Make us your home page

Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Wednesday's locker room quotes



(On Jacksonville's offense)
We will be playing them at home. We have to stop their running attack. Obviously, what Fred Taylor and Maurice [Jones-Drew] have done so far this year has really made the offense and given the quarterback position a lot of balance because they have been able to run the ball, get into some play action situations and hit teams with big plays. [They are] very physical, similar to Tennessee. We have had the fortune of playing them every preseason here for 10 years, and it is no different with the physical aspect of their ball-game. Their running backs are probably playing at a high level; probably the highest level two running backs can play right now.

(On what the team can learn from preseason meetings)
It is a style of play. At the time we played them they were really trying to see which quarterback they were going to go with, but the players are still the same in terms of what they put in. Like I said before, Mike Tice is getting a lot of movement from the offensive line in terms of getting guys on the perimeter. Their running backs are doing a good job of breaking tackles. You look at their touchdown runs, plus 40, plus 50, 70 yards. We have our work cut out for us in terms of gang tackling. That is really going to be key for us this week, getting three or four guys to surround the ball because we have yet to see guys bring one of these backs down. They are really going to play to our strength because we need to really get back to gang tackling.

(On what Maurice Stovall adds to the offense)
He brings the work ethic, a certain attitude to the field. He definitely wants the opportunity, and he's a big body out there. Last year he showed that he's capable of making plays on the field and now it's just a matter of plugging him in, allowing him to gain confidence in plays that he has opportunities to run and just giving him chances to make plays. He's capable, just like he showed last Sunday, being a big body [and] positioning that big body to make a critical catch and score a touchdown like he did.

(On adjusting the offense with the injuries)
I think my main focus is that they are going to step in and handle their job, that they're going to do what they're supposed to do and I need to focus and continue to do what I need to do in order to help this offense run efficiently and it's just a matter of trust really. We have suffered injuries, it has taken its toll on this team in ways but we have to find a way to plow through it. I think that is what this team is doing its best to do on the field. It's not an easy thing but we're all very capable; we wouldn't be here otherwise. And that's where I think the trust issue comes in and its just a matter of repetitions during the week of practice and the comfort zone we have towards each other.

(On Lucas stepping right into the offense)
I feel that he can step in and do some quality things for our team. I feel that he can bring a certain ability to the field that not everybody has. His speed is something that is very special and it's something that hopefully can be utilized.

(On using the shotgun formation)
I think when he knew that I was going to come here, I feel that he began thinking about incorporating it into our offense. For me, I feel like it is an advantage, it is something that I am very capable of doing. I feel that it does create immediate separation from the line of scrimmage, it allows that cushion right away. As long as John Wade continues to do a good job of snapping the football, those things can be a positive thing for us and I feel like they have been positive for us and it's just become a staple of this offense.

(On the Jacksonville defense)
Jacksonville has a very imposing defense, much like what we faced two weeks ago against Tennessee. [It] probably comes in with even higher regard as far as what they have done over the past few years. I remember seeing them last year when they came to Philadelphia, I wasn't on the field at the time, but we really struggled as an offense against them in Philly. I just know that they have a solid front four, they have good solid linebackers that are very active, their corners are good, shut down corners, they have some experience in the defensive backfield with Sammy Knight, as a guy that has played around the league. They do a lot of good things, they create some problems for opposing teams' offenses, they can shut down the run, they're very physical inside, big tackles inside and active defensive ends who do a good job on the pass rush. You can't necessarily look at last week's game or this past Monday night's game against Indianapolis as a true scale of how good they are as a team so that's something that we are very concerned about and aware of and we need to figure out how we can find ways to create positive plays on the field.

(On how hard it was to move from end to tackle)
It was tough at first because I had never played it before. I'm used to keeping everything on one side. Now that you're a tackle you can go either right or left. That was kind of hard and there are bigger guys inside. But I guess they felt like I was athletic on the outside, so let's bring some of that inside.

