HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH(Opening statement)“Every time they keep score, of course, you want to win, but we didn’t do that tonight so that’s the negative. They positive is we got better as a football team tonight, kind of as simple as that. I thought we did a better job blocking up front. We talk a lot about taking the ball away. Takeaway. Touchdown. That’s how we want it to happen. We were able to do that tonight. Thought the guys did some good things. I know Mike [Evans] fumbled the ball, but it’s a great play to get it down to there. He’ll keep it in his outside arm next time and hold on to it a little bit tighter. As a rookie you learn from mistakes like that, but our rookies are doing too many good things for me to really harp on that too much. Again, whenever they keep score you want to win, and we didn’t, but I think we can beat them on this as we head into the Buffalo game.” (On the offensive line’s greatest improvement)“Specifically, at the guard position. The guard positions held up. I try not to get too high, too low until we watch the video, but I feel like our quarterbacks had time to throw the ball. We were able to keep them out of the backfield, keep some sense of a running game going and then kept alive when we needed to.” (On the touchdown throw from quarterback Josh McCown to wide receiver Vincent Jackson)“It was a tight little pocket in there, but those guys have thrown a lot, Josh [McCown] has thrown a lot of balls. They’ve worked on that an awful lot. You know, in coverage you have to be perfect on it and they were. When you get the ball to Vincent [Jackson] and Mike like that, of course, he is a great player. Good by the line first for giving him time, of course, good throw.” (On running the no-huddle)“For the guys who have been out at practice, you’ve seen what we would like to do but the normal progression we don’t take through training camp. First game it wasn’t used much. We wanted to use it a little bit this week, and we’ll kind of see what happens this coming [week].” (On the play of wide receiver Solomon Patton)“I should’ve mentioned him earlier. The land of opportunity. I’ll go all the way back to when he first stepped out at One Buc Place – he dropped a lot of balls. But he’s really caught the ball well, and he’s got great speed and quickness. So, we’re pretty excited about giving him the opportunity, and I thought he got better and better each punt return. You know, small guy but likes to hit it up in there. Impressive opening game for him.” (On relying on the defense to give the offense great field position)“I think we’re a work in progress on both sides, for everything. When we say that they’re going to have to do that, that is their responsibility. That’s the way we play defense. You’re supposed to take the ball away and on the other side you’re supposed to protect the ball. So we’re going to keep harping on that, but the guys need to see how it works when you do. Momentum shifts when you do that. We’ll keep talking about that and keep insisting on it.” (On the pressure from the defensive front four)“Well, we didn’t have a lot of opportunity tonight. I’m pleased. Michael Johnson will get a lot of sacks for us and get good pressure. We’re pleased with Clinton [McDonald] and the rest of the guys also. We didn’t get as much as we needed with the second group, but I mean it’s ok now. Again, we’re not there yet. I’m not trying to say we are. We have a lot of improvements to make. Of course, the defensive front is a part of it.” (On how key running back Doug Martin is to the offense)“He’s a key guy. He and Bobby [Rainey], with Mike James going down with an injury and with Charles [Sims] going down with an injury, those guys need to play at a certain level. They’re both good players, but Doug is our bell cow. He likes that role, he’s had a good camp, hasn’t missed a beat. A tough runner, doesn’t complain and he’s going to rush for a lot of yards for us this year.” (On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s ability to change a game)“We all have a role, and we have role players to be the glue and kind of do their job. But then we have great players and for us to win football games, you need to play that way. Gerald’s one of them. Gerald can’t just blend in. We need splash plays from Gerald McCoy, and he’s capable of doing it. You talk to him and that’s what he expects. Again, I think it’s documented how I feel about him and how I think the league feels about him. Every time he goes out, we expect that type of play.” (On making improvements through the preseason)“Our twos need to get better, our entire team needs to get better. But as I look at the preseason though, first off, it’s about our starters and how they play, and our starters played better this week. They made major improvements from last week, so I’m pretty excited about that. As you look at the doubts of some of the other players, they need to do a better job. It’s as simple as that. But they’ll learn too, and we have a long ways to go, but we just want to see steps each week. Hopefully we’ll get that this coming [week].” (On what playing ‘Buc Ball’ means)“Buc Ball started off with great defense. Defense expecting to win the football game, get takeaways and all that good stuff with special teams. Our version of Buc Ball is that: great defense, great special teams but [with] a productive offense. You want your quarterback thinking that way, knowing that he’s got to protect the football and that’s what Josh was talking about as much as anything. When you get an opportunity, Josh McCown knows we got that takeaway, you couldn’t settle for a field goal there. You need to get a touchdown, you have to capitalize on those types of things. Josh knows he’s going to run ball. He knows when to pull the throttle, press it down a little bit more and when to make great decisions.” QUARTERBACK JOSH MCCOWN(On his chemistry with wide receiver Vincent Jackson)“It’s been really good through the spring and through camp. It has been really solid with Vincent. He is a constant pro and he works very hard and to see some of that manifest itself tonight, and especially through the touchdown, that’s good. And in the case with that point, with the play we ran on Fan Night, where we had the same coverage and it is built not necessarily for that coverage, there are answers but it just depends. The play that we ran that night that we ended up throwing away we then we came together and said, ‘Hey man, when you get this, treat it like that and I’ll look at this your way.’ And so we were able to do that tonight and turn it into six points. So those moments are going to keep happening, hopefully. We are finding out about each other and finding out about our team and little things we can do and roll with the system, but that was a perfect example of what has happened through camp and making a negative play one night to a positive play on the other.” (On if his touchdown pass was a good example of why he is in Tampa)“Well I hope so, and I felt that way last week too, but it just didn’t turn out that way. It is throwing the ball with confidence, and that’s the thing. You have to trust those guys and you see it tonight with Vince and you see it with Mike (Evans) flashing some of the things that show why he was picked seven (overall in the 2014 NFL Draft). So, I think you have to throw the ball with confidence with these guys. For me, that’s what I wanted to do tonight. Just throw the ball with confidence. That kind of summed up, I didn’t expect it to be necessarily my last pass for the night, but it was cool to see Vince come in and make that play.” (On talking to wide receiver Mike Evans about carrying the ball on the outside)“You know, I don’t think we have to have any conversation. And as unfortunate as it is, that is the best teacher. And especially for young guys coming to this league, you want to tell them those things. And there is nothing better then that. And again, it stinks, because it would have helped us win the game, but at the same time, if that is Carolina and that is a game that matters, then he scores the ball now because he learns that lesson. But there is value in it and I don’t think you have to say much, he was pretty ticked off at himself.” (On if he sensed that the offensive line stepped up this week)“I think so. I think the way they worked this week and the way (offensive line coach George Warhop) got after them this week, they worked with urgency and they wanted to be better. (Offensive Coordinator) Jeff (Tedford) did a good job with calling plays tonight and spreading the ball around. Really, the launch points when they got out and they opened the game to the screens and things like that helps those guys. I really felt like they battled and got a lot better.” WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS(On his fumble)“It was a little embarrassing. I want to still win even though it’s preseason. I still want to win. That touchdown could have helped us win. We lost by six I think. It’s a learning experience though. I’m happy it’s the preseason. Happy I can get that out of the way.” (On Vincent Jackson and him each scoring touchdowns)“That would have been good. That would have been tight, but I couldn’t finish. But hopefully during the regular season we can get a lot of that.” (On the second-team offense)“I don’t think we had a bad start or whatever. It’s just the Dolphins made plays on us and we [were] just running our stuff, you know, trying to get the wrinkles out.” (On if he was surprised to be caught from behind and have a fumble forced)“I’m just happy to [be in the] preseason. And like I said, good play by him you know — he surprised me. I didn’t know he was going to close. He hit my arm and it went out of bounds. I kind of knew it was a fumble before [they called it]. That’s why I didn’t celebrate really. I was like ‘Man, it’s coming back.’” SAFETY DASHON GOLDSON(On how it felt to get back on the field)“[I was] excited—a lot of emotions flying. I think we did a pretty good job of coming out. For the first couple of series they extended a little draws on a few things. But for the most part I think we did what we normally do out here: tackle well and run to the ball.” (On the importance of winning preseason games)“In the preseason winning is not really stressed, but at the same time we’re here to win a football game. You want to win at the end of the day. The objective thing is to catch the ball and tackle.” (On how his foot feels)“The foot [is] feeling fine. The foot is really fine. I got to ice it a little bit today, you know. This is the first time I really had to go out there full speed and contact and all that stuff. I felt pretty good going out there. I think it was more of emotions and just being anxious [about] being out there.” SAFETY MARK BARRON(On the defense coming together under a new system)“We’re together every day out there practicing. This is a game — it’s a little bit of a different environment. But, at the same time, we work together every day so I feel like everyone is pretty comfortable with each other. (On importance of winning preseason games)“Anytime you go out and play a game, you want to win. But, at the same time, you need to know why the point of the preseason game is, which is to come out and get better. I feel like we did that.” QUARTERBACK MIKE GLENNON(On his development as a quarterback and his throw to Mike Evans leading to a fumble)“It’s part of the game. When you’re a quarterback, you’re going to get hit right in your face, but it’s also nice to know that you can put it in the general area and he’s [Mike Evans] going to go down and make the play and that’s exactly what he did. It was a better catch than anything. It was really good to see him do that. In practice, you can’t always tell