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Buccaneer Quotes, Nov. 4

Posted Nov 4, 2013

There may be no moral victories in the NFL, but one can still occasionally find positives in a loss, and the heady play of rookie QB Mike Glennon on Saturday is a good example...And other thoughts from One Buc

The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the top team in the NFC standings, the Seattle Seahawks, to overtime on Sunday at Seattle's daunting home park but came away with a disappointing 27-24 loss. Because it was the team's fourth loss by a field goal or less in 2013, and because this one began with the Buccaneers' jumping out to a 21-0 second-quarter lead, there were no Buccaneers looking to celebrate the positives on Sunday evening.

That was still the case on Monday afternoon, back in Tampa, where the Buccaneers were evaluating what happened in Seattle and getting ready to move on to the Dolphins. Head Coach Greg Schiano said disappointment, along with anticipation for the next game, were still the team's prevailing emotions.

However, Schiano also couldn't ignore the many good things he saw while reviewing the game tape on the flight home Sunday night and again on Monday. Tops on that list was another controlled and confident effort from the Bucs' rookie quarterback, Mike Glennon.

"Most importantly, Mike Glennon," said Schiano, when ticking off a few items on the list of positives from Sunday. "I thought going into that environment, I said it yesterday, [he was] veteran-like. He was not at all intimidated, I thought he did a very good job – again, a quarterback rating above 120. Those are things that are getting us excited and encouraged. Three games without an interception –that’s what we have to do, that’s how we have to play the game. I’m mad at myself for not getting us there sooner, but that was a good football team in their house. We have to build on that. Now, what you can’t do is come back and say ‘Well that was good effort.’ There are no moral victories. There’s one team that wins and one team that loses and we lost. We have to find a way to win this game Monday night. Now we can build off the positives, but we’ve got to correct the things we didn’t do well and keep going.”

The play of Mike Glennon wasn't the only thing being discussed on Monday at team headquarters. Here are some additional thoughts from Buccaneer coaches and players:

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening Statement)
-- Rookie QB M. Glennon handled the difficult atmosphere in Seattle quite well
“I had a chance to watch the tape, obviously, long plane ride home and then more today with our coaching staff. Very tough, tough loss, but there are a lot of good things on that tape. You go through the disappointment of losing the game and then you watch the tape and then you go through more of the technical ends of things. Is it still disappointing? Yeah it’s very disappointing, but there’s still a lot of good stuff on that tape and things that we can build off of. The resolve of our guys, not only yesterday in the game, but the resolve throughout the season and all the stuff that’s been thrown at them, I think it speaks to the kind of character in that locker room. The team continues to come together more and more and I think that’s going to be critical in the second half of the season. Hopefully we get some of these guys back healthy, [safety] Dashon [Goldson] and [guard] Carl [Nicks] and those guys, little by little, there could be some good things. There’s some positive things going on with the team, we just need to keep building on that. We’ll get back to work on Wednesday, we’ve got a little bit of extra time, one extra day to play a good [Miami] Dolphins team and I’m looking forward to it.”

(On injury updates)
“Probably Dashon is the furthest along in the process. Then I would say probably [running back] Doug [Martin] and Carl I’m not sure. We’re just going to have to wait and see how that comes, but hopefully we get a chance see them both back playing this season.”

(On if the players have a chance to play Monday)
“Carl would not be in play for next Monday. Right now Doug and Dashon definitely are.”

(On if running back Mike James play Sunday changes the plan for Martin)
“No, I think we want as many quality football players on the active 46 on game day that we can. That’s how you win games. Certainly with the emergence of Mike – like I said, I thought as we went in the beginning part of the season he got more and more comfortable – then when he got opportunities he showed what he can do. It’s going to be a good thing to know we have two quality running backs that can run the football along with Brian Leonard who I really think has a really good niche. That’s promising.”

