Bucs Central

Open Locker Room Quotes: Wednesday

Clayton offered up advise to Freeman about read progressions

Clayton offered up advise to Freeman about read progressions

Several Buccaneer players addressed the media at the conclusion of practice today. Receiver Michael Clayton told reporters that rookie quarterback Josh Freeman needs to help himself…defensive end Tim Crowder talked about the new defensive scheme the team has been in the past two games…Josh Freeman talked about what he learn from the Panthers game…tackle Donald Penn talked about the different variations of the Jets 3-4 front.

(On the team)

“We learn from our mistakes as a team regardless of the outcome of the game.”

(On Freeman’s interceptions)
“I think it’s a situation where he is going to have to help himself. Obviously he is trying to get the playmakers the ball. I had a brief conversation with him. I said, ‘Going through your reads is no different than what Coach Olson tells him daily.’ He has to figure it out. He has all the capabilities to figure it out and I will be the one to test his experience and game experience. He has been in that position before. He is a smart enough guy not to go in and make the same mistakes. There are a lot of things for him to be able to correct his mistakes and I feel confident that he can get it done.”

(On how frustrating the process is)
“It’s not as frustrating now as it has been. You continue to stay on the path of what you want to be of getting better. This team has a wonderful mindset right now. Nothing can deteriorate what goes on in the locker room or the field. It’s football, losing is always frustrating. You learn to deal with the realities of it, learn from our mistakes and better ourselves weekly. That’s all we can do right now.”

(On the new defensive scheme and the feel)

“The guys are a lot faster. The guys are getting up the field. As long as you get in your gap and a lot of people will make plays. That’s all everyone is trying to do, make plays.”

(On if the defense is close)
“We always feel like we are a couple of plays away and we are never satisfied. We just have that never satisfied attitude. As long as we just keep working hard at it and keep perfecting our craft we should be good.”

(On what he learned in the loss against Carolina)

“I learned a lot because each interception was kind of a different scenario. You learn that even though you want to take your shots, you want to be aggressive, you still have to make it appropriate. Like the one to [Antonio Bryant] in the end zone, he broke his route off. Instead of taking a shot I should have just thrown it out of the back of the end zone. We would have lived, probably would have been able to punch it in and it would have been a different ball game. You have to learn from your mistakes. It is what it is. I definitely learned a lot from last week.”

(On watching film and be able to remember what he was thinking at that time)
“Oh yes. It’s vivid. You relive it perfectly whenever you are watching the film the next day. I relived it thinking about it the entire night and until we watched the film. Then it was time to move on to the Jets.”

(On a personal rivalry between the other rookie quarterbacks that were drafted in 2009)
“Of course you always want to be regarded as the best. I think this is the only time that one of the rookie quarterbacks are playing against each other this year. I’m real supportive of those guys. They will always be in the 2009 draft class with me. We will always be remembered together. Whenever they are playing, I’m watching the TV and pulling for them to do well. When we are playing them I don’t want them to do well.”

(On Sammie Stroughter)
“Sammie is one of our consistent guys. He’s been extremely productive ever since week one. He is one of those guys that you know will always be in the right place and if you give him a chance he’ll come down with the ball.”

(On the biggest obstacle he’s had to overcome so far)
“I would say this past week. I thought that we had ample opportunities to win that ballgame. I feel like it was turning the ball over, me turning the ball over which kind of stopped us from doing that. You never go out and plan to have a day like that but at the same time you have to learn from it and move on. It’s really been a fairly smooth transition going from not playing to playing. Coach Olson does a great job of breaking down the film for me and showing me exactly what I’m going to see so when I get on the field you know what you are going to see. You know what protection calls Jeff Faine is going to make and you are ready to go.”

(On the best advice)
“It’s probably a tie between Doug Williams and Byron Leftwich. After the game, Doug was telling me about a game after his playoff years that he threw five or six (interceptions) against San Francisco. He just said you can’t let it get you down or let it take away your edge. You are who you are. You have to keep throwing the ball, you have to learn from your mistakes. Also Byron. Byron said he watched the game. He said other than those five plays he thought I played well. It’s a matter of eliminate those things and when you do have a game like that just being able to respond and come back with a positive attitude ready to work.”

(On Freeman’s five interceptions and if youth was a factor)

“I’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks that played in the league for a long time that have thrown a lot of interceptions. It happens. It’s a football thing. Maybe Carolina saw something on tape and exposed some of the things that our weaknesses were at this point. It’s something that he has to work on. Nobody is beyond that. We saw Tampa Bay here make a MVP quarterback look bad in the Super Bowl. It happens.”

(On focusing on the next game)
“It’s very easy. We have to keep moving forward. None of us know what the future holds. We just know that we have to come in, have the right attitude, the right effort and stride to get better and things should take care of themselves. Everything is built on that. It’s built on the way you come into the building, the effort you put in. If you invest the time usually you get rewards.”

(On what he’s seen from Sammie Stroughter)
“High energy. He’s definitely a guy that loves to play football. He’s never up-and-down. He’s the same guy every day on the football field. He’s going to be a great wide receiver in this league and play for a long time. He definitely excels in the slot, special teams, kickoff return, punt return. Definitely a very valuable guy for this team.”

(On if the backs lobby the coaches to run the ball more)
“We know what our running back group is like here. We know what we’re capable of and I’m sure the coaches here are aware of that as well. When we get to it, we’ll get to it.”

(On helping the young guys not let losing become a mentality)
“Our effort has been great. Of course, coming out, playing well through three quarters, almost four quarters, an entire game, just a few plays here and there. It’s really just us being on the details as far as being in those critical situations. It really is more of a detail-oriented thing. It’s not the losing getting to us and our effort isn’t there. The effort’s there. It’s just details, the small things. We have to be able to focus on those things to win football games. That’s something that we’ll work on.”

(On what motivates him during a difficult season)
“Self-motivation. When you’ve been playing football for 20-something years, every day you come in here and try to perfect your craft, like anybody else in any other profession. That’s what motivates me.”

(On the Jets’ 3-4 defensive front)

“They have a lot of different variations; I’ve been watching them all morning. They have a lot of different variations and it’s a good challenge for us as an offense. Our offense hasn’t been doing too well this season and we’re going against the number-two defense to see where we are as a whole.”

(On facing top pass-rushers being a confidence builder)
“You’ve got to have confidence to play in this game. Being a left tackle, you’ve got to have a lot of confidence in yourself. You’re out there on an island. I’m not really a cocky guy, but I kind of am inside to keep my edge going. I try to pump myself up and make myself a little big going into a game so if something does happen I’ll be able to react to it and it won’t be as bad.”

(On how he has improved this year)
“I think my run-blocking has improved. I think that’s been a point that last year our O-line coach, Bill Muir, wanted me to work on and it’s something that has carried on over to Pete [Mangurian] this year. I feel I’ve improved tremendously in the run game, my run-blocking skills.”

(On the system)

“We know we aren’t winning so it’s not good enough. It’s kind of a comfort factor. We all buy into this system. We’ve played it. Most of us have played it. If you haven’t played it, you’ve been learning to play it since you’ve been here. It just allows you to play fast and hit one gap with all 11 guys going to the ball.”

(On if it has been easier for Morris to make play calls)
“Every coach is different like every player is different. It is a different approach, the way he approaches it. He is really detailed and the way he is structured kind of helps us out as players. It’s good. It’s just positive.”

(On what makes the defense optimistic)
“We have four games left. We have four games to establish our identities. We have to go out there and challenge them. It’s one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL so we have to challenge them. We have to change our momentum and roll it right into next season. You don’t want to go into the offseason on a bad note.”

(On the improvement in the run defense in the last two weeks)

“I think it’s a combination of mixing up our fronts a little bit more and just being a little more sound in our gaps. Whenever you’re a 4-3 defense, it’s all about basically doing a job, because if you call an eight-man front you should have enough people to take care of everything. It’s about reading your keys and being in the right spot. The fact that we’re mixing up the fronts a little bit more makes it tougher on the offense. They can’t just game-plan one front; they have to be prepared for multiple ones, which makes it a little tougher on their part. They have to be a little more simplistic.”

(On why the run defense was hurt early in Carolina and then adjusted)
“Last week was kind of an example of just really bad tackling. We had three or four missed tackles on the first drive that were the reason we gave up all those runs. One thing we have been a lot better at is making adjustments on the sideline. We’re communicating well and we’re making quick adjustments. As soon as we’re making the adjustments, guys are walking into them and taking them down the field.”

(On if good performances build confidence)
“Well, in a way. I think confidence comes from preparation during the week. I don’t think it comes from something you do during the game. It’s great that we’re making adjustments a lot better, but I think preparation throughout the week has been better and that’s what breeds confidence in the games.”

(On what Josh Freeman came away with from Sunday’s game against the Panthers)

“I don’t know what they’re looking at in the quarterbacks room, but as a receiver to a quarterback, we all just kind of learn from the big mistakes that we made, the missed opportunities that we had to make big plays and score in the red zone. Everything that was a mistake, I don’t think was uncorrectable. We’re going to come back to the drawing board, correct the mistakes that we did make and use it as a learning experience. Once again, we have to realize that Josh, this is his rookie year. A lot of things are new to him but he’s adjusting well and doing what he can to play his best.”

(On the fine line between being fearless and careless in the red zone)
“There definitely is. I think with that it means fearless as far as taking shots but careless being sure about what you’re doing, making sure it is the right decision. But at the same time, going for the shot, making the big play, going for the touchdown. In this part of the season, you have to do that. We’re in our last four games here and we’re going to play hard, practice hard, take shots and take as many opportunities as we can to score.”

(On Darrelle Revis)
“From the little bit of film I have watched of him today, he’s a very aggressive corner. He does well covering big, marquee receivers, guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens. He’s very physical and can also tackle. So he’s a good player but we’ve gone against good players all year round and we go against good players every day in practice. We’re just going to apply our techniques, play our game and get this win on Sunday.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department.

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