Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith spent much of Friday’s post-practice press conference addressing the team’s expanding injury report and what’s being done in response.
“About the injury list first, we had three guys that didn’t practice today in Michael Johnson, Rashaan Melvin and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. So of course when you didn’t practice all week it isn’t looking good for you to play. The rest of the players all practiced at least on a limited basis, including Doug Martin.”
“Some of the players we’ve gotten back – Da’Quan Bowers, will Gholston, both have looked pretty good this week. We lost a couple of players. I guess I haven’t talked to you since Adrian Clayborn, man, that’s a tough blow. Adrian has done everything we’ve asked him to do the entire time I’ve been here. He’s a warrior. But that’s tough losing him. But he will get back and start to rehab and all that process of getting back, which he’ll do. “
“Jeff Tedford is back in town. He wasn’t at practice out there today. But he is back in town and we’ll get back with him a little bit more this afternoon and see exactly where we are. Saint Louis, excited to play. It’s been a long time coming. You want to get that bad taste out of your mouth. Two 0-1 teams that need to get a win. The crowd was great in the fourth quarter when we did our share. Hopefully we can start fast and get them into the game a little bit earlier.”
(On if Tedford will be at Sunday’s game)
Still on scheduled. Nothing has changed from that.
(On Clayborn’s injury)
We didn’t actually, after a game everyone is sore and we didn’t practice in pads until Thursday so it was hard to really tell exactly and Adrian is a tough guy so all those things kind of contributed a little bit. It became obvious after he came back out.
(On if for a new coach, success early is vital)
I said we really needed to win last week. But if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I mean, we want to win every game, but no one except for one team has. But what we want to see is, last week, that’s who we are right now. And this week we want to see major improvements. And hopefully that’s enough for us to win the football game. As long as we continue to get better each time out I’m OK with that. Eventually we’ll end up winning football games. I hope it’s this week. Based on what we’ve done and what I’ve seen we’re going to win before long.
(On D-end situation)
Well, I’ve talked obviously about Gholston coming back, Scott Solomon is back. Jacquize Smith is back, he’s in the rotation. So we still feel pretty good. Da’Quan Bowers can play a couple of different positions, whether it’s outside or inside as a pass rusher. And we might go with eight defensive linemen this week, too. We have some good options. We lost good players but we feel good about the next group that will be playing this week. Whenever you lose a player like Michael Johnson, that hurts you. But the other players will pick it up.
(On Mankins’ participation)
Full participant on Friday is, we’re not in pads – yes. He did all of the work that we asked him to do, same as yesterday. He was in pads yesterday on a limited basis. He didn’t take every rep but he looked pretty good so he’s right on course for how we saw this week playing out.
(On new signing, DE Jacquies Smith)
All of the above. For us to bring in a guy he has to be able to rush. We have to think he can be an edge rusher and we saw that before and we were able to bring him on board to our football team and that’s what he showed this week. And then for him, what a great opportunity. You come here and right away, we’re giving you a chance to prove exactly who you are. Early signs look pretty good.
(On if the depth of the team being tested)
“Yes, and my experience say that sometime throughout the year, you’re going to be in this situation. Yes, it’s a little early for us, but that’s why you have to develop that 53-man roster. Really, that’s why you develop a 63-man roster. You just have to keep your options open. We feel like, defensively speaking, that is a position where you can come in and play fairly quick (defensive end). There are not a whole lot of mental things going on up front with what we ask our guys to do. You just need to be able to rush the passer, get in your gap, and play hard. But the depth is being tested, and we feel like we had decent depth.”
(On what Derrick Brooks ceremony will mean to him)
“It’s something that is not a big surprise. From being with Derrick the first day, to everything that has happened since then, he has been about the best at whatever he has tried to do. That says at the end, that you’re recognized in your home stadium, by your home team, and of course the hall of fame, all of that. At the same time, this is exciting for Derrick. If you look at his career, what else could you have done in a career? He was able to get every award. I speak about it all the time, but whenever I go back to Big Sandy and speak (Texas, his hometown), it’s really special to see those people acknowledge you. And for Derrick, with all the awards he’s gotten, you want to be acknowledged by your team. These are the people that know you better than everyone, so this is an important weekend. We’re going to introduce our defensive players this week. They know what our history is on defense, they know what Derrick has meant, and I want them to feel that. We have a lot of guys coming back for Derrick. We want our defensive guys to feel that pressure on the standard that has been set, and what they expect to see this weekend.”
(On possible similarities between Corey Wooten in Chicago and William Gholston)
“Yes, there are. Both have the size, body type, they’re both very similar players. I haven’t thought of that until now, but yes, they can do a lot of the same things. I would say that both players’ talents are more suited towards being an every down player, rather than just an edge rusher. They’re a combination of the two. Corey Wooten is a good football player, and so is Will Gholston. I didn’t know a lot about him before I got here, but he’s stout against the run and a pretty good pass rusher too. It’s a shame he got hurt, because he was coming on. I’m anxious to see him, as we all are this weekend.”
(On not wanting to be in 3rd and long on offense this week)
“No, we can’t. And no one wants to be (in 3rd-and long). It’s just hard converting on 3rd and-eights, and when you have a balanced offensive attack, you shouldn’t be in a lot 3rd-and-eight situations. You have to have production on those early downs, we didn’t last week, and that’s something we need to correct this week. And that pretty much starts with being able to run the ball. At the same time, you can’t be predictable thinking you can always run on the first two downs, gain three yards each time, and be in 3rd-and-four. But yes, we don’t want to get ourselves into long situations.”
Got to admit, they’re not sitting on their hands. Step right up, stop the run, sack,yes sack the quarterback. With Clayborn gone, and Johnson hurting,who wants to win a job? You can be a starting defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, prior experience not required.
I wonder which arm it was?
I like the new site. Haven’t heard anything about James. What’s his status?
Michael James should be active this week. He’s a player I’m anxious to see carry the ball a few times.
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