(On what he thought when he arrived in Tampa and they told him he was going to be a defensive tackle)
I said, let me try it because it took me off Cleveland's practice squad. I can't complain where they put me. It didn't matter.

(On if he's pleased with where he is now)
It's good, but it's definitely going to get better. I'm happy, but I'm not content. I'm not satisfied. We're 4-3; we should have a few more wins right now.

(On who has helped him the most in switching inside)
I think it's some of everybody. Everybody brings good things to the table -- [Chris] Hovan; Kevin Carter used to play there, so I get a lot of information from him; guys like Ryan Sims.

(On Jacksonville's running backs)
Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, they're a handful, everyone knows that and we're going to have our work cut out for us this weekend, but I think we will be alright.

(On them potentially running more this weekend)
We don't know what to expect, but we're definitely going to get a good dose of the running game, definitely. We better be ready, buckle down and be sound in the running game.\

(On what Maurice Stovall adds to the team)

He's a big, physical guy. You saw a little bit of that last week in the red zone catching his first touchdown. He is a guy that has worked his butt off and really tried to prepare the best he could to get on the field, so I know he's going to be fine.

(On the strength of Jacksonville's run defense leading to more offensive passing plays)
We're not going to change anything we have done all year. We just have to be efficient in what we do and try not to put ourselves in situations where we hurt our team. We can't turn the ball over and we need to find ways to get our ground game and our passing game elevated to the level where we need it to be.

(On what stands out about Jacksonville's offense)

The way they run the ball. Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor -- Fred Taylor's still got it. I don't know how many operations he's had, but he can still run the ball better than anybody in the NFL. And Maurice is just a little bowling ball. He just finds the lane, gets there and goes. We're going to have to be ready for a very physical offensive line and a great running attack.

(On Quinn Gray)
He's a good quarterback. He kind of got thrown into the situation on Monday night. Indianapolis capitalized on it, but I'm sure they're going to prepare him to get ready to play us this weekend.

(On facing the Jaguars in the preseason
This is a team that we see often. It is almost like having them in our division, I think that we play them that much. It is a team we are very familiar with and for us we play them all the time so it is not that big of a deal for us.

(On the defensive line's scheme)
They are so good up front they can just play you straight. That is the advantage of having a defense like that, two big guys in the middle, ends that can rush up field, physical linebackers. They can play with the front seven and not have to worry about a lot. They remind me a lot of the Titans in the way they play, and so we had success against them and hopefully, we can have success against the Jags.

(On the Jacksonville offense
Like they do against most teams, they are going to try and run the ball because they have two great backs, not just good backs, great backs and a good o-line too. That is what we have to stop first like always, stop the run and then we have to try and get pressure on the quarterback.

(On the difference between this year's team rather than last year's team)
Execution, that is basically it. Whoever executes the best is going to win games. Last week we didn't execute as good as we needed to and we lost. [We] lost a game we probably should have won. That is what it is going to come down to again this week, whoever executes the best. Jacksonville has some injuries, too, so we are both hurting a little bit. However, it is midseason NFL; everyone is hurt a little bit.

(On returning to the team)
I was on the practice squad the first six weeks then got released last week. I wasn't sure what I was going to be doing here in the next couple of weeks, and then I got the call this week and they put me on the 53-man roster. I'm just looking to help out any way I can, with the emphasis probably on special teams and backing up B.J. [Askew] any way I can.

(On playing on special teams)
When I first came in here, I knew special teams was going to be my ticket to stay around here. That's the great thing about the Buccaneers -- they have so much emphasis on special teams. I knew coming out of Cal that was going to be my place, my foot in the door. Definitely, from the get-go, special teams was the emphasis.

(On Jacksonville's defense)

They have a pretty solid defense, good safeties. [They are] nice and physical, they can play real deep in the field, they can also play the long ball. Their corners are pretty solid as well and they have a 5-11 corner and a 6-1 corner. We started looking at them today [and] they're looking pretty solid even though they had their loss last week against the Colts.