(On how much guard Jamon Meredith helped factor into the success in the running game against Seattle)
“I think it’s a little bit of everything. I think the whole line blocked as well as they have all year. I think Jamon was part of that line and did a good job. I do think Mike James ran the ball – one of the things that was the most promising, there were no negative plays, no negative runs. It was all positive runs, whether it was a gain of one, it was still no second-and-11-s,-12’s,-13’s, as far as related to the run game. I think that’s what gave us a chance early on. We put ourselves in manageable third downs in the first half and we converted them. I thought we did the same thing in the third quarter and we didn’t convert them. Some of our pass protection stuff is what kept us from converting them. Early in the game I thought we protected better than later in the game.”

(On why the pass rush didn’t get to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in the second half)
“We had some breakdowns [with] the person responsible for contain, setting the edge of the defense. There was three opportunities where whether he throws it or we sack him, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but he gets rid of it and it’s not going to be complete because it’s not when he wants to throw it. We had a breakdown on three different occasions, critical occasions too, that we have to just [focus on] the details of running it and doing your job. It was a lot of good stuff that we did defensively, but those critical ones are what standout, because that’s what cost you the game when you’re playing a guy like Russell Wilson. It gives him an opportunity to comeback.”

(On why the third down production went down)
“It’s still not like we had unmanageable third downs later in the game, we didn’t protect as well. There’s open receivers, [quarterback] Mike [Glennon] just doesn’t haven’t have time to get rid of the football. They have one of the better pass rushing teams in the National Football League. They roll waves of guys at you, we held up better early and then they kind of tweaked what they were doing a little bit on the perimeter and they got the best of us.”

(On why the aggressive play calling stopped)
“I look at every game as a one game season. There’s a win and loss to be had, I don’t take that approach. At the end of the first half, I didn’t think it was prudent. I didn’t think it was a good [time]. They had just scored we’re up 21-0 now it’s 21-7; there’s no reason to make it 21-10 or 21-14 by giving them the football. We didn’t have good field position. At the end of the game, I thought we continued to be aggressive. A reverse may seem aggressive or some kind of jump pass, but I think aggressive can be in a lot of different ways. The thing that we were mentioning about the third down, we had some guys open on some different plays that we haven’t shown and we just couldn’t get the ball off. A lot of times as a play caller you keep some things in your holster for the end of the game, second half, fourth quarter. I thought [offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan] both he and [defensive coordinator] Bill [Sheridan] did a good job of holding something back. Unfortunately we just didn’t execute it. It was something they hadn’t seen and it was open, we just didn’t protect.”

(On why the team has been ineffective in second halves of games)
“That’s an aged-old question when you’re not winning and when you’re winning it kind of just happens. I’ve been on both ends of that stick. When you’re not winning, when things start to go against you, especially on the road in that environment, I think it’s natural for guys [to go] ‘Uh oh’ and you can’t have that. I think one of the things, by staying aggressive in your play calling and just building that feeling. It’s a chicken or the egg kind of [thing] and when you’re having a tough stretch you just have to get over that hump and get that first one. I do believe that we’ll get going. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of positive things, a lot of guys who are doing things. I mentioned Mike James, I thought [tight end] Tim Wright, again four games in a row, has done a good job of executing his job."

(On if the next step for Glennon is to have a game winning drive)
“Exactly, I think he’s more than managing. That game-manager thing is kind of a left-handed compliment, a lot of times to a quarterback and he’s doing a heck of a lot more than that. That end of game, we had receivers open and he was ready to deliver the ball, one time we get run over and a guy goes right into his legs and that’s not one of those things you can anticipate and slide up in the pocket. It’s unfortunate because I think that drive he was going to do that and we get it out to almost midfield, before the end of regulation, and then we have a third-down in the overtime that was there and we just couldn’t get it off. Yeah, he’s got to do it but I think it’s we all got to do it, it’s not Mike.”

