Bucs Central

Open Locker Room: Wednesday Player Quotes

Often criticized defensive end Gaines Adams talks about giving more effort. Veteran defensive tackle Chris Hovan talks about how the team goes about fixing the problems that have plagued the team through the first two games. Byron Leftwich talks about doing more on offense to secure the teams first win.

(On if he feels like he is playing as hard as he should)

“I feel I am but we all have our different aspects on things. Like I said, I respect Raheem [Morris] to the utmost and if he is saying that then I will give more effort.”

(On his struggling numbers and if he is concerned about losing his job)

“No, not at all. I’m a football player just like everyone else is in this locker room. I work hard just like everybody else. Maybe the numbers aren’t showing it right now but I’m not worried about that. I can’t worry about that.”

(On battling adversity)

“That is in anything you do, you are going to have to battle through adversity. That’s in football and regular life. Everybody has problems at times in their life and you just have to overcome them.”

(On if he feels like he has been singled out unfairly)
“No. It comes with the territory. Just like I have said since day one, drafted where I was drafted, there comes a lot of responsibility and I feel like I can take care of that.”

(On the state of the team)

“We are just in a situation where we have to work on details, wing this stuff out and we’ll be just fine.”

(On Coach Morris saying it could be the best offense in the history of the franchise)

Definitely, we have everything that we need here. We have an awesome host of running backs; we can definitely get it in between the tackles. We are in a situation where we have a quarterback that can throw the ball. We just have to be patient, we have to focus on the things that we do well. We see a lot of stuff out there that’s very exciting. We take these two losses as a learning experience. We have a good team coming in here, the best in football right now, everybody’s excited and prepared to play. I can’t wait.”

(On if missing a bunch of tackles as a team is frustrating)

“It’s kind of frustrating but it’s not too frustrating because it’s fixable. It’s not a problem that can’t be fixed. We’re not going to hang our heads about it. We’re just going to fix it.”

(On how you fix the issue)
“Making the tackle, making the play whenever you get an opportunity to make it. Just tackle – wrap up and bring him to the ground.”

(On the secondary missing several players)
“We have guys that are going to step up and play. We’re not worried about that. It’s bad that we lost Flip [Jermaine Phillips] but we still have guys and we have good depth that can come in and play for us.”

(On the Giants’ offense)
“They have a very experienced team, a great passing attack. They have a balanced offense, actually. The running game is good, the passing game is good and they have three good receivers that can catch the ball anytime they play. It’s a challenge and we’re ready to step up to it.”

(On the physical nature of this Sunday’s game)

“If you don’t like being physical, you’re about to get exposed right now. I’m telling you right now – if you’re a guy who has shied away from contact your whole life, you’re about to be exposed. Not only are these guys good, but you’re on a stage right now where millions and millions of people are watching, and they can tell who’s a fake and who’s a fraud out there. We’re about to find out real quick who likes to hit or not. Tape doesn’t lie. Rod Marinelli taught me: Tape doesn’t lie. Words lie. Tape doesn’t lie.”

(On how much of tackling is “want-to”)

“Like I’ve said, it is a want-to, but guys are going to miss tackles. There are premium running backs in this league. At the same time, since I got here in 2005 and 1996 when Tony [Dungy] first got here it’s, ‘Hustle. Hustle and hit. Hustle and hit.’ So let’s say Barrett [Ruud] misses that tackle. Big deal; who cares? There should be 10 other guys racing to that pile and that’s what we have to get to. That was uncharacteristic of us last week but I promise you we’re going to be on our screws this week.”

(On him being upset after the first game, too)

“Okay, so it went from big plays to missed tackles. Alright, so now we have no more excuses. We need to go out there and we need to get this done. Enough’s enough already.”

(On how the team fixes such problems)
“We fix it in practice right now. Wednesday’s a work day. A lot of guys came in yesterday and watched tape, started learning the game plan. Now is when you put the pads on and start working on technique and start working on our pad level. The emphasis should be on going out there today and busting our butts to get this game plan down and get ourselves ready for this game.”

(On if the missed tackles are an issue of technique or a lack of effort)

“A little bit of each. A little bit’s creeping in there right now but I think that Coach [Raheem] Morris addressed it in our team and in our unit meetings and we need to go take it on the field right now.”

(On the game plan)
“We played them already in 2007. We know the feel, we know the tempo, we know how these backs feel. We know what it’s going to take to bring these guys down. These guys have the mindset this week to execute our game plan.”

(On RB Brandon Jacobs)

“When he gets going, he is a really hard back to stop. He deserves his due. We need to keep those guards off those backers. When we are given the opportunity to shed and tackle and make a play on this back, we have to. Big men make big tackles in this league. If it’s going to be us against Jacobs in the hole, we have to take him down. That is going to be our responsibility. If the guards go after the backers, we need to keep them off them and let them make a play. It works in transition with each other. We just need to go out there and execute our game plan.”

(On the Giants’ defensive line)

“They’re a very experienced group. The starters are magnificent players and the second line is not bad either, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. Really, it’s going to be an all-day game and we need to play well in order for our team to have success.”

(On the Giants rotating their defensive linemen)

“They have a great rotation and really when they rotate you don’t see a slack in performance. It’s something special they’ve got over there.”

(On the Giants’ identity)
“They like to run the ball on offense, they like to control the clock. They have some receivers that are really performing well and helping their offense. On defense, I believe they play pretty well. They give their offense a chance to win. Really, they’re a complete team.”

