Posts From Eric Horchy

DT McDonald Takes Ownership In Locker Room

6 comments 📅September 19, 2014 3:24 pm

Following last night’s 56-14 annihilation in Atlanta, player availability was predictably sparse during Friday afternoon’s open locker room media session.

Of the players who did show their face, DT Clinton McDonald stood out because of his open, matter-of-fact approach on a day no one wanted to talk. The sixth-year veteran was the first starter to enter the room and immediately motioned for media members to come around his locker.

“It’s been a while since something like that has happened, only in high school,” McDonald said of getting blown out. “We went out there Thursday night on national TV and didn’t put on the tape what we wanted to put on it. We didn’t execute football like we should’ve executed football. As an individual, I didn’t execute my job. I know this is a team sport but it takes a lot of individuals coming together playing as a team and I didn’t do my job, first and foremost. So you’ve got to take responsibility for your actions and we have to go out there and get it right.

“We owe this city more than that and we owe ourselves more than that. We’ve got to execute our job and go back out to practice and put it together.”

Tampa Bay’s depleted defensive line failed to generate pressure while playing most of the game without three of its four projected starters. DE Michael Johnson made a few appearances but didn’t show up on the final stat sheet, leaving McDonald as the lone starter alongside DTs Da’Quan Bowers and Akeem Spence and DEs William Gholson, Larry English and Scott Solomon.

McDonald’s only been a Buccaneer for about six months now but continued to carry himself like an accountable leader of this team Friday.

“If you look at all the great fronts that there have ever been, it’s a collective effort of all four getting to know each other as pass rushers, not just one man that’s going to have a 20-sack season,” he said. “I say we just have to work harder. We’ve got to study more; study more of our opponent and offenses we’re going to face. We can’t make excuses about why we’re not getting it done. It’s just time for us to get it done.”

Tampa Bay players and coaches get the next two days off before coming back to One Buc Place to prepare for next week’s trip to Pittsburgh. McDonald said it’s critical for everyone to use this time wisely while recuperating from Thursday’s beating.

“Very important,” he said. “It’s no different from building a car. If the engine’s not firing, there’s a reason. We’ve got to go back and take the engine apart. We’ve got to check and see if the spark plugs are going to fire, the pistons are going to fire. We’ve got to do our job. We’ve got to break this thing down and we’ve got to get it right, because 0-3 is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable for me or no other man in here or in this organization.

“So we’ve got to take it upon ourselves and say either we’re going to be an 0-3 team and keep on losing games or we’re going to turn this thing around. We’re going to put it on our shoulders and believe we can do it and start doing it.”

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Rainey Ready To Roll, With Or Without Martin

5 comments 📅September 18, 2014 10:48 am

Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey took full advantage of his first start of the season last week, carving up the St. Louis Rams for 144 yards on 22 carries.

Now Tampa Bay heads out on the road Thursday to take on the same NFC South foe that was on the wrong end of a 41-28 thrashing last November that doubled as Rainey’s introduction to the rest of the league. The third-year back turned in the best game of his young career by smoking Atlanta for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts. He added a 4-yard scoring reception for good measure.

“That was kind of his coming out party if I’m not mistaken last year when we played there in Tampa,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said during a Tuesday phone interview with the Tampa Bay media. “I think that he’s small in stature but he’s a very strong runner, he’s got very good vision and there’s not a whole lot of area to hit.

“You’ve got shoulder pads and knees and that’s about it.”

Last week against St. Louis was a lot like last November against Atlanta for the Buccaneers’ rushing attack. It featured Rainey and little else. The distribution of touches Thursday, though, depends on the status of Doug Martin – still considered Tampa Bay’s starter until further notice.

Martin was a late scratch last Sunday after suffering an unspecified knee injury during Week 1’s 20-14 setback against Carolina. He produced little that afternoon, running for nine yards on nine attempts and catching one ball for seven yards.

