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Buccaneer Quotes, Nov. 21

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Though he won't have his usual running mate in Tampa Bay's secondary, S Mark Barron will continue to play the same sort of roll on defense in Detroit on Sunday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still waiting to find out if their defense will have starting middle linebacker Mason Foster and starting right cornerback Johnthan Banks in action on Sunday in Detroit, but what is not a mystery is the free safety spot. Starter Dashon Goldson will the game due to a one-game suspension handed down by the league on Monday, meaning second-year player Keith Tandy will make his third start of the season.

-- S K. Tandy will start at free safety for the Buccaneers on Sunday
The signing of Goldson, a former All-Pro in San Francisco, this past offseason created an imposing tandem at the back of the Buccaneers' defense, as the starter at strong safety is 2012 first-round draft pick Mark Barron. With Goldson added to the mix, the Buccaneers made some alterations to Barron's role in the defense, getting him more time closer to the line of scrimmage. Tandy and Goldson surely don't have the exact same skill set, but that won't change how the team uses Barron this weekend.

" think [Tandy] will play excellent on Sunday," said Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan. "We’re going to try to use Mark as we have, because that’s the way we’ve orchestrated our defense, that’s the way we’ve put it together, and try to use Mark’s strengths, whether it’s on first and second down or the third down package. We’re hoping to use Mark as we have in the past and not have to flip-flop everybody’s position and play different spots and that kind of stuff.”

The plan at safety wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday. Below are some additional thoughts from Buccaneer coaches and players.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“First, I think it’s important that everybody knows to recognize that three of our own made it to the 25 [Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists] last night with [former Buccaneers] Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Coach Dungy, so that’s something that this building is very proud of. [At] practice today, I think our guys worked hard, it was third down and red zone. Guys did a good job, it was a lot of stuff to digest, especially against a team like this, both offensively who have so many weapons and then defensively that has so many different ways to pressure and cover and all those things that they do in third down and in the red area. Again, it jumps off, as you go to the next phase of installation, how well coached they are, the really fine athletes they have at every level, at multiple positions, offensively, defensively and in the kicking game so huge challenge. It got bigger; sounds like [wide receiver] Nate Burleson is returning. When he went down, he was leading the team in receptions sp he was really cooking. Being that it was a broken arm, I’m sure that he was able to still run routes and all that stuff so you don’t have that rust factor, you shouldn’t, so it’s going to be a challenge. They added another weapon to the offense.”

(On if cornerback Johnthan Banks practiced)
“John did, John practiced today he was full [practice], fought through some pain, gutted it out. He did it because he knew, third down and red, how important it that is to get ready for.”

(On safety Keith Tandy’s development)
“Keith’s a really intelligent football player, he’s not the biggest guy but he’s certainly not afraid of contact, he’ll throw his body in there, he understands the scheme very well, he plays multiple positions in this game. Keith’s one of those guys that we rely on for a lot of things, not only on defense, but in the kicking game as well.”

(On what he gains from looking at previous close losses)
“I don’t look back, it’s a waste of time to look back and say the ‘what ifs.’ What I do look back on and say ‘I hope our team drew confidence from a noisy environment playing a very good football team.’ We’re going into the same kind of environment, in a dome stadium. It’s going to be loud as all get out and they’ve got weapons so hopefully we drew some confidence from that last experience and that’s what I’m hopeful for.”

(On using linebacker Dekoda Watson as a pass rusher)
“Well you’re right, I mentioned that after the game that he played rush end, not only in rush situations but also a little bit in first and second down. And we’re just trying to get the best 11 and be able to rest guys and do everything, and with bringing up another linebacker, bringing [Ka’lial] Glaud up, it gives us more flexibility that way. So, again, just tinkering to try to get the best combination and sure enough he gets a key element in that defensive touchdown so I’m glad he was there.”

(On the status of linebacker Mason Foster)
“He’s getting better. [I] don’t know exactly what that means for Sunday. We’re going to have to wait and see, [but I’m] cautiously optimistic.”