(On waiting for his turn)
You just have to realize that the game is a marathon, it's not a sprint. Unfortunately the circumstances when someone gets hurt, your teammate, you have to step up and be in the line-up and make plays. Unfortunately Michael [Clayton] and Mark [Jones] both got hurt, but we have guys that can get the job done, including myself. Both Joey [Galloway] and Ike [Hilliard] are still healthy, we're still going to get things done and take care of business.

(On excitement or pressure this week)
Neither to both, I feel the same way I do every week, as far as preparation, looking at film, getting ready during practice, preparing myself, and keep doing the things that I have been doing but of course bring it up another notch and another level.

(On being the senior guy on a line full of young lineman and how much that changes things)

My calls are calls, the system hasn't changed. I think these guys have done a nice job of coming in and taking it seriously as this is our job we get paid to do. We are expected to know it, and teammates are counting on you to know it. I am not saying everything is perfect but I don't think it is a lack of effort by the guys. A call is a call; I just have to make sure both sides get it. Sometimes I have been guilty myself, I would say something and I still don't do what I call. It just happens, it is a fact of life, [and] people do it all the time. That stuff is going to happen but I don't feel like there is any extra burden than there already is.

(On injured players)

Alex Smith, Mike Clayton, Michael Pittman and Brian Kelly did not practice.

(On Maurice Stovall filling in if Clayton is out Sunday)
You never like to see a guy get hurt, but Maurice Stovall is a guy we think's a pretty good player. How good he is, he'll determine that. We're anxious to see where he is, we're confident in him and we need him. With that said, let's see what happens.

(On Jovan Haye's play)
He's doing okay. The sacks are something that's exciting. He does have pass-rush ability. We need everybody on the team now to pick it up, and we'll rely on Jovan Haye. He's our starting under tackle and that position requires a guy to make a difference.

(On if there is a better set of defensive tackles in the NFL than Jacksonville's John Henderson and Marcus Stroud)
I don't know. These guys are outstanding. They're excellent indeed. Henderson and Stroud have backed that up for years. I'm impressed with their defense. [Paul] Spicer -- no one talks about him. They've got [Bobby] McCray on one side and [Reggie] Hayward on the other but this number 95, Spicer, is having a great year. He's a mean guy, a tough player. Getting Mike Peterson back to anchor the middle of their defense really helps them. They're a good football team and Rashean Mathis and Brian Williams gives them two good corners.

(On what he sees in Reggie Nelson)
You see a first-round draft choice with a lot of range. He's a very good football player. He's a good blitzer. He plays a lot of coverages well for a rookie. They're playing quarters here, the next play it's two-deep, the next play they're blitzing. This guy handles a lot of football well, and he can run and hit and I'm impressed.

(On if Ike Hilliard is going to be the one to return punts with Mark Jones out)
We've got three guys who can do it. I think Ike is a sure-handed guy, a north-south runner with some elusiveness. He's played really good football for us, and we'll need him to do that chore, if that's what you call it -- that job. It's not an easy job. Some of these punters are unbelievable, the way they can punt the ball and make it rattle and roll up in the air. You have to have a guy who can handle it, and he can do that. [Phillip] Buchanon can hit home runs, I think. He's had some issues with his hand; that's one of the reasons why we haven't used him back there. Joey Galloway is a guy that is dying to do it, but we've got to be selective with those opportunities.

(On who will return kickoffs)
Torrie Cox has done it. You've seen him do it before and he'll have an opportunity to do it again.

(On Garcia going seven games without an interception)
That's impressive. He's in a new offense. It's not like he's been in this offense his whole life. He's playing with a lot of young guys, different receivers and backs coming and going. Not only has he not thrown an interception, he's throwing for almost 70% completions. He's doing a lot of great things. I give him a lot of credit.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:51pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours