Tampa Bay Bucaneer Player Quotes

Courtesy of Bucs Report



(On the key to getting pressure on Drew Brees)
“Just playing ball and getting after it. They’re a great team, they’ve got a great offense and they’ve got a great quarterback. We’ve just got to keep it going. We’re establishing the pass rush right now; we’ve just got to keep it moving.”

(On how you can stop the Saints from scoring 40-50 points)
“The main thing is just to go into this game being focused and just to play our ball. Just knowing our assignments and just being in the right place at the right time.”

(On playing a team with such a good passing attack)
“Just got to come out prepared. We can’t overly prepare for the pass; we have to prepare for both. With them passing the ball right now you can’t forget about Reggie Bush and Deuce [McAllister]. We’ve just got to come out prepared and it’s going to be a good game.”

(On if he feels the pass rush is heating up)
“We need to get more pressure so obviously we’ve been working on that, and it’s coming along. We’ve got a long way to go and we’ve just got to keep rolling.”

(On switching between left and right end)
“Just trying to put myself in the best situation possible. Whether it’s left or right, wherever Coach [Monte] Kiffin wants me to be, that’s where I’m going to be.”



(On the facing the Saints and their potent offense this week)
“Ever since Coach Payton has been there, their offense has been pretty good. It’s nothing new to us facing their passing attack as well as their ground game. It’s nothing new to us because we’ve faced them before. Again, they are a familiar division opponent. We have to bring our ‘A’ game. Unfortunately, we gave up a couple the first game of the season and it ended up being the difference.”

(On what a linebacker has to do when playing against the Saints ground/pass attack)
“Their offense tends to get more balanced as the game goes. If they’re gaining yards off of passing, that sets their running game. If they’re passing game is struggling, they start to run the ball to set up the passing. The balance comes from within the game, the feel of the game and how it’s going. But as I’ve said, we do have to tackle.”



(On the playoff stretch run)
“What team wouldn’t want to be in this position, that you can come down to three games to win the division and put yourself in a good position for the playoffs?”

(On controlling the ball to keep it away from New Orleans)
“They have a talented offense and a great quarterback, but we also have a talented defense, a great defense. We’re confident in our defense, but at the same time offensively we have to do our part to help this team. We have to go out, try to control the scrimmage and try to make plays, definitely keep those guys off the field.”

(On offensive consistency)
“We have to be consistent. We are sporadic at times. I think we play well, then at times the stupid things happen, the penalties and turnovers. We can’t win games consistently in this league playing like that. We have to play better offensively.”

(On the team’s resiliency)
“Last week, no one panicked. We were down 17-0 and no one panicked. We just felt like we needed to play better and go out and execute. Once we started doing that, we were moving the football and making plays. We believe in each other, so we did show a lot of resiliency, believing we could turn it around and win the game.”

(On if he envisioned this scenario of being the lead rusher for a playoff-chasing team)
“What I envisioned was making the playoffs and giving ourselves an opportunity to play in the big game. That’s what I envisioned. Things happen throughout the season, guys get injured, guys come and go. To have an opportunity to come back and be a big part of the offense is good. It’s a good thing.”

(On his expanded role)
“I’ve played a lot my whole career. I was playing a lot before Earnest got hurt. Now I’m just going to have to take the ball a little bit more. I’m sad that he’s not here to experience this also but I have to do my part. Cadillac [Williams], Clifton [Smith] – we all have to do our backs to help this team get to the next phase, the playoffs.”



(On the Saints bringing everything they’ve got against the Bucs)
“For sure. You know with that team, regardless of where they are in the playoff chase, they’re always going to give their best fight. The only time we ever didn’t do it when I was there was when we already had it locked up when we didn’t play. It’s going to be a great challenge for us this week coming up. It’s a very capable team of beating us. They have every tool that they need, an unbelievable offense, and our offense is definitely going to have to match with them and put some points on the board and take advantage of opportunities.”