(On what the team needs to do to help win close games)
“I think you’ve just got to do it. You prepare and you have all that stuff in the bank, all the preparation that you’ve done. Once you do it, it gets easier to do. You look back, when Seattle started their journey, they weren’t doing it right away, and they got better. We looked at a team that plays the game very much like we’d like to play it, very physical, very aggressive, in all three phases – offense, defense, special teams – and that’s why that was a very important game for us going out there. They play the way that we want to play. Unfortunately, for 58 minutes, we did it better than they did, but they did it better when it counted and they won the game. It’s something we can learn [from], again, but I’m confident with the guys in our locker room and the coaches upstairs. We’ll get it turned.”

(On what the team felt on the plane home)
“Disappointment, number one, [then], anticipation to get to do it again. We’ve got to wait an extra day, but the team can’t wait to get back and play. I think they’re excited about some of the things that are happening right now, both in the locker room and on the field. Like I said at the beginning, I think it’s a team that’s coming together more and more here as we go, and we just need to keep going, get some of these older guys back and now mix them with some of these young guys who have had an opportunity; I think it can really be a good combination. There’s promise, but you’ve got to go out there and win, you’ve still got to get the win.”

(Closing statement)
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t give my well-wishes to both [Denver Broncos Head Coach] John Fox and [Houston Texans Head Coach] Gary Kubiak, two of the really good guys in this business, and they’re struggling a little bit right now. I know speak for our staff and our organization – our thoughts and prayers are with those guys, and hopefully they’ll both make speedy recoveries.”

S Mark Barron

(On losing another close game)
“Obviously it hurts. When you’re in that situation, you’re up 21-0 and you come out on the long end of it, it obviously hurts. I think the team is fine, we know what type of talent we have on this team and we know what we’re capable of. We just have to figure out a way to win. That’s basically it.”

(On if there are any specific things that could help the team improve in close games)
“I honestly can’t pinpoint one specific thing. I think it’s [the] little things throughout the game that add up at the end. We’ve just got to stop some of those little things throughout the game that are hurting us in the end – execution, tackling. We missed a few tackles yesterday, a lot of those small things we have to get done.”

(On his interception)
“Actually, I wasn’t sure if we were in the right coverage, we were in a Cover Two [and] I just went straight up because there was no one covering down on the receiver. I actually kind of cheated up to try to make sure he didn’t pop the pass to him and that actually helped me make that interception. He just threw it and I ended up in the right place at the right time.”

(On if he thought Seattle made any major adjustments in the second half)
“I don’t think they went in and did anything special, I think they came out and did a lot of the things they were already doing. It’s just things we have to do a better job of like containing the quarterback and, like I said, tackling throughout the game. I’m sure they made some adjustments, but I don’t think they went in and completely changed their game plan or anything like that. We’ve just got to execute what we’re doing.”

(On the mood on the plane back to Tampa)
“Me, personally, I really didn’t have much to say to anybody. I wasn’t in the best mood – I wasn’t like angry at the world or anything, but I wasn’t in the best mood. I didn’t really have much to say to anybody I just got on the flight, watched some T.V. and went to sleep.”

(On making interceptions in critical moments)
“I think that’s pretty important. It has been significant; the two I’ve had have been pretty significant. It helps change the momentum and it helps get the team going. I like making those types of plays, I want to be that guy that makes those types of plays for my team and hopefully I can continue doing that.”

(On his mindset in dealing with a losing streak, having come from a successful college program)
“You’re right, never in my whole life; I’ve never been a part of a team that hasn’t won. As far as my mindset, I’m going to come out and give it everything I have every time I step out on the field and that’s what they’re going to get from me every time.”

TE Tim Wright

(On what Head Coach Greg Schiano is bringing to the locker room)
“I think Coach Schiano is being very strong at this point. Having the type of things that are going on for us right now, for another guy, you don’t know how he’ll turn out and how he’ll take it, but I feel like he’s keeping the team up, he’s keeping hopes high. We want to play for him, and he’s doing his best for us. We just go out there every week, every practice, and give it our all. We want to come out on top with the victory, but I feel like we’re very close to doing what we’ve got to do. I think it’s going to come over the edge soon.”

