Head coach Greg Schiano told the media on Thursday he was thrilled with the selection of Gerald McCoy to the Pro Bowl, but also said it is a team game and McCoy's teammates should take some satisfaction with the honor. Schiano also talked about Mark Barron, the pass defense and a number of other subjects following Thursday's practice.
Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media on Thursday in his regularly scheduled press conference after practice. In his press conference he discussed some of his rookies, Gerald McCoy being named to the Pro Bowl, the pass rush, and where he sees his offense moving forward after getting some of his injured players back next year. The following is a transcript of his press conference.Can you talk about your three top rookies Doug Martin, Mark Barron, and Lavonte David and what it means to have those guys as part of foundation looking forward?
“I do. I am thrilled to have them in our organization. I think they are all really good players and they are going to be great players as they develop in this organization. Very blessed to have them and we need to go get some more.”Pretty much confirmed what you hoped you would get out of those guys with the way they played?
“I think you could say that. Yes.”In general did you get the production you wanted from some guys like Leonard Johnson and Michael Smith and some of the later round picks?
“Well I think certainly you get a guy like Leonard (Johnson) who is a free agent and comes in and plays as much football as he did for us and made plays. It is not where the guy just kind of filled in. He made plays. I thought he played well Sunday. That is a bonus when you can do that. Obviously an undrafted college free agent can be a guy that can play for you that is great. He is a great kid to have in the program and works extremely hard. Keith Tandy [is] another guy who has been up and down depending on the needs of the week, but a dependable guy. A football smart guy. Najee Goode same thing. Has been down most weeks, but he was up last week and I thought he played well on special teams. [He] is a guy who I think has promise. And I think Mike (Michael) Smith has got promise. Most of the time you see him on the show team, but he has done a really good job individual periods when we do opportunity periods. He really shows that he has got some stuff. The preseason is not that long ago. I remember when he did some things. It has just been a numbers issue getting him up, but he is a good football player.”
What does it mean to you to have Gerald McCoy named to the Pro Bowl?
“I am really thrilled. Thrilled for Gerald (McCoy) first and foremost and I am happy for the organization. I hope that this is a long string of those kinds of things over the years. Certainly there are other players I thought were deserving too on our team, but you go with the flow and the vote is the vote. That is what you do. I am thrilled for Gerald and we have a few others that are alternates and I am happy for them. As I told all the guys that is a reflection not only on their own skills and performance this year, but also on their teammates. Nobody plays this game alone. It is the ultimate team game. For you to do well you need ten other guys around you that are doing their job. I think the whole team can take some joy and some pride that some of their guys were recognized. Usually what happens you win and even more guys get recognized. It goes along with winning, right? The bigger numbers and that’s what we need to do. We need to win and there will be more of that to go around.”Can you talk about where the pass rush stands going forward?
“I think we will get better. I think we have gotten better. I think we will make big strides. We have too. Pass rush, sacks, [and] pass coverage they are all tied together. Sometimes if you can cover for just another half a second you are going to get a sack because the quarterback will not pull the trigger. Sometimes if you can just get a little bit closer, you can just get that hand up to alter the throw that much, you get a PBU or you get an interception. It all ties together and none of it has been good enough consistently. It has been good enough at times, but none of the phases that fit together [have]. And there is more to it than even that. There is the pre-snap disguise and all those things. We will get better and that will help us be a better defense.”Have you seen enough from Eric Wright to know that he can play for you this week?
“Have not made a decision yet what we are going to do there, no.”Is that galling to you to give up that kind of pass yardage when you are so good on rush defense and shouldn’t being good against the run theoretically help your pass defense?
“Theoretically sure. Like I just kind of tied the pass coverage in the pass rush and we tied them together. That is really what it boils down to. We just have to get better at it. Is it frustrating? Yes, it is frustrating. You look at it half full or half empty. Part of our situation has been improved immensely. Part of it has not. We got to get the other part and keep that one part where it is and bring the other part up. There is progress. It is not both. There is progress just not as much as any of us would like.”When you look at Mark Barron in the last couple of weeks have seen his play sport of plateau a little bit?
“I think his play on the last few weeks has gone [up]. I think he has played his best football the last couple weeks. I think he has gotten a second wind. I think he is getting it better –understands it better. Feels it better.”What has Roy Miller showed you this season, being healthy for the most part?
“Well Roy (Miller) has and he has been a very important part of our defense. Mostly our run defense. He is more of a two-down guy. You don’t see him in there in the dime and the pass rush package on third down. But he is a heck of a run-stopper. He plays the position [that] we call the tilt nose in our defense he plays it very well. He is really custom built to play it. His traits really fit the position.”This offense has done a lot of good things this year and did it without two Pro Bowl guards this season how do you look at the way this offense could be better next year with them?
“I am excited to get a bunch of those guys back. Like I have said all season long that is life in the NFL. You are going to lose guys. We happened to lose some guys that are the best at what they do in the world, but I cannot wait to get them back. Not only because of their play, but what they bring [with] their experience and their leadership. That is an exciting thing to think about. Right now we do not have them so we got to go win a game Sunday without them and the guys who have stepped in have done a real good job. Again, I will make mention of it because I think it deserves so Jeremy Zuttah moving over in a crunch and playing guard the whole year is a testament to what his makeup is. I am grateful for that.”
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