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Buc players thoughts...

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(On trying to contain Atlanta's running attack)

"We know they've got two great running backs and we've just got to come out mentally

prepared and ready to play. We know it's going to be a physical game. Last week they

did a tremendous job of running the ball. From the looks of it, there going to come out

this week and try to do the same thing. We've just got to come out ready to play."

(On Atlanta QB Matt Ryan)

"He's a great quarterback. I mean, his first pass – a touchdown. He's got a lot of

confidence right now and his team's doing good. We've just to come out as a defense and

play better."

(On giving up 438 yards to New Orleans)

"That's not us as a defense. We had a lot of missed tackles and we've just got to do better

than that. Normally we don't miss tackles but sometimes it happens."

(On if the New Orleans game was a wake-up call)

"Most definitely. Seeing a performance like that, it’s going to be a wake-up call for all of

us. The only thing we can say right now is work hard today, this week in practice, and

come back with a better mind frame."

(On if Ryan is the target this week)

"The target right now is their entire offense. Our tackling last week was terrible and as a

whole we can't just focus on the quarterback. We've got to look at their whole offensive

line and their whole offense. You can't target one player because they've got a lot of

good players on their team."


(On how much difference it makes to switch quarterbacks)

"We are, for the most part, interchangeable parts. If the backup comes in, he has to be

able to do everything that the guy ahead of him was doing. And Brian's definitely

capable – more than capable – of doing just that."

(On if it helps that Griese worked with the first-team offense during training camp)

"Yeah, I think it does. I think he had time to jell with him a little bit in the preseason.

Hopefully we'll be able to pick up where he left off."


(On his injury)

"Unfortunately for me, I'm under strict orders…I was told by my head coach not to really

go into details about my situation and my injury. We'll know on game day whether I'll be

ready to go or not. I'm under strict orders, more of a gag order. That's all I'm able to

discuss right now. We'll see what happens on Sunday."

(On Atlanta)

“They looked good all preseason. We've been watching them, obviously, a divisional

opponent. They just came out, executed their offense and it will be a big challenge for us

this week to go out and stop the running game. Really, we've got to force them to throw

the ball because they're a dangerous team when they're able to rack up the runs. Matt

Ryan can stay in very comfortable passing situations and he did a good job of managing

the game. Our work is cut out for us this week. We'll dig ourselves a big hole if we go

down two games within our own division. We've really got our work cut out for us and

we've got to find a way to win this game."

(On if it's going to be his call on Sunday)

"Again, I'm not at liberty to discuss that and we'll see where it's at come Sunday."

(On missing meaningful snaps for the first time as a pro)

"I thought about that and there's only one other time. In high school, when I caught a

concussion, I missed the first half of a game. That's the only time that I've missed a

significant amount of time and hopefully I don't have to do it again."

(On if he's got a lot of pride in his games streak)

"Nah. The old saying is, "Pride comes before the fall," so I'm not a very prideful man at

all. I'm a very humble man."


(On being inactive in New Orleans)

“It’s a numbers thing. It’s just how it was this week; we’ll see how it goes this week

coming up. That game is in the past and we’ll put it behind us. We lost and we’ll just

move on.”

(On how he makes a case to be active, either by practice or by lobbying the coaches)

“Just practice. I keep my mouth shut and I play football. Everybody around here knows

what I can do on the field. Given the opportunity, I’ll take it with a smile on my face. But

I’ll be the good Samaritan and coach up my guys on the sideline and do what I can to

help us win.”


(On G Jeremy Zuttah)

“It’s just something that we’ve got to keep working on, with a new face up there at right

guard. We’ve got to keep working him in and keep working to get the chemistry back to

where I felt we had it at the end of training camp. It’s a work in progress but I think it’s

going good.”

(On the Saints not blitzing much)

“No, they kept it pretty basic for the most part. That’s something we’re going to have to

take advantage of next time.”

(On who he worked with at quarterback Wednesday morning)

“Through the walk-through, [brian] Griese was working with us, but Jeff [Garcia] is still

doing his thing and getting ready.”

(On what it’s like having two different QBs in two weeks)

“It’s just part of it. You’ve got to be able to adapt. Griese’s been rolling with the one’s

quite a bit throughout camp. He’s very familiar with it. I don’t think that’s an issue at all.

Whoever straps it up on game day, I think we’ll be fine.”

(On if anything changes with Griese in for Garcia)

“I don’t even know if that’s the issue. I don’t even know if that’s where we’re going.

Scheme-wise, these guys have been trained and have been working with the same

offense. I don’t see [Jon] Gruden doing anything different with a different quarterback.”


(On if the defense is ready to go on without Derrick Brooks if necessary)

“If he doesn’t play, the defense is going to be the defense. We’re going to fly around and

make plays and do what we’ve got to do, regardless of who’s out there. As far as we

know, Derrick is playing. That’s how we’re looking at it. We’re going to practice for

him. He’s a 14-year vet, he knows this defense in and out, so practicing is not a big deal.

But if someone has to go in there do what they have to do, they’re going to be prepared.

We’re going to be ready.”

(On if it’s hard without his presence there)

“It is, but I’ve learned over the last year-and-a-half now that Derrick is a 14-year vet; he’s

not going to practice all the time. I’ve done enough practicing for him to know that he’s

going to play and he’s going to be alright. He knows what he needs to do outside of

practice as far as the mental game and watching film and knowing what the offense is

going to do versus certain defenses. With that said, he’s going to be alright if he doesn’t

practice and everyone else does.”

(On if the defense is in good hands whenever Brooks leaves the game)

“I feel like it is. With Derrick, he teaches you slowly. He doesn’t teach you a lot of things

right now, he’ll just kind of speak to you when you need to be spoken to. That’s the way

he does it, so you just kind of take whatever he has to say and watch film on how he does

things and learn that way.”

