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Buccaneer Quotes, Dec. 23

Posted Dec 23, 2013

DE William Gholston was productive in his first NFL start on Sunday in St. Louis and he has one more game in 2013 to show his promotion was warranted...And other discussions

The ever-increasing playing time of rookie defensive end William Gholston reached its logical conclusion on Sunday in St. Louis, as the former Michigan State star made his first NFL start.

Gholston, who had played sparingly during the first half of the season only to see – as Head Coach Greg Schiano put it – “the lights come on” in the last month, took over at left end for Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. Gholston’s six tackles and one tackle for loss in St. Louis continued his recent trend of productivity; he has 18 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and three passes defensed in the last three game, essentially as good of a three-game stretch as any Buccaneer end has had this year.

- Rookie DE William Gholston's rapidly-improving play led to his first NFL start on Sunday in St. Louis
A fourth-round pick who came out of college a year early, Gholston looked in the early going as if he might be a developmental project who would take a while to make an impact. Instead, he has rapidly developed into a starting-caliber NFL lineman.

“It just shows me that the hard work that I’ve been putting in and listening to my coaches is really paying off,” he said, “and that they see what I see in myself, and that’s to try to become a better player every day and just try to be better and want to contribute and want to do all the things the right way.”

Gholston’s promotion came at the very end of the season, and so he only has a short time to build on that accomplishment. Still, he’s got one more potential showcase in New Orleans next weekend and he intends to approach it with as much intensity as ever.

“Not just with this game, but each and every game I go out there, I want to just prove that I’m supposed to be in this league and that I can contribute and that I can help my teammates be successful,” said Gholston. “To be honest, really, I just want to play as hard as I can play.”

Gholston’s promotion wasn’t the only topic being discussed at team headquarters on Monday. Below are some additional thoughts from Buccaneer coaches and players.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“Physical game yesterday, we have some health issues defensively. [Linebackers] Dekoda [Watson] has a groin, Lavonte [David] has an elbow, Ka’Lial Glaud has a knee. Offensively I think we came out of it fairly decent, bumped up a little bit. We’ll he see how [safety] Mark Barron is, obviously not having him in that kind of game was costly. He’s a force coming down out of the – he’s the guy who comes down into the unit and can knock some of those, make some of those [gains of] four [into gains of] two, the way he hits. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him for this last week. Watching the tape, certainly we struggled in offensively running the football. We did pop a few runs, but the consistency was the issue. Protecting the passer was a big problem, that’s telling the obvious. I told you guys that I would have liked to take a look at it, because I couldn’t quite understand, as is usually the case it’s not one single thing. If we’re helping and we’re chipping with the back, we didn’t do a great job of surgically chipping on the defensive end and then leaking out into our route, but then other times we did do a good job of doing it exactly right and then in that instance we didn’t protect as well. It was other instances where we had man to man coverage and couldn’t get off the coverage, couldn’t escape with the exception of [wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson], who made some plays, we didn’t have – we struggled to get off of man coverage at times. There’s a lot of things that went into it, but at the end of the day they had seven sacks and certainly that was an issue. Defensively we had some gap-integrity issues in the first half. They did some things, but nothing that was schematically that challenging. Physically they did some things that – they claimed some gaps that we traditionally don’t give up, we got it cleaned up, but because of that – and then obviously the personal fouls. We had I think three accepted penalties, but two of them were personal fouls that 10 points came on those drives, whether it’s cause-and-effect or not I don’t know, but they’re 15 yard shots, they’re a chunk play in that drive, that kind of sums it up. The kicking game we had our opportunity on that onside as a surprise, small execution error but we felt it was there and it was. We’ve got to play better to beat the Saints for sure.”

(On the defense having to play perfect in order for the team to win)
“Criticize I don’t do. Instruct, that’s more of what I do. There’s certain things regardless of what’s happening on the – certainly we’re struggling offensively, it’s not a secret. Our defense as a football team knows they have a job to do and they need to do their jobs. When we don’t execute our job or when we don’t coach it correctly or when I don’t coach it correctly, that’s when we evaluate and try to correct. I agree with you that there’s not a lot of margin of error. To win – as I said in the San Francisco game, for us to win that game, probably not going to be a 30-something, maybe not even a 20-something, and the same may have been said [for St. Louis]. I actually, going into the game, thought we were going to move the ball better than we did, I thought we would be able to run the ball better than we did. Obviously we didn’t play our best game upfront, but we played one of our lesser games upfront this season, which affected us in the run game as much in the pass game. Look at it from pure production though, most of the injuries and most of things have happened to the offensive side. That’s what a team does, they pick each other up.”

