HEAD COACH GREG SCHIANO
(On safety Dashon Goldson's overturned suspension)
"Dashon has become a big part of our defense obviously and it's great that we have him back, we're fortunate. Dashon is a physical player and we're going to work very hard – I don't want to be in this position and I know he doesn't want to be in this position [of being penalized]. It's something we have to work very hard on, we did after Week 1. We have to get corrected because we can't afford to lose him and we want to play the game within the rules. And it's not just Dashon, the guys are playing very physical. We have to make sure we lower that strike zone and we spent a lot of time talking about it so hopefully we get it done."
(On where he thinks the issue sits with the offense)
"We just need to keep practicing and get better, get in the groove. It will come. We just have to keep working at it. I know it's your job to report on it, but we have to go out and just work on it and be more detailed and more focused that's what practice is for. It will click, it's clicked before, it's not like this group hasn't done it together, we just need to get it going and soon."
(On whether he has seen signs of the offense's development)
"Yeah, but I saw those signs before. We need to do it during the week and then we need to carry it to the game field on Sunday and I'm confident we will, I believe that our guys will do that, but until we do it it's belief."
(On his recent meeting with cornerback Darrelle Revis)
"That was brief and very nice of him to come up and see me, not necessary. But there was a lot of stuff floating around, I guess, and he said 'Coach I just want to set it straight.' It was great, it was good to see him but really not necessary. I told him, I said, 'I love coaching you,' he said 'I love playing here,' so let's go. There was nothing, so it's good that he came up. I appreciate him doing that. He wasn't requested, it was on him."
(On whether he feels there is too much drama surrounding the team)
"Outside these walls, yes, but not in[side]. Not for me, not for this team, I don't think. I think we're just working; we're practicing, getting better. We're close, [but] close isn't good enough, we have to get over that hump. But no that doesn't affect [us] inside of these walls. I know it's noisy outside, people tell me that, but we're good."
(On if he sees any parallels between the team's early struggles this season and last season)
"There might be some, you'd hate to say that, right, because fool me twice shame on me, but I hope it clicks like it did last year. That's what we're working toward."
(On whether guard Carl Nicks will play in this week's game)
"Too early to make that declaration, but it was good to see him in pads [at today's practice]. It's been a while. Now, we'll wake up tomorrow with hopeful hearts that it responds well and we just have to wait and see."
(On guard/tackle Gabe Carimi's absence from practice)
"Gabe is sick, illness."
(On what is needed to come out on top in close games)
"We need to play better two-minute, whether it's smarter or better [playing] or better coaching. Whatever it is, we need to be a little bit better in that, so I guess if that's what you call the knock-out, I just think it's a phase of the game that we haven't – I think our guys feel very comfortable in every phase and maybe we haven't gotten there in two minutes, not by a lack of effort because we work on it, you know, you've been at training camp, we do it every day. But we just need to get a little bit better and we will. That's finishing a game and the reality is, in this league, I don't want to put to put a false percentage on it and be exaggerating, but it's almost like half the games – 40-percent of the games come down to a two-minute drill one way or the other. Two-minute or four-minute offense and defense are usually what happen in the NFL, there's not a lot of those big blow outs. So we have to be better in that phase on defense but we'll get there."
(On using cornerback Darrelle Revis in the Tampa Bay defense)
"Well in general I'll talk about it, because that's what we will do again this week. We do use him in match-ups. I've moved on from New Orleans. Could I re-do some things? Would I? Who knows. Again, at the time you make the decision you think is best, but we do [use Revis in man coverage]. He's playing a lot of match-up coverage and, certainly if you have a guy like Darrelle you do that because you have an opportunity to. He's got a big load on his shoulders and he's carrying it well so far."
(On whether he is frustrated with the result of the close games)
"Yeah, I want them to go that way [winning a close game over losing a close game]. That's why I come in to work every day. So we'll get it. It's frustrating, sure. Just when you lose, period, it's frustrating. When you put 85-90 hours of work into a week, and then you don't achieve what you set out to achieve, frustrating would be probably the most mild word you could use. So that's where we'll start and we'll kind of climb from there."
(On what he likes about defensive tackle Derek Landri)
"I had must have not said something – Derek is hurt. He's injured. Derek has a MCL [injury]. He's going to be out for a little bit. He'll be back, but he's down. I don't know if that didn't – well, I guess today is our first injury report. [Jokingly] Hey, by the way, Derek Landri is out with a MCL... So he has been getting a lot of snaps, you're right. But he won't be for a few weeks."
(On the condition of guard Carl Nicks)
"Well, conditioning and the foot needs to keep being OK. We're not going to risk, as I said earlier, we're not going to risk anything long-term for a short-term gain. Carl's a Buc, he's going to be a Buc for a long time and we don't want to mess anything up long term by being shortsighted."
