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Buccaneer Quotes, Oct. 28

Posted Oct 28, 2013

Head Coach Greg Schiano wants to strike more balance on offense to put rookie QB Mike Glennon in a better position to succeed...That and other thoughts from team headquarters on Monday

Mike Glennon had a very busy preseason, especially for a rookie quarterback, but once the calendar flipped to September he wasn't sure if he would throw another pass in a game situation in 2013. He didn't have to wonder for long.

Glennon inherited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting quarterback job in Week Four of the regular season and since then his right arm has been every bit as active as it was in August. In four outings, Glennon has thrown 181 passes, which just happens to be the most that any quarterback has thrown in his first four games in the history of the NFL. That's an interesting feat, and it averages to just over 45 tosses per game, but seen in retrospect by Tampa Bay's coaching staff, it's a trend they would like to discontinue.

“I’m impressed with Mike," said Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano. "I’m impressed, as I’ve said many times, with his work ethic, his preparation, the way he reads things out in games, his cool demeanor. I think we’ve put Mike in a bad spot; he’s thrown too many passes. Even last game you say, ‘Well, [at] the end of the game we had to throw every [time].’ We did, but the first three quarters we should have ran the ball more. I’m disappointed in myself for not making sure that happened."

Glennon has completed 58.6% of those 181 passes, which is not ideal in today's NFL but is a good start for a very inexperienced passer. He's also thrown six touchdowns and been intercepted only three times, including none in the last two games. In other words, he's handled the extra workload about as well as could be expected, but that doesn't mean it's been the best approach for the Buccaneers. And it's going to change.

-- The Bucs want to build a more balanced offense around QB Mike Glennon
"I can see how it happens; I’m not being judgmental on anybody," said Schiano. "You get behind the sticks, you have an opportunity, but we shouldn’t put in him that spot as coaches. We’ve re-evaluated that and we’re going to try to play a little bit more balanced. I think what happens is we are very comfortable with the way Mike reads things out, so it gets you excited and you want to do things. It’s like having a new toy. It’s not the best thing, I don’t think, for us winning football games.”

Offensive balance wasn't the only topic being discussed at One Buccaneer Place on Monday. Below are some additional thoughts from Schiano and linebacker Mason Foster.

Head Coach Greg Schiano

(On the decision to put wide receiver Mike Williams on injured reserve)
“Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through, but he just wasn’t effective doing it. He’ll get surgery now and be repaired and be fine, it’s just going to be a little bit of a recovery. After getting all of the information from the doctors, he was allowed to try [and play with the injury]. He did for two weeks, but he wasn’t really himself. [He] couldn’t do the things he needs to do to be effective. So it’s time to get surgery.”

(On how Williams’ absence affects the offense)
“Mike’s been banged up for the better part of the year, I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a change. Relative to what could have been, sure. Mike’s a very fine player, but that’s part of life in the NFL. We need the next man to get the opportunity and we’ll go with that.”

(On using the weekend off to make changes)
“There are some things we are definitely looking at. I don’t know at the end of the week who’s going to end up at the left guard spot, who’s going to be the center, but we looked into not only personnel but the way we’re doing things coaching-wise. There are certain things that we can change. Our philosophy is going to remain the same, but are there things we can change? Certainly we can do a better job; I can do a better job. When you’re 0-7 you look at every single thing, and I’m sure we’re going to be stronger for it moving forward. It’s trying when you examine everything to the way we’re taking break, to the way we’re throwing our corner routes and everything in between. We did, we took a long hard look at it, we’re continuing to. Our opponent hasn’t played yet, so we have a little bit of a head start, which we need. It’s a tough trip going out there, it’s a tough place to play, we know that, but I think I speak for everybody – we’re excited about the challenge.”

