaved it. Those are certainly the ones that hurt us because I think I said it here, this is going to be one of those 17-14, 20-16, that’s how we’re going to win the game and it really would’ve been. It probably would’ve been 21-20, if we’re going to win that game it’s a 21-20 or a 24 one of those deals and it didn’t."

T Demar Dotson

(On preparing for the final two games of the season)
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time, starting with St. Louis. They’ve got a good front, two good defensive ends, so we’ve got a challenge for ourselves just like we do every week. We’ve got to put this game away. It’s tough, it hurts, I think we had a chance to win that San Fran game and we let a lot of things get away. It’s one game at a time and that’s the St. Louis season.”

(On the inconsistency in the running game)
“I think it’s different fronts, different guys, they play the run different. Sometimes we have eight guys in the box and sometimes it’s us, not fitting up and not holding on to blocks long enough. At the end of the day, a majority of it lies on us. When the running game doesn’t run, it’s our fault.”

DE William Gholston

(On what helped him have success against San Francisco)
“Just knowing the scheme, knowing what I had to do, and doing my job, really. Not trying to do too much. Giving good effort.”

(On the key to knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage)
“Just make sure you don’t jump, really. Once you get to the level of the quarterback and you see him about to release it, that’s when you put your hand up – mirror the throwing hand. We actually work on it every day.”

(On San Francisco’s offense)
“When you play a dynamic offense like that, with a very athletic quarterback, it’ll be hard, it’ll be a challenge. The thing that we wanted to do was follow our game plan. We stayed within our game plan, but we didn’t meet certain goals. That’s just something we’ve got to work on for next week and the week after that.”

(On if coming into the NFL was a bigger adjustment than he expected)
“It was. Coming in here and adjusting to the program, the lifestyle, everything that they want you to do here and the type of players they want you to be, it was a different adjustment for me. But once I got acclimated to the system, learned the playbook and got everything down and really got a chance to start to use some of my physical traits, everything started to click a little bit.”

(On when things started to slow down for him mentally)
“That week leading up to the Miami game [Week 10], I would say, because I had, really, one of the best practices I’ve had the whole [season]. I started to really absorb the knowledge that the rest of the defensive line was giving me.”

(On what he took away from their missed plays on Sunday)
“For me, it just makes me want to be able to do more and it shows me something that I can reach. You think you have a good game, you think you’re doing okay, but when you see those plays, you have more to strive for next week.”

DT Gerald McCoy

(On what the team can take away from the San Francisco game)
“At the end of the game we’ve got to execute. I think we didn’t execute well. In the end it was a collective effort, just the calls we were put in and then, really, just the players just executing. It’s a very fine line in the NFL when you’re playing guys who are equally as talented or more talented. The margin of error is zero so you’ve got to be almost perfect and it just comes down to execution at the end of the game. We were right where we wanted to be. Coach told us that if we were within a touchdown going into the fourth then we were in the game, but it just wasn’t executed in the end.”

(On San Francisco’s 10 minute drive)
“17 plays straight. That definitely wasn’t the greatest showing we had, but there’s a lot of different moments in the game where we could’ve been better. We watched eight plays in particular where could’ve been better which could’ve saved a lot but just being third-and-15 or third-and-12 twice, [third-and-] 11 conversions – you can’t do that. I don’t think it was just that drive, it was a lot more.”

(On his offsides penalty eliminating linebacker Lavonte David’s interception for a touchdown)
“I told you last week, one thing I pride myself on is protecting that guy and when he makes a play that big – it sucks. That’s what we were talking about when we came in the locker room. I can’t allow that to happen. Sapp told me ‘The great ones don’t allow quarterbacks who think they can get you offsides.’ I think he said he went seven years without an offside penalty. Granted, he’s a Hall of Famer, but it makes sense.”

(On the defense having to be on the field for the majority of yesterday’s game)
“You’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do and just keep believing that it will come around – can’t really do much more about it. You can’t just not go out there, [if] defense is up, defense is up. What are you going to say? ‘Nope, not ready yet, didn’t get enough minutes?’ You’ve just got to go play and it is what it is.”