(On how hard it is assess quarterback Mike Glennon with injuries on offense)
“It makes it more difficult, but what I try to evaluate is when he can play quarterback, when he is able to play the position, how is he doing? When he’s not able to play a position it’s not his – he can’t do anything about that. Not that he’s perfect when he is able to play the position, but he’s been pretty good when he’s been able to play the position.”

(On what is causing the problems in the offensive protection schemes)
“There’s a lot to that question. Some of it is technique, some of it is execution, some of it is physical mismatch, but that happens in this league [and] some of it is coaching right? We’re not immune to – when there’s issues it’s everybody. Some of it is the threat or lack thereof a passing game, so people can do some things and take some more liberties than maybe they normally might against us. I think, as I’ve always tried to explain is, it’s never just one thing. It’s like all those things and then when you put them together it’s not very good. What do you do? You go back to work and you say ‘Okay we got a combination block on that three technique. Let’s go back to the footwork.’ You always teach from the feet up, ‘Let’s start from the feet up, did we take the proper step?’ No? Well then you really don’t have to talk about the rest of it, because if you don’t take the right step, you’re not going to have the right base regardless if the linebacker flies over the top or if he stays where he is. You just go back to fundamentals and teach, that’s what you can do or you can throw it every down and then Mike, he’s not going to be standing. Our approach is you go back to the fundamentals and you don’t hit this time of year, so what do you do? You work on footwork, you work on hand placement, you work on eye placement, all the little details and we’ll improve in our final game. We have to if we’re going to win this game, we have to improve. We can’t go out and do what we did Sunday and think that we’ll win.”

(On moving past teaching fundamentals)
“I don’t think you ever move past fundamentals, no, because if you watch every game on Sunday one of the things lacking most in the National Football League is fundamentals. But understanding of the plays? Sure. The more experienced the guys are that have done it, the more they’re going to understand the play. ‘This’ motion or shift is going to elicit ‘this’ response from the defense, so my angle of entry on this block as a wide receiver is going to be ‘this’. Now, we can tell them what we suspected it to be based on video study, but pre-snap in the game, that particular play, if the safety is right over you right now then it might be a little bit different rotation than we did in the week during practice because they’re rolling their coverage to Vince and now he’s slid over to you more because he’s got you man to man, so how are you going to react? That’s where youth and inexperience can get you a little bit, because they’ve never been in that position. That’s what you have to accept when play guys who haven’t been through it. The flipside is they’re playing their rear-ends off. They are fighting, scratching, and clawing for every inch. As a coach you’re proud of them for that and we just have to keep teaching. I don’t think it’s ever either or, I think it’s both all the time and you just wish you had 26 hours to do it every day, but you don’t.”

(On the teams’ pass protection against St. Louis)
“Well, there’s a schematic thing there. Without going into too much, we have enough to get one of them and not two of them, but we didn’t get any of them. We kind of got both of them and when you get both of them, you get none of them. So what do you chalk that up to? There are a lot of things you can chalk that up to. It wasn’t executed, we didn’t teach it well enough, whatever you want to say, but what happened was it was a bad play in a situation where we had to – look, as tough as it’s been and as tough as it was Sunday, we had every chance to win that football game and that’s what makes it the most frustrating. We’re a team who’s not at full force, but who cares? We had a chance to win that game. We get down to the red zone twice and we come away with field goals instead of touchdowns, period, end of conversation. We make a mistake on a double reverse, is it going to score? No, it’s not going to score, it’s going to gain some yards but you know what, you line up and make them kick field goals the way they did all game. They were 25 percent in the red zone. You play that kind of red zone defense, you usually win the game. You make them kick field goals but, kind of relating to your point, it’s tough because field goals – right now, we’re not scoring a lot of points. That’s what’s tough, we had chances, we had opportunities. It’s not an ideal set up right now but that’s too bad, find a way to win and we didn’t and that’s on me.”

