Coach Greg Schiano met with the media on Wednesday, and while obviously disappointed in losing an important offensive cog like Carl Nicks, the show must go on. Schiano discussed the contingency plans to replace Nicks, the improved play of fullback Eric Lorig, along with the overall play of the Buccaneers offense.
With a trip to Oakland looming, the Buccaneers were back on the practice field on Wednesday preparing for their trip out west. Below is a transcript of what head coach Greg Schiano had to say following Wednesday's practice.
Is there anything new on Eric Wright in terms of his availability?
“No, just from the health standpoint he was limited today. We will see.”Any improvement in the Achilles?
“I think. We are just going to have to wait and see how it comes.”You lose another guard who is hard to replace, but what is your reaction to losing Carl Nicks and what do you do?
“First, it is a tough loss. That is an understatement, right? When you have a guy of Carl (Nicks) stature and ability that he brings to the field each week, but nobody is going to feel sorry for us. That is the game. We are going to work some combinations this week and figure out what is best and put the best five out there that we can put together and go run our offense. That is what we are going to do.”Is Jeremy Trueblood a possibility at left guard?
“I think everybody is a possibility right now. We just got to find out what the best mix is.”This came just as offense seemed to be getting some momentum and what do you think has been the key to that improvement?
“I think all the above. Guys are comfortable. They are getting better more accumulative reps. We I think understand things a little bit better as a staff; everything. I don’t think there is any one thing. I think it is a bunch. Whatever is is. That’s the way life is. We are going to continue improving this offense and we are going to continue getting better. We are just going to have to do it with different guys.”
What has Josh Freeman been doing better the last few weeks overall?
“Same as what I just said. I think understand it a little bit better. More cumulative reps. Feeling more comfortable with everybody. Protection is a little bit better. All of those things.”Has there been anything that has impressed you about this run?
“Well just like I said everybody is getting a little bit better and it adds up. That doesn’t mean anything. It is looking forward. It gives them confidence. It should give them confidence that hey look this is what we are capable of, but you are only as good as your next outing. That’s what we need to do. We need to go out and do a bit better this week against Oakland. That’s what we have to try. They are going to present some issues now [in] defense with those two inside tackles. They are as big and powerful as you are going to see in this league. Linebackers are playing at a high level. We are going to have to strap it up. It is going to be one of those physical games.”How does the loss of a play stature of Carl Nicks affect your offensive game plan going forward?
“Well I think you got to just role with the punches because you got 10 other guys that have been doing this offense. We got to keep moving with it and certainly there are things that maybe you game plan specifically for Carl (Nicks), [but] then you just don’t do that anymore. You just stick to the other stuff. The good thing is there is a vast enough menu of offensive football that there is other stuff to do that doesn’t directly have to be just Carl (Nicks) based. Sully (Mike Sullivan) and the offensive staff they have a good plan and I am confident in it. We just got to go out and execute.”Carl Nicks hurt his toe several weeks ago and can you put in perspective what he went to to play and why now if he was able to play Thursday?
“That’s a great question. You talk about a tough dedicated guy. This guy played through a ton of pain. It just got to the point where he couldn’t play anymore. It got worse. There was some more tests done and at this point it is not safe. Before that it was painful, [but] now it is not safe. We need to get it fixed. He will. Unfortunately with him and Davin (Joseph) we won’t see them again till next year, but they are going to be better players for this and we are going to be a better team for this. Right now we are going to fight our way through it because as I started out nobody cares. We will. We will fight our way through it.”This type of injury can take sometimes 12 months to recover and do you guys have any idea the timetable where Carl Nicks may be able to come back?
“Yes, I didn’t hear anything that long, but you never know. It is just every time you do something doctors and trainers go to work on it and we will see. That is a little premature for me to say that. I didn’t get that. I hope your book is not right.”What type of weapon has Erik Lorig been for you?
“He has been a weapon. He has played some really good football. He is still learning the position without a doubt, but he is getting a better feel every week. There is a guy when you ask about how you are getting better well there is a guy who has improved each week. When you add up that improvement then you add up this improvement and that improvement, that’s how you get better as a team.”Are you exploring trade opportunities right now to try improve your depth on the offensive line?
“Well, I think we are always exploring opportunities whether it is offensive line or any position. Those roster spots are just incredibly valuable and we are always trying to get the best 53 guys that we can to help us win. So we are always looking. I wouldn’t rule anything out.”This is the first trip out west for you and what is the biggest challenge you see in going from east to west?
“Again, I think it is a state of mind. You get yourself ready for it. You identify the challenge and then you go attack it. We have a plan. Certainly we have a detailed plan of how we are going to do it and as long as the guys and the coaches and everybody is locked in and understand the vision, it is a longer plane ride. That’s what it boils down to. You take the plane ride then you got to go play.”
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