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Tampa Bay Buccaneers



(On LB Kevin Minter filling in at the linebacker position)

"All of us [and] the whole staff had confidence in Kevin. He knows the defense inside and out already, and he's definitely somebody we can count on to step up and fill the void. As you saw this past Sunday, he did that. He came in and played a pivotal role [and] made some big plays throughout the football game. He's a guy with a lot of football under his belt – an eight-year veteran – so he's definitely a guy who we're comfortable with filling the void until Devin [White] gets back."

(On balancing the excitement of a postseason appearance with the focus that is required)

"Obviously, this can't be a normal game because it's sudden death, basically. If you lose, you're out. And if you win, you keep on moving forward. Our whole mindset is focus on us and forget about everything that happened the last 17 weeks. It's a new start. It doesn't matter [what] a team's record [is and] it doesn't matter how they got here. They're here, so they're going to give you their best and we should put our best out there. It's definitely going to be fun to be a part of – to feel the atmosphere, the intensity that being in the playoff brings. Definitely have to be able to focus on what we focus on and just try to end this thing with a victory Saturday night."

(On what this week has been like as the team prepares for a playoff game in comparison to having exit meetings and beginning the offseason like in previous seasons)

"It means a lot. It's huge. The past eight years, I haven't been in this position. I've been in a position where I was having my exit meeting and getting ready to head on to what I need to do in the offseason. It's different now. I was kind of joking around about it after the game, but it's different now. This is what I'm here for – to be able to compete in the tournament. It's finally here and now I have to do what I have to do [and] the team has to do what we have to do to continue to survive. The level of excitement is crazy, but at the same time, you know what's at stake. You can't get too high and you can't get too low. We just have to go out there, try to forget about everything that happened in the past and focus on right now. Every day, the moment is right now and we've got to be able to stay in that moment."


(On how Tampa Bay can neutralize Washington's defense)

"They're a really good defense and they're playing really, really [well] right now. They have a really talented front seven and they really get after the quarterback, so I think as an offense it's going to be our job to make sure we control them. Make sure we're on our Ps and Qs with protection and make sure our routes are on point. If you allow them to really get after your quarterback and disrupt the game, they'll really do that."

(On if he has noticed an added focus in QB Tom Brady this week)

"I guess we'll see as the week progresses. One thing about Tom [is] throughout the entire year, he's been the same guy every single day. That's something that you really respect. No matter if it's a preseason game, regular season game or a playoff game, he's going to come with the same intensity [and] same focus. When it comes to gameday, he's going to be locked in and be that guy we all know and love. I don't expect to see anything different, just because his attention to detail is so high. I'm looking forward to getting out there and rolling with him."

(On if creating energy in an empty stadium will be a concern for the team on Saturday)

"I don't think it's a concern. I think we're so used to it now and like you said, it's the playoffs. We've been working all season to get to this point and now we're here. We can't come out there and be flat – we need to bring our own energy no matter what."


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