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Transcripts: Mike Smith and Matt Ryan Interviews

Posted Nov 21, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan spoke to the media Wednesday about preparing for a dangerous Tampa Bay team.

Head coach Mike Smith
On the injury report:

“In terms of guys that didn’t participate in practice today, DT Peria Jerry, WR Julio Jones, S Charles Mitchell, and CB Asante Samuel. Limited participants were DE John Abraham, DT Jonathan Babineaux, K Matt Bryant, WR Kevin Cone, CB Christopher Owens, RB Michael Turner, DT Vance Walker, and LB Sean Weatherspoon. Tomorrow, a number of those guys that didn’t participate will be limited, and some of those limited will be in full participation. We had a physical game last Sunday and wanted to make sure we get these guys rested.”

On how Weatherspoon looked in his return and whether Jones just dressed to look the part:

“Julio went through our walk through periods today, and he’ll get more participation tomorrow. Sean had limited participation today. We just wanted to ease him back in. We anticipate if there is not any residual effects from today’s practice that he’ll be a full participant tomorrow.”

On Cone coming back today:

“Kevin returned as well, and I would anticipate that he would be a full participant tomorrow if he doesn’t have any residual effects. Those guys probably had their best rehab run that they’ve had on Monday, and we anticipated that they would be ready to go in practice today. We just wanted to ease them in slowly.”

On the depth with the interior line with the suspension of C Joe Hawley:

“You’re going to have to have some of your cross trained players have to step in and play different roles. OL Mike Johnson will be a guy that’s going to have to play inside and outside. We’ve got to be able to rotate someone in to have a second and third center, so we’ve got to have a different rotation. We’ll make a decision on who’s the seventh offensive linemen that we’ll have up and active as we go through the week. Joe had been a guy that had been in our rotation and was our backup center.”

On the improvements of Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman:

“He’s running the offense extremely well. They’re scoring a lot of points, and they’re doing it both running and throwing the ball. I think he’s throwing with more accuracy. I don’t think he’s taking off and running with it as much. When he does he’s running effectively. I’m not seeing as many negative yardage plays. I think he’s doing a good job of getting the ball out of his hands. I think the weapons that they’ve added in WR Vincent Jackson and RB Doug Martin has helped their offense immensely.”

On what TE Dallas Clark has meant to them:

“Dallas the last three or four weeks has really become more of a productive player for them. He creates some issues inside and outside, not to take anything away from the other guys. He’s done a nice job in his production, and he’s really getting a good feel these last three or four ball games.”

On their turnaround with Coach Schiano this year:

“They’re playing very hard. That is obvious. They play with a lot of passion and a lot of energy. They’re doing a very good job in their run defense. They’ve been a very aggressive team in terms of stopping the run. They’re number one in run defense and they’re scoring a lot of points. The other thing that I think shows up is they’re very good in the turnover ratio, but when they do create those turnovers the offense is turning them into points. They’re number one in the League in terms of scoring touchdowns off turnovers. They’ve done a very nice job there, and as you know, turnovers are a very big part of the game.”

On them being first in the League against the run and 32nd against the pass:

“They’ve done a very good job stopping the run. That’s obvious. They’re the number one team in the League. They’ve had some injury issues in the secondary. It could skew the numbers. When they score that many points, people are probably going to throw the football on them more. They’ve done a really good job in scoring points the last four games. If you just take their last four games, I think they’re third or fourth in the League in scoring over the last four weeks, so people are probably throwing the ball on them more. That’s how I would look at it. They are playing with a lot of energy and you can’t discount what they’re capable of doing on special teams. They have a weapon in P Michael Koenen as a kickoff guy and their coverage units are outstanding. They’re probably the fastest unit we will face this year on special teams.”

On CB Robert McClain playing the whole game if Samuel can’t go:

“Robert has done everything we’ve asked him to do up to this point. I would anticipate there being no issues at all. He would be prepared and ready to go. Robert has been a pleasant surprise in every step of the journey from making the squad, to becoming our nickel corner, being able to play the right and left corner in this past ballgame, and even having him line up at dime for us. I think he’s ready for his opportunity if he presents itself.”

On QB Matt Ryan putting bad plays behind him:

“Matt does a great job of compartmentalizing everything in terms of how he prepares himself. You have to be able to do that as you go through the sequence of the game. If it’s a good play, you put it in the compartment and move onto the next one. If it’s a bad one then it’s the same thing. I think it just speaks volumes of his ability to put things behind him and be very resilient. I think we’ve shown that as a football team a number of times this year.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan
On how he felt about the game last week:

“Certainly not our best and my best performance, but it’s one you can learn from. Part of what you learn from is you have to move on to the next play, move on to the next week. It’s part of being a professional. I think everyone’s done a good job. We did a good job in the game. We made plenty of mistakes, but we had a drive offensively in the fourth quarter when we needed it. We made the plays when we need too and stayed aggressive. I think that’s a good sign.”

On wanting to forget the performance but also learning from it:

“You have to learn from things, but you have to be able to put them behind you in the right way and not let them take away from what you want to do as you move forward. I think I have done a good job with that and I think our team has, too.”

On the Buccaneers being first against the run and 32nd against the pass:

“Statistics sometimes jump out at you like that. They’ve played with a lead in a lot of different games, so teams have been forced to throw the ball against them. I think that’s part of why their statistics are the way they are. With that said though, I think they are very good against the run, very stout in their front four. They play with great effort, great intensity. They do a great job with their pressure packages in their base personnel grouping. It’s something we’re going to have to be prepared for and execute well against.”

On a renewed emphasis this week in getting the run game going:

“There is every week. You want to go in the game and run the football. Last week didn’t shake out the way we wanted to, I think in all phases offensively it didn’t shake out the way we wanted it too. We’re going to try and do a better job of that this week.”

On how important the next ten days are to this team:

“It’s going to be important and I don’t think you can look past this weekend. Coming up with a division game against a team that’s playing very good football right now, it is important. We know that this time a year, you want the games to be important and we’re right there. We’re right in the mix and we just need to start playing better football.”

On the Buccaneers playing with a lot of intensity this year:

“They’ve always been an intense bunch. Every time we’ve played them it’s been a tough, physical game. They look like they’re playing with increased intensity. I think it probably starts from the head coach down. I’ve been impressed with their effort. I really have. We know watching them they’re going to give you sixty minutes of their best, and we’ve got to do the same.”

On how Ronde Barber has looked at free safety:

“He looks solid. Ronde is an extremely smart player. He probably knows his defense as well as anybody in the NFL. He does a great job. He’s a great pattern reader, very good at reading the quarterback’s eyes, and anticipating things coming from the offense. I think he’s been a good fit for them on the back end.”

On their linebackers really getting after it:

“Their linebackers do a great job in the run game. They blitz hard. They’re good, solid tacklers and they shed blocks pretty well when they’re pass rushing. I’ve been impressed with all of them.”

On thinking about what they did to the Giants at the end of the game:

“The one thing you go into it knowing is they’re going to play sixty minutes. We’ve got to do the same.”

On going in with the mindset of having to score points since their offense has really been clicking:

“It’s a team that’s playing really well and an offense that’s scoring a lot of points. Going into that, we have to have that mindset every week that we’re going to try and score the ball every time we touch the ball. You have to take advantage of the possessions that you get and that’s something that we didn’t do a great job of last week. We need to do a better job of that this week.”

On how the Arizona defense played him and their possibly being less passing lanes:

“I’ve just got to find better passing lanes. That’s on me in those types of situations. I’ve done a good job of that in the past. I just didn’t do a good job of that last week.”

On winning despite him not having his best game:

“I have good players around me. That’s the biggest part. I thought our defense played awesome last week. They kept us in and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about winning games. As a quarterback, you need to do your part, too.”


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