Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
November 5, 2015
Letís talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, right? Can we talk about the Bucs? What do you want to know about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Iíll just open it up and let you guys fire away.
Q: Is that the goal for you, you guys just want to completely put it aside or do you focus heavily on what happened last week?
A: Monday. We did on Monday but then itís put to bed. You know how that is in the league, if you donít do that, you get stuck in mud. If you have a great game and you shut somebody out and score 50 points and win big, youíve got to let that go, too. So weíve had to do the same thing.
Q: How painful was the film session that you did have to sit through?
A: I think it goes without saying, thatís a tough one to watch. But youíve got to go through it and the guys did a nice job with it.
Q: How much of it is a physical thing, how much of it is a mental thing and is there a percentage that youíd prefer? Do you prefer mental over physical?
A: If you all want to go back to the game, thatís just not really where I wanted to head, but Iíll do it for a minute. When you have things happen like a flea flicker and boom, they get that one. Then we give up the big one, it was man coverage and they hit a big one. Those things go bang, bang and youíve got to recover. Look it, I thought we recovered fairly well. You get a hot quarterback, it was tough. We did not play our best football and thatís whatís probably the most disappointing. But Iím going to tip my hat off to Drew Brees and what those players did down there, they did some nice work. Ended up being a lot of points, but I will say this, our guys rally, we come up with a series, we get an interception, we come back we stop them on three downs. If we can come out with the big stop at the end of the game, I think everybody feels okay. We donít feel okay defensively because weíve got to get some things squared away. But look, weíre beyond it now. You have to, youíve got to let it go. You canít be looking in the rearview mirror, you go backwards. Thatís where weíre at. I do understand, itís the first time youíve had the chance to take some shots at me and find out what happened, I get it.
Q: Do you anticipate that youíll get JPP back this week?
A: Hope so. Nothingís been decided, thatís above my pay level. But optimistic and hopeful.
Q: How does he look?
A: He looks pretty good. I just got done watching the tape in there and I remember one play, when the ball is snapped, heís off the ball pretty good. His takeoff looks real good, too.
Q: That was todayís practice?
Q: Did you say there was only one play?
A: No, thereís one that sticks out, yeah. He practiced more than one. That one just stuck out. So when you asked that, ďHowís he doing,Ē that looks impressive. But look, heís got a long way to go, itís hard to take that much time off and be at the level that you think he can play. But weíre optimistic.
Q: If he does come back, is it a situational thing?
A: I donít know that yet. Look, itís with Ronnie and Coach Coughlin in deciding whether heís going to be there or not. As it gets closer to that, I think we may have to do that. Look, every player wants to play all the time but sometimes you have to protect players from themselves because itís hard to go from not playing very much football at all and playing a high volume of numbers. So weíll try to be smart with it.
Q: Youíd never worked with him before.
A: Have not.
Q: What have you learned in the last week?
A: I could see from afar that he was an exceptional athlete and a good football player. And again, itís only been a couple of days. We went over today and we were talking through some things, the look in his eye, I could tell heís ready to go, why would he not be? Heís been away from something he loves and heís getting to play it again. So heís anxious, I think weíre all anxious. Hopefully if we can get him to the point where everybody feels comfortable, weíll get him out there on Sunday.
Q: What do you recall about him as a player playing on the other side?
A: Iím trying to remember, I think one time I was in St. Louis we came here and played one game, so I saw him as an opponent. Other than that, it would be on crossover film. And you always see the wow plays because thatís what they show on ESPN. So Iím just like you guys, I saw the same ones. Look, heís got some real good skills, heís a talented football player, and I respect that part of it. Hoping we get the most out of him.
Q: How much does maybe his limitations and your needs make it more viable as a pass rushing option early?
A: I guess you combine them all. But again, itís hard. He hasnít had a preseason game, hasnít had any live action. Weíve got to find out where weíre at. To think heís just going to go out there and be the JPP that everybody hopes and wants, I donít know if thatís fair, but weíll see.
Q: Even if that canít be expected, is there something he can give you in a situation where youíre really struggling to get pressure on quarterbacks?
