Bucs safety T.J. Ward created some controversy with certain comments following the loss to the Bills on Sunday. Ward, unhappy with his lack of playing time, called out defensive coordinator Mike Smith in his post-game outburst.
On Wednesday, standing in front of his locker, Ward explained he perhaps went about things the wrong way.
“I should have kept a lot of my thoughts to myself,” Ward said. “I’ve been in this league, this is my eighth year. I’m a fiery person and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. This is all brand new to me. It’s a new situation, a new team, and I’m just trying to take it as it comes or handle it as it goes, so I hope everyone works with me.”
“My teammates they know there was nothing malicious, my coaches know it’s not malicious, I’m just a competitive guy. I said what I said: facts. Do I want to be out there all the time? Yes. But there’s a complete other way to handle it and I should know better.”
Bucs DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Smith was asked in his weekly press conference about his philosophy on rotating safeties.
“I think that the corners, their skill set is very similar from one corner to the other,” Smith said. ” When you have safeties, I think you have different skill sets in terms of some guys are better playing closer to the box, some guys are better in half field, some guys are better in quarters. Based on what you’re trying to get accomplished, you can have some flexibility in terms of having different safeties in there. The corners, their skill sets are basically all the same.”
“We have to make decisions each and every week, and again I’ve said many times, that we don’t have 11 starters. There’s different guys that will play different roles and the amount of time guys play is going to depend on how people try attack us. That’s where we’re at with how we’re going to try to defend people. Our job as coaches is to put the guys that give us the best opportunity to win out there, and that’s what we do.”
We will find out on Sunday if Ward’s thoughts – or his play – gets him more snaps on the field. In the meantime, Ward plans on being a team player.
“We’ve had our talks, we’ve talked about what happened, so it’s always what coach said.”