(On coming from behind on the road)
“The only good is that we have a very resilient team that really can overcome a very big challenge. Then there’s a lot of bad. Getting behind early huge on two teams in my mind that we should be able to go up there and play well against and match up well against, to put ourselves behind the eight ball like we did in Detroit and Kansas City is something that we cannot do going down the stretch. It’s something that we cannot do preparing for the playoffs, getting into the playoffs and in the playoffs. It’s something that we’ve got to fix now and we’ve got to fix it quick and it’s something that just can’t be accepted here.”

(On the team scoring non-offensive touchdowns and how helpful that is)
“It’s helped tremendously this year. I hope we haven’t used them all up this year already. Our defense is playing well, our special teams – Clifton [Smith] is coming on and has been a great returner for us. It’s definitely a team game, but our offense can only depend on the other two so much. We’ve got to be able to step it up and do our part as well.”

(On Clifton Smith providing good field position)
“It’s huge. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s really come in a situation, as a rookie, as a guy that’s playing behind a ton of talent at the running back position and for him to contribute any way that he can, on the practice squad, leading up to when he got activated and coming in and making an instant splash, he’s definitely been a huge bright spot for this team this year.”

(On the team staying calm even when down)
“I think there is a belief within this team that no matter what the situation is, we still have a chance. Me personally, on the sideline 17 down, I’m still joking around and still having fun and still loose. There’s no reason to get tight. I think for most of the team it’s the same way. I think that comes with a confidence that we’re still in this game. We have a defense that can shut down teams, we have a defense that can score, we have a special teams that are now scoring and an offense that when we are clicking, we are clicking well and we can move the ball. I think that confidence is what keeps us relaxed on the field and keeps us in games and keeps our head in the games.”



(On if there is difference in his game now compared to the week one)
“Having repetitions in practice, having game time experience; all of those things are different than obviously from the first game of the season. Not coming off an injury or anything like that. I think the steady play that we’ve had as a group and that I’ve had individually allows me to go into this game feeling good about the things that have been going on and feeling good about my own individual play. Coming out of preseason, going into that game and coming off a calf injury probably didn’t allow me to be as sharp as I would have liked to have been. But that’s behind me and hopefully I can go out this week and play with the energy and play physically like I’m capable of playing.”

(On if there a bigger challenge this week playing against Drew Brees)
“Obviously, Drew is having a record setting year. He’s playing outstanding football. His offense is playing great. His coach does a great job calling the game and they execute it well. There is no question that he’s having a tremendous year. That’s the task that our defense has to face. My task is their defense and trying to overcome what they are going to present to me. I need to do my best job of doing that and put ourselves in position to have successful plays and winning plays. Obviously, we need to outscore them in one way or another. It’s going to be a task in itself but I think this team is up for the challenge that we have this weekend. It’s going to be a great game and it’s going to be a physical game and so we’re excited about that.”

(On the importance of the next three weeks and is it okay to look forward to that)
“I don’t think it’s wrong to look at what we have in front of us these next three weeks. Just as long as we know where our focus has to be and that’s this week, this game. But we have three division opponents and everybody is pretty tight. Any one of the four teams is capable of winning this division, depending upon the streak that they go on. So, it’s important for us to realize what we have ahead of us and the great opportunity that we have ahead of us if we are able to take on the challenge and turn it into a positive thing for us.”



(On facing the Saints)
“It’s going to be a big challenge. Drew Brees is having an MVP season. They’re dangerous. They have Deuce, they’ll probably get Reggie Bush back this weekend, they have threats. This one I’d tune in for.”

(On putting pressure on New Orleans QB Drew Brees)
“You need to get pressure on this guy quick and in his face. It’s going to be imperative that we get pressure up the middle on this guy. He doesn’t want any pressure in his face. He is a great quarterback and we have to do every little thing that we can to get to him and it’s really going to determine the momentum right now.”

(On being hard to sack)
“They do very well on protection. But another thing is, if Drew gets pressure in his face he gets it out. He reminds me a lot of Brett Favre without the back peddle. He is so instinctive. I have a lot of respect for this guy.”