(On what he is hoping to see from Glennon going forward)
“If he can continue developing the way he is – the last two weeks zero interceptions – reading things out the way we asked, continuing to get better with the deep ball, more mobile than I think people thought he would be. Really, I didn’t know how mobile he would be, but I think he’s shown some escapability and with the ability to keep his eyes down the field and throw the ball rather than look to run, although he’s ran a couple of times and gotten first downs. All those things factor in. This is a tremendous test now. He went from his first away game being in a dome stadium, to now going to what is the loudest stadium in the NFL. All the things that you look to test your quarterback will be there, including a great defense – a top five defense in almost every single category. This will be a great test for Mike and for our entire offense.”

(On injury updates for safety Dashon Goldson and linebacker Dakoda Watson)
“They’re all bumped still, but I’m encouraged. They’re going to be day-to-day but I’m encouraged, I think they’ll all be able to play come Sunday. I think what happens is they get back into action individually here during the week at different times.”

(On what changes he thinks need to happen on the defensive side of the ball)
“Without going into details, because I think that would put us at a schematic disadvantage, we examine third down, we examine first and second down, what are we doing? Where are we really the most successful? I think there are some things that we need to play upon more and there are some things we need to cut back a little on. The biggest thing defensively in my estimation is precision. We had free blitzers to the quarterback and we were on the wrong shoulder and he escaped out. As a coach when you create a free blitzer, meaning that no one blocked him, you can’t do more than that. We have to make that play. When you have a guy that’s supposed to contain and he doesn’t, you can’t do it, you have to do the scheme and then the plays come to you. That part of it, that’s got to be accountable by the player. The coaching part I look at is, defensively, we need to make sure we’re accentuating our best players. Putting them in a position to make plays better than we have. That’s something that I have looked at hard and I know our coaches have as well.”

(On getting defensive tackle Gerald McCoy more one-on-one matchups)
“I think Gerald’s general frustration is that he’s such a competitor and he’s playing at such a high level. The guys around him aren’t all playing at his level and that I think is generally frustrating for Gerald, but he is such a team player and he wears it all on his shoulders. One of the things I’ve told him is ‘You’re doing a great job.’ He’s beating guys one-on-one rushes over and over again but if you get the quarterback off the spot and the other guy isn’t there, usually when you get a sack it’s because [the quarterback] has nowhere to go and you sack him. We need to play to our strengths better and making sure we are more precise when we do get a chance to isolate our strength. Gerald’s done a very good job and I think the coaches [defensive coordinator] Bill [Sheridan] and his staff have done a great job of getting Gerald in position to get one-on-one blocks. There’s not many guys in the National Football League that can block Gerald McCoy one-on-one, it just doesn’t happen. If we can create those one-on-ones then we have to help him and he’s got to finish which he’s done but we also have to help him around it. One thing I don’t worry about at all is Gerald McCoy; he is through and through a team player. I know he’s got my back, he knows I got his back and he’s playing at a very high level. I really believe as we do a better job around him his stats are going to show. I tell you every coach that we play against, they game plan for him because he’s that good.”

(On how far away the team is from being precise)
“Not far and I think actually we’ve been there at times this year. It’s not like we’re trying to do something we haven’t done. Why does it happen? Is a better question, that’s what I’ve been trying to examine. Why have we become less precise? I think when you try to make something happen, we’re not scoring a lot of points, and then you try to make a big play. Generally when you try to make a big play is when you get yourself in trouble. If you just do your job, the plays come to you. There’s a little bit of that going on and I think we’ve kind of hit the reset button a little bit. We just have to go back to doing what we know what to do on defense. Offensively, it’s a little bit of a different story. We need to I think really look at how we’re doing things and what we can do differently to be more effective because we haven’t been effective enough scoring points. In the red area I don’t think we’ve been really good, it was something we were great at a year ago, we’re not very good right now in the red area. Third down we had been doing better; we weren’t very good on third down the other night. Look we just have to work through it, but talking to your point I think we have a quarterback who we can work through it with because he gets it.”