(On the Giants being particularly physical)
“Well, you’d like to think that every team in the league is physical, but they’re able to do it week-in and week-out. They’re really able to be consistent in being physical – on the road, at home, and they always play it tough. That’s why they’ve been able to have success through the years.”

(On regaining the offensive balance from Week One)
“It’s going to take a team effort. We’ve got to keep ourselves within the game on offense and not turn the ball over. On defense, being able to give us the ball back. If we’re able to do that, hopefully we’ll be able to put a better mix together, run and pass.”

(On what a win would mean)
“We have to have success this Sunday, for the spirit of our team, for our potential looks in the future playing a team that has had so much success in their own division and so much success in the NFC. If we want to be contenders, we have to be able to compete with those guys.”

(On Raheem Morris’ comment that this could be the best offense Tampa has ever had)

“I don’t know what [the Buccaneers offense] has had. I know that when I’m in the huddle with those guys, I have guys that can make plays. As a quarterback, that’s all you can ask. We have to allow them to make more plays and with those plays, we have to make [them]. We can’t miss on the little details. We are still leaving some stuff out there. We are still leaving some stuff out there week in and week out. We have to fine tune those things. I think once we fine tune those things, we know it’s early, you say we are ranked fourth in the league [in offense], we are doing some things well. There are still a lot of things we can do well as an offense.”

(On the absence of C Jeff Faine)

“[Sean] Mahan came in and did a great job. Like I said, anytime you miss a player of Faine’s caliber, you miss him. When he is not in the huddle, you miss what he brings to the table. At the same time, the guys like Mahan, they came in and did a great job Sunday. I don’t want to say you don’t miss those guys because you miss them. That’s just beyond it. You miss guys like that, that’s why they are the players that they are. The guys came in and did a great job for us.”

(On the sense that he has to do more for the offense)

“We don’t have to do more, we just have to do what we are supposed to do. That’s the thing. From an offensive end, I look at so many things that we are looking at on offense, it’s hard for me to ever think that way. I’m just looking to say, ‘Let’s make sure we can convert 4th and 1, do the things we are supposed to do, get better on third down and just not make the mistakes that we are making,’ because we are just stopping ourselves. If you watch the film, we are stopping ourselves for two weeks in a row. I’m more concerned about that. I don’t think we have to do more, I just think we have to do the things that we are supposed to do. If we do that, I think we can put up a lot of points.”

(On what is needed to improve on offense)

“I think we have to improve everywhere. We are 0-2. You can’t take that and be happy. We have to improve everywhere. We need to pick it up more, we have start improving in that. We had a mistake on a big fourth down in our last game, we have to improve in that area. We just have to keep building in the stuff that we are doing well and we have to get some wins.”

(On if the offense needs to score more because of the struggling defense)
“Our defense is playing hard. The effort is there, we are just not making the plays. I have nothing bad to say about how the defense is playing. They are playing their butts off. If we need to score more and start doing more, that’s what we have to do as a team. We are ready to do it. I think we are just going to build on the good things we did and try to keep working on the good things that we have done. We have to get some wins. That’s basically the bottom line.”

(On the Giants’ style of play)

“They’re a team that’s going to line up and say, ‘Beat me.’ They’ve got great players on that side of the ball so they don’t really have to do a lot. They’re a good defense, so they’re going to line up and say, ‘Beat me.’ It’s going to be a lot of one-on-one matchups and we’re going to have to win those.”

(On what he saw on the Buffalo tape)

“We can’t win a game with a lot of missed tackles. On defense I think everybody individually had some missed tackles. I thought we didn’t play as aggressively as the Bucs’ defense is known for, just running to the ball and capping off and making plays. We have to evaluate ourselves, go back and correct our mistakes like we say every week, and go out and execute the assignments this week.”

(On if he proved himself in Week Two)

“Every week you’ve got to go out and prove yourself. We lost, so obviously it wasn’t good enough. I’ll focus on this week and just growing from last game, improving myself from week to week and helping this defense become a good defense and win games on Sunday.”

(On giving up big plays)
“That’s just football. I think both our corners were in great position but the offense made a great throw-and-catch. To miss tackles is not characteristic of us. We practice a lot better tackling than that. Like Coach said, it’s a will to do it, to force your will on your opponent. It’s flying around and capping off, all 11 guys to the ball, especially this week. They’ve got a big running back in [Brandon] Jacobs and they’ve also got a great, elusive, smaller guy.”

(On what the team is emphasizing)
“Tackling is definitely one emphasis and not giving up the big play is another emphasis that we have to do. That is something as a defense that you pride yourself on. Not giving up the big play and we also have to make more big plays. We only had two turnovers but we have to create more turnovers on defense and score.”

(On S Jermaine Phillips being placed on IR)
“Flip is a tremendous player. I wish Flip the best and we are going to miss him. We hope he gets better soon. I know they put him on IR so that’s tough for him. We are growing.

Will Allen is a great safety and a great player. He is going to come in and make a lot of plays for us. We get Tanard (Jackson) back in two weeks. That will add some depth to our secondary that we need. We need to grow as a secondary. We need to practice better, practice harder and eliminate mistakes.”

(On what the team needs to do to get a win)

“We just have to keep doing the little things. I think the little things have been getting us in some trouble. The missed tackles, being in the wrong position at the wrong time, we need to get those corrected.

(On the loss of Jermaine Phillips)
“When one person goes down, another person has to step up. This is what we train for, this is the opportunities that we are going to get. We are in the NFL. Everybody is in the NFL to be a starter. When one starter goes down, another has to go into that position

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations

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