(On struggling in the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle)
“It’s very tough. In the first half, we had things going. We felt really good on the sideline. Everybody was excited. We were playing together. We were getting some plays that we didn’t have going for us earlier in the year, they were going for us. But to have those couple things happen to us in the second half, it was just hard. It’s one of those things that you look back on and you realize that you might have wanted to prepare a little harder, in this aspect, for that, or some things that came up that we didn’t expect. But, I feel like we’re very close to getting where we want to go. I think it’s going to happen for us soon.”

(On if Seattle made adjustments at halftime)
“I feel like every NFL team, at halftime, they go in and make adjustments to what the other team’s having success at, so I feel like they might’ve made some adjustments on us, but we came out there in the second half with the same intensity, the same fire. I feel like it was going for us at first, but we didn’t capitalize on a couple things in our green zone area, in our fringe area, that we did in the first half, and that’s what kind of set us back a little bit.”

(On quarterback Mike Glennon)
“I think he’s doing a great job. Coming into when I first met him as a rookie, in our rookie minicamp, I looked at him the same way that I’m looking at him now. He’s a very poised quarterback; he plays well above his classification as being a rookie. He’s not a [veteran] yet, classification-wise, but I feel like he definitely carries the team, carries the offense like he is a vet. He’s doing a great job of keeping us settled in the huddle. He did a great job with the crowd noise this past Sunday. Those types of things would probably get another rookie unsettled, but I feel like he’s doing a great job.”

(On his connection with Glennon)
“I think the coaches do a great job of teaching those types of scramble routes. I feel like we do have a little connection that goes unseen, that goes between the lines, that we worked on in the offseason and different things like that, talking over it in the meeting rooms and different things of that nature. We have a great connection working together, and it’s coming along for us.”

(On the fine line between winning and losing)
“It’s just a couple plays here and there – a couple penalties, a couple third downs that we wish we had converted to get into that green zone and to score points or get a field goal. It’s just the way things are going right now; you can’t control them. You obviously look back on the game and wish you had this play here, this play here, this call there, but it’s just the way things are going right now. We just continue to try to get better each week, every day in practice, and I hope for the best.”

(On having a chance to start)
“It’s a great opportunity. I just look at it as I’m a professional now, I go out there and I prepare like a professional. If things are coming to me, I feel like it’s an opportunity, and I just try to take full advantage of it. Coming in as an undrafted free agent, you had the odds stacked against you, but I feel like, as long as you work hard and keep faith, you take coaching and you carry yourself as a professional – you go out there and do your job – good things will come.”

(On if he has figured out the tight end position)
“No, I don’t have the position down at all. Every day, I go out there and work and try to get better, try to perfect my craft. There’s some similarities that go into it as [far] as being a catching tight end and being a receiver, but I feel like, when you’re down there, inside the lines, you’ve got to bow up. You’ve got to have a lot of heart. There’s a lot of technique that goes into it, but I feel like I’m learning, I feel like I’m progressing and I’m getting better at it.”

(On what the team can take from their losses)
“It’s a performance-based business. You look at the wins and losses and that’s where people judge a team, but I feel like we have a lot of great guys on our team, a lot of great players, and we’ve showed things here and there, during different games, that we can have flashes here of being good at this and being good at that. Once we put it all together, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, but right now, we’ve just got to continue to fix those little things, to get better and try to move on and get a victory.”

(On what Coach Schiano was referring to in his praise of him)
“I feel like it’s the details. Coach Schiano is a very detailed coach. That’s why, when I was coming in as a freshman, it was definitely a big step for me, when I was at Rutgers. All the details that he coached, it was something new to me, and I had to adjust to it, and I think that, over the five years that I was there, four years being with him, I grew to realize how important the details are in a football game. It’s a one-11 game – you’ve got to be responsible for your own job and then the 10 other guys on the field at that time have to be responsible for their job – and when 11 people collectively work together and execute their job, good things will happen. I feel like that’s what he’s referring to. I prepare like a professional; I don’t prepare like I’m an undrafted free agent rookie. I look at myself as a starter, and I just want to continue to do that and produce for my team.”