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September 27, 2012 @ 2:28 pm
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Schiano Says Several Factors Hampering Success On Third Down

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Bucs coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media on Thursday and addressed several subjects including the progress of the offense, moving Josh Freeman in the pocket more and the trouble the offense has faced on third down.
The Buccaneers practiced Thursday afternoon, preparing for the Washington Redskins who come to town on Sunday with both teams sitting at 1-2 on the season. Head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media immediately following practice and below is a full transcript of the press conference.

Are you excited at all about your first game as an NFL coach with real officials?

“Yes, I heard that got worked out. That is good. Will get us back to normal.”

Is this still a learning curve for you with the offense with the ups and downs you are getting?
“It is a learning curve for everything. Offense, defense, special teams procedure, but nobody cares about that. The rest of the 31 teams they don’t care. We got to win now with the learning curve going on and we have come close, but we haven’t gotten the job done enough. Certainly we will be better [and] more comfortable [and] more well ingrained in everything we do, but none of us are promised tomorrow. Forget next year.”

Has there been much thought to changing Josh Freeman’s launch point and getting him sort of just moving around?
“We have it as part of our offense. So if we call it or not it is always there. We have to chose to call it. I have always thought you change the launch point in games just so they don’t get their ears locked in on one spot. So yes that is there and probably can be used more than we have. Yes.”

From what you have seen do you agree that his throwing on the run is a strength of his?
“He is good at. He sure is, yes. Every time he leaves the pocket though and takes on to run, unless you slide effectively you risk injury and that’s the fear. So as long as we hit it then I am good with it. The minute we start spinning and hurdling and all that stuff I am not good with it. Risk reward is not there.”

What have you told him about that is there a fine line?
“You just heard it.”

What are you noticing on tape about the Redskins defense statistically?
“Well they are not struggling in all areas. They are best in the league at stopping the run or close to it. They are up there with us. They pound you. They is no mistaking what they are trying to do to you. They are trying to suffocate you. Really all that has got their passing stats is the same thing (big plays) the same thing that happened to us. I don’t look at us and say we can’t play pass defense. We just had a game where we gave up big plays. They are very similar. Very similar to what has happened to us. I think it is a good defense and I respect the guys that run that defense. They do a great job.”

What have you and the players done to be so committed to stopping the run?
“Well stopping the run is doing your job. If you do your job and control your gap you dictate the daylight. That is really what they are committed to and then it is tackling. I think they have improved as tacklers. We have to continue to improve. We are not where we want to be, but they have made a huge jump as a tackling defense and we just got to continue down that path. Now when you lose a guy like AC (Adrian Clayborn) that really ups the challenge right? Because here is a guy who is a great player against the run. I mean very disruptive.”

What do you think about Demar Dotson and how has he played on that right side?
“So far I think he is doing well. Yes, the thing that you love is that he is constantly on that climb. May not be that climb, but it is that climb. With his physical abilities, if he can continue that climb he can be as good as there is.”

How is Jeremy Zuttah playing up front?
“I think Jeremy has actually had a couple good games here. I think managing everything as well as his blocking. Can he be better? Sure, but I think he has been very solid in the middle. That is one area that I have been pleased with.”

How important is it for him to handle Fletcher because he is a tackle machine?
“Yes, tackle machine has been doing it for a lot of years. Right? So [he] understands how to do it. It is not just Jeremy. It is the whole line. It is the running backs. It is the tight ends. We all have to do our part in that situation. Both in the run game and in pass protection, but again the high level of trust. Jeremy knows the offense already and he really does a good job of getting us in certain situations that he is responsible for which is good.”

When you look at your offense performance on third down particular what are you most concerned about?
“Well, when you look at where we are right now there cannot be one thing. It is several things. I am sure as Mike (Sullivan) and I look at it we are going to just keep trying to figure out what is best for our guys. We are figuring the whole thing out as well with our new guys and our new offense. Then we have to execute and we have to protect and we have to throw and we have to catch. That’s what it boils down to. I think Mike (Sullivan) has had a real good feel of mixing some runs in there on third down which is always helpful. So all that adds up to the end result. Right now after three games we are not where we want to be as our cumulative effort, but I do see that we are getting better. Today is third down day [and] I felt the guys are getting better little by little. Again, if we can stay on that gradual climb we will get there.”

Part of the problems is that you are not getting the third and twos right?
“You do that against this team [and] you are in big trouble. Big trouble. They are not afraid to light you up and they come from every direction. So staying on schedule is going to be every important in this game as it is in every game, but what these guys do in third and six plus [or] third and seven plus [or] third and eight plus you really like to stay away from that if you can.”

What type of challenge does facing a 3-4 defense like Washington present?
“Well I think the league is basically split now with three four four three. The issue that we have is we are installing an offense and who do we do it against? We do it against ourselves. We are not a three four team. So as we build cumulative reps against the three four with a new offense we will get better at it. That’s probably the last thing you get better at because that is what you see less of. In OTAs and in mini camps and in training camp we had scheduled three four periods because we knew we had to rep it, but every day you lined up you went against four three. So we are further along against four three teams. The thing I like about it is we have three in a row now where we are going to build some cumulative repetitions. I hope that helps. It better help.”

Is that something you like to see have you gotten good production out of it?
“Yes, we do it for a different reason than they. We have it in our package and as we get better we are going to infuse some of that where we have some three four elements to our defensive package. That is not our base. We are not ready yet to go into like the 200 300 level stuff.”

–Victoria Horchak contributed to this report

Last modified on Thursday, 27 September 2012 14:54

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  • avatar

    I agree Horse. At this point they have, in many ways, exceeded my expectations after the 2011 debacle left us with the worst playing team in the league. A lot our our younger Pewter Report brethren seem to expect instant success or they throw on-line temper tantrums. You and I are old school and understand the depths to which the team had fallen and how long it can take to climb back to respectability. With the loss of Joseph, coupled with the injuries to Clayborn and Bowers and the Price situation; that's four players for whom we had high expectations who are no longer on the team. Hopefully, our remaining "stars" can start to shine more brightly.
  • avatar

    Completely agree with below. I guess that makes me 'old school'...!
  • avatar

    We are 1-2 and could have been 2-1, 3-0, 03, because we have been in every game and we were just a couple plays of winning or losing. Why am I on this track? It's because we have played competitive and that is all I have asked for this year. I don't expect us to change much of anything because it is working. Gee I sound like Schiano; I believe he is right. We will do the watching and they will do the playing and coaching. Go Bucs! Take this win!
  • avatar

    I am hoping that Blount will be used a lot more in this game against the Redskins. The Bucs need to be using both running backs to wear down the Redskin Defense and then in the fourth quarter they need to be putting Smith in as a change of pace back to run all over them. I want to see a lot better play calling this week too. Last Sunday the Bucs were way too predictable for my liking. The Bucs will be blacked out until they really get it together, probably in the second half of the season.
  • avatar

    Please, throw out the run up the middle, maybe with Blount but thats it.
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