(On New Orleans offense last Monday night)
“They put up points. They got some turnovers off defense and created more opportunities for their offense. They played a good game all around the board. They put up 51 points against a tough defense. They played well and you have to take your hats off to them. We have to face them this week. We’ll bring a different twist to the game as far as defense because we won’t sit there and play man to man the whole game.”

(On if New Orleans is a different team than in week one)
“I like to think so because we’re a different team. This is week 12of the season so I’m sure they re a different team. We know what they are and we know their personnel real well. So, we know what we’re up against.”



(On the three upcoming NFC South games)
“I think division games in general are exciting, but especially when you’ve got as much on the line as we do right now, I think everybody’s excited. We put ourselves in this position, and like you said, we kind of control our own destiny.”

(On staying calm even when trailing)
“We were talking about that last night, actually. Even when we were down 17-0, nobody was panicking and was just relaxed. Everybody was kind of upset that we got in that position, but nobody was panicking, nobody was in fear that we were going to lose the game, it was just a matter of time before we got back into it.”

(On the defense giving up big plays in Week 1 against the Saints and how far it has come since then)
“They really weren’t huge breakdowns. It was more just like, how many times does a guy trip, or went up for a ball and mistimed it, stuff like that. Really we were in the right spot, we just had to make a play. I think it’ll be motivating for us, because we know we are capable of playing a lot better than we did against them the first time. Like I said earlier, there’s a lot on the line for this game, so we’re all excited for it.”

(On staying focused on one game at a time with all the playoff talk swirling)
“It’s really easy to, actually, for me at least. Each opponent we’ve got coming up is a rivalry game, especially these next three. New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina – they’re all kind of the same category for me. Everybody gets excited to play them and I don’t think anybody will be looking ahead in any of these games.”

(On if it’s playing with fire to keep falling behind)
“You don’t want to. It’s not like it’s a good thing. It proves that we’ve got some character and we play well after the first quarter, but we definitely need to get off to better starts. You don’t need to be behind 17-0 very often.”



(On the Bucs’ offense without him)
“It’s never easy to sit and watch a game, but I’m trying my hardest to heal up. Hopefully I have a chance to get out there this week.”



(On overcoming the odds)
“You just have to come in with a Dorito on your shoulder. You just have to have a big chip. You can’t let anything stand in your way of what you want to accomplish in life. I looked at it in that aspect and went about my dream.”

(On if he was aware of the significance of returning a kick off for a touchdown)
“My agent talked to me about it before Tampa Bay actually called me. He told me that this would be the perfect spot for me. I was well a where of it. After I ran it back, Spurlock was one of the first people to call me up and tell me that I was doing a great job.”

(On what’s the key of returning kicks)
“You just have to be fearless. Why you are up there looking at the lights you have people running down there full speed ahead with one goal in mind and that’s taking your head off. So, you just have to be fearless and trust in your teammates, knowing that they are going to get their job done and keep those guys off of you.”



(On if they’ll give a cushion at the line or try to bump them off)
“You do multiple things to try to disrupt the timing. Coach Kiffin has it in is game plan and of course I’m not going to put that all out there like that.”

(On what he learned from the Week 1 game against New Orleans)
“I learned a lot – stay deeper than the deepest. Definitely learned to stay deeper than the deepest. That’s the main part. They thrive on that deep ball and those big plays, explosion plays. We’ve just got to try to prevent the explosion plays and then we’ll see what happens.”

(On if he watched the Saints on Monday Night Football)
“Oh, definitely. I think they came out in the third quarter and scored four touchdowns or something like that. That was definitely a great Monday night game to watch. I enjoyed them putting on that show.”

(On if this game will be one of the bigger challenges for the Bucs’ pass defense)
“Number one in the league in passing yards, so it’ll definitely be a big task for this secondary. We’re looking forward to it. Coach Kiffin has gotten in the lab and put a couple things together, so hopefully we’ll be able to stand up to the challenge.”