(On the New England offense)
"I think it's a well-coached, very efficient group. I think every year they run the football. Everybody thinks about Tom Brady because he's a first ballot hall of famer without a doubt, but they [New England] run the football effectively and that's what you look at. And when they run it, they win. You have to start by trying and attempting to stop the run. That's difficult, because you have that guy, No.12, standing there. They've had some injuries at the wide receiver position but the guys are stepping up, they've made plays, they've made enough plays to win. When you're young at positions and you make enough plays to win, the confidence grows and it goes. Again, a really well thought out scheme. The guys are very technically sound with the way they execute, so it's a huge challenge for our defense. They do a very good job of mixing it up: run, pass, deep shots, screens, intermediate routes. They do it all and they do it off play-pass action, so it's going to be a big challenge for our defense."
(On his relationship with New England Head Coach Bill Belichick)
"I think the common passion for the game of football and what it's done in our lives is what brought us together. That and his son playing for us at Rutgers. And he's a great coach, he's another hall of famer. So you're looking at – certainly a challenge for all of us going up there to Foxborough, but that's what you're in it for, you love it and you love that challenge."
(On running back Jeff Demps and whether he will be activated to the 53-man roster)
"Well he's starting to get his legs up under him, that's for sure. I don't mean that – he was fast the day he walked out there, but his football legs, where you have to lean on people, and block people and run through contact and all that. We need to deal with that at the end of this week and we will."
(On the importance of winning this week's game)
"16 one-game seasons, that's the way that I approach it, that's the way we talk about it as a team. Sure, do we want to win this week, yes, because it's one of the 16. But it doesn't change what Week 5, 8, 9, 16, 17 – it doesn't change how important those are. So what we do around here is we pour everything we have into our preparation for this one-game season and then at the end of it, you got to evaluate it. You sit back – you can't let them run together, though. I know that's hard if you're not doing it every day, but if you're doing it every day, you've got to go out and work. Those guys went out in 105 degree temperature today and worked for this game. You can't live in the past because otherwise you'll get hurt out there. And coaches, you can't live in the past, you've got to get your butt on the film and break it down and figure out how we're going to do this. That's the part about this game that's great. No matter how disappointed you are on Sunday night, you better get up early Monday and get to work, because, you know what, the other team is doing it and that competition is what makes it great. We'll work our tails off and we'll get up there and we're going to play better. We're getting better, that's what we're doing, and hopefully that will be good enough to get the 'W.'"
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE SULLIVAN
(On what the offense needs to improve on in preparation for this week)
"[It's] hard to put a finger on any one particular scheme or concept or player or anything, or coach. There's a multitude, as you'd mentioned, little issues here or there, that have occurred, and often times at the most inopportune times of the ballgame. I think that as we have taken a hard look at where some of the breakdowns have been, what are some of the things that we can control, we've certainly addressed that. In moving forward in today's practice, we did a lot of good things, felt good about the plan and where we're headed, and there's nothing we can do, there's no magic wand to, 'Poof,' go back in time and do a different play or have executed differently or any particular one thing. We've just got to keep moving forward and having a great challenge in going up to New England, there's no time to be either pointing fingers or feeling sorry for ourselves. So to answer your question, if you want a specific, 'Hey, it's this one thing or it's that other thing,' it's hard to say because it's been a combination of a variety of things that no one's excited about or pleased with, certainly no one in the organization and certainly no one as far as our fans and looking at us from the outside in, but rest assured we are focused on what we need to do to solve the problems."
(On if quarterback Josh Freeman has voiced concerns about receiving the play calls)
"No, no he has not, as we've talked about a couple of weeks ago with the headset malfunction and our contingency plan and so forth, but that hasn't been an issue, no."
(On Freeman's play this season)
"There's some good things you look at [in] the first two ballgames despite some things that were inconsistent or a little bit rocky along the way. Ultimately, doing some good things down the stretch, overcoming some early adversity, and that's the game, that's this league as far as the ups and downs and just trying to be at that consistent high level and trying to stay out of those valleys, if you will, and try to be at that steadiness, and that's the ongoing battle. So, I think there has been a lot of good things that we've done, that he's done, we [have] just got to put it all together, though. It's not just one player, it's not just one play, it's a combination of a collective group of men going out and executing and to this point, we haven't done that."
(On running the ball on crucial third downs in back-to-back weeks)
"Again, this is the only chance I get to speak with you guys and so I know there's invariably going to be questions about last week and yet I'm trying to move forward. But, to talk about something most recently with New Orleans, we ran the ball extremely well in that game. It was schematically, we had a specific purpose for the play and as we've talked, I know Coach Schiano has mentioned at times you go with the decision you feel is right at the time and you can't beat yourself up. You know, the guy from New Orleans made a heck of a play, but that's – the way we were running the football… and so ultimately, it didn't work out for us but again, it's how are we going to solve some of the other issues? You talk about the one play, but the things to get us to be more consistent, to get us executing where we need to be, and that's what we're focusing on right now."
