Quotes from Training Camp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker <!--Default NodeId For Shelton Quarles is 792067,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:792067]>Shelton Quarles</A> comments during Tuesday's practice

(On putting on the pads for the second day)
"Yesterday when I put on the pads, they felt real foreign to me. So today was a better day, not only for myself, but for our team defensively. I thought we did fairly well today, we still have things we need to get better at, but as far as our effort, you can't beat that."

(On how long it will take for Dwayne Rudd to fit into the Bucs' defensive system)
"It takes a while. I've been in this system for six, seven years now, and some people have been here longer than me. It's a tough system to play in and you have to be on your keys all the time, so he's still picking up the small things to make him a better player in our system."

(On the difference in training camp coming off of a championship)
"I think we definitely have a sense of urgency. We know where we want to go and we know what it takes to get there. It's a matter of duplicating what we did last year to get to back to that point, if not getting better at some of some of the things we did last year."

(On how the addition of Dwayne Rudd and the move of Dwight Smith from cornerback to safety will affect the defense)
"I think it makes us a faster team than we were. Dwight Smith, with his speed, it's going to be great for us. And then having a guy like Rudd come in, it's just a matter of him learning the defense and the defenses we have, and playing them a little better than he is playing them right now. I don't know if it will be an upgrade, because Al (Singleton) is a good guy and a good buddy of mine, so I won't say upgrade, but he will definitely be on par with Al."

(On if he feels the defense can repeat their performance from last year, or even improve on it)
"I think so. Either you get better or you get worse, and I think with the effort everybody came in with this year and what we're doing we are getting better. I expect us to be better than we were last year and be a dominant defense again."

(On trying to win back-to-back championships, something the 2000 Ravens or the 1985 Bears couldn't do)
"We talked about that the first meeting we had. We said we want to be a dynasty, definitely defensively. We want to be like the ‘Steel Curtain,' and the only way to do that is through hard work. Everyone came in with the attitude of hard work. I don't think we have had any starters missing any practices yet. That just shows the dedication everyone has, especially dealing with the heat and everything else."

(On playing behind Anthony McFarland and Warren Sapp)
"It's huge (having McFarland back). With the style of play that McFarland has, it's a huge advantage to me. He's a big guy who takes up space, and can run. Those guys will not be able to come off so fast on me because they will have to stay there longer, allowing me to make the play. So I look forward to having him back and playing in front of me."

(On what areas the defense can get better at)
"We didn't tackle as well as we should have. We let them hit us with big plays certain games. One of our things is not to give up the big play and let the offense have to work us down the field. Nine times out of ten if we make them go the long route to the end zone it's either three points or no points. It's a big difference between seven and three. We just need to play some of the defenses we didn't play well last year, we are playing them a little more this preseason and hopefully that will enable us to play them better during the regular season."

(On if there is anyway the defense can score more than they did last year)
"I think so. You just have to set a goal for yourself. If you don't set a goal you don't know what you can do. So if you set a goal and try to accomplish it, that's the best way to go about it. I think that we are trying to do that this year. I think Derrick (Brooks) caught one the other day and took it back, Nate (Webster) had an opportunity to take one back today. That's the goal we have this year; match (the number of interceptions from last year) or duplicate it. We definitely want to do a better job special teams wise in scoring touchdowns."

(On what Coach Gruden's challenge was for the defense this year)
"He hasn't set a goal