(On safety Dashon Goldson’s personal foul)
“That’s a tough one, that play right there. You could say ‘take a nose dive,’ but that’s not what he’s going to do. And that’s a tough one – high speed, guys moving, changing levels. I think it’s clear that he’s really worked to change his aiming point on his contact, it’s clear to me, at least, I don’t know, I study him every day. Even in practice he works on it as he approaches guys, you can see him lower center gravity even though we’re not in pads to tag him. That’s ‘bang-bang,’ he had no way of avoiding that other than selling down on a guy and possibly missing him or hurting himself. So on that play, it’s unfortunate that it happened but as soon as it happened, it wasn’t like I’m standing there screaming ‘No way!’ The way it’s being called, that is going to get called 100 out of 100 times. It’s unfortunate, but it happened.”

(On cornerback Darrelle Revis)
“Darrelle is a great player, he’s a pro. He can teach, he has taught our guys how to practice, how to play, down on the goal line, third down, we show blitz, they check, Darrelle knows what’s coming, makes the play. It was never a moment during that whole scenario that I said “Oh no, they’re going to get us.’ I totally had confidence that Darrelle was going to cover that play. I knew what they were going to check to. That’s nice to have and I can’t wait. I really am excited about him having a whole offseason and getting to coach him when he’s – he’s been trying to play catch this entire year and we’ve been trying to help him by resting him here and resting him there and I can’t wait till he has an off season. Training like he normally – he has a whole regimen that he does in the offseason that’s legendary and it’s excellent. When he gets that under his belt, this off season was all about rehab, surgery rehab and trade. Next year; it will be all about prepping for the NFC South receivers. He watches tape and he does his training. But we need him to play big this week for sure. We need him to be the pro that he is this week.”

(On the offensive line)
“We didn’t play well. The components, those guys, I know they can play well and I believe and trust they’re going to bust their rear ends to get ready for this week and they’re going to go out and play but I felt that way Sunday. I believe in them and they believe in us so that’s the way it should be and that’s the way it is. We need to muster it up and go out there and run the football the way we’re capable, protect Mike the way we’re capable, coach better, play better. As I said yesterday, when we do that – we’ve had a chance to win these games we haven’t been able to do it. We’ll have a chance and hopefully we can do it now. We’ve got to play better and coach better.”

DE William Gholston

(On if the offensive struggles are a burden on the defense)
“I don’t want to say it’s a burden or anything like that. We just get extra opportunities to be able to showcase what we can do on defense. We can only control the defense. I know we trust that the offense gets out there and they do the best that they can do. They put up points and we try to get them good field position.”

(On if the team is excited for the opportunity to play spoiler against the Saints)
“Definitely – just the opportunity to finish strong and to finish with a win and finish 5-3 in the second half of the season. I think we’re going to go out there and give it all we’ve got, not just to spoil them but to make sure that we finish our second half of the season off on top.”

(On the closeness of the defensive line)
“We’re extremely close in that we laugh and joke and hang out with each other all the time. I know, within our defensive line group, we go out, eat, talk about the game plan, talk about what needs to be done. We do that in the meeting room, in the position room, with the linebackers, with the DBs [defensive backs]. We all are like brothers on the team. [There’s] no real individual play. Everybody plays for each other.”

TE Tim Wright

(On the mood of the locker room)
“I feel like it’s been a long year for us, but I think, overall, as a team, we’re looking forward to another week. [We’re] obviously trying to finish strong and get a win this week, so all of our focus and efforts are [on] moving forward and not really thinking about what happened yesterday or what happened in the past. All of our effort is triggered to getting a win down there in New Orleans.”

(On if losses are more physically and mentally draining)
“Losing games here and there definitely may take a more mental and physical [toll] on you than winning because you spend a lot of time on trying to work at the things you didn’t do as good the week before and trying to make those things better, so you put more time into it when you take a loss rather than a win. But, like I said, it’s been a long rookie year. A lot of my efforts have been just trying to learn my position better as a player and also just developing as an overall athlete and overall professional. That’s what I’ve put most of my effort and most of my time into this year.”

(On his leg injury from Sunday’s game)
“I just got a little bruise on my shin, but it’s good now. I got back in there in the game and finished out strong and I feel good. I took care of it this morning, so I’m good to go.”