(On if he factors in quarterback Mike Glennon’s age and experience when evaluating him)
“I do factor that in, but it really doesn’t matter. We’ve got to win now, and he’s got the guys around him that he’s got. Thank goodness we have [wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson] who is just an ultra pro. Now, we’ve got a bunch of young wideouts. Tiquan’s not a young wideout but hasn’t had a ton of experience, and then we’ve got a bunch of young kids that are going to need to grow up. We’re not the only team in the league that has that. We’ve got to find a way. We’ve got a young tailback right now that, I think, is a really good player, but he’s got to grow up. [Running back] Doug [Martin], hopefully, will mend up and be able to play soon, but right now, he can’t. We have kind of a mixed bag there on offense, but that’s our bag.”

(On if it is difficult to evaluate Glennon without a healthy offense)
“I don’t know. You evaluate what you have. What else can you do? I think you have to be real when you look at it and say, ‘Okay, this is reality, this is what we’ve got, this is who we’re playing against. How can we be effective?’ Maybe I haven’t done a good enough job of saying, ‘This is how we’re going to win this game,’ rather than, ‘You know, we had gotten pretty decent on offense. Let’s go out and run our offense.’ Well, you know what? We’re not that good. Right now, we need to find out a way to win the game with our offense. Sully [offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan] and I meet on it, and the staff, and we’ll figure out a way, and then we’ve got to play complementary defense and then we need to be really good in the kicking game. Now, that sounds good, but everything I just described Seattle’s very good at. Their offense is outstanding. Their kicking game is tremendous. They have speed. They’re like we are with more speed. They’re aggressive, they go after you, they look to make opportunities in the kicking game, and they’re a little bit faster than we are. Everybody’s going to earn their keep, starting with me. If we’re going to win this game Sunday, we’ve got to find a way to win it.”

(On which backup receivers have stepped up in practice)
“I think Ti’s [Underwood] played in games, so forget practice. Ti’s played in games at a higher level. Has he been perfect? No. If he [had been], he would’ve been starting. But I think he’s the next guy up as far as experience. Then you start talking about, ‘Who’s the third receiver in the game?’ Chris [Owusu] certainly showed great promise. He’s got a nagging injury that’s keeping him from practicing. It kept him from being active last week. How well will he be by Wednesday? How well will he be by Sunday? He’s going to be up [active], but at what percentage? You saw Skye Dawson get in there. We brought him up to the active roster, and then we activated him on game day. He’s got some things that I think we can play upon. Again, [he] hasn’t played a lot a football, so we need to make sure we don’t go overboard with it. The quickest way to take a fast guy and make him slow is overload him, mentally. He’s a fast guy. We’ve got to keep him fast. How are we going to win this game? I think you’ve got to piece it together. This guy does this, this guy does that. We mix it together. We run the ball a little bit better. We need to do a bunch of things better, offensively, and then, defensively, we have to avoid giving up those [big plays]. In the last two weeks, we’ve given up nine plays that just – the rest of the game you’re pretty happy with – but you give up nine plays and you can’t. Those are the plays that kill you. Those were good defenses. What we weren’t doing in the first four games, we did in the last three. We have to get back to playing one play at a time, doing the little things right, because we’re good enough on defense to play good defense.”

(On reports regarding his comments to the team after Thursday’s game)
“I meet with the Glazers – and I’ve said to you guys before – I meet with them often, whether it be telephone or in person, and, since I’ve been here, what I say to our team is private. As we’ve all seen – I hope you’ve seen – there’s been a lot of things said that aren’t true, and there’s been a lot of things said that might be true. I’m not going to get into all that stuff.”

Linebacker Mason Foster

(On the crowd noise in Seattle)
“It’s tough. I went to one of the games probably my sophomore or junior year and it was crazy. Those fans are crazy up there so I know firsthand, but it’s going to be a great game. I’m excited to be up there; great environment to play in.”

(On how to defend against Seattle’s offense)
“Just play our game. We’ve got to go out there and execute and be on top of everything. They’ve got a lot of weapons over there and [quarterback] Russell Wilson does a great job of using them all. It’s going to be tough but we’ve got the guys to do it, we’ve just got to go out and execute and play our game.”

(On what makes Russell Wilson so effective)
“Definitely his athletic ability; the way he creates stuff with his legs. Not necessarily always running first, but getting outside of the pocket, making big throws down the field. He’s a great quarterback. He makes a lot of plays.”