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Buccaneer Quotes, Dec. 9

Posted Dec 9, 2013

RB Bobby Rainey's 80-yard TD run on Sunday, the longest in team history, started out with a critical win in a one-on-one matchup…Plus, other thoughts from the day after the Bucs' win over Buffalo

The play that launched running back Bobby Rainey for a team-record 80-yard touchdown scamper on the second snap of Sunday's game against Buffalo is one of the three or four most common running plays the Tampa Bay Buccaneers employ. And it didn't go off exactly as planned.

Of course, they often don't. The players on the other side don't always cooperate by going exactly where they are expected to go, and that was the case for Kiko Alonso, the Bill's star rookie linebacker. Alonso didn't take the angle the Buccaneers were hoping he would when presented with the cues of their play design, and thus he remained unblocked as Rainey shot through a big hole opened by left tackle Donald Penn and left guard Jamon Meredith. The defensive back on that side of the field had followed wide receiver Tiquan Underwood across the formation and out of the play, as hoped, and most of the Bucs' blockers had found and occupied their intended targets. But Alonso, the NFL's second-leading tackler, was waiting on the other side of the opening for Rainey.

And that meant, to turn the play from a nice four-yard run into something much greater, Rainey had to win a one-on-one battle. He did so in impressive fashion, delivering a forceful stiff-arm with his right hand while simultaneously darting to his left. Alonso came up empty and hit the turf and Rainey was off to the races.

"Kiko Alonso is unblocked and Rainey puts a stiff-arm on him and just drops him, he beat that guy one-on-one, because the blocking scheme, we didn’t exactly get it perfectly," said Schiano. "It’s Rainey and Kiko in the hole and boom he sticks a really great stiff-arm right into his chest and dropped him and Rainey did the rest on his own. The offensive line secured the line, I mean that is – except we left [Alonso] unblocked because of the angles, the angles didn’t exactly go the way that we thought they would there. We thought he would carry it a little bit more, but sometimes your back’s got to handle it, either make him miss or you stiff-arm like that and Bobby did and then it was a foot race and he outran everybody.”

-- RB Bobby Rainey broke a team record Sunday with an 80-yard TD run on the game's second play
Rainey said that his favorite part of the play was not the successful encounter with Alonso but the last few seconds, when he had to get around one last Bills defender who had an angle on him. Running down the left sideline, Rainey gave the defender a jab step to the right just as he passed the 10-yard line, like he was going to try to cut back behind him to get to the end zone, and then used the hesitation the move created to sneak by him on the sideline and go in standing up.

Of course, he had a little bit of time to think about that set-up move. When it came to his burst through the hole and his stiff-arm on Alonso, it was just blink-of-the-eye instinct.

“Everything happened quickly, on that particular play," said Rainey. "Everything was blocked right, I made a big cut and it was off to the races after that.”

Rainey's long run wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buc Place the day after the team's impressive 27-6 win over Buffalo. Below are some additional thoughts from Schiano, Rainey and linebacker Mason Foster, who had one of the Bucs' four interceptions in the game.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“After getting some time with [Director of Sports Medicine and Performance] Todd [Toriscelli] – as I said after the game, it was a physical game – [center] Jeremy Zuttah’s got a shoulder that will be day-to-day, I think [wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson] came out of it okay as it appears right now. [Defensive end] Will Gholston is going through the head injury protocol – he banged his head, so he’ll go through the testing. [Guard] Davin [Joseph] had a shoulder [injury], got bumped, came back, then sat the later part of the game. Other than that there’s the normal stuff. Overall it was a good victory, a team victory. Certainly plenty of things we need to work on when we get back at it on Wednesday. We know the significance, the level of the opponent that we’re playing. It will be a good opportunity for us finish the season at home here, our home schedule, against a quality team.”

(On how much pressure quarterback Mike Glennon faced yesterday)
“I thought it was a combination. There was pressure. Mike got rid of it, he only took one sack. We dropped some balls, which we haven’t done lately, and then he made some throws that he wished he had back. Overall I think it was a combination.”

(On his impressions of the running game yesterday outside of the 80-yard run)
“You can’t say ‘other than’ because it was an 80-yard run, that has to be included. They’re a good defense. The reason that they’re not tops in the league in run-defense is because of things like that 80 yard run. They play a style of defense where they’re going to press up the corners, they’re going to play man on everybody, and I thought our coaches did a great job of creating a game plan where maybe some of the man to man could be used against them in the run game and that’s what happened on that play.”

(On the pass rush against Buffalo)
“The guys did a really good job, whether it was three man, four man, or blitz pressure, guys executed the plan. I think, as always, it goes coverage and pressure together. I thought our guys did a pretty good job with eye discipline and that’s something we’ve really been talking about, putting your eyes on your work and sticking to your job, do your job and we did it pretty well yesterday. The good thing is that the pressure – the sacks and the pressures, it wasn’t just one or two guys it was spread out amongst the group, that’s what you look for.”