(On getting more production from the tight end position)
"Timmy Wright played a little bit more this past game, Luke Stocker is still getting his legs underneath him, Nate Byham had the long catch of the day. That certainly can help as an added option, but right now there hasn't been the commitment to taking away a Vincent Jackson – that's why he's got the number of catches he has and the production he has. And ultimately, when teams, if they're going to continue to allow that type of one-on-one match-up where they are going to allow you to run the football, then you've got two Pro Bowl players and the next thing is, 'Why aren't you using your two Pro Bowl players?' So, I think that certainly has merit, we're looking at that because there is that open end of the field ultimately and we saw a lot of it last year. Really it was about Week 4, Week 5, the Dallas Clark questions, the tight end questions coming to the forefront, so he was able to be a little bit more productive because again, it's like a boxing match out there, kind of counter-punching, trying to adjust as the defense tries to take away certain weapons that you have. We're continuing to work the guys that are there and hopefully Tom Crabtree comes back and he's a part of the mix and we're able to get the balance we want out of that position."
(On how he is handling this second season with new changes to the system)
"Every year is different, every team is different and certainly, if I spend any time being surprised or disappointed or frustrated, that's going to take away from what we need to do to get ready for the Patriots. That may sound trite and cliché, but I promise you there are enough hard work and enough of a challenge that those guys present. We've got too much talent, there's too many good players and the guys are working hard. Trust me, we're looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and play the type of offense and say we're capable of playing, but, ultimately, we've got a lot of preparation that has to take place. We had a good day today, we have to get after third down tomorrow and just keep building the plan. That's a great thing about this thing, even if a couple of those plays had gone differently and if these first two seasons had been better and our record was different, there still would be some of the frustrations because we're not playing, consistently, at the level we need to. That's what we're zeroed in on."
(On if he's comfortable with the balance on first and second down)
"There were a few more shots that we tried to take down the field, some of the play action shots and so forth this last game. I think it's always a mixture; we're always trying to do one of the things that can move the football and keep defenses off balance. The big pass plays have been something that has helped in the past. We were able to run the football. I think it's one thing if you're pounding your head against the wall and you're not getting anything, but when your back's in the 150 yard-range, ultimately you have to do whatever is working. We're always going to be a team who wants to have that mixture because certainly, when we can run the football, that does open up the play action shots and that's something that we've had success with in the past and hope to look forward to do more in the future."
(On if he thinks the team has run into some bad luck)
"There was a time I was the most superstitious - everything had to be a certain way then ultimately, after a number of years and a number of games, it just comes down to you create your own luck. Ultimately, some of those plays or calls or whatever the case may be that aren't going your way, you fight through it and you work through it and eventually they do come your way. I don't feel that way at all. I think we just have to continue to stick together the locker room, the offensive guys, the defensive players there's been nothing but guys pulling together and solve problems and rather than having any finger-pointing or any type of second guessing or questioning. There is a great resolve with the group and that's encouraging. I think a lot of it is because of the character of those guys and they're aware of the talent that they have and what were capable of doing and what we can do in the future."
(On if it is harder to develop a rookie quarterback like Mike Glennon now that the season has started)
"I think all of our young players - One of the things we do with the scout team, they show teamwork and additional periods that Coach Schiano has within the practice where we have actually allocated time for the development for the younger players, where they are running Buccaneer offense and that's something that all of our guys get. That's something we did last year, it just so happens that there is a young quarterback now, so there's no change. I think all of our young players are getting that additional opportunity to get better and get accustomed to what we're trying to do on offense."
SAFETY DASHON GOLDSON
(On the appeal)
"[We] had a good argument, I felt. [I] explained my side, they went ahead and explained the rule, and we met halfway, pretty much, on the deal. The good thing is I'm not suspended, I get to play this week, which is the most important thing."
(On himself as a player)
"I'm an aggressive player, we all know that, across the league. My intentions are never to go out and hurt anyone. I try to keep my hits within the rules. That's what I'm going to do week in and week out, try to get guys on the ground, [but] at the same time, I've got to be careful."
(On adjusting his approach to tackling)
"I have to take my shots when they present themselves, cleanly – no launching, of course, [and] no hats-on-hats [helmet-to-helmet] – just making sure I get the guy down on the ground and do it properly. I know there's going to be a lot of eyes on me from now on and that's ok. I've just got to be smart. I'm not trying to hurt our team, and I'm definitely not trying to hurt myself or another player."
(On New England quarterback Tom Brady's comment that, if he played defense, he would play like Goldson)
"I appreciate that. Tom's a great player, we all know that. I've got a lot of respect for him, and it's good to see that he has respect for my game. I appreciate that."