A: I hope so. Yeah, I hope so. Weíre hopeful. Weíre not going to know. Heís a good football player and hopefully he can go out there and give us some needed pass rush. But Iím not going to put that kind of pressure on him. When I say that, Iím not going to publicly put that kind of pressure on him. I think heís going to put it on himself, heís a prideful guy. But letís get him to the point where we can get him active and ready to go.
Q: Do you have to talk to him about that?
A: Slowing him down?
Q: People are going to expect him to be the savior.
A: I think thatís a lot to ask. Look it, defensive football is a team game, itís 11 guys, itís not one guy. I wouldnít put that on a guy.
Q: Could he open things up for other guys? Youíve had some near misses.
A: Yeah, you would hope. You would think if gets to where heís been before. I would ask all the offensive coaches around the league, I think theyíd say theyíd have to account for him. Weíll find out.
Q: If this were another sport, you would probably send him on a rehab assignment, go play some minor league games, that doesnít happen here. Is it fair to think that first couple series-- if and when he gets out there, whether itís this week, next week-- that you guys donít know what to expect if a run comes his side?
A: Thereís going to be an adjustment period. We donít do any live football. A baseball player gets to hit off a pitcher, like youíre saying, we donít get that. Hey, maybe we have to live with some growing pains, so to speak, in hopes that when itís all said and done, it makes a big difference.
Q: What have you observed about how his teammates have accepted him?
A: They look like they just picked up where they left off. Guys are guys, itís amazing when you go in the locker room, guys havenít been around, it just feels like heís been here forever. Now look, I havenít been here so I donít know, but everything looks normal to me.
Q: I mean on the practice field.
A: Yeah, kind of looks the same. Heís a good looking football player, I know that, with that jersey on.
Q: You mentioned earlier about getting a key stop late in the game, thatís been something in three of the four losses that you havenít been able to do. How do you instill that in these guys?
A: Well, instillÖthe guys know what weíre up against at the end of the game. We did put it away two weeks ago, I donít want to forget about that and thereís been some other ones when weíve done it. But there have been times during the season where we want that on us and we havenít come through a couple of times. Weíll keep working at it. What youíre all steering towards is can a guy like JPP help in that situation, and we would hope that he would.
Q: Does he give you a psychological boost or an emotional boost for this defense?
A: I guess, yeah. Any of these guys that are hurt right now, if we get them back, I think is going to help us. Itís tough in this league and you get guys hurt, other people have to step up. Anytime you can get somebody back, and thatís how we look at it, heís been part of the team and he wasnít here. Hopefully heíll give us a boost.
Q: Did you ask to see his hand or did he just show it to you?
A: No, I just saw it. Thatís a tough deal but heís doing a great job with it now. You guys have talked to him, I think heís got the right outlook on it.
Q: He had a markedly different piece of equipment on his hand today. It was taped different, the three fingers were together almost like a mitten.
A: Today, it was just all wrapped up, I think, right?
Q: Is that what you anticipate?
A: I donít know that, I donít know that. Iím sure heís working with Ronnie. I donít know the answer to that.
Q: How much do you almost have to view him as a player that has to go out there with a club?
A: I donít know that. He kind of looks like that in practice, whatís heís wearing, but Iím not sure if heís planning on wearing that. I honestly donít know that, I donít know the answer to that question. But guys have played with that kind of equipment on before.
Q: Is concern about Jon Beason increasing because itís two weeks in a row now?
A: You always want your quarterback out there. Itís been hard on him, itís been hard on us. Weíll just wait and see, you canít push something like that. I know theyíre being cautious with it.
Q: How about the other teamís quarterback.
A: Weíre going to talk about the Buccaneers. I think heís doing this, just coming on. You can see their team is doing that, their offense is doing that. Theyíre getting the run game going and that certainly helps any quarterback. Heís a pretty talented guy and big, tough to bring down, tough to tackle. I think our guys need to realize that. I think youíve got to stop the run first, canít focus on him without focusing on number 22 (Doug Martin) first, heís really good. Like I said before, heís a legit running back in this league. If we can do that and hopefully get a little pass rush, I think weíre all talking.
Q: With such an inexperienced guy, will it be easier to fool him on some things?
A: Youíd like to get the inexperience on the first game of the season. But heís got some games under his belt. Theyíre feeling their way and finding out what he can and canít do, and I think theyíre starting to figure it out right now, so pretty good challenge.