because it’s not live and in that situation he turned a 15-yard gain into 45. So it was a big time play by him.” (On the playing how the team has handled the Dolphins and Jaguars defenses)“It’s good, we had to make some adjustments on protection. On that play [the long Mike Evans reception] we made an adjustment, and the last touchdown with Mike Kafka, he made an adjustment. It’s good for our offense to see multiple looks and see how we’re going to handle them. I think our offense is going to continue to grow and continue to progress as we spend more time together.” (On the Buccaneers offense after two games)“We’re far from our full capability, but I think that’s going to be expected. New system, new players, it’s all new to us. We’re going to continue to learn from the tape, get better on the practice field and show it on game day.” CORNERBACK JOHNTHAN BANKS(On the suggestion that he is not a good fit for Lovie Smith’s defense)“I heard that a lot. But I can play football no matter if I’m playing man, Cover 2, or Cover 3. I’m a football player; I love playing football. I show it on the field, I’m getting more comfortable. This defense doesn’t have me thinking a lot. I can go there and play. It doesn’t matter if you’re short or you’re tall, if you can play football, you can play football.” (On the first team defense’s play in the first half)“I mean we went out there and we did a lot of good things. We can always improve, but we did a lot of good things. We gave up a field goal. That’s pretty solid – I thought we played pretty solid.” (On playing with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)“That’s every cornerbacks dream, to have a guy like Gerald. I tell him I appreciate him. He makes my job easier, you can say so much about him. You see him at practice, he’s the same way, all of the time. He’s a guy I want to become [like].” (On how easier the second-year training camp is opposed to the rookie-year training camp)“It’s easier because Coach Lovie, he makes it easier. Just going out there, just letting you have fun, letting you play and relax. It’s been fun, its been a good training camp. I learned a lot last year and I knew what to expect this year, it made it a lot easier.” LINEBACKER LAVONTE DAVID(On the performance of the first team defense)“We just try to go out there and play fast, set the tone and set the momentum for the rest of the game. So far, that’s what we did, [we] played hard and played fast and ended up getting the turnover out of it, which is one of our goals. For the most part, it was ok.” (On the performance of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)“He’s a hard worker. You see it in practice. The way you practice is the way you play. In practice, he makes plays and it transfers over to the game. We wouldn’t expect anything less of him. We expect it out him every week.” (On trying to create turnovers)“Obviously, we practice it in practice so we want it to transfer to the game. Every time the ball carrier is running the ball, he wants us to go after the ball and try to make some type of attempt to knock the ball out. Every ball on the ground, we’re going to score with it, and every ball that’s in the air, we want to get our hands on it.” (On the difference between this defense and last year’s)“Not necessarily. A lot of terminology is different, but the way we fit is different. It’s somewhat similar, but as far as assignments, it’s nothing different.” DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY (On the defensive performance)“There’s a standard that has been set by a bunch of legends in this game. When Tampa first brought the Tampa-2 here there were some growing pains. It’s tough to repeat what they did, but they set a standard and Coach [Lovie] Smith has set a standard. We’re getting closer but we’re not there yet.” (On how they’ll know when the defense is complete)“When we bring a Super Bowl trophy home. Until then, and even then, you can improve. But, until we host that Lombardi [Trophy] were not there yet.” (On his sack fumble)“He just overset me. He was oversetting me all night, but the running back kept stepping up to help, or the center would slide. This time, he didn’t have any help, so he just reacted to the rush.” (On defensive end Michael Johnson’s fumble recovery)“Everything goes hand in hand. We rush as a unit. If one person gets the sack, we all get the sack. Coach [Lovie] Smith has been emphasizing, stressing heavy this week, even more to get the ball out. It was good. I was able to get the ball out and get the recovery.” (On his high-level performance)“I always got more to learn. I left a couple plays out there on the field. I want to get to the point where I leave none. You’re always going to leave a couple, but I got a long way to go.” (On what he can improve on)“Everything. I can improve on everything, every part of my game. [Being] double-teamed is not an excuse really. Just cause you get double teamed – split it. Why not? Any type of run that comes my way, or say the run goes away to the other side, run the play down. There’s a lot of stuff I can improve on.” (On the dynamic between the offense and the defense)“We got to do that. It goes hand in hand. We cover our offense and offense covers us. Our job is to get the ball back for them and put them in a good position to score. Even with them, they get on long drives and get teams backed up, and when they get backed up and we get on the field, we keep them down there and give our offense a short field. It just goes hand in hand, working together.” (On the development of the defensive line)“It’s coming. We’re not there yet. We can be so much better, but it is improving. Coach [Joe] Cullen and Coach [Leslie] Frazier, they’re doing an awesome job getting the guys ready and coaching us up. We got a long way to go.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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