Head Coach Norv Turner
“No, I don’t think we’re at a point where it is precautionary with anyone. I think if they can practice, they can practice. We will have a better idea of where they are tomorrow.”
“He hurt his finger and they went up to look at it. He missed about the last ten minutes of practice.”
On what makes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ run defense so successful:
“They are very physical, athletic and they have a great scheme. They use their safeties a great deal in the run fits. With their athleticism they are moving all the time. They create a lot of negative plays.”
On whether wide receiver
“That is a hard one to answer with the type of injury he’s had. It is kind of a wait and see. He has made good progress. Over these next three or four weeks that whole process should speed up.”
On any evidence of sluggishness from the time zone travel in the Cleveland game:
“I’m not a big believer of the time zone problems. We went into Kansas City and played a noon game there, 10:00 a.m. here. We played fast and physical. We played at a high level defensively in Cleveland. We forced them to punt nine-straight times. I wouldn’t call anything about that sluggish. Obviously I think we have to make plans and handle it. Our guys have done a good job with that.”
On who gets snaps for Corey Liuget when he does not practice:
“We just have our rotation we’ve had. If he can’t play, last week was the first week we had six defensive linemen up. If Corey wasn’t able to go we would have five up. We had an opportunity to do it [dress six linemen]. We obviously only dressed three receivers because that is all we had.”
On the Buccaneers doing a great job of keeping blockers off of their outside linebacker:
“He’s just an outstanding young player. Their linebackers are very active and with all of the stunting and moving their linebackers are freed up to make a lot of plays.”
Defensive coordinator John Pagano
How do you plan to deal with the height and physicality of the Tampa receivers?
“You get up there and you jam them. You’ve got to be physical with them. It’s something that we’ve been accustomed to here going against guys like Malcom (Floyd) and the tight ends that we see here in practice. Having these corners go up against Vincent (Jackson) these last four or five years is something that we’ve gotten a lot of work at. And that’s the number one thing about their offense –besides running the ball – is the ability to go down the field and make a play.”
What do you think of (Tampa running back) Doug Martin?
“The most impressive thing about him is how he sees the whole great vision. His ball security is unbelievable. If you ever want to see a guy that really takes care of the football, every time that he runs through the line of scrimmage, when he gets up, even handing the ball the official it’s always high and tight. It’s something that’s just so impressive. He’s got great balance. He’s somebody who, the last few weeks, had a lot of yardage. He’s not very hesitant and he’s not someone who’s going to dance around back there. He’s going to see what you give him and take what you give him.”
What kind of impact do big defensive plays have on your team?
“Any time that you can go out defensively and make a play, and number one have the ability to get the ball back for our offense, then number two get the ball back for our offense and score on defense is something that these guys talk about. It’s something that we’ve been trying to do all year. Those big plays have the ability to change games. On the other hand, the offensive team that we’re facing is a big-play offense, from the runners to the receivers.”
Is this a bad time to play Tampa with the way that they’re playing?
“They’re going to be explosive three weeks from now so I wouldn’t say it’s bad timing. They’re offense right now has found something with their run game, their play-action passes and the ability to attack downfield. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We have to be gap-sound. I know that I sound like a broken record standing up here every week, but we have to be able to go out there and stop the run. And we have to do a great job of controlling their big-play ability on the edge with the receivers.”
Does Tampa use the fullback more than what you’ve seen?
“They use the fullback a lot. He’s such a solid player and he runs physically. He does a great job. I believe that he wasn’t even a fullback when he got there, so it’s something that’s very impressive. He’s somebody that we have to make sure that our pad level is down and that we lead him in the hole before he gets us.”
Did you watch your brother’s address to the team?
“Oh yeah, it was awesome. It was such a great moment. It was so inspiring and I’m happy for him.”
What do you think of the quarterback Josh Freeman?
“The thing that you see about him is his play-making ability. He’s having a great year. His touchdowns are up and his interceptions are down. He’s putting the ball in the air to where those guys can go get it and catch it. He’s got two receivers who go out there and make plays. And with how he’s finding them and how he’s getting the ball to them, it’s usually in spots where a defensive player can’t go and get it.”
If (Antwan) Barnes can’t go, does that mean more
“He’s looking great and it’s something that we’ve always talked about. Our depth on the defensive front right now gives us the ability to have certain guys who are banged up to let another guy go and play.”
Does the four-man rotation at outside linebacker give those guys more opportunities?
“It’s gives you the opportunity for more plays. But I’ve been here where we have four or five guys up but I still want to go with the hot guy that’s going. It’s working out good for us right now with the rotation and the numbers that we’re playing because we believe that guys who are fresh can go in there and make plays. And we’re not dependent on a guy in an outside position that plays 60 to 70 plays a game. So we’re always looking forward to get those guys to rotate.”
Are you happy with how linebacker
“He had a huge play last week and he’s been physical in the run-game. He has the ability to get a great sack and cause a fumble in the end-zone. Those are big, game-changing plays. He’s been working hard at everything from the meeting rooms to practice, then taking his physical play out on the field. It’s something that’s been a real plus for our defense. “