(On if the fines will serve as a wake-up call)
"I think that'd be a wake-up call to anybody. That's a lot of money. But, at the same time, like I said, I can't go out there and play timid. I know I'm not a dirty player. Our coaches do a good job here of implementing tackling in our drills every day – we go through tackling drills every day. I think those guys do a good job of explaining the proper technique of how to get a guy on the ground."
(On the importance of being on the field against New England)
"[It's important] any week, but especially this week. We're going to be facing an elite, [future] Hall-of-Famer [Brady]. He's a good quarterback, and it wouldn't be right if I couldn't be on that football field and share that football field with him. I'm glad to be a part of this game again this week and [to be] back on the practice field with my teammates."
"I [take] a lot of pride in my tackling. I take that seriously [due to] the simple fact that that's the kind of player I am and that's how I made my name in this league. I've got to continue to do what I've got to do but at the same time be smart about it. I think we've got to adjust; if the game is adjusting, for us, as players, it's our job, so we've got to adjust with it."
GUARD CARL NICKS
(On practice today)
"[I've made] a lot more progress. [I] went full-go – kind of limited, but I had pads on, I was hitting. It was good to be out there running around, playing football again."
(On getting into football shape)
"I was actually surprised how good of shape I was in today, but it's still priority, because a game is way different than practice. It's definitely a high priority."
(On playing this Sunday)
"I really want to play. I wanted to play two weeks ago. We'll see how it goes. If I had [been healthy], I'd [have played] Week 1, but obviously I wasn't ready. When I say 'we'll see,' it's kind of [dependent on] if I get the 'okay' from the big guys upstairs."
(On if watching the offense struggle is frustrating)
"Yes. When you get out there and you're kind of seeing your team struggle, and you know you could've done something to help, it's frustrating. But, like I said, if I get back out there this week, it should be a little different."
(On New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork)
"I've played Wilfork, personally, at least four or five times in my career, so I know him. It's Wednesday, we did a lot of work, already, on it today, but I'm real familiar with all those guys."
(On recent media reports)
"That's kind of outside the locker room. We're not really worried about that. The only thing we can worry about is cleaning up what we've got to clean up on the field. Everything else is just your [the media's] job."
CORNERBACK DARRELLE REVIS
(On media speculation and outside distractions)
"I thought those New York days [were] over with. I think it comes with us being 0-2, and people start to say rumors here and there, but everything's fine. We're just trying to stick together as a team and get ready for this week."
(On how hard it is on a team to lose two close games)
"It's very [heartbreaking], it really is, both games, because we had them throughout the game. Well, the first game was back and forth, the second game against the Saints and Drew Brees it was back and forth, but we managed to dominate most of that game, and we had it right there. Those are some tough losses there, both weeks, but the only thing we can do is learn and improve and that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to get real detailed on both sides of the ball, so those mistakes won't happen at the end of the game."
(On how good Tampa Bay's defense is)
"We're very good, we're very good. We still got a lot of work to do, but we're playing great football and we've got to continue to do it consistently. I think that's the big word, [with] all 11 of us being consistent out there on the field."
(On safety Dashon Goldson winning his appeal and lowering the target zones for tackles)
"We're glad to have Dashon back – that's good. He's a leader on this defense, he's a hard-hitting safety, so losing him would be a big loss for us. We're glad he's back and the appeal, he won it, so we're good on that. It's tough, the second question to answer, it's tough. Guys are flying around full speed and at the last second or split-second, you're telling a player to hit a certain way, it's just tough. But, the rules are the rules, we got to abide to them. We just got to clean them up, we got to clean them hits up, and move forward."
(On facing New England quarterback Tom Brady)
"He's a tough competitor, he really is. We had our battles, back in my New York days, and I'm sure this will probably be a battle again of just going out there and competing. He's a tough sucker, man. He's a tough sucker to play against. I got a lot of respect for him, but at the same time, as a team we got to go and we want to go up there and win the game."
(On meeting with Head Coach Greg Schiano)
"I just wanted to make sure me and Coach were on the same page. A lot of things in the paper do get out or rumors here and there, but I just wanted to talk to him personally and say, 'Hey, just to let you know, I don't know if you believe it or not [and] just make sure that he saw me. During this time, it's a tough time for this team. We're 0-2 and we don't want distractions. The one thing we do want to do is just focus on the week at hand and the team we have to prepare against and I just wanted to make sure I [saw] him face-to-face and just talk to him."
(On any truth to the rumors about unhappiness with Coach Schiano)
"Zero truth, zero truth. Why wouldn't I be happy here? They gave me an opportunity coming off my injury to play football again, so I'm excited to be here. At the end of the day, that's all I want to do is win games here."