The weather may have kept the sun away, but it couldn’t keep us away from One Buc Place on Wednesday, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially got back to their regularly scheduled work week after a week off and an extra practice on Monday.
Though the team is certainly coming off a low note after their 48-10 loss in Chicago two weeks ago, the mood around the building was a more pleasant one than you’d expect, and that was due to the announcement of offensive guard Ali Marpet’s contract extension earlier in the week.
Marpet came to the podium on Wednesday to answer some questions on his new deal. Marpet isn’t a man of many words, but he said he was certainly glad to know the organization thinks highly of him and wants him around long-term.
Marpet, who is an avid fan of tacos, also noted that his contract extension was signed on a Taco Tuesday, and that he, his family and his friends celebrated the best way they could — with tacos.
Back in the locker room, Donovan Smith, one of Marpet’s teammates on the line of scrimmage and a good friend of Marpet’s personally, said that he was certainly happy to hear of Marpet’s extension.
He said he plans to take about $3,000 of Marpet’s money and take Marpet shopping to finally buy some real clothes — his words, not ours.
Though Marpet’s deal came first, deal for the rest of the Bucs’ 2015 draft class have to be coming soon, and Smith is among those players.
Smith was asked when he thinks his extension is coming and he said he really doesn’t know; he’s just here to play ball and let his agents handle that.
On the other side of the offensive line, Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul spoke the the media briefly on Wednesday. He talked about the mentality he has every week and every snap, saying that whenever he puts his helmet on and lines up against whatever offensive tackle he’s going up against, he thinks he can beat him.
JPP also said that the year is just four games old, and that there is a lot that can happen for this team between now and the end of the year.
And now, of course, the moment that many fans have been waiting for, the moment where defensive coordinator Mike Smith was called to stand up to the podium and repent for his sins — we’re kidding.
Smith did take to the podium on Wednesday, though, and certainly had many questions to answer. He said that the pass defense has certainly not been what it needs to be over the team’s last two games. Specifically, he was asked about benching Brent Grimes during the Chicago game.
He said that no starter likes to hear that they’re benched, but the decision was made to get Ryan Smith reps, knowing the game was out of their hands, at that point.
Smith was also asked what he thought of fans and media members calling for his job after a rough four weeks.
His response was that he’s been in this business a long time, and that he’s used to it — you have to be as a head coach or coordinator. He said that, though fans think they’re hard on coaches, the coaches are even harder on themselves. He said that each coach is their biggest critic, and that when they fail, they don’t take it lightly.