(On the pass rush affecting quarterbacks)
“Well again, sacks, hurries, and hits, they’re different levels but they effect maybe ball delivery before they want, maybe ball delivery at a different angle which leads to an interception. Because of the number of interceptions we’ve had in the secondary I think it all goes hand in hand with the pass rush.”

(On if Glennon has regressed in the past two games)
“No, I don’t think so. I think you have to look at his body of work, especially as a rookie quarterback. You can’t just say – he’s faced two of the better pass defenses for sure, one top defense period, number one scoring defense. I don’t know what they will be after last night, but going into our game they were. Then this group, they’re going to play tight man-to-man coverage and they’re going to pressure you. We missed some things for sure, there were some plays that we left on the table that we can’t afford to do, but they’re multiple and what we ask our quarterback to do, that’s probably the toughest type of opponent to play. Multiple not only in defensive personnel groups, multiple in pressure looks, multiple in zone drops when they don’t pressure or play man. I think Mike, his body of work is pretty impressive. I think right now we’ve got a team that is coming into town that plays great defense. The big thing I want Mike to do is just take a little blow right now, he’s been grinding really, really hard even in the bye week this guy didn’t take off and I just want him to take a breath and he’ll come back tomorrow afternoon and be ready to go. I told him ‘I don’t want you in the morning, just stay out of here, I don’t care what you do, sleep, whatever; but we’ll get cracking in the afternoon.’”

(On the impact linebacker Lavonte David has had on the defense)
“Well Lavonte has been an incredibly consistent player from the day he arrived. He’s made every defensive call since the day he arrived. [He’s] just really having a great year, but I think he’s had a great two years and as I’ve said many times I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”

(On the offense not being productive in the second half of games)
“I’m disappointed. We did pull the reigns back some, but it doesn’t account for some of the things we did that are very, very frustrating. We need to get better. With the offensive staff and myself we spend – heck three-four hours on the tape just – look I get it we’re missing this guy, we’re missing that guy, I’m not going to be naïve to that. I’m not going to ever use it as an excuse, but I’m also not going to be naïve to the fact that we’re playing with some guys that originally weren’t in the plans, but now they’re in the plans. I don’t care if they’re the best pass defense, the best rush defense, the best defense, we have to find a way to score points and we did at times yesterday, but not with all the opportunities that we had.”

(On what caused the offense to not be able to take advantage of the opportunities on Sunday)
“Some of it maybe we didn’t see it, we missed an opportunity because we didn’t see it the right way. We run the reverse pass, just throw it away, instead we take a five yard loss rookie mistake by [wide receiver Eric] Page. It’s not just one thing, why we didn’t take advantage of opportunities. Then Vincent’s catch – or not catch – we got a clarification on the rule and by the letter of the law that call was correct. If you’re going backwards then it’s got to be whole foot, if it’s toe-tap sideline or going forward than it’s toes only and it doesn’t matter the rest of the foot. Interesting – 60,000 people that probably needed an explanation on that one because I wasn’t real happy myself, but I understand it now and I did have an idea of the rule but wasn’t 100 percent sure, so it was good it got clarified.”

(On if the defense has responsibility to carry the team with the experience on that side of the ball)
“I think so. We’ve been able to – with the exception of [linebacker] Jonathan Casillas – been able to stay relatively healthy on that side of the ball. The offensive side of the ball is where more of the injuries and the season-ending injuries have taken place, three tight ends, and I could go down the list. Having said that I’m encourage by [tight end] Kyle Adams, I thought Kyle came in here and talk about unsung, you don’t see it on the stat sheet but really did a good job at some things, so that’s a plus. [Tight end] Timmy [Wright] with the touchdown and with the third down conversion, those are some big plays that you are excited to see. Obviously Bobby, Bobby wasn’t even on the roster, you’re not going to see Bobby if the injuries didn’t occur and what we’re doing is building depth, for sure. We’re building depth and now these guys have played in NFL football games and at times have played really well. In the long run, that will behoove us but right yeah I do think the defense has a little more of the onus on them.”

(On moving around cornerback Darrelle Revis, including a blitz from the slot)
“We just felt that it was an opportunity. Like you said we haven’t done a lot of it so it catches people by surprise. You knew it was going to take a little longer because their slot was very rarely to the core, he was removed and Darrelle hit it and you’re waiting and waiting – Darrelle’s fast but it’s from a long way out. Then when he sacked him I’m sure he got a kick out of that, that’s not his – he doesn’t get a lot of sacks.”

(On if leading the NFL in interceptions shows the team’s pass defense has improved or if it is frustrating due to the team’s record)
“I think they’re totally two different things. I don’t put that together. Do I feel pleased that we’re intercepting the ball and getting our hands on the ball? Absolutely. Without a doubt I’m frustrated with our record, yeah there’s no doubt. There’s a lot of things that go into your overall won-loss record and takeaways is part of it for sure, but so are turnovers, so are a bunch of other things and that’s a team wide thing, the takeaway part. The interceptions though I’m pleased at the secondary’s – when they’re supposed to be seeing the football and getting their hands on it and that is encouraging, no doubt about it.”

