Below is a transcript from head coach Greg Schiano's Wednesday press conference at One Buc Place.
What’s the update on Da’Quan Bowers?
What’s the update on Da’Quan Bowers?
“He did some stuff. I don’t know until I talk to the trainers and see how he feels. He looked pretty good.”
Is there any chance he plays this week?
“I don’t think. I mean, there’s a chance, but that would not be what we want to do. I think we have to make sure that we go very deliberately with this and do it and then see how it feels and do it some more. It was a minimal workload today. We’re going to ease our way into this thing.”
What is the game plan for Bowers?
“Right now I just want to see if he can come back. After that we’ll figure out how to employ him into the scheme if he’s able.”
Do you plan to use most of this 21-day window?
“I think it’s a medical decision. I really do. I think his feedback, which he’s been very good at - I do have to say that I think Da’Quan, in his rehab, has been unbelievable. And not only rehabbing his Achilles but what he’s done with the rest of his body while he’s had the opportunity. I always talk to our guys, when they do have an unfortunate injury like that, there’s an opportunity there as well. You’re Achilles is hurt but your whole upper body is fine and there’s still a lot of things you can do cardiovascular wise, and he’s done that and he looks great. We just need to get him feeling comfortable and get him back in football shape. I don’t care how many sleds you push or treadmills you’re on and all that stuff, it’s different playing the game. But am hopeful that somewhere in this window, he’s going to be able to come back and help us and then for the rest of the year help us.”
Is it still important to stop the run against the Saints?
“I think it is only because, if you don’t, then they get you coming and going. So you have to play run defense, but I wouldn’t sound very intelligent if I go up here and didn’t say that No. 9 was their team. You’re not going to stop Drew Brees, but you need to do what you can do to slow him down. And there’s a lot of ways to do that that I’m not going to get into ways that we think. We’ll see if it works. A lot of people have had opinions on that and tried many different things. It’s funny, when you do watch video, you see things like, ‘Oh that was their thought – that didn’t work.’ There’s a lot people - where you say that didn’t work, because they’re still scoring points just as they always do, No. 1 in the league. So I think our entire team is very aware of the challenge and excited about a division game and all those things.”
Any thought on the improvements against the pass?
“We played better in the secondary and it wasn’t as expansive and diverse a pass game as we’ve faced against some of the other teams. Those two things together led to a better result.”
Was the technique better?
“That was part of it. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but that was certainly part of it.”
Did you prove last week that you can win a shootout game?
“Oh, I don’t know. I think we scored some points. Until we’re in a shootout I don’t know if we’re going to be able to win one. I would like to think we could. Until you’re in it, how do you know really?”
The Bucs haven’t allowed a TD pass in three games, where is the improvement coming from?
“So far, we’ve played some good red zone defense. And I think it’s a confidence that the players have in what we’re doing and we rep the heck out it. We spend a lot of time on it. Third down and red zone, those are two big big areas of emphasis for us. But they’re good in the red zone. They’re good everywhere on offense. They’re really good.”
What are your thoughts on E.J. Biggers?
“I think he’s played well. He’s got his hands on the ball. He’s denied his man receptions. I’m pleased so far. And I don’t think he’s 100 percent yet. I still think he’s going to get better as he goes and everything kind of gets back to normal. He’s really straining to play good technique.”
How did Jamon Meredith look?
“It wasn’t perfect but he definitely maintains the starting job. He played well enough. The one thing Jamon is is he’s very strong. It wasn’t perfect like I said. We have to get some things cleaned up. But when he does hit you, he moves you. When you’re talking about running the football, you’re talking about half the width of this podium, that’s all a running back needs. If you can move him that much a running back is going to find that. You just have to give him some daylight. There’s bodies all over the place and when there’s no daylight, that’s when it’s hard.”
How are Lavonte David and Mason Foster working together?
They spend a lot of time in the film room with Coach Fraser and these guys are workers, they’re studiers. And when you have you guys that enjoy being involved with the game, not just playing it, but anything that goes alone with it, that’s fun. And when you’re at that age, you get these discoveries every week. As you get older, there aren’t as many discoveries. But right now, they’re getting them, and it’s like, ‘Wow, this works.’ It’s fun to watch and they both love the game, so I am excited about those two. I’m excited about a lot of young guys.”
Do you like the old uniforms?
“I do like them. I think it’s a nice thing they do in the NFL, those throwback uniforms, especially if you’re a guy my age, I remember all those other uniforms and some of them go way back. I don’t remember those but I certainly remember the old Bucs uniforms so it will be fun to wear.”