(On what makes Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford effective)
“[He] can throw every throw, [he’s an] intelligent quarterback, [he] has great weapons around him, [he’s] more mobile than people give him credit for and when he moves around he chucks it deep and completes them. Again, a lot of it is because of the guys he’s chucking out deep to.”

(On guard/tackle Jamon Meredith’s performance)
“Jamon’s jumped around a little bit from team to team, he’s kind of settled in here with the Bucs and is doing a good job for us. Since he started and stepped in as the starter, I think he’s doing well. I think he played a little bit of everything but probably if he said what he was known as; he was probably known as a tackle, yes.”

(On what Watson brings as a pass rusher)
“I think what he gives is he gives really good speed of the edge. That’s what we need to make sure he brings. So when he gets out there, he needs to bring it. We don’t need to get into one of those deals and he gets that, he’s got a purpose. Now, first and second down, [it’s] a little bit different. First and second down a lot of the things we’re doing with [defensive end] Adrian [Clayborn] and he can do, to give Adrian a rest, is stand up defensive end at times and he has a good feel for that, because it’s not very much unlike what he did at the linebacker position in run-pass situations. Just pass situations? You’ve got to crank it up and get around the edge.”

(On what lineup changes the team might make this Sunday)
“Yeah, we have flexibility. I probably won’t get into exactly who’s going to do what because of the game, but we do have flexibility and you’re right, if they stay consistent with the personnel groupings that they’ve used in the last four weeks, we’ll be in a lot of nickel.”

(On tight end Tom Crabtree and if he is fully recovered from nagging injuries)
“That’s a good point; I was just thinking that on the practice field the other day because it’s been like a couple weeks where I haven’t heard in the injury report in anything that the thing’s bothering him and you can see an increased level of play. I don’t know if he’s all the way back but I think you’re right on with that observation. I think he’s gettign real close to being where he was when we first – I can think back to how excited we were about Tom at a point in the spring and at training camp and then when he got injured, it’s been a long road back, that’s been a nagging injury so I’m optimistic there.”

(On fullback/ running back Lonnie Pryor and which position he will play for Tampa Bay)
“I think both [positions]. I think that’s what makes him a valuable guy, as well as what he can do on special teams. Mark and I, we really liked him on his college tape and we both laugh because we talk about the same game that we really liked him and he really did well in the bowl game and you remember and you think back to that Orange Bowl game. He can carry the football, he is a good blocker, he plays on special teams, we just need to get him acclimated to what we’re doing and see if it stacks up with the other guys on the roster.”

(On if Pryor is picking up on things)
“He is, I mean, he’s only been here three days now so as much as he can. We are force feeding it, which I’m sure he’s grateful for that.”

(On if Detroit running back creates mismatches).
“Big time, and they displace him a lot so you’ll see him out here, you’ll see him as a wide out on both sides, they free release him out of the backfield so even though he lines up in the backfield appearing like he’s going to protect, he’ll free release so it’s like being out there as a receiver. And when he gets the ball in his hands he’s very, very good.”

(On the trajectory of the team)
“It’s going to sound like coach speak again but it’s about this week. The trajectory of this week is good. I can’t even begin to fathom what – its crazy right? Our world depends on the next six weeks but dare not let you think about six weeks from now because you’ll stumble on right now. We use the analogy in sports all the time, it’s like crossing a brook, those rocks are slippery, if you look up for one minute to see the other end you’re going to fall on your rear end so you just watch one stone at a time and step stone to stone and that’s kind of how we’ve got to do it around here.”

(On his open door policy for players)
“I’ve always done that, whether it was here or back in college or when I was in the NFL the first time. I think that the players teach you the most. Couple reasons: number one, they’re the ones doing it, so what you may think your mind’s eye when you’re putting together a scheme and what they actually can do, it applies to the individual, I think that helps. Then players are really helpful if they will communicate with you how they feel. You always gauge who’s telling you; some guys never feel they want a ‘break, a break, a break,’ but when your guys, your real guys say they’re tired, then you’ve got to pull it off. Or if you notice when you watch when your guys aren’t running fast – and those guys are always fast – well then you’re working them too hard. So that is something that I really try to listen to the team about. All those things, I think the players know and if you’ll listen, they give you the most, good information.”