Head coach Lovie Smith and quarterbacks coach-turned-offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo were predictably vague about the running back situation Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday’s latest injury report lists Martin as questionable for tomorrow’s game and his participation in practice has been limited Monday through today.

“We’re really fortunate to have both of those guys,” Arroyo said. “I think to have a guy like Bobby come in and spell Doug just means that when Doug comes back, we have Doug and Bobby. It’s not a draft, we’ve got them both.”

When asked about the position and if Rainey will begin seeing more playing time, Smith focused his response on having more than just one primary back.

“I think it’s great that Bobby had that type of game,” he said. “And from probably the first time you asked, we said we wanted to play more than one running back. Two, maybe three. That’s why we’ve had three up every time we could. That just makes our running back position stronger.

“We know what Doug brings to the table. But that was a great game by Bobby Rainey. As Bobby will tell you, it’s not the first time [he’s] carried the football and he can play in this league and it was a great job by our line giving him holes. But the [yards] after contact, after he came in direct contact with the defender. That’s what I was impressed with. The more the better – can’t have too many running backs.”


Whoever’s getting the touches tomorrow night, they’ll be running against the NFL’s seventh-worst rush defense and worst overall defense in terms of average yards surrendered per game. The Falcons have allowed their first two opponents, New Orleans and Cincinnati, to average 472 total yards and 154.5 on the ground.

It should also be noted that despite those big rushing numbers, no single back has hit 100 yards yet against Atlanta. New Orleans spread 27 designed rushing attempts out to four players, with Mark Ingram picking up 60 yards, Pierre Thomas getting 31 and Khiry Robinson adding 28. Cincinnati got 90 from Giovani Bernard and 74 from Jeremy Hill.

If Martin is a no-go for a second straight week, Rainey’s only other competition for carries will be from second-year pro Mike James and fullback Jorvorskie Lane. The Rams held James to just seven yards on six attempts in his first game back from a lingering shoulder injury. Lane’s contributions to the run game were limited to blocking responsibilities. His lone carry of the season remains the 54-yard burst he went for in Week 1.

Rainey said earlier this week that the Bucs’ overall success is largely predicated upon the running game finding its footing early in games and drives. He expects the same Thursday night in Atlanta.

“We’re going to run the ball first anyway and that’s our focus,” he said. “That’s what we do is run the ball and the offensive line did a great job [against St. Louis]. We look forward to having the same thing going forward with this game.”

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Bucs-Falcons Injury Report (9-16)

2 comments 📅September 16, 2014 4:40 pm

Tampa Bay and Atlanta released their latest injury reports Tuesday afternoon.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DL Da’Quan Bowers – Abdomen – Full Participant

C Evan Dietrich-Smith – Back – Limited Participant

T Demar Dotson – Hamstring – Full Participant

LB Mason Foster – Shoulder – Did Not Participate

DE William Gholston – Shoulder – Full Participant

DE Michael Johnson – Ankle – Limited Participant

G Logan Mankins – Knee – Limited Participant

RB Doug Martin – Knee – Limited Participate

DT Gerald McCoy – Hand – Did Not Participate

CB Bradley McDougald – Knee – Full Participant

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Ankle – Did Not Participate

Atlanta Falcons

WR Julio Jones – Ankle – Full Participant

T Jake Matthews – Ankle – Full Participant

LB Prince Shembo – Knee – Full Participant

WR Roddy White – Hamstring – Did Not Participate

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Bucs-Rams Sunday Inactives

1 comment 📅September 14, 2014 3:08 pm

The following is a list of inactive players for today’s game at 4:05 for both teams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RB Doug Martin

CB Rashaan Melvin

T Kevin Pamphile

G Rishaw Johnson

G Kadeem Edwards

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

DE Michael Johnson

St Louis Rams

DB Lamarcus Joyner

CB Trumaine Johnson

RB Tre Mason

RB Trey Watts

G/C Barrett Jones

DT Matt Conrath

TE Alex Bayer ​

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Bucs-Rams Injury Report (9-12)

