Tampa, FL – Today Evan Dietrich-Smith took some time to speak to the media about the current offensive line woes. “I think we’re taking steps in the right direction that’s for sure, having some consistency with the guy next to me is definitely starting to help”. Yesterday Head Coach Lovie Smith said that Evan is like having another coach along the offensive line. And the veteran center is expecting better play this week versus the Buffalo Bills “I’m expecting to see improvement from us as a front, we’re going to be playing against some good guys inside and they have some good edge guys as well”. Dietrich-Smith also had some words for guys who may not go as hard as they could “You gotta put pressure on yourself all the time, if you’re not going out there trying to get better every day you’re in the wrong business”.
Offensive lineman Demar Dotson also put a heavy load on himself and his line mates “We hold the key to this offense when we play well we have a chance for this offense to play well. If we do not play good then this offense doesn’t play good, we know what’s on our shoulders”. Furthermore he said that “We know we have to come out every single snap, every single play and game and be our best if not we will let this offense down”. It seems both Dietrich-Smith and Dotson know what’s at stake if this line can’t get better against Buffalo but they seem up to the challenge that will be presented for them against the number two sack team last season in the NFL “We have Carolina the first week but this will be a good test to see where we are at, we have three quarters to play against a good D-line but we are up for the challenge”.
Solomon Patton recently found out that he will be handling the starting returner duties this week was excited when he found out about the opportunity. However Patton who returned kicks for his high school team and the University of Florida had never returned punts except for in practice. “In college I really only caught punts in practice, this is really my first year doing punt returns”. He feels prepared for this opportunity based on the size of player he was accustomed to facing in the SEC “The competition and all the guys we play against I used to see big guys like this all the time in the SEC” Being a guy as small as he is Patton feels as though he has to be a little fearless out there on the field “Obviously I am not the biggest guy out there, I know that have speed and I try to use that to my advantage. I definitely see myself as being a real fearless person just going out there and doing the best I can”.
Head Coach Lovie Smith was extremely happy with how his teamed practiced today “I think every day I’ve talked about good practices and getting better, I am definitely going to say that today. Our football team got better today it was as go a practice as we’ve had”. Lovie also touched on releasing wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins earlier in the day by saying “It’s tough to cut a good layer but we have a lot of young receivers”. The final two preseason games are a final audition for some players and that’s no different here except Lovie Smith pretty much has made all the evaluations he’s going to need. “The evaluation process for most the players has been done, but every year there are a few positions in the latter part of the roster that will be decided by some of the play this week and of course next week also”. Following Saturday’s game at Buffalo the upcoming week will force the Buccaneers to get from their current roster to 75 players.
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