(On what has changed for him since his first game)
“Now I’m playing in my 12th game of the season. Before, I was playing in my first game of the season. I’m a little more comfortable guarding NFL receivers, I’m a little more comfortable just with my assignments and everything. I’m just a lot more mature at this point in the season.”

(On if he was nervous in his first NFL game)
“Oh definitely. First NFL game, first time in that dome, I mean, it was crazy. I was really nervous. Now I’m sure I’ll be nervous. I’ll be in front of my home fans this time, so it’ll be a little bit more comfortable. We’ll just have to see what happens.”



(On why the pass rush is heating up)
“Good camaraderie, I guess, us hanging out. What is it, like 30 weeks into the season? It’s good. We’ve been just playing around with each other, going out there and being smart pass-rushers, if you can believe that, knowing when to do stunts and when not to.”

(On how much he’s involved in mixing and matching with Gaines Adams)
“Gaines is a really good athlete, so Gaines can rush from the left. Me, I can’t really, so they keep me on the right. That’s my kryptonite, the left side.”

(On competition to get sacks)
“Honestly we’re happy for everybody. Personally we’d all like to have a lot of sacks, but if we can’t we’ll taking Jimmy [Wilkerson] getting sacks, Gaines, or K.C. [Kevin Carter] or Hov [Chris Hovan] or whoever’s out there, because it opens it up for the rest of us. If he gets a sack they’ve got to pay attention to not just me but him too.”

(On Jimmy Wilkerson)
“He’s coming along really well. What did he have, two sacks [in Detroit] and might have missed three more. We’re going to keep going at it.”

(On if he’s surprised that the Saints’ offense is at the top of the league)
“No, not at all. You’ve got Drew Brees and Marques Colston and Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, he’s coming along. It’s no surprise at all.”

(On the season opener)
“We weren’t at home. So we’re at home this weekend and I think we should play better. We’re going to play hard every game. That’s our goal and the fans are going to help us out even more.”

(On what’s in his mind as the Bucs head into a streak of three straight intradivision games)
“That’s very simple: We’ve got the New Orleans Saints this weekend. That’s all we care about.”



(On his playing time)
“If I keep going, working hard, practicing hard, staying consistent in what I’m doing, then it’s whenever coach throws me out there. I’m going to play just like I’ve been playing every week. I don’t go into games thinking I’m going to get 20 snaps or I’m going to get five snaps. When I’m out there I’m just thinking I’m going to play one snap at a time.”

(On if his versatile role fits him well)
“I think so. I’m having a lot of fun with it. Like I’ve said before, it’s something I’m used to doing. Back in Kansas City, I’ve been playing both defensive tackle and defensive end. It’s just really all about learning the plays and feeling comfortable running them.”

(On how comfortable he is in the Bucs’ defense)
“I’m very comfortable. Real comfortable with the plays, the play calls that Coach Kiffin and Coach Wash throw out there. I think week-in and week-out by practicing on those plays for hours and hours at a time, of course it’s going to make you more comfortable. I’m not thinking as much out there on the field, so I can adjust to what I see as far as the offensive line and what they’re doing, or whether it’s a run or pass, things like that.”

(On having one career sack coming into this season and now having four already in 2008)
“I’m just having fun. I feel like a rookie all over again. Being around these guys, it’s a great group of guys, the defensive linemen and to have guys like that, it kind of takes a lot of stress off you as far as who you’re going up against and vice versa for me too. I get a good rush at defensive tackle and it takes some pressure off of Gaines or G-White, so I think we’re molding more together now that we’re spending all these weeks together. Going into this game, we’ve got things we want to do against the Saints and we’ve just got to go out there and practice them and really key in on meshing together.”



(On if he was nervous going into last week’s game)
“Dead nervous. I was nervous. The night before the game, I didn’t sleep at all. It kind of felt like we were playing in the Super Bowl or something. I just couldn’t sleep, I was real nervous, but overall, it went real well.”

(On the first game being a relief)
“Exactly. I talked to guys and they said the first game coming back from and injury is always a big game, the one you’re going to real nervous about because you did the rehab, you have been practicing, but it was still you’re first live contact. It went well though.”

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