2 comments 📅September 12, 2014 3:32 pm

Tampa Bay and St. Louis released their latest injury report Friday afternoon.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DL Da’Quan Bowers – Abdomen – Full Participant – Questionable

DE Adrian Clayborn – Elbow – Injured Reserve – Out

T Demar Dotson – Hamstring – Full Participant – Probable

DE William Gholston – Shoulder – Full Participant – Questionable

DE Michael Johnson – Ankle – Did Not Participate – Out

G Logan Mankins – Knee – Full Participation – Questionable

RB Doug Martin – Knee – Limited Participate – Questionable

S Bradley McDougald – Knee – Full Participant – Questionable

CB Rashaan Melvin – Ankle – Did Not Participate – Out

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Ankle – Did Not Participate – Out

St. Louis Rams

CB Trumaine Johnson – Knee – Did Not Participate – Out

C Barrett Jones – Back – Did Not Participate – Out

DB Lamarcus Joyner – Back – Did Not Participate – Questionable

DE Chris Long – Ankle – Injured Reserve –Out

QB Sean Hill – Thigh – Limited Participation – Questionable

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Smith Addresses Clayborn, Bucs’ Injury Situation

4 comments 📅September 12, 2014 2:57 pm

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith spent much of Friday’s post-practice press conference addressing the team’s expanding injury report and what’s being done in response.

(Opening Statements)
“About the injury list first, we had three guys that didn’t practice today in Michael Johnson, Rashaan Melvin and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. So of course when you didn’t practice all week it isn’t looking good for you to play. The rest of the players all practiced at least on a limited basis, including Doug Martin.”

“Some of the players we’ve gotten back – Da’Quan Bowers, will Gholston, both have looked pretty good this week. We lost a couple of players. I guess I haven’t talked to you since Adrian Clayborn, man, that’s a tough blow. Adrian has done everything we’ve asked him to do the entire time I’ve been here. He’s a warrior. But that’s tough losing him. But he will get back and start to rehab and all that process of getting back, which he’ll do. “

“Jeff Tedford is back in town. He wasn’t at practice out there today. But he is back in town and we’ll get back with him a little bit more this afternoon and see exactly where we are. Saint Louis, excited to play. It’s been a long time coming. You want to get that bad taste out of your mouth. Two 0-1 teams that need to get a win. The crowd was great in the fourth quarter when we did our share. Hopefully we can start fast and get them into the game a little bit earlier.”

(On if Tedford will be at Sunday’s game)
Still on scheduled. Nothing has changed from that.

(On Clayborn’s injury)
We didn’t actually, after a game everyone is sore and we didn’t practice in pads until Thursday so it was hard to really tell exactly and Adrian is a tough guy so all those things kind of contributed a little bit. It became obvious after he came back out.

(On if for a new coach, success early is vital)
I said we really needed to win last week. But if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I mean, we want to win every game, but no one except for one team has. But what we want to see is, last week, that’s who we are right now. And this week we want to see major improvements. And hopefully that’s enough for us to win the football game. As long as we continue to get better each time out I’m OK with that. Eventually we’ll end up winning football games. I hope it’s this week. Based on what we’ve done and what I’ve seen we’re going to win before long.

(On D-end situation)
Well, I’ve talked obviously about Gholston coming back, Scott Solomon is back. Jacquize Smith is back, he’s in the rotation. So we still feel pretty good. Da’Quan Bowers can play a couple of different positions, whether it’s outside or inside as a pass rusher. And we might go with eight defensive linemen this week, too. We have some good options. We lost good players but we feel good about the next group that will be playing this week. Whenever you lose a player like Michael Johnson, that hurts you. But the other players will pick it up.

(On Mankins’ participation)
Full participant on Friday is, we’re not in pads – yes. He did all of the work that we asked him to do, same as yesterday. He was in pads yesterday on a limited basis. He didn’t take every rep but he looked pretty good so he’s right on course for how we saw this week playing out.

