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Tampa Bay Buccaneers


(On WR Mike Evans' MRI and if he could be available for Saturday's game)

"The MRI showed no structural damage. It was a hyperextension. I saw him in the training room a little while ago – there's very, very little swelling and he'll be day-to-day."

(On being scheduled to play on Saturday and if that means LB Devin White will be unavailable)

"It looks that way right now. I was not overly excited about that – it could potentially cost us a couple players that [could] play on Sunday that we're still hoping [for]. Washington – when Alex Smith plays quarterback, they're a heck of a football team. I've got a ton of respect for him from playing him over the years, but what through and how he came back is amazing. Ton of respect for Ron Rivera – been against him in the playoffs a number of times and didn't win. They're an extremely well-coached team, a ton of talent on that defensive front, but Alex Smith is really the key to everything."

(On if there is anything he will utilize in preparation for Saturday from when he faced Ron Rivera twice as the Carolina Panthers' head coach last season)
"Similar defensive styles. Going back and looking at what was successful and what wasn't. Same thing offensively – there's a lot of similarities with what they do. They're a good running team [and] they've got a great wide receiver screen game that's very similar to what they had in Carolina."

(On the chances of CB Carlton Davis III and DL Jeremiah Ledbetter playing on Saturday)

"I think Carlton should be up and going. Ledbetter will be very iffy. Shaq [Barrett] will be back, not sure about Stevie [McLendon] yet."

(On when WR Mike Evans will test his leg this week)

"He's running in the pool today. Hopefully he can practice on Thursday."

(On the new playing surface at Washington's FedEx Field and if that will be considered when evaluating Evans' status)

"No, not really. You're going to play on whatever field they put you on. You've got to fight Mike. If we can go, he won't [care] about the field. It's going to be wet, it's going to be in the high 30s and the ground will be moist, so it's going to be slick like it always is up north this time of year."

(On Washington WR Terry McLaurin, RB Antonio Gibson and TE Logan Thomas)

"McLaurin – loved him coming out of Ohio State. [He's a] great leader – I think he's a young captain for them already. He was a special teams player at Ohio State and a great receiver – he was on every special teams – so he's a tough guy. He can fly, he's got good hands. I loved Antonio Gibson coming out. In the draft, it was really him or Antoine Winfield Jr. for us, and we decided to go with Antoine. He can do everything – he can catch, he can play receiver [and] he's got great explosiveness for his size. I think Logan has found his spot. He was a heck of a tight end coming out of high school and it was just a matter of giving up that quarterback dream and going back to that position he plays well, because he's a great, great athlete."

(On Washington DE Chase Young and DE Montez Sweat)

"They're legit. The two kids from Alabama inside and then those two guys – plus Ryan Kerrigan – that's as good of a five as you're going to see anywhere. They're all young, very active and very athletic. It's a heck of a building block for Ron [Rivera] right there."

(On CB Sean Murphy-Bunting's performance on Sunday and the confidence that can give him moving forward)

"I thought he played one of his best games of the year. Obviously, that last play was huge – stripping that ball and recovering a fumble – to just build his confidence even more. He did a great job. I thought our safety help was much better. He tackled well and he's getting healthier right now too."

(On WR Mike Evans playing through injuries this season and what that means for his availability this week)

"If he's 80 percent, we'd have to fight to keep him off the field. Him at 80 percent is better than a lot of guys at 100, so we'll see what he is and how he feels. His leadership and his toughness – when Chris [Godwin] was down, there was no way [Evans] was going to stay out. He went out there on one leg and played about three games on one leg and still performed well."

(On DE Chase Young's bravado and being named a captain as a rookie)

"It's kind of like what Mike Tomlin was talking about. You don't want to draft that high to get guys like that, but you've got to play against them. He's a hell of a player. Obviously, making him a captain as a rookie speaks volumes. Both those kids from Ohio State – him and McLaurin – are great kids. He's a handful, but so is [Montez] Sweat, [Daron] Payne, the rest of those guys. Ryan Kerrigan – I've had a ton of respect for [him] for a long time. We'll have our hands full, but it's one of those games where you better watch what you wish for."

(On his impressions of Washington from watching their Sunday night game against Philadelphia)

"It's hard to see on TV because they don't really show what we look at. If I went to a game, I'd be sitting in the end zone – that's for sure – because I like looking at it from behind. It was a good ebb and flow. You saw the fight in Washington and the mistakes Philly made that cost them the game. You can't make those kinds of mistakes if you're going to try to win a ballgame."

(On if the team will practice at night this week in preparation for Saturday night's game)

"I haven't really made up my mind yet this week. We'll wait and see. If we do it, we'll probably do it Wednesday just because it is a Saturday ballgame. I think we're over that now. It shouldn't be any problem."

(On how Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich improved as a play-caller this season)
"I think just having a second year. Another year with another quarterback, the evolvement of the offense – he did a great, great job. I love the way we're playing right now. It took some time [and] it took a lot of coaching. I think he's one of the best young coaches in this league – especially play-callers."

(On a player he is most proud of for their play this season)

"There's so many. I'd probably have to say Tom [Brady] for what he's been through [and] what he's done. Forty touchdowns with a new team, learning all that verbiage – it was not easy. He's done such a great job of leadership for us, also."

(On not having LB Devin White on the field for the defense's blitz packages and if he is concerned that other defensive players are not getting to the quarterback without White in the lineup)

"I think not having Shaq [Barrett] and Devin was critical in this past ballgame. Devin gets a lot of free shots up the middle when you have Shaq and JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) coming off the edge and [Ndamukong] Suh on the other side. It's a conglomeration of all the guys working together that frees Devin up. Getting Shaq back out there and getting Jason going this week – and [getting] Suh going. Lavonte [David] and Devin are capable of getting up the middle and giving some pressure, too. It's going to be hard to sack Alex [Smith] – he throws the ball so quickly – but we've got to have our hands up and maybe bat some balls down."

(On if this season was the most points an offense has scored of any team he has been a part of)

"I think so. I'm trying to think – back in Pittsburgh, we had one season with a bunch of points, too. Scoring points has never really been that hard. I knew when we came here, we were going to build a defense. You win on defense because scoring points isn't that hard."

(On if the team envisioned WR Antonio Brown's increased production on Sunday when it signed him this season and the depth Brown and WR Chris Godwin create behind WR Mike Evans)

"You're talking about two Pro Bowl-type players. When we signed Antonio, Chris was coming off an injury [and] Mike was coming off a bad ankle. It was like, 'What happens if we lose one of those guys for the long haul? Let's get [Brown].' He's fit right in so it's a matter of I don't think you can have too many good players. Obviously, with Mike going down in that ballgame [on Sunday], Tyler [Johnson] stepped in, Scotty [Miller] stepped in. The two lead dogs are Pro Bowl players, so I expect for them to step up."


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