(On the relationship between quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovsky)
“They’re very close, and [quarterback] Jordan Rogers you can throw in that group too. We’ve got a great quarterback group, I mean really, really good. Dan has mentored Mike since he got in here. Dan mentors the whole room, Dan’s a [nine]-year vet now, so Dan mentored the whole room but he has really done a tremendous job with Mike and they have similar personalities. Dan’s not a real loud, flashy guy. I enjoy it, I’ll come in early and they’ll be sitting down in that quarterback room and I’ll come in there and just shoot the bull for five minutes. They’re funny guys, in their own way, very dry, but really funny guys.”

Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan

(On safety Keith Tandy)
“He’s done a great job. Obviously he’s going to have an increased role this week. Keith is a real versatile guy, really smart, can digest a game plan and put it into practice immediately. [He’s] really a versatile guy as far as playing different positions. He’s kind of a guy that I would describe as he’s really good at everything, maybe not a ‘wow,’ spectacular, dynamic player at any one particular part of his game, but he’s good in run support, he can tackle, he’s athletic, he can play man-to-man coverage, he understands zone coverage, he can play different components of zone coverage, can make checks off of formations. He’s done an outstanding job. I told him that a couple weeks ago. He has really come around. We put him in there and I don’t think we miss a beat. Obviously we’d love to have [safety] Dashon [Goldson] this week and we’ll miss him very much because of what he brings to our defense, but Keith’s done a great job.”

(On using linebacker Dekoda Watson as an edge-rusher)
“One is you like to rotate guys through to keep guys fresh. Dekoda’s very explosive and very fast. Our other ends have good speed as well, but it gives you a different kind of guy that they have to handle. I think, just like we get ready to play against different opponents from a positional standpoint, if an offensive tackle knows he’s going to be playing against one or two guys the whole game, he can kind of really study film on those guys and know what their pass rush moves are and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I think he’s just going to pose another kind of a guy that their offensive line, or offensive tackles in particular, are going to have to deal with.”

(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)
“The biggest thing about Gerald is, first of all, he’s a very competitive guy and he’s got a lot of pride. Guys that are like that usually play well, especially if they have the ability like Gerald does. Gerald’s got a ton of ability. Then, from a literal standpoint, he’s very explosive and powerful and he’s very hard to contain in conventional blocking patterns, in the run or the pass, because he’s just a big, fast, powerful guy and very quick and very explosive off the line of scrimmage. I’m sure what [Head Coach] Greg’s [Schiano] referring to is the fact that, in the run game, unless they’re going to combination block, he can at least handle conventional run-blocking schemes very well and get off blocks and make plays. And the same thing in the pass protections – unless they’re going to, which most people do on most passing downs, orchestrate their protection to handle Gerald – if they don’t, eventually, more times than not, he’s able to beat a guy in just one-on-one pass protection. He doesn’t see it very much, but when he does, he’s able to beat it.”

(On using cornerback Darrelle Revis to cover Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson)
“What we’ve done is we’ve put together a plan of how we’re going to attempt to cover Calvin, and of course Darrelle’s going to be a very, very huge part of that. Then, from that, we’ll take feedback through the days of practice – obviously we’ve had two of them so far – and I think, for the most part, what we’ve proposed about how we’re going to do it, he’s completely on board and familiar with and has done it at the Jets when he was playing for them and they were doing similar things when they were playing top-notch receivers like a Calvin Johnson.”

(On how Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh compares to McCoy)
“Only because, you’re right, we don’t really study other defenses – I remember watching him when he was coming out in the draft, obviously he’s a very, very good player, very dynamic player – but, since he’s been in the league, for the times we’ve played teams that were playing against Detroit’s defense, we’re really watching scheme. I know he’s a fantastic player, but as far as comparing him to Gerald, I couldn’t say, ‘Hey, this is what he’s like compared to Gerald,’ or, ‘This is what Gerald does that is a little different than Suh.’ I couldn’t speak to that intelligently. I know he’s a fantastic player, and he’s a nightmare for offenses trying to get ready for him.”