(On how excited he is about the defense going forward)
“Well going forward it’s exciting, but I’m more concerned about going forward to next Sunday, six days from now. I think that we need to get our guys [ready] – and this is going to be quite a challenge. [San Francisco running back] Frank Gore, [quarterback Colin] Kaepernick and [wide receiver] Anquan Boldin and all these guys, I mean you’re talking about really, really fine players. I haven’t got into them a ton yet, I’m just trying to wrap up yesterday’s game, Buffalo, but I can’t lie, I’ve snuck a few peeks at them and they’re a really good team in all three phases. We’re going to need our veteran guys like was mentioned. That’s where we have some veteran guys that have played at a high level and that are relatively healthy for this time of year. We need to make sure that we get to Sunday feeling on that side of the ball, feeling healthy and then go play. Again, when you’re at home, you’ve got a little bit of an advantage. I thought our crowd was excellent yesterday, loud, put us in an advantageous position. We talked about the no-huddle, we made communication a bit of a problem, and there was that one stretch where they got two consecutive false-starts. I attribute a lot of that to the crowd noise and all of those things. I waited a little late to start asking for that, I’ll start a little earlier this week, let everybody grow into a frenzy by Sunday. All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to our last home game and I mentioned it to our team and they’re well aware of it, there’s an opportunity to win four straight games at home to end the season and that’s something that we’re going to really try to do everything we can to do that.”

LB Mason Foster

(On becoming a great defense)
“There’s a lot of great defenses in this league, a lot of great defensive players, so it’s tough to say. But at the same time, I know everybody that plays on this defense personally, and they’re all my good friends, like my brothers. I know how hard they work and how much everything means to them, how much football means to them. I’m excited. These guys work hard day-in and day-out. We compete on a daily basis, trying to get better. I think the sky’s the limit for us. We’ve just got to keep working and keep progressing. Guys are getting smarter and understanding the defense [better] each and every day. I’m excited. We’ve got a lot of great, young players on this defense, so I’m excited.”

(On supporting the offense when it struggles)
“We’ve got a great offense. They make a lot of plays. It goes both ways. Some games, if we’re not playing up to par or playing how we should, the offense is making big plays and helping us out. That’s why it’s a team sport. But definitely, when we go out there, we want to make plays. We want to take control of the game because we know that we can. We know we’ve got the players in our room to do it. [Defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] always says, ‘If they don’t score, we win,’ so you’ve just got to try your best to keep playing great, making great plays, getting the ball back. We want to be a great defense. We feel like we’re a lot better than what our numbers have shown in the win column. We feel like we’re a lot better than that, and we’re trying to come out here and prove it, finish this year strong.”

(On linebacker Lavonte David’s emergence)
“I love it. I feel like I’m like the proud big brother. Any time he makes a big play, I’m jumping right next to him; I feel like it’s me making the play. And it goes both ways. I love that kid. He’s one of my best friends. He’s a great person, so it’s great to see him get what he deserves, because I’ve seen how hard he’s worked since college. I sit there and study with him and go over the plays with him, so I know how bad he wants it and how hard he works. It’s just great to finally see him get what he deserves. He’s only getting better, so it’s scary.”

(On San Francisco’s offense)
“They’re a great football team all-around, with [quarterback Colin] Kaepernick, [running back] Frank Gore, [wide receiver Anquan] Boldin, those big o-linemen they’ve got. It’s going to be tough, but that’s what the NFL’s about. That’s what, as linebackers [and] front-seven [players], that’s what you want. You want a team that’s going to come in and run the ball and just try to bully you. I’m excited. San Francisco’s always been a great team. We played them my rookie year and they were the same way. They’ve got a great coach over there [and] a great offense. It’s going to be a big-time game.”

RB Bobby Rainey

(On whether he’d had a chance to watch the film from yesterday’s game)
“Yeah, we went in today as a running backs group and we watched the whole film and graded ourselves and [saw] things that we could do better and things we did [well].

(On what he saw on the film)
“Everything happened quickly, on that particular play. Everything was blocked right, I made a big cut and it was off to the races after that.”

(On playing against San Francisco)
“It is a great challenge, just for the simple fact that it’s the 49ers and then our game being at home. So far, we’ve been good at home, winning, so being at home, keeping that win streak at home and then with the 49ers, it’s a great challenge.”

(On San Francisco’s defense)
“San Francisco is San Francisco, they pride themselves on defense and their linebackers are very good. I actually got a chance to see them live at the Super Bowl, when I was with the Ravens. They have a solid core of linebackers.”

(On Tampa Bay overcoming adversity)
“Everybody is on the same page and basically just keep getting better. Like I said, I’ve been a part of losing and then just staying with it, you keep working hard and it can quickly turn around for you and that’s what has happened here. The guys’ have bought in to it. They continued to work, even though it’s hard coming to work when you have a losing streak. But everybody stayed into it and stayed dialed in and continued to work hard and it’s panned out.”