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September 13, 2013 @ 2:53 pm
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Bucs News To Know 9-13: Sproles, Late Hits And Carl Nicks

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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What Saints offensive player did head coach Greg Schiano compliment today? What did both Schiano and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan have to say about the fines two Bucs racked up this week? And what is the latest on guard Carl Nicks?
Here is what you need to know about what happened at One Buccaneer Place on Friday, September 13:


• Practice began at 11:00 a.m. under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 90’s at One Buccaneer Place. The players were in just shorts and helmets for the 1.5-hour workout.


• TE Tom Crabtree was once again held out of practice as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain that took place in the Bucs final preseason game against the Redskins.

Head coach Greg Schiano on Friday ruled Crabtree out of Sunday’s game with the Saints along with cornerback Michael Adams.

• The Carl Nicks watch continued on Friday with Schiano still not able to say if the former Saints All-Pro guard would play against his former team.

“Certainly conditioning is a concern, because, when he was fighting the infection, it wasn’t like he did light conditioning," Schiano said. "He did nothing, and that was mandatory by the doctors. He has to get back into playing shape, [and] how you do it is play. You can run, you can jog – you’ve got to do that, don’t get me wrong – but then there’s that other step into a much greater degree, kind of the way we handled [cornerback] Darrelle [Revis]. I see that’s how it [is going to go]. When he’s gassed, he’s got to let us know. We have other guys that can play. And then, eventually, that becomes more and more and more. I’d say Darrelle built up all during training camp though, all those one-on-one routes he did. It’s going to be a little bit of a process, no matter when that first time he plays [is]. But we just keep moving it forward, because Carl’s a dominant player, and we need to get him back.”

Nicks has practice in a limited capacity the last two days, and was seen running on one of the empty practice fields during Friday's practice.

• The Buccaneers did not announce any roster moves on Thursday.

• Friday’s are typically the slowest news days across NFL locker rooms and today was no different in Tampa. Head coach Greg Schiano did speak to the media as usual but even that was shorter than normal.

With the majority of the questions asked about the controversy of team meetings, captains and quarterback Josh Freeman’s sleeping habits out of the way for now, Schiano talked more about the Saints on Friday.

One Saints player in particular that worries Schiano is Darren Sproles.

“[He’s] very dangerous – [on] screens, down in the red zone, tight red zone," Schiano said. "[He’s] the most prolific scorer in [the] red zone, maybe, in the history of football, this guy. [If] you look at last year, he had so many points, down in that area, per touch. You’re looking at a guy who is elite at what he does. They don’t ask him to do everything, but what they ask him to do he’s the best in the game at right now.”

• Both safety Dashon Goldson and linebacker Lavonte David received the dreaded FedEx package from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week for hits that resulted in penalties during last Sunday’s game against the Jets.

On Friday Schiano talked about they penalties, but also not wanting his defensive backs – or any defensive player – to be timid when tackling..

“I don’t want penalties, nor do I want fines,” Schiano said. “I want us to play the games within the rules. I respect the game of football. Does it affect receivers? I think, if you’re human, it does. Nobody wants to get crocked. The thing that I know when I watch our tape, although I don’t totally disagree with every one of the calls – I do with some, but that’s life, you’re always going to – as I watched it, none of them were intentional. But we’re not here to judge, and nor are the officials or the league here to judge intention; it’s what happened. Our guys aren’t trying to do that.

“They’re trying to play within the rules, just sometimes, when you’re moving at high speeds, illegal acts occur. So, we just keep working at it. We’ll get it right. Every once in a while, you’re going to have one. That’s the nature of the game.”

Thursday, during his weekly press conference, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan also commented on his defense and how they must learn to hit within the confines of the new rules.

“We definitely respect the fact that the league wants to protect players. Heck, they want to protect our players, and we do too,” Sheridan said. “So, they’re going to foul players for either hitting their [the opponents’] helmets or hitting the opponents with their helmets, and that’s the League rules, and we teach that, and our players are aware of it. We don’t try to skirt that or coach technique around it or disregard it at all.