(On accounting for all the skill-position players on the Detroit offense)
“I think that’ll be a big challenge for our entire defense, because [Detroit wide receiver Nate] Burleson’s due to come back as well. They have other really outstanding skill players. [Running back] Reggie Bush alone can pose all kinds of problems in the passing game as well as running the ball. I think that’ll be one of the biggest challenges for, I’d say, the rest of our defense, because obviously Darrelle’s going to be matching up [with Johnson] quite a bit. That’ll be a great matchup, two great players. But I think the big challenge will be how our other players play on the perimeter against their skill, and they have outstanding skill, and the quarterback’s fantastic. I think that’s going to be very critical in how the game turns out.”

(On what makes Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford so difficult to sack)
“I would say two things. One, Stafford is very athletic and elusive, not that he’s looking to scramble and run like some of the quarterbacks we’ve played in the last month, but he’s athletic enough. He’s not a real flat-footed, slowpoke in the pocket, so he can avoid the rush. He’s looking to throw it, but he can avoid it. The other thing is they’ve done a great job, [Detroit offensive coordinator] Scott [Linehan] does a good job of, especially on different down and distances, setting up where, if he does feel pressure, he can get rid of the ball. There’s short enough routes in all of their route concepts where a guy is going to be in the quarterback’s sight line early in the down that if he wants to get rid of the ball right now, he can do it. He doesn’t have to sit back there and wait for four or five guys to get 15, 20 yards down the field. There’s going to be somebody that he can get rid of the ball to right now in the down. He does a great job of that, because, when he feels pressure, he’s going to get rid of the ball, and there’s somebody – like I said, even in their five-man route concepts – there’s somebody that’s in front of him and short that is looking for the ball to come out right now in case he needs it and he does an outstanding job of it. He does not sit back in the pocket and let people pour down on him. He’s going to get rid of the ball.”

Linebacker Dekoda Watson

(On playing on the defensive line as a pass rusher)
“It’s going well, there’s still a lot I can learn and I’m willing to work for. Obviously I’m not playing SAM [strongside linebacker] anymore, but it’s alright I’m going where I’m needed right now at this particular time and I enjoy rushing the passer. We’ll just see how it goes on as the year goes on.”

(On how impressive Detroit’s offensive line looks on tape)
“Very impressive, it’s probably going to be one of the best lines that we face this year. From the center to the offensive tackles, they really just got a nice squad and they’ve really been making things happen. We really are going to have to come out there and be focused, and being able to fill our gaps, being able to be where we’re supposed to be and getting to [Detroit’s quarterback Matthew] Stafford hard.”

(On if considers himself a hybrid between linebacker and defensive end)
“I’m not going to lie, I consider myself a hybrid. Heck I don’t even get to stretch with the linebackers nor the D-ends; I’m in my own stretch line [laughs]. We have to get a hybrid crew going on right now. At the same time, yes I do consider myself [a hybrid], being able to play different positions, different roles. I’ve been trying to knock on the door at tight end myself [laughs], but we’re just going to take it one step at a time and just see how that goes. The more I can do the more beneficial I can be. Whatever I can contribute I’m more than willing to.”

(On helping force Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan’s interception last Sunday)
“I was just mad I didn’t get the sack initially, to be honest with you, and then for [linebacker Mason Foster] to actually get the ball I was even more mad, again I didn’t get the sack. At the same time Mason’s my boy, I’m a team guy, I went and tried to block for him and celebrate with him, he’s too busy running around, again I was mad at Mason [laughs]. I don’t know exactly what I tipped, but it wasn’t close enough because I really wanted a sack. At the same time six points on the board, hey I was part of it. As long as y’all gave me a shout out that’s all I need.”

(On his blocked punt Sunday)
“It was just a hold up actually and the guy just went for my legs and he missed. I just took full advantage of the opportunity and did what I had to do.”