Head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media following practice on Wednesday and was asked about a number of subjects including defending against Peyton Manning, the Bronco pass rush and veteran cornerback Ronde Barber's role with the team, among other topics.
The 6-5 Buccaneers will attempt to limit their losing-streak to just one game, but will face their toughest road trip of the season this Sunday, as they travel to Denver to face the 8-3 Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning. Schiano told the media that the Buccaneers need to accomplish several objectives in order to beat Denver on Sunday afternoon.
Roy Miller was not at practice from what we saw and is he alright?
“He’s ill. He actually came into work and then didn’t feel well, so we sent him home. Actually we sent him to the doctor.”Why not use Ronde Barber at cornerback?
“We just feel comfortable with what we’re doing right now. I’m not going to say that it would never happen, but that’s not what we want to do right now.”Can you talk a little bit about the Bronco’s pass rush?
“Very good. In all areas. The only area where they’re not very good is in red zone defense. Very other category they’re top 10 and those two defensive ends, with Elvis Dumervil and Vonn Miller, I mean, combination pair, maybe some have more notoriety. I don’t know if they do or they don’t, but these guys are, they’re really good and they are really good at sack fumbling, so we really have to make sure that we protect the football because they’ve taken a combined nine balls out of quarterback’s hands.”Is Miller a guy that lines up anywhere?
“He’s kind of a hybrid guy, but he plays strong. He plays like a bigger guy than what he is weight-wise. So they’ll play him on the tight end side, the split end side, all over.”People are comparing him to Derrick Thomas and would you agree?
“Having not followed pro football I got to see him the first time this summer just studying some stuff and said, that guy’s good. When I watched him game after game in preparation for this thing, it changed that. I thought, that guy’s great, an elite player in this league for sure.”
How do you begin to defend Peyton Manning?
“Well, you have to be careful, because you can’t try in four days to create a whole new defense to confuse him because that won’t work. And the fact of the matter is, what you think would be this great idea that would confuse him, he probably saw it six years ago and then again three years ago. So we just have to go out and play our defense and play the best we can, and know that they’re going to make some plays. There’s not anybody in this league that has kept them from making plays in the pass game. We have to make sure that we don’t let them go off in the run game. We have to make sure that we stop the run. We know he’s going to make some throws, you’d like them to not be the big plays. If you can limit the big plays and let them catch the ball underneath we’ll have to tackle well. When we play man to man coverage we’re going to have to be on our guys and try to deny him the ball and when we have deep safety help we’re going to have to use that help.”Is Danny Gorrer now your third corner?
“I don’t know if I’m ready to say that or not. I think we have, there are some young guys that are not very experienced, and we’re just kind of playing our hand as we feel it is best. And the best thing you can do when you have a bunch of guys that are similar in experience is make sure that none of them are out there tired. So we’ll roll them through, and if they’re tired. It’s different if you have a guy that’s a vet and a guy that’s proven himself in this league. You want him out there for all his experi4ence and craftiness. When you have a bunch of guys that are similar in experience I think we can roll them and our advantage is that we’ll have fresh corners out there. So you’ll see a bunch of different players on Sunday.”Does that include Myron Lewis and what has been keeping him off the field?
“I don’t know if there’s one thing. It’s relative to the competition probably. There’s nothing bad. I mean, he’s here with us, and that’s not by accident. I think he’s doing as lot of good things. I’ve talked with him a lot, you just got to keep battling and when the opportunity comes you’ve got to be ready.”What about Peyton Manning amazes you and fascinates you about him as a quarterback?
“Well I think the point Rick (Stroud) made is he is a coach on the field. He literally is. (Bucs QB coach) Ron Turner coached there and I have friends in coaching that worked with him and coached him. He literally is a coach on the field. There are not a lot of those in the National Football League. So there are things that he is going to see. The only thing I would say is he has got to get all other 10 guys to understand what he understands. Not to his degree, but to some degree. Otherwise it is like a coach in coaching you always say it is not what you know it is what they know. You got to get that across to them. It sure helps when one of the 11 guys and it happens to be the guy who touches it every play has all that knowledge. So it is going to make it a challenge for sure. They are 8-3 so three teams figured out a way to do it. That is our goal. We are trying to be the fourth.”Is there a difference with him from before and after the surgery that he had?
“I don’t know. I know he is really good now.”Ronde Barber has been playing some dime situations and does his ability to go in more in nickel situations see him being in the slot more?
“He could. There is no doubt that he can do that. He has done that here for years in a little different scheme than we do, but there is no doubt if we want to do that [it] is an option for us. I kind of like his command back there and all those things and he and Mark (Barron) working together. Ahmad Black has played a lot of football for us now 11 games into it so that is a viable option if we want to rotate. We are going to have a lot of different combinations because they are going to throw the ball a lot. The thing we got to make sure I will keep coming back to [is] if they can run the ball then it’s going to be a struggle, yes.”Is putting Ronde Barber in slot corner an option?
“I am not sure that’s the case either. He plays dime for sure and that is a hybrid. That is not quite a corner, it is more of a slash. If they are two-by-two removed than it is. Not to get too technical, but he is capable, there is no doubt. He is capable of doing a lot of things. [With] Ronde (Barber) there is no doubt in my mind he can go out and play right corner or left corner. I don’t think that’s an issue either. It is just right now trying to find—we are stretched a little back there. We are young back there, but they are working their tails off. I couldn’t ask for more effort and more focus than they are giving. It has been my experience when guys work that way eventually the worm turns and it will get better.”Does he know enough at that safety spot that you feel good enough there with him and Mark Barron—they are pretty good at that spot?
“Yes, there is always that. When you make position changes well do you want to move two because now you are jeopardizing two rather than just one. Absolutely that comes into play, but as I said I like the flexibility we have and depending on which way the game goes. The thing that they do a very good job on and Peyton (Manning) does it is he changes the tempo on you. If you try to matchup or if you try to change personnel he is going to speed it up and get you with 12 guys on the field. It is not like he has done it to one or two teams; he does it to every team. We have to really be very, very careful when we make our substitutions and that’s why there needs to be a plan to it. You can’t just kind of do it like a regular game where you [say] oh they got three well lets go ahead and do it. That is not going to work.”Are you pleased with your team’s preparation and how they handle themselves on the road?
“Yes, I am. I think we have gotten better at it too. I think like anything else we do it a few times together and you get some feedback afterwards and then you get a little better. I hope that—again these are not short trips either. Some of these are longer trips, but that’s part of playing in the National Football League.”– Mark Cook contributed to this report
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