Bucs coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media after Friday's last full practice tune up for Sunday's big matchup against the 9-1 division-leading Atlanta Falcons. Schiano answered a number of questioning including the status of running back LeGarrette Blount.
What is Eric Wright’s status for Sunday?
“We are going to have to wait and see. I think he has done enough that we will see. It is not where we can—he is not ruled out of the game so we are going to have to see.”How challenging is it fitting the pieces in especially if Eric Wright cannot play against this particular team?
“Well, certainly it starts with their quarterback. He is an exceptional player and very good wideouts and as you pointed out earlier in the week a hall of fame tight end. So it is going to be very challenging and now you have some moving parts on our side, but that’s what it is. So just get ready and whatever it is if he can play he can and if he can’t he can’t, but God willing we are kicking off at one o’clock and we got to be ready to play.”It begs the question though how extensively you blitz becomes even more paramount this week?
“Yes, we do what we do. We will be ready.”Is it personally disappointing to you that a lot of your fans will not be able to see the game against the Falcons because of the black out or do you not even think about it?
“You know what I hear it like everybody else does when it is announced, but I don’t spend a lot of time—that is not my job. My job is to make sure that we keep getting our guys prepared and go play and go win and that’s what I am staying focused on. It will get right. We will be fine.”Do you talk much to your team about what this game would mean against the Falcons?
“I personally don’t spend time talking about that because that’s the one thing that they know because everybody else talks about it. They don’t need to hear [it]. What they need to hear are the things that are going to allow us to win that game that is critically important that counts as two [and] that can mean a lot down the road. All those things that everybody talks about. My job is to get them filled with what it takes to do that and not the result, but the process.”
What jumps out about the Falcon defense on film?
“I will tell you one thing No. 55 off the edge sack fumbling people for years that jumps off real quickly. Coach (Mike) Nolan does a great job with the defense. They are well coordinated. They play extremely hard. [They are] a talented group. [The] corners are very active. They go after the football. They are supposed to get their linebacker back so it is going to be good.”Do they flip him around or is he usually on the right?
“They move him around some.”With how explosive the Falcons are do you go into the game thinking you have to put up a certain amount of points to compete?
“Do I think that? You know what? I am not one of those guys that says it has got to be this or it has got to be that. We have a plan and we are going to try to do the plan. Now sometimes other things come into play that will equal points or not equal points which I won’t go into because they are strategic, but the points themselves a lot of times think it could be a high scoring game and it is a low scoring game and vice versa. The thing that I think is consistent is those keys to victory. We are pretty locked in on those.”You have a lot of young players and at this stage in season how closely do you keep an eye on whether or not these guys are hitting the rookie wall or do you watch for that at all?
“We do. We watch for it very closely, but the flipside to that rookie wall is is it physical or is it mental? A lot of it is mental. It is kind of like when you are working out. If you say you are going to do 10 reps, on none you start straining. You say you are going to do 12 well on nine you fly past nine. We don’t want to make too big a deal with it on our guys because the reality of it is they are well conditioned. They guys that are playing that are young are well conditioned athletes. I think our coaches do a really good job of taking care of them during practice. Limit the reps where limitable and then making sure Todd (Toriscelli) and his people are our doctors do a great job of (we stress it and they do it) of taking care of their bodies. I think that’s one of the biggest parts of being a true professional is that extra time in the tubs and with the massage people and all the treatments. Or do you just leave the building and get out of here”?A lot of young players are prone to do just what you said in that they are young so the recover faster right?
“No doubt. The one thing that if you look at the three guys that are really playing a ton and even some of the other guys, is they come from programs that have done that. You know in Alabama Nick (Saban) talks about taking care of your body and they have that and they do that. At Boise same thing with Coach Pete (Chris Petersen) and you just go down the list at Nebraska with Bo (Pelini). They do that. So these kids come here understanding it and now we just amp it up a degree. The best teacher for that is our current players. We have guys like Ronde (Barber) and Vincent Jackson and guys like that that really take care of their bodies. Now they look up and say oh that’s how you do it. So that’s where that veteran leadership I think—you know you always talk about on the field and out in the community, but how about in that training room? In the weight room and those little areas that’s where it is critical.”Is it fair to say that D.J. Ware has passed LeGarrette Blount in terms of getting carries after Doug Martin?
“No. I wouldn’t say that. I think D.J. (ware) has got a specific role. He is our third down back and LeGarrette (Blount) is our back up running back. I wouldn’t read too much in the last two weeks of him not—it is just kind of the way the games played out. He will have a role and he will do fine. I am confident that he will do fine.”
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