“Again, we don’t want our own players to get hurt. It is very difficult, at the moment – you know, the ‘bang, bang’ point in a play – to modify your entry angle into contact, but we watch those films and we coach all the guys on defense this is why those fouls are being called, and as we go forward, guys, we’ve got to understand that we don’t want to injure ourselves by leading with the crowns of our helmets, and, second of all, if we hit other opponents in their helmets, it’s going to be called as a foul.

“So, regardless of the fines and all that stuff, it ends up hurting us defensively, because those are personal fouls, and it changes the field position. Of their first downs last week, probably half of them came through either the quarterback scramble or penalties against, self-inflicted penalties.”
“Consistency of the five (offensive line) components, first – we haven’t had that, consecutively, yet, although we’ve never had that. The reality is [guard] Carl [Nicks] and [guard] Davin [Joseph] just never have played a regular season game together yet, right? But it’s more than just that; it’s moving people around, then [in preseason] game three, [offensive lineman] Gabe [Carimi] moves into left guard. So, there’s been some moving around, but we’ve got to play better too. We will.”– Schiano on the struggles to move the ball in Week 1

The Buccaneers will welcome the Saints to Raymond James Stadium for their 4:05 p.m. matchup. Good news for local fans that do not have a ticket – the game will not be blacked out and can be seen on WTVT-FOX 13.

Last modified on Friday, 13 September 2013 15:07

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  • avatar

    Incredible your DEMPS remark is puzzling,he will make the team and contribute this season.If team is smart they turn him into a slot receiver along with Page as well as part time RB ala sproles.Your right on about the refs ,looks like if the tackle hurt theirs a flag thrown.
  • avatar

    I doubt Demps ever sees the field in a real game. Folks, do we all realize that our beloved John Lynch would have been fined out of the league if he played today? They are simply calling penalties on ANYTHING that looks like a painful hit. I completely feel for the DBs in today's game. If a receiver doesn't want to get hit, he can either run a better route to give himself some space or just don't catch it. The idea that it's the DBs job to protect receivers from putting themselves in harms way is crazy. I think we're in real danger of destroying this wonderful game... OK, guys, let me have it. I know it's coming.
  • avatar

    It seems that the officials make more calls like that in the first game to set a precedent. I'm sure Goldson wanted to make an impression on his new team mates and perhaps dialed it up a little too much. In spite of the negative aspect of getting a penalty, the pretty boy wide receivers just might keep an eye on # 38 instead of the ball. In Lynch's day, that probably wouldn't have drawn a flag.
  • avatar

    I love Goldson's leadership ability and he deserved to be voted a Captain. Moreover, he has that rare ability to make a missle out of his body and hit receivers like Lynch used to do! He can intimidate opposing receivers with his explosive hits. However, he has to learn to be a guided missle, hitting just as explosively, with his head up to avoid helmet contact, and putting all that power in his shoulder pad, and jarring receivers to the ground and break up passes he has no hope to intercept. If peewee players can learn it, I know an all pro like Goldson can learn it and also be the example for our younger players! We know the efforts the Saints were taking to illegally knock out the opposing team's stars. It was unethical, immoral, and was highly sanctioned as it should be. Schiano needs to be making it clear that is not the Bucaneer Way and there will be team sanctions to prevent such poor sportsmanship and he will not wink like Buco Bruce, and never again lose games for such foolishness.
  • avatar

    @warren...like Demps, don't think he's Sproles-type, maybe a good returner though. @morgan...I would say lose either the Goldson flag thrown against barron, or the LvD flag and you're right...but it wouldn't take losing all three to turn that L into a W. @KINDERRT...Gruden does love every player doesn't he....even moreso now that he just commentates. Here comes the EEB big prediction for week 2....we're not going to beat the Saints, we're not going to lose to the Saints, no we're not going to tie either....we're going to blow the Saints out in this game.....GO BUCS!
  • avatar

    High praise for Sproles, a player that was available and we never tried to get. Reminds me of Gruden, love this guy, loved that guy but never drafted them.
  • avatar

    The three illegal hits pretty much gave the NYJ the game. Goldson had seven of these types of penalties last season - this kind of stuff hurts the team, and the Bucs aren't good enough to keep giving opponent drive-extending penalties. The hits look cool to the neanderthal fan who can't change with the times, but it kills our football team.
  • avatar

    Hopefully, the Bucs will work new arrival Demps into a Sproles-like role.
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