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Buccaneer Quotes, Nov. 22

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Though Detroit ranks 31st in the NFL in sacks per pass play on defense, a front line loaded with top draft picks actually applies quite a bit of pressure to opposing QBs...And other topics

The Detroit Lions spent top-13 first-round picks on defensive linemen in the 2010 and 2011 drafts, and then again this past spring. Beyond being a more understandable strategy than three top-10 wide receivers in a row, that four-year run shows a franchise determination to build from the front line back on defense, and to get pressure on the quarterback at all costs.

And it's working. Those three, defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley and defensive end Ezekial Ansah, have combined for 13 sacks this season. Even if the rest of the Lions have just three sacks between them, keeping Detroit near the bottom of the NFL stat table in that category, the Lions pass rush has been formidable at times in 2013. Ansah, the fifth overall pick in April, has made an immediate impact.

“The sack statistic is very misleading," said Greg Schiano, head of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that is next up for the Lions on Sunday in Detroit. "They don’t have a huge number of sacks; what they do have is a huge number of hurries, hits, altered throws. They are harassing the quarterback, they just haven’t gotten a ton of sacks. Ezekial is a really good player though. You watch him, we watched him in college, we met with him, visited with him. I thought he was a really fine player coming out of BYU and he’s proven that he is.”

-- WR V. Jackson continues to be impressed with the weekly development of rookie QB M. Glennon
Detroit's pass rush wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buccaneer Place on Friday. Below are additional thoughts from Buccaneer players and coaches.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
“Couple of things on the injury front, [linebacker] Mason Foster is not going to play this week. He’s out with a concussion. Everybody else I expect to be able to go. We’ll have some different combinations at linebacker to fill in for Mason and certainly with Mason and [safety] Dashon [Goldson] down in the middle of the defense – two starters – some guys are going to need to step up and I have full confidence that they will. Good practice today, reviewed all phases, offense, defense, and kicking game; all situations, good walkthrough tomorrow and then we’ll head to Detroit.”

(On why Foster is not playing)
“He still has symptoms. We’re not, as a club – we did it last week with [defensive end] Da’Qaun [Bowers], if there’s any doubt, they’re not going to play. It’s not an ankle or a wrist or something, it’s his brain and that’s what’s the best thing to do. By taking all the information [from the] doctors, what the player is reporting, it’s a serious thing, these head injuries. I don’t know the length, I don’t know he’ll be ready next week or weeks to come, I don’t know that, we’ll just have to play it by ear.”

(On the linebacker rotation with Foster out)
“Several combinations, yeah we’ll see depending on what personnel group they’re in, there will be a whole bunch of different mixes and matches. We’re confident in all the guys that we’re asking to do it.”

(On if linebacker Ka’lil Glaud will be ready to step in)
“He’s certainly in the mix, when you dress four linebackers – well actually we’re dressing five –whatever that number is he’s got to be in the mix, right? He’s got a hat and we’re down one.”

(On the development of quarterback Mike Glennon)
“Well I think he’s improved every week. I had high expectations from the beginning with him. I think he just continues to incrementally get better every game as he sees more, he works incredibly hard at it, [he’s] very coachable, tries to do what you asked him to do and yet he’s not a robot. He does improvise, he does do some things, makes plays where maybe aren’t some. The thing that he has to continue to do is let bad plays die. I think he’s done a really good job and most young quarterbacks don’t. Most young quarterbacks have a hard time fighting their own competitive instinct and they try to make every play ‘the play.’ He’s done a very good job of letting the bad ones die and that may be one of the best things he does.”

(On Glennon’s off the field personality and sense of humor)
“He’s got good one liners, very dry, but I like that kind of humor.”

(On linebacker Adam Hayward versatility)
“Adam’s a very important part of the team. He’s a captain, number one, that shows you the respect his teammates have for him. He jumps in at all three linebacker positions and does a good job. His experience and leadership – he’s been playing for a while now – the big thing is we have to make sure we take care of his body because he’s not accustomed to playing so much. He played quite a bit last week and it looks like he’s going to have to play quite a bit this week. We’ve just got to make sure we keep him whole.”

(On the offensive line’s improvements the past few weeks)
“I think it’s been good. I think pass protection, as I always say, is not the five offensive linemen, although they’re a critical part of it. It’s the running backs, it’s the receivers running the right sights and hots and it’s the quarterback being an active participant in his own protection by getting it out on time. Mike even said –the games are running together – I guess it was last game, with a big lead, there’s a couple of sacks he took just because he said ‘Why risk extending the play or throwing an interception with that kind of lead?’ Overall, I’m pleased with the protection. It could always be better. What you’d like to do is your guy never get harassed, touched, hit. That’s not realistic, I don’t think, but they’re doing a good job with that.”

(On getting wide receiver Vincent Jackson more involved)
“A lot of that is predicated on what the defense does. I mean if you want to take a receiver out of the game, you can’t always say for 100 percent, but if you commit enough resources to it, you’re probably going to be able to do it, it’s just what are you sacrificing? I think that’s part of the reason that [running back] Bobby [Rainey] ran early and it’s definitely a ham and egg thing, throwing and running.”

(On if cornerback Johnthan Banks’ size gives him an edge in covering Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson)
“Well I don’t know if anybody has an edge against [Johnson], does it give him help, a benefit? Absolutely it helps as opposed to being 5’8” going against him, but yeah Johnthan, he’ll end up on him sometimes and Johnthan will be competing his rear-end off. As you watch Calvin, one-on-one not many people can handle him, so that’s reality.”

