Head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media on Monday and discussed Tampa Bay's exciting come-from-behind win over the Panthers on Sunday. Despite the win, Schiano said there is plenty of mistakes to clean up.
Less than 24 hours after the Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers to move to 6-4 on the season, Schiano spoke to the media and discussed what went right – and wrong – in Tampa Bay's impressive rally to beat the Panthers 27-21 in overtime.
How did you come out of the game physically?
“Okay, it was a physical ball game as you could tell. Just top of my head Eric (Wright) left the game. [He] tweaked his whatever that is the whole ankle Achilles area. Tiquan (Underwood) obviously the late hit. Although he seemed to be fine after the game. They will go through—I am sure Todd (Toriscelli) and our doctors will go through the procedures. I think that was really it.”Can Eric Wright keep going like this if he is going to have this issue week to week?
“Well it is a week to week thing. You got to see. I have asked him every week ‘do you think you are going to be able’? And he [said] ‘yes I want to play.’ He has been unfortunate that it got hit directly on it a couple times, but he is toughing through it.”Were you able to detect anything to tell you why the offense seemed to struggle for so long yesterday?
“If you had to say one thing it is that Josh (Freeman) was under pressure more than he has been. He had to get rid of some balls. There were some routes that came open, but we just didn’t have time to get it there. It is not just on the offensive line, it is everything. [It is] running our routes better. It is seeing things. We missed a few things. We were just about half a step behind at times. We probably could have run the ball better in the first half or just more. More opportunities, but the way the game kind of unfolded. There were a lot of things. We threw some balls down the field that the wind got a hold of and when you look back on it there are some things we would have done differently. At the end of the day they performed really well and found a way to win it. Still at the end that is what is most important. It gives us a lot to clean up though. You would much rather clean it up from the win column for sure.”
Can you talk about the play of Jamon Meredith and how quickly he was able to come back from that injury and how he performed yesterday?
“Yes, it was miraculous. I mean literally. If you saw the hit on video from practice, you would sit there and say no way is this guy—he may be done for the year. For him to be back in a few days we are very fortunate.”Is Vincent Jackson playing as well as you thought he would or is he even better than you knew he would be?
“Well he is playing awfully well. Clutch as well. That throw and catch to cut it to two was about as good as you are going to see at any level.”Did you realize he was this good a football player before you coached him?
“I didn’t have a lot of background with Vincent (Jackson). My background consisted of what I saw when we were watching tape for free agency. That was really it. Was very impressive, but without a whole history on him I didn’t know. But as you read there were a lot of people that thought very highly of him. [I am] sure glad he is on our team though.”Is Donald Penn okay?
“I think he will be okay. Certainly he didn’t leave the game because everything felt good. Something happened. I do think he is going to be okay. He is a tough guy. I am sure he will work and get treated and be okay.”Did you give yourself a chance to enjoy this game a bit more because of the way it ended yesterday?
“I was really happy for our players. You saw a lot of kid come out in a lot of these men when they won the game and in the locker room. I am really excited for them. Yes I enjoyed it. I like winning, but it is kind of like a parent it is fun to watch them enjoy it more than anything.”Did you have a chance to talk to Doug Martin because there was a point where he thought he had lost the game for you guys then he had a great overtime?
“I did not and I don’t need to because I knew Earnest Byner was going to take care of it. Earnest has got a great relationship with his guys. He is coaching them throughout the game and talking to them and I am sure he got him. I know he did because we talked about it after the fact. It was good.” The runs that he had in overtime were they a matter of the team wearing the defense down or did he just not have enough at bats earlier?
“Well, you know he had a little success running the ball in the first half, and maybe it just wasn’t enough opportunities. The one play that came flying out we had run earlier in the fourth quarter and got a similar result, so he ran the ball well there. I thought he had a good day, save the fumble, which you can’t say that because that’s as big a play as there is in the game, but I’m sure that we’ll have an opportunity to teach off of that, which will be good.”Can you talk about your philosophy on preparation because the players yesterday as saying it was a big payoff?
“That’s everything to us. We think that it kind of goes back to the philosophy of concerning yourself with the things you can control and preparation is something you can control. We try to out-prepare ourselves every week. What can we do just a little bit better than the week before. Thus learning and getting better every week. And that goes for the players as well as the coaches. What we have in the NFL is a great opportunity to have all these game tapes instantly, all these TV copies instantly so we scour the league and try to find situations that could apply. You can’t possibly practice everything on the practice field so you try to use technology as well as the situations we do practice. But these guys are into it. That’s the big thing. You can throw anything you want at them. If they’re not willing to learn, listen, but anyone who loves the game of football I think enjoys that part of it, the strategy and the situational football and we have a lot of guys on this team who love the game of football.”Can talk about the Falcons coming in here at 9-1?
“They’re a good football team. I haven’t spent a lot of time on them. Kind of wrapping up Carolina. Btu I’ve spent some, enough to know they’re a good football team. A lot of weapons. I’ll probably be better suited to talk to you about that on Wednesday. Huge challenge, one we’re looking forward to.”Was there a fleeting moment when you thought this just isn’t your day?
“Well, I ask our team never to go there, so I really fight to never go there myself. And I think the best way to do that is to keep on preparing for the next situations so that when we don’t get that, we can clearly know what we have. And even when we know what we have, and even when we’re waiting for the ruling you’re talking to both sides as a head coach, 'all right Bill (Sheridan), get ready if they turn this thing and it’s at the 20 what do we want to do?' And talking to (special teams coach Bob Ligashesky)
'if it is good, what do we want to do on the kickoff?' And you just have to keep preparing and then your mind doesn’t go to the oh, woe is me. And when it wasn’t, we knew what we had to get.”Can you talk about your assessment of the defense and giving your offense chance to win the game?
“I thought the defense played well. There were a couple of plays, like you said, like that touchdown to LaFell there, that one - (knife to the gut). But the run game. They were committed to the run game. You could see that early on. And when you hold someone under three yards a carry per game you’re playing good run defense and we were able to do that against a team that was committed to running the ball. Remember the first game, they ran it a dozen times or 10 or whatever it was. It wasn’t a lot. This time it was clear they were going to try to run it. Our guys did a good job stopping the run and we made enough plays to give us a chance to win. There are things we can learn from. The TFLs are huge. When you have those TFLs it gives you a chance to get ahead of the sticks. And that’s what we did.”Building an offense with an elite receiver, quarterback, and running back was that intentionally?
“Between Mark (Dominik) and myself, we said, what do we want to build and how do we want to build it. And our formula, Mark was great. He asked me, what do you really want to do as a coach, and lets go try to get the pieces to do it. And that was huge. And the other piece is the tight end, because the tight end gives you the opportunity when they take this away and that away, it gives you that one curveball that’s hard to defend. It’s that extra component and for our tight end to make that catch to win the game, on a wheel route, that’s pretty good stuff.”–Victoria Horchak and Mark Cook contributed to this report
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