(On new signing, DE Jacquies Smith)
All of the above. For us to bring in a guy he has to be able to rush. We have to think he can be an edge rusher and we saw that before and we were able to bring him on board to our football team and that’s what he showed this week. And then for him, what a great opportunity. You come here and right away, we’re giving you a chance to prove exactly who you are. Early signs look pretty good.

(On if the depth of the team being tested)
“Yes, and my experience say that sometime throughout the year, you’re going to be in this situation. Yes, it’s a little early for us, but that’s why you have to develop that 53-man roster. Really, that’s why you develop a 63-man roster. You just have to keep your options open. We feel like, defensively speaking, that is a position where you can come in and play fairly quick (defensive end). There are not a whole lot of mental things going on up front with what we ask our guys to do. You just need to be able to rush the passer, get in your gap, and play hard. But the depth is being tested, and we feel like we had decent depth.”

(On what Derrick Brooks ceremony will mean to him)
“It’s something that is not a big surprise. From being with Derrick the first day, to everything that has happened since then, he has been about the best at whatever he has tried to do. That says at the end, that you’re recognized in your home stadium, by your home team, and of course the hall of fame, all of that. At the same time, this is exciting for Derrick. If you look at his career, what else could you have done in a career? He was able to get every award. I speak about it all the time, but whenever I go back to Big Sandy and speak (Texas, his hometown), it’s really special to see those people acknowledge you. And for Derrick, with all the awards he’s gotten, you want to be acknowledged by your team. These are the people that know you better than everyone, so this is an important weekend. We’re going to introduce our defensive players this week. They know what our history is on defense, they know what Derrick has meant, and I want them to feel that. We have a lot of guys coming back for Derrick. We want our defensive guys to feel that pressure on the standard that has been set, and what they expect to see this weekend.”

(On possible similarities between Corey Wooten in Chicago and William Gholston)
“Yes, there are. Both have the size, body type, they’re both very similar players. I haven’t thought of that until now, but yes, they can do a lot of the same things. I would say that both players’ talents are more suited towards being an every down player, rather than just an edge rusher. They’re a combination of the two. Corey Wooten is a good football player, and so is Will Gholston. I didn’t know a lot about him before I got here, but he’s stout against the run and a pretty good pass rusher too. It’s a shame he got hurt, because he was coming on. I’m anxious to see him, as we all are this weekend.”

(On not wanting to be in 3rd and long on offense this week)
“No, we can’t. And no one wants to be (in 3rd-and long). It’s just hard converting on 3rd and-eights, and when you have a balanced offensive attack, you shouldn’t be in a lot 3rd-and-eight situations. You have to have production on those early downs, we didn’t last week, and that’s something we need to correct this week. And that pretty much starts with being able to run the ball. At the same time, you can’t be predictable thinking you can always run on the first two downs, gain three yards each time, and be in 3rd-and-four. But yes, we don’t want to get ourselves into long situations.”​

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Bucs-Rams Injury Report (9-11)

0 comments 📅September 11, 2014 7:38 pm

Tampa Bay and St. Louis released their latest injury report Thursday evening.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DL Da’Quan Bowers – Abdomen – Full Participant

DE Adrian Clayborn – Elbow – Limited Participant

T Demar Dotson – Hamstring – Full Participant

DE William Gholston – Shoulder - Limited Participant

DE Michael Johnson – Ankle – Did Not Participate

G Logan Mankins – Knee - Limited Participant

RB Doug Martin – Knee - Limited Participant

S Bradley McDougald – Knee - Limited Participant

CB Rashaan Melvin – Ankle - Did Not Participate

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Ankle – Did Not Participate

St. Louis Rams

CB Trumaine Johnson – Knee - Did Not Participate

C Barrett Jones – Back - Did Not Participate

DB Lamarcus Joyner – Back - Did Not Participate

DE Chris Long – Ankle – Injured Reserve

QB Shaun Hill – Thigh - Did Not Participate

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Rams DE Long To Have Surgery

2 comments 📅September 10, 2014 9:34 pm

The challenge of dealing with St. Louis’ talented defensive front seven just got a little less daunting.