(On if Banks will be ready to play on Sunday)
“I do.”

(On if quarterbacks can play too safe and if Glennon is playing too safe)
“You can get to be that way, but Mike hasn’t. Even before the deep completions, we threw the ball down the field, he got some [defensive pass interference]. I don’t think that’s an issue with Mike as far as – Mike will rip it in there with tight coverage, but what he’s not done is ripped it in there with tight coverage and a man behind and that’s when you get the tipped pass interceptions and those kind of things. Again to have a Vincent Jackson there to work with and they go over route timing and Vincent can explain – again, I’ve said it before, the players do the best job of teaching me as a coach, they also do the best job of teaching each other. Vincent’s experiences are so big. [Quarterback] Dan Orlovsky’s experience is so big to help a young quarterback through this stuff, that’s been a huge part of things.”

(On Glennon’s potential and his future)
“Well I think those chapters have yet to be written. I have a ton of belief in Mike Glennon and what’s he doing now, if you just look at what he’s doing now he’s doing great. There’s no reason to believe he’s not going to keep doing that. We’ve got to give him opportunities, put him in a position to do that and make sure we keep giving him plays, protections, runs that he’s comfortable with.”

LB Lavonte David

(On the Detroit offense)
“They’ve got some weapons all across the field. You’ve got [quarterback] Matthew Stafford who can sling the football, who gets guys open, puts guys in position to make plays, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. We’ve just got to be mentally ready and everybody’s got to play their assignments out right. They’ve got fast people out there, too, a great offensive line, so it’s going to be a challenge through the whole game.”

(On the key to stopping Detroit running back Reggie Bush)
“We can’t let them get him going early. As soon as the ball kicks off, we’ve got to come out fast, do what we’ve got to do – stop him, slow him down, whatever. It takes the whole team. Everybody’s got to do their job. Whenever he gets his hands on the ball, everybody’s got to corral him and get him down. Since college, he’s been a great open-field guy, and he’s still doing it – it doesn’t look [any] different. It’s going to be a challenge for us. The first man there’s got to get him down.”

(On if it’s helpful that they’ve faced similar backs to Bush earlier in the season)
“Yeah, it is, but Reggie Bush is kind of in his own category. He’s got his own way of doing things. He’s quick, [he’s] got moves and he’s got a little power to him. It’s going to be tough.”

(On linebacker Mason Foster being out for Sunday’s game)
“It’s going to be a big loss, it’s different, but [linebacker] Adam Hayward worked the whole week in practice, so we worked together a lot. Throughout the whole year, you’ve got to prepare for things like this. Everybody gets cumulative reps, so everybody knows what each other is doing. It’s going to be different not having Mason out there, but we have the utmost confidence and faith that Adam Hayward can step in and fill his role.”

WR Vincent Jackson

(On quarterback Mike Glennon)
“I’ve just been so impressed with him from the start, from the first game that he was asked to come in and take the reins of this offense. He was prepared, he did everything he needed to do in the offseason, training camp and when his number was called, he was ready. Very mature for a young man, a young quarterback, we ask him to handle a lot on his offense with the protections and the sights and making all the adjustments and he’s done it without missing a beat, so he’s only going to continue to get better and improve with experience like any quarterback would, But where he’s at right now is very impressive.”

(On if Glennon is progressing with each game)
“That’s exactly what’s going to happen. With any position you play in this league, the more you’re out there, you’re seeing live snaps, you’re seeing defenses, getting a different look each and every week. It’s only going to help him in his experience, in kind of his catalog of understanding where he needs to go with the ball. He’s taking care of the football, that’s one of the biggest things [for] a young quarterback, not having a lot of impulse throws. If he has to eat it he’ll eat it, if he has to run with it he’ll run with it. A lot of people don’t give him credit for what he can do with his feet, but he’s made some plays outside of the pocket, throwing the ball and running the ball.”

(On Detroit’s defense)
“They’re a solid defense. They play really well on third down. They’ve got some good athletes back there, so we’re just going to be sound. Each and every week you study your opponent, but it comes down to execution. So our big focus always is about us, what we’re doing out there. We trust our coaches to call the plays and put us in situations to be successful and we’ve got to go out there and execute.”

(On if anyone from Detroit’s secondary stands out to him)
“Nope, I wouldn’t say one guy stands out, I respect them all. You respect everybody but you fear nobody, you go out there ready to attack. We’re going to do what we do each and every week and try to be as balanced as possible. Run the ball, pass the ball, take our shots and hopefully put up some good points.”

(On his expectations of going against Detroit’s secondary)
“For me, it’s just doing what’s asked of me. I go out there each and every week and I just line up and try to contribute. If that’s drawing one or two or three guys, I’m ok with that. Go out there and make sure I’m trying to block and be active in the run game and I’m not too worried about what they’ve got going over there. As far as I go, I trust our coaches, again I know that they’ll put me in positions where we can get the ball out and [I’m] just going to go out there and play hard and have fun.”

(On making more big plays last week)
“I don’t know if there was anything particularly different. Sometimes it’s just the way the ballgame goes. [Sometimes] those things are open and sometimes they’re not. Each and every week, we’re going to be out there having some one-on-one match ups and sometimes the ball goes there and sometimes it doesn’t. For me it’s just to continue to go out there and respect the ball each and every route. We’ve got guys in tight ends, running backs and other receivers that can make plays so, I think we’ll be balanced and we’ll get the ball around to everybody.”