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September 13, 2012 @ 3:25 pm
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Schiano On Playing At The Meadowlands: "It Will Be Amped"

Written by Victoria
Victoria Horchak 


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Greg Schiano spoke with the media Thursday in his post-practice press conference and discussed the return of Blount, minor injuries on the offensive line, and preparing for his first road trip as the head coach of the Bucs.
Coach, it looks like Jeremy Trueblood was out today?
“Yes, he actually finished practicing yesterday, but twisted his ankle. He finished on it yesterday, but today it was too sore. I hope that he will be able to do something here before we play Sunday and then be up for Sunday.”

Any lingering issues from that stinger on Blount or is he pretty much ready to go?
“Well we didn’t have contact today, but the doctor cleared him and that was what is most important. We had to make sure that—you don’t mess around with that stuff. He is excited to be back and we are excited to have him back.”

Did Carl Nicks practice today?
“Carl (Nicks) did a little bit, but he was limited. I think he will be okay, but I am speculating there.”

Isn’t this a tough weekend to have some concerns on the offensive line?
“Yes, I would agree. They are pretty good on the defensive line.”

Would Demar Dotson fill in for Jeremy Trueblood if he had to?
“Yes, Dot (Demar Dotson) has been playing well.”

Who will be your left guard if Carl Nicks cannot go?
“He will go.”

You gave the green dot to Lavonte David last week and is that something that will shift around depending on how you want to do things or is he going to get it most of the time?
“Strategically it is each week we are going to have to see who is going to be out there most of the time. Then give it to that guy who is going to be out there more. They both (David, Mason Foster) can do it. It is not an issue for either one. It is just who each week—the plan is a little different depending on what they are doing.”

What have you thought about what Lavonte David has been able to do so far?

“I have been pleased. I don’t know other than that he is a really good football player. He is a very mature guy. He is a good learner and he has some really good traits. Skills. [We] are fortunate to have him.”

Can you tell us about Brandon McDonald and what you like about him and why he has jumped up in your depth chart?
“I think he has flown under the radar for all of us. I didn’t know him three weeks ago. He is a pro. He is experienced. He is a quick study. [He is] learning what we are doing. That’s probably why he has ascended so quickly. You know we have had some injuries (that’s why he got back) and then he has taken advantage of his opportunity.”

E.J. Biggers is out there now doing some things and how far away is he from where you will feel confident putting him out there?
“You know you he really worked really hard in his rehab. So I think that the conditioning part—he just has got to have confidence that he can break, plant, and drive off that foot. He has gotten better each day. I am not ruling him out yet by any means. We just have to see.”

How would you describe the atmosphere at Giants home games up there?
“I have only been to one. Well, going back to when I was in high school, but the modern era I have only been to one. I went to their Dallas game [which was] the final game of the year last year. That was a crazy atmosphere. I don’t suspect it will be quite that amped, but it’s a lot of people it will be amped.”

It tends to be windy at that stadium right?
“Well, it is in the meadows. You know the old legend of opening the one door and closing the other in the old stadium. I think the new stadium doesn’t quite have those door flexibility, but you are in a place that is wide open out there in the meadowlands. Wind can be an issue, yes.”

Would you expect perhaps that their secondary is a little banged up this week so you may have a chance to drive the ball a little deeper at times?
“They are a little bit like we are in the secondary in that they got some guys that are coming back. They are not sure if they are going to be back full speed. I think regardless of who plays in the secondary their front is so ferocious that you are not going to have a lot of time to get the ball off. I don’t care what you do. Those guys they are relentless and they are good. We really got to be smart because not only do they get to the quarterback, but they cause some really bad things. They sack fumble you. They really are very good at it. We need to be on our best [play].”

Is it part of your philosophy to be aggressive in the kicking game when defending kicks?
“It has been. Yes, we blocked a lot of punts and kicks over the years. The people that are doing the operation at this level are better. The snaps are faster [and] the kicks get off better. The protection is better so I don’t think it can be that way. That was kind of a specialty thing that week one we were able to pull off. I think the return game is really emphasized at this level for a reason. It is hard to get, I don’t know the exact number [but] there may have been ten punts blocked all year last year. It is a lot different than college.”

Is that maybe why Michael Smith didn’t have a great a day as he did in the preseason because he is going up against ones and twos as opposed to guys that may not be on the football field?
“I know where you are going and logically that makes sense, but I don’t think that was the case. We had too many breakdowns on our kickoff return. We didn’t execute well. It was bad coaching by me. It wasn’t great playing and we just need to tighten that ship up a little bit. I hope we will. Hopefully you don’t get too many chances to see it. Right? That’s the goal, but if we do hopefully we can be a lot more effective then we were. The Giants on special teams—the one thing that jumps out on tape is that they are big physical maulers on special teams. They are big men. We are going to look [small] compared to them on special teams. We just got to fight our you-know-what off.”

What is your message when you play on the road and are there certain keys that you will tell your team about?
“Sure. Well the one thing is you have to be ready to deal with the noise. People say the noise isn’t an issue at home, [but] sure it is. It is an issue to your defense. We communicate on defense just as much as you do on offense. Either way you are going to have a noise issue, but on the road the offense has to deal with it. We make sure we handle the crowd noise accordingly and all those things in practice, but momentum is such a big part of the game. When you have the home crowd to enhance or take that momentum and run with it—you just need to stay in the moment. You can’t let the crowd become part of the game. You have to let the game be the game. That is easily said and as we all know hard to do. That is going to be a challenge for us and I think it is great to be going on the road for our first time as a organization with me as head coach. I am anxious to see how our guys respond. Preseason isn’t the same as you know.”
Last modified on Thursday, 13 September 2012 15:41

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    Offensive line is the key this week. Our group shouldn't be intimidated.
  • avatar

    I'm little concerned we are banged up on the OL. This is going to be a tough game.
  • avatar

    I really like how Schiano handles questions. He is as careful as he is in coaching his team on all the little details and you saw last week how successful that approach was for the young Bucs that needed to learn to focus on the details and master them. I was really worried about the lack of depth for the Defensive Line and how we were really going to do with a third round Defensive Lineman starting there. I have to say I was surprised at how easily they were able to shut down the premiere running QB in the league. Well Done! The Buccaneer Way is the way to the Super Bowl eventually. We are very fortunate.
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