Here is what you need to know about what happened at One Buc Place on Wednesday December 12:
PRACTICE CONDITIONS• Tampa Bay began practice at 11:45 a.m. under partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures near 80 degrees.
BUCS INJURIES• Head coach Greg Schiano started off his daily press conference updating the media on the team’s injuries.
“From a health standpoint, today [wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson], [center] Jeremy [Zuttah], [guard] Davin [Joseph], and [defensive end] Da’quan [Bowers] did not practice,” Schiano said. “They were limited, they did some stuff, but weren’t out there for the majority of it. [Defensive end] Will Gholston is going to be evaluated throughout the week, but he was full-go today. Per the Head Injury Protocol of the NFL he’ll continue to be evaluated up through kickoff, but he was able to practice throughout the practice today.
Schiano went onto explain Bowers injury.
“It’s not any acute thing, it’s more of a – and it isn’t, it actually is not the knee that everyone talked about when he was coming out [of college], it’s the other knee.”
ROSTER MOVES• The Buccaneers made no roster moves on Wednesday.
THE BIG NEWS AT ONE BUC• The main talk at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday was Tampa Bay’s next opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, who sit at 9-4 and can’t afford another loss if they have any hope of catching the NFC West division-leading Seattle Seahawks.
Schiano praised the 49ers talent across the board.
“They have a good offense that is going to come in here and just try to maul us and we’re going to have to be able to stand up to that,” Schiano said. “They have now [wide receiver Michael] Crabtree back. He and [wide receiver] Anquan Boldin, you look at their receiving core it’s a Pro Bowl receiving core with their tight end [Vernon] Davis, he may be the fastest of everybody on the field at the wide out position. You’re talking about a rare group of guys and we’re going to have to really be on point with the secondary. Then you throw [running back] Frank Gore in there who is still running at a very high level, great vision, patience, strength. I remember when we were recruiting Frank when I was down at the University of Miami. You should have saw his high school tape, phenomenal and he’s only gotten better and better.
“You’re talking about a great group of skill people and then a really, really good offensive line – probably the best offensive line we’ve been up against. It’ll be a big challenge, so yeah, we’re going to have to score some points for sure. But if you flip it over, their defense is equally as talented. Their front with [defensive ends] [Aldon] Smith and [Justin] Smith, those guys are really talented. Then their linebacker core as a core is probably the most talented group in the league. There’s going to be some great linebackers playing in this game Sunday, both sides of the ball. Then in the back end [safety Donte] Whitner and [safety Eric] Reid, Reid’s playing very well.
Schiano said it isn’t just the offense and defense the Bucs will need to focus on this week in practice.
“They’re a talented team, special teams as I mentioned, really good, their kicker I guess just broke a record of 21 straight field goals, whatever that number is, kicking very well. Their coverage units as I said, big men on special teams that cover. They’re well coached in every phase, offense, defense, and special teams. We know what we’re up against, looking forward to it. Sure am glad that we’re at home and it’s going to be a great atmosphere and we need every bit of the home crowd, home field advantage to get this done.” Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said the Bucs will start their game plan by attempting to stop 49ers running back Frank Gore.
“I don’t know why people don’t focus on Frank Gore,” McCoy said. “They can say he is getting old all they want, but that guy is still running the ball the same. He can’t run away from people like he used to, but he gets the yards that are necessary. For us he is our focal point. I will openly day it, Frank Gore is our focal point, because if we can slow that guy down then we can start worrying about everyone else. That’s not to downplay anyone else, because they have a great offense, but that guy he makes things run. If he is going than their offense is going. So we have to slow this guy down.”
• Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon has struggled the past two games but also has faced two of the NFL’s best front fours in the Panthers and the Bills. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said the competition the Bucs have faced as of late will make Glennon a better quarterback in the future.
“Absolutely. For example, like last week, with Buffalo – very, very multiple, a lot of different looks that they had, whether they had their conventional 3-4 [defense] people on the field or they had their substituted defense – a lot of different looks in terms of the front and in terms of the coverage,” Sullivan said. “That’s not particularly easy and [Glennon] worked extremely hard at it and had a lot of success, then [there] were some other things that he wishes he could’ve had back, or you’re going through the pictures and talking at halftime and [he’s saying], ‘It’s okay, I’ve got it.’ That helps.
“Then, of course, the type of caliber of the defense as far as Carolina and the issues that they had with Detroit and so on and so forth – I think these games are really helping to sharpen the saw, so to speak, and help him get better and better and better. I’m excited about it. You wish there was a magic button you could push and, ‘poof,’ instantly he’s got it and he’s grown and he has it all together, but I think we’re seeing, while there may be some setbacks and some decisions he’d like to have back, or certainly some play calls that could come back – anything that we’d like to go back in time and reverse – at the end of the day, I think there arrow continues to go up with him and what we’ve seen out on the practice field, what we’ve seen him do in some games. I think that it has helped him mature, the fact that it has been some tough sledding.”
Glennon held his weekly meeting with the local media on Wednesday and said he was just happy to come away with a win, regardless of his statistics.
“There are always things to take, there are some good things I’ve done and there’s some not so good things I’ve done,” Glennon said. “I’m going to improve on those things I haven’t done as well but as long as we’re winning that’s really all that that matters. Maybe it wasn’t my best day, statistically, but we got the win and that’s really all that matters to this football team, it is about the wins.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY“Not at all, he stayed the same. We took note of that, when you see your leader not folding under pressure, it just does something to you. It makes you want to work even harder for that guy. When you see your leader putting everything on his shoulders, not blaming anyone, saying everything was on him, we just try to do our best and turn everything around and we have.” – Lavonte David on head coach Greg Schiano staying the course during the 0-8 start
WHAT’S NEXT FOR TAMPA BAYThe Buccaneers return to the practice field on Thursday as they continue their preparation for the 49ers who come into Tampa Bay on Sunday.
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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