News broke Wednesday afternoon that the Rams will be coming to Tampa Bay without one of their top pass rushers, defensive end Chris Long. According to the Rams’ team website, the seven-year veteran with 50.5 career sacks to his name will undergo surgery to repair an ankle he injured during St. Louis’ opening-week loss to Minnesota.

Long starts at left defensive end in St. Louis’ base 4-3 scheme, meaning Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson and right guard Patrick Omameh won’t be dealing with the 6-foot-3, 268-pounder out of Virginia on Sunday.

Expected to fill in during Long’s absence is William Hayes, a seventh-year player who’s been with the Rams since 2012 after spending his first four years in Tennessee. Hayes played in 14 games last year, recording 28 tackles, five sacks and one interception. Rookie Ethan Westbrooks may also see his first action as a pro. The 6-foot-4, 267-pound defensive lineman out of West Texas A&M was inactive last Sunday but is currently listed third-string left defensive end and spoke to St. Louis media this week about being excited and ready to play against Tampa Bay.

Hayes posted one tackle during the Bucs’ 23-13 loss to St. Louis last December, a game dominated by the Rams’ front seven. St. Louis sacked quarterback Mike Glennon seven times that afternoon (one courtesy of Long) and limited Tampa Bay to 170 total yards of offense.

Despite Long’s injury, the Bucs’ offensive line will still need to get a handle on the same front seven that wreaked havoc under the Edward Jones Dome last year. Right defensive end Robert Quinn’s 19 sacks in 2013 were second only to Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis’ 19.5, and linebackers James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree combined for 299 tackles last year.

Quinn took questions from Tampa Bay media members Wednesday afternoon and addressed Long’s surgery.

“It’s a downer,” Quinn said. “He’s a captain of our team, a great player and we’re definitely going to miss him on the field. We have been facing adversity basically since before the season started, it’s just another one we just have to overcome. We’re going to miss him on the field, we wish for a speedy recovery and like I said the other guys out there have to step up and be ready to make plays. Chris had a great backup with Will [Hayes]. I think Will is ready to fill the role and we won’t have any drop off with him out there.”

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Bucs Players Speak About Joseph’s Return

7 comments 📅September 10, 2014 4:05 pm

As Tampa Bay continues to deal with its unsettled situation on the offensive line, a familiar face will be lining up in the trenches in unfamiliar colors.

Right guard Davin Joseph spent the first eight years of his career as a Buccaneer after being drafted in the first round in 2006 out of Oklahoma. He started 99 of the 100 games he played with Tampa Bay before being released on March 8 of this year.

Joseph jumped to the top of the Rams’ depth chart prior to Sunday’s 34-6 loss against Minnesota and remains ahead of backups Mike Person and rookie Greg Robinson.

When asked about the two-time Pro Bowler’s return to Tampa Bay, multiple Buccaneers took time this week to say a few words about facing their former teammate.

“It’s going to be exciting to see him after the game,” said Demar Dotson, who lined up next to Joseph at right tackle. “I don’t want to see him before the game. It might make me too excited. I want to see him after the game – after we beat him, of course.

“That’s a great, standup guy. I think he’s probably one of the most standup guys in this league; just a tremendous football player and I think he’s even a better person than what he is as a football player. I learned so much from that guy and had the opportunity to play next to him and I just wish the best for him going forward. Except for Sunday. I hope he does well, but that’s it.”

“(He’s a) good friend of mine, worked out with him in the offseason,” said linebacker Mason Foster. “I know he’s going to come with his ‘A’ game. He’s a good guard too, so it’s going to be tough.”

“I’m so happy for Davin,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “He mentored me for four years and he really still is. He checks in on me. He’s a great guy. I’m so happy that he landed somewhere and is actually starting. His leadership ability just helped the line and the whole team out. He’s a vet and a great guy off the field. He’s a hard worker. He can completely change their whole offense and their team.”

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