As the threat of thunderstorms subsided, the Buccaneers took the field at 4:30 P.M. on Sunday, following their day off on Saturday. PewterReport.com compiled quotes from head coach Lovie Smith and a handful of select players coming off the field.
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH(Opening Statement)“First off, just a special time yesterday. I think most of you know how we feel about Derrick Brooks and what he’s done for our organization. To have an opportunity to be there and just see the emotions that he went through. To see his family and all the people that really love Derrick, and have been around him through his career, from Pensacola on, to be able to share that special moment with him was a great experience for me. I’ve been to the Hall of Fame a few times, but never sitting in the audience and knowing someone personally like that. I couldn’t be prouder of him. If anyone deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, of course Derrick does. I know our football team most of them had the opportunity to watch it too. He set a standard, and it’s kind of left up to the players now to carry on that tradition. We’re making progress as a football team. Watching video from Friday night’s practice at Raymond James Stadium, we did some good things. But there were a lot of things we weren’t pleased with. Balls on the ground, and some sloppy play at times. I thought our offense today really started off strong, got after the defense fairly well through a lot of the team work. Today was the first day we really had anything live, and it was good to see the defense pick up the pace. The defense should have an advantage a little bit when you go goal line for the first time full speed like that. But guys continue to show up and make their case, and we will continue to look at them and take notice.”
(On injured cornerback Alterraun Verner)“[He’s] getting better. When you talk hamstrings, we say day-to-day, but you have no idea how long it’s going to take. I just know that he’s running now, which is a positive sign. There’s no pain or anything like that. But we will be very cautious with him. We have to get a special player on the football field. So I don’t know exactly when he’ll be back out there, but he’s getting closer.”
“It’s not an ideal situation. When you come in, we want him out there in every snap. Especially a day like today, those are times when the defense really become one. When you’re down on the goal line with your backs up against the wall like that. We brought Alterraun in to do what he’s been doing for a long time, it’s the reason why we signed him to a contract. So, yeah, its not an ideal situation, and puts us back a little bit, but that’s a part of it you know. You have injuries, and he’s staying in the game. Hell be back out there, we still have a little bit of time.”TIGHT END AUSTIN SEFARIAN-JENKINS(On who impresses him on the defense)“I think we all know who catches everyone’s eye – Gerald McCoy. That guy is a beast. The things he’s doing right now, I’ve never seen the stuff he does. We’ve got a great defensive line, great linebackers, great corners. I mean, it’s a good defense. When you play against these guys day in and day out, you’re like ‘wow’. Especially Gerald McCoy. I hate to keep going on about him, but he gets off the ball like no one I’ve ever seen.”
(On tight end coach Jon Embree)“This is my first coach that has actually played tight end in the league ad he’s really helped me out with my passing, my routes, my footwork, my blocking, my hand placement, my eyes. He’s really helping me take my game to the next level and I appreciate it. He’s done it before and he’s not a guy who’s just going to come and yell at you. He’s trying to help you out and get you better every day. It’s nice to have a coach like that that wants to see you get better and pushes you. Sometimes you can’t see it for yourself but he sees it in you. He yells sometimes but he’s yelling to help you out, to get the information out. He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”
WIDE RECEIVER VINCENT JACKSON(On his chemistry with Josh McCown)“[I’m] very comfortable. And I think a lot of it has to do with his savvy on the field. He’s a very smart guy. He understands space and location and separation on routes and how defenses work and we spend a lot of time together. We spend time away form the field, going to high schools and just talking through things, running some basic routes and getting to know each other, get a feel for each other and relationships like that are only going to help the team grow.”
(On the back-shoulder fade)“Josh is a big, strong physical guy and he can make every throw. It’s something that should be in our repertoire. With two big physical guys on the outside, it’s something defenses are going to be looking for, especially down in the red zone, but that doesn’t mean they can stop it. So we’re going to continue to work on the timing there. It’s not as easy as it looks, just somebody throwing up the ball. It takes a lot of timing and precision and it takes a very accurate throw form the quarterback so we’ll just continue to work on it and again, we want to be as dynamic as possible. We’re not going to just be what everybody talks about all the time, a basketball team just throwing up jump balls. We’re going to be a lot more precise than that and work different parts of the field.”
(On rookie wide receiver Mike Evans)“He’s doing great. He’s come in here with a great attitude since we started spring ball. He’s willing to learn, willing to work on his craft. He’s a big physically guy obviously, aggressive and he attacks the ball well and he just continues to work on his game, and that’s all we can ask for. Being a physical talent you just have to continue to work on your skills and he’s been willing to do that. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited to work with him and watch him develop.”
(On the offensive line)“These guys look great. With the O-line it’s always about chemistry. Guys that have to grow together as one, be on the same page, that put a lot of time in. Great coaching staff and they look great. I’m very impressed. Physically, they’re all in great shape, but it’s just as much a mental game up front and these guys seem to grasp this offense and seem to be working well together.”CENTER EVAN DIETRICH-SMITH(On the offensive line)“Day in and day out I see us improving. We’re starting to get our legs underneath us and I think we took a few more steps in the right direction today. You see guys taking their coaching and applying it on the field and that’s what you wan to see as a unit and as a player. I try to help them out as much I can. Hop’s been doing a great job with us.”
(On his injured toe)“Yeah, I’ll be good. I’m getting better. They gave me the day off and I didn’t argue with them about it.”
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