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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs Wednesday locker room quotes




(On if the team is feeding off a youthful energy)
“Again, that’s a part of winning and the excitement. A lot of our young guys are playing and I agree with you – they are bringing a certain energy level to the field. It’s going to be needed. Whether it’s them or us veteran players, we’re going to have to have a lot of that. Right now, they get in there and they’re having fun playing, especially on defense. It’s good to see.”

(On struggling against Tennessee in the past)
“History doesn’t matter come Sunday. As we said before when we faced Carolina, when they’ve beaten us whatever number out of whatever number, that doesn’t matter. When we line up on Sunday what has happened previously won’t matter one bit.”

(On the game plan for stopping Vince Young)
“Man, if I knew that or if anyone else knew that, we’d be sharing it. More importantly than that, we’ve just got to play our defense. I think that’s what kind of hurt us a little bit last week. We didn’t hit the field or play as comfortably as we should in our own execution. In facing Vince Young and this Tennessee offense, we’ve got to be confident in our own execution rather than going out trying to stop an opponent. If we out-execute them, then stopping them will be part of the process because we’ve out-executed them.”

(On Zack Crockett)
“He got drafted with me out of Florida State. It’s very unique for us to play 13 years and now we’re on the same football team. Obviously Coach Gruden was impressed with his history when he played for him in Oakland and what he’s been able to accomplish. I just look forward to him stepping in and filling in where he’s needed. He’s a team guy and I look forward for him to come in and help us win ballgames.”


(On signing with the Buccaneers)
“It’s great to be back in Florida, especially among friends and coaches that you’ve been a part of for years. It’s just a great feeling to be back home.”

(On if he is still familiar with the offense)
“Yes. It’s just getting back and learning the terminology right now. It’s good when you come to a system which you have been a part of and been successful in for years. Just to come in and get acclimated to the environment, it’s just about getting repetition right now. I feel great about things, I’m excited about it. I’m definitely excited about being down here and ready to go.”

(On if he feels like he can hit the floor running)
“Oh, yeah. Like I said, it’s just going to take repetition just to get all the different terminology, all the different key points and new additions that I haven’t been a part of with Gruden. But once I get my rhythm down and everything I’ll be ready to roll.”

(On if he is ready physically)
“I’m always in top shape, always in top shape and ready to go. That’s never been a problem in my career.”


(On capitalizing on the opportunity to prove himself)
“I feel like this is a great opportunity for to me to just come out after preseason and get my feet wet in the regular season. Just to show the coaches that I am pretty good and I am able to get the job done.”

(On the chances of him playing this week)
“This is just me personally, I anticipate every week on playing. Even when I was on the practice squad, I would anticipate that I was going to play the upcoming week. I would go into each week, and I’m going into this week, anticipating that I am going to play this week. So, it will not be a surprise when they do call me; I will already be ready for it because I have been practicing and getting ready for it during the week.”

(On picking up the offense)
“I wouldn’t call it tough; it is just a lot of terminology. It is more so that you have to really just know certain plays and focus on it, and just remember the terminology of certain plays. Everything comes down to a certain way he calls stuff, a certain way the offense sets up. You just have to remember the basic stuff and he adds on to the basic stuff.”


(On the injuries on the team)
“Everyone has to find a way to carry the extra load. Obviously, we suffered some key injuries at key positions and it’s just a matter of everyone being a pro [and] understanding what their responsibilities are. Not that we’re asking you to put any more work than you already should be putting into it, [but] you should be trying to be a better player every single day physically and mentally. Now there are going to be opportunities for some guys that didn’t expect to get opportunities as soon as they are coming. Now it’s a great chance to realize a dream in a lot of ways. That’s what it is all about, in a sense of coming in understanding what were trying to do as an offense, as a defense, through special teams, and now taking your role to another level.”

(On the Titans run defense)
“There a very good defense, very good front four. Obviously, they’re talented, they’re big with DT [Albert] Haynesworth and some of the guys they have up there have motors that never seem to stop. They have a good set of linebackers that are active, smart linebackers, OLB [Keith] Bullock is making a lot of plays, it’s a very opportunistic defense. They’re great at stopping the run and when you are forced to pass, they’re doing a great job of being in places where they get tipped balls, where they’re forcing interceptions, returning interceptions. That has been a key aspect to their success this year. That is such an important factor for us, to not only find a way to get quality run, which are not going to come easy, but to be good with the football. If we do those type of things it gives us an opportunity to win the football game. But they are playing very well as a defensive group and because of their run defense they force you into a one dimensional game and that’s something that you don’t want to say that you want to be locked into or forced into come game time, but it’s just the way they play.”

(On RB Zack Crockett)
“He’s just a big strong running back. He’s a guy that can carry a load, he can carry the ball a number of times during the game. I think he’s a very physical back and from what I remember he catches the ball well out of the backfield. For as big as he is, he brings a good combination of size and strength and agility and ability out of the backfield to be able to be a check down guy, to be able to be an asset when it comes to the passing game and not just being able to utilize his running skills.”


(On if the onus is on the passing game with the running back injuries)
“No. I don’t think there’s any pressure, one. And two, it’s up to Coach Gruden what we’re going to do as far as our plan of attack. If I have to give my opinion, I don’t see us changing up from what we’ve done in the past. Every guy in the offense has to be accountable for what’s on the table each play. We’re just going to do the best we can with what we have.”


(On how good Vince Young is a managing the game)
“The kid is everything he’s written about; he’s a very athletic, mobile quarterback that can throw it on a whim. His throwing motion is really sneaky because all the sudden it doesn’t look like he’s throwing, he’s throwing like 40-50 yards, and it’s a rifle to the receiver. He has a lot of great attributes, every year he’s playing now, he’s getting more game awareness and he is something that we definitely need to be more aware of.”

(On a different challenge than last week)
“This is going to be a black and blue game, I’m telling you that right now. They way the come downhill, their personnel, what their team is trying to put on the field, its going to be a black and blue game. [We] just need to get our minds right, there is going to be a lot of scratching and a lot of clawing to win this game.”


(On getting back on the winning path)
“Just avoid mistakes, mental mistakes, and being more consistent on third-downs, that is a good place to start. No negative yards and then you are in a reasonable third down position, and we weren’t able to do that in Indy.”


(On Vince Young)
“You never know what you are going to get. You have a quarterback that can run around and throw the ball down the field and he can just make plays. And anytime you have the ability to go out and make plays on a given occasion, no matter if the play breaks down or someone misses a block, he can go out and create his own plays and that’s a difficulty for us going into the game. We just have to make sure were pressuring him and making him feel uncomfortable.”


(On upcoming schedule)
“We just need to take one game at a time and look forward and be the best we can Sunday and go out there and perform. Usually the team with the least amount of mistakes win.”

(On the difference of QB Vince Young to other running quarterbacks)
“When you look right now he hasn’t run as much as Michael Vick did in his second year as QB, but he’s definitely looking to pass the ball. They have some good things going on with RB [Chris] Brown and RB [LenDale] White at the running back position. They are running well, there a down hill running team, but he’s doing some good things all around.”


(On injured players)
“Brian Kelly did not participate today. Greg White and Barrett Ruud were limited today. And Michael Pittman will not play in the game, that is for sure.”

(On signing Zack Crockett)
“Well, we lost a couple backs. We’d already lost Mike Alstott, and Michael Pittman was a guy that not only played halfback but fullback. So Zack Crockett gives us a guy who could obviously fill in should something happen to B.J. [Askew]. He’s also a guy that has carried the ball, and we’re happy to have him here. He’s got to learn a lot of things quick, get reacquainted with what we do here, but he’s an NFL veteran player who has played fullback and halfback and contributed on special teams. And he does have some system background here, so we’re going to try to make him a quick study and get him ready to play.”

(On if Crockett’s role is more halfback or fullback)
“Both. His role is both. And it’s a triple role – fullback, tailback, special teams.”

(On if he feels good about Earnest Graham and Kenneth Darby)
“Yeah. I feel like Earnest Graham’s a very good football player. Ken Darby’s going to get an opportunity, and obviously for a young back at this stage of his career it’s a great challenge. But opportunity only knocks so many times and you’ve got to answer the door. Ken Darby is going to do that for us.”

(On how big a plus it was to bring in a player who had been in his offense before)
“It’s a plus. We play Sunday, so if he had no background it would have been awfully difficult to get him ready to play. Sometimes you have to account, even though you don’t want to, for the possibility of someone getting ill the night before a game, somebody possibly turning an ankle on Friday or Thursday. There are not a lot of people out there that have the background that this guy has. And Derrick Brooks insisted that we bring in another Florida State Seminole. Derrick had a lot to do with this.”

(On what he thinks Chris Simms’ future holds)
“I think he’s a young guy with talent. He’s got to get himself centered and squared away physically where he can go out confidently and compete again. Until he does, obviously he’s got work to do.”

(On Tennessee’s defense)
“They are rugged. They’ve got Albert Haynesworth and it looks like Albert Haynesworth is playing better than he’s ever played. He is a great football player, a totally disruptive player. [Kyle] Vanden Bosch is a great player; [Keith] Bullock is at the top of his game. He leads the league among all linebackers in interceptions. These guys are very good. They’re physical, they’re diverse – they’re complete on defense. They have the whole package. They can rush the passer, they can mix up zones and perimeter pressures, and they can all tackle. They handled Atlanta pretty well last week. They played extremely well in a big win in the dome against the Saints. And they took the Indianapolis Colts to the wire. So it will be a great opportunity for us to see where we are.”

(On if Gruden is comfortable giving Askew carries)
“Yeah. Yeah, I do. I’m confident in B.J. He had a good camp and he’s a good football player. If he gets the opportunity to carry it, I know he’ll be excited about it.”

(On Albert Haynesworth being so big)
“Usually when we play against Tennessee, we all get to the stadium and go out early just to watch him walk around. He’s every bit of 6-5, he’s really a great player and a former Volunteer, I might add.”

(On how Vince Young has improved)
“He’s only been in the league for two years. No mistake – the Titans are 3-1 now and they won six straight to end the season or whatever it was last year. They won a lot of games at the end of the season. They’re the real deal right now. Vince Young is coming on. Norm Chow deserves a lot of credit. You see moments where maybe he wishes he had a throw here or there back, but he’s not afraid to pull the trigger. And when all hell breaks loose and he’s got to create with his legs, there’s nobody like him that I know. He’s a winner.”

(On if Jeremiah Trotter might get into the mix on defense)
“Well, there’s that possibility. Barrett Ruud was limited today. It’s good to have Jeremiah here. He’s learning our defense. He’s been a leader in the clubhouse and he’s in the bullpen. He’s ready to go if needed.”

(On if the Bucs will continue to search for help at running back)
“We might be searching right now. It’s just that ‘searching’ and ‘collecting’ are two different issues. You can search all you want, but there are not a lot of teams in football that are willing to part ways with good runners and good players.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:50pm]


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