(On if the young linebackers can’t talk to him)

“No, you can talk to him. If you have a question he’ll talk to you. But if you’re doing

something and it’s necessary, he’ll approach you and tell you when the time is.”


(On giving up big plays in New Orleans)

“It’s not good enough. It’s not acceptable in this defense. We don’t give up the big play

in this defense. We watched the tape, we know what we did wrong, we corrected it, and

now we’re getting ready for Atlanta. This week we want to go out there and not give up

any yards at all, really, and most of all, not give up the big play.”


(On what Atlanta’s offense showed in their first game)

“They definitely have a talented team over there. Michael Turner, he showed you what

he can do in Week One. We definitely have to stop the run if we are going to be

successful this week. Matt Ryan is given them a chance to win. They remind me a lot of

the Steelers when they won the Super Bowl when they had Ben Roethlisberger. You put

the ball in the quarterbacks’ hands because you know he’s not going to make too many

mistakes and you’re going to run the ball. That’s what you’re really going to do. That’s

your game plan.”

(On Michael Turner running for 220 yards and three touchdowns last week against a

Cover 2 defense)

“I think anything is possible. If you remember when we went up to Atlanta a couple of

years ago, they ran wild on us. Anything is possible in this league. He’s a good back.

That’s why he is the starter now.”

(On the breakdown of what happened on the big plays last week)

“Us in the secondary and the defensive backs room, we’ll take responsibility for that.

Big plays are something that we’re not supposed to give up. We’re not supposed to give

up explosion plays. Talib was in great position, he just jumped too early. Ronde was in

great position and he just fell down. And I missed a tackle on Reggie Bush and all those

resulted in touchdowns. If you take those away, I think we played pretty well. We

played hard and we played fast, so that’s all we can ask for right now.”


(On if the other linebackers feel like they need to cover for Derrick Brooks if he's absent)

"Well, Derrick is a guy who knows his spot so well that maybe you do just a little bit.

He's kind of the inventor of the weakside Cover Two linebacker. He's the guy everybody

is compared to. Everybody's got to pick up the slack when someone goes down, but at

the same time the person who's playing there has to play even better than Derrick."

(On how much better Atlanta is this year)

"They're a lot better. Yeah, they're a lot better. They had a tough time last year; I

couldn't imagine having a coach quit in the middle of the year. I don't know if that's ever

happened. It's a big turnaround from last year. They're a night-and-day different team, I



(On if it’s easier to get in a rhythm playing at home)

“I think so. That was a hostile crowd last week. We have a lot of things we like to do with

no huddle and all that stuff. When you’re on the road, when you’re not getting that

rhythm, when you can barely hear the plays, it’s hard to get going like we wanted to.

Hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage playing at home.”

(On Brian Griese)

"I think Brian's been comfortable with the offense for a long time. I think that's the main

reason he came back, because he has such knowledge of this offense. Throughout the

preseason he looked pretty sharp, so we're not worried about it at all."

(On adjusting to a different quarterback)

"It's usually the first couple plays, but after that, we've been practicing with him all

through training camp and we had him for a good amount of the preseason. We're pretty

familiar with Griese so it won't be that big of an adjustment for us."

(On if there will be differences in the play-calling)

"No. He'll throw it all at him. He knows Griese can handle it. He has a real knowledge

to be able to pick up this offense and we won't miss a beat with him."


(On being ready for the Falcons offense this week)

“That’s the plan. We have to bounce back. We had a bad game last week giving up over

300 yards passing. We don’t like doing that. We all have a little chip on our shoulder

and we’re going to bounce back.”

(On what he learned from his first regular season football game)

“That it’s a lot faster then the preseason. They put a lot more touch on the ball. It’s just a

different game. I just have to step my game up.”

(On the touchdown over him the first quarter)

“It did. It happened. As much as I mistimed my jump, Drew Brees, he threw a great

ball. He put just enough touch on the ball. I just have to bounce back.”


(On giving up a lot of yards to the Saints)

“It’s a learning experience, and it’s good for us. We’re not as good as we thought we

were and we’re going to work even harder this year to get back to where we want to be.”

(On giving up so many yards after being the No. 2 defense last year)

“The Saints did a great job. Hats off to them; they played well. We’ve just got to make

more plays than they do on defense.”

(On getting pressure with the front four)

“Of course. It’s always got to come from the front four. We’ve got to get more pressure,

we’ve got to get more sacks and we’ve got to get them on third down too.”

(On how different the Falcons are from last year)

“How different are they? Talk to me after we finish. On film they look good, they’re

executing very well and they look like a physical team with 300 yards rushing. We’ve got

our work cut out for us.”


(On how he feels after his first game)

"It feels good to be out there. Obviously, every rep I'm getting comfortable and that's the

key, trying to get better every day."

(On if the speed of the game was different)

"Yes, definitely. The intensity definitely picked up from the preseason to the regular

season. I've just got to make sure I stay in pace with it."

(On if it matters that their might be a quarterback change)

"No, my job is the same regardless of who's back there, or who's running the ball or

throwing the ball. My job's the same."

(On his confidence level)

"My confidence is pretty high. I feel like I'm getting better, and that's what I want to be

doing right now so I'm feeling good."

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Good read. It should be obvious to anyone that a defense that's been this good, for this long has to be salivating at the opportunity to redeem last weeks performance and put down a much-improved rival. This Sunday is going to awesome. Our guys are gonna punch your guys in the mouth and you're gonna do it right back and it's gonna go back and forth all day long. I think this may be one of the most physical games in the league all season. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!

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