Bucs Central

Open Locker Room Quotes: Week 17

After practice today, several of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer players spoke with members of the media. The future of the Franchise and rookie signal caller Josh Freeman talked about what he has learned this season…whether or not he thinks the team is what they have shown the past couple of weeks. Rookie defensive tackle Roy Miller spoke about hitting that rookie wall…getting hot at the end of the year.

(On what he learned going into the offseason)

“I learned a lot. I learned a lot about different situations and a lot about reading defenses. I learned a lot about patience and what I need to work on as far as game management and making certain throws. There is a lot that I have learned. This off season we are going to leave no stone unturned. We are going to watch every piece of film that you can imagine. We are going to try to set up a good workout plan to try to get ready and set up for next year.”

(On if the team is just ‘hot’)
“We are playing good football right now. We are running the ball. The defense is just standing up and shutting people down. I think that this is the type of football that we are capable of playing. Our record is what it is but we have a chance to go out and get another win on Sunday and end the season on a high note. I don’t think anybody is going to take this game for granted.”

(On if this is who the team actually is)
“Obviously the team is going to change a little bit but we are just showing we can do this. I don’t call the plays, I don’t make all of the decisions but we are trying to lay all of the groundwork to make a good run next year. It is just showing what we are capable of doing when everybody just clicks together and works together as a team.”

(On the biggest influence in feeling comfortable and the difference from college)
“The amount of preparation, overall preparation. Whether it’s time spent in the film room, it’s huge compared to college. It’s a lot more. If I were sit down and write down the amount of hours and the time we spent on football when I got drafted I would have said, ‘Wow. What am I in for?’ Really when you have all this time, you don’t have any class. All you have to do is football and all you want to do is to go out and play well on Sunday. It’s well worth it.”

(On if he’s hit the ‘Rookie Wall’)

“I haven’t hit the wall, so to speak, but I’ve got a couple injuries here and there I’ve been trying to fight through. That’s one thing I’ve learned about the NFL – you’ve got to keep playing, you’ve got to keep fighting. Things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to go but it’s a long season. Just as a pro, you’ve got to be tough and you’ve got to be able to finish.”

(On getting hot at the end)
“This is exactly what we need, to finally come together as a team and to put everything on film. Just to go out there as a team and get that win in New Orleans was great. It just shows for the future of this program that we can all buy in, and that what we practice and work so hard for will come to life if we believe.”

(On being NFC Special Teams Player of the Week)

“It’s a great feeling to be back, to be a Buc again, also to make a pivotal play like that. It’s just a blessing to go from being at home to back on the team. I’d just like to thank my teammates, thank God and try to do it again this week.”

(On if another good game could help his chances to be around in 2010)
“I think so. It’s always your last play, and we’ve got one more game and you always want to put good stuff on film for them to look at, and to go into next season with good thoughts about you. Hopefully it will translate into that, but you just never know. It’s a risky business that we play, so we’ll see.”

(On if he’s looking to make a statement in these two games)
“It’s all about ‘opps,’ man. You ask any NFL player – you want the opps, and once you’ve got the opps you’ve got to take advantage of them. Every day that you go out there, you go out there to play and solidify why you’re here. Every opportunity I get to get my hands on the ball I’m trying to show them, ‘Hey, this is what I can do and this is what I bring to the team.”

(On trying to get one more win)

“Our goal was to finish our last games strong. That’s basically been our goal and we’ve been trying to uphold that these last couple of games. We have one more left, playing the Atlanta Falcons at home, and we’re very excited about it. We’re looking forward to it and we want to do our best to get that win.”

(On how important it would be to finish the season with three straight wins)
“I think it’s very important for this team, each individual player, the coaching staff and this organization – and even the city of Tampa – to let them know and let ourselves know that even though we didn’t have the type of season that we wanted we have a lot of character on this team, that we keep fighting and we want to finish strong. It would also give us a big slingshot going into next season.”

(On if the confidence level is as high as it’s been)
“The confidence is at an all-time high, coming back against a team like the New Orleans Saints. They’re ranked number one, they have the best record, and we just kept fighting, kept pushing. Coach Raheem Morris told us at halftime that our goal was to finish strong and get these last couple wins, and that’s exactly what we want to keep going. Practice hard, train hard in the weight room, approach every day like you already have a winning streak and keep pushing and get this win on Sunday.”

(On how it felt to have a game like he had Sunday)

“It was great. I had two years, two tough years and to just go out there and get the win against a quality team like we did it felt great. For myself, it was great to go out there and run the way I did it’s great.”

(On being reminded of the Cadillac of the Auburn Tigers)
“My boys are down here. I have to kind of put on a show for those guys.”

(On the team)
“First of all it just shows that Raheem and his staff still have it. They still believe in what they are doing. If you watch a lot of teams that have one or two wins, they just don’t play hard. You still see guys out there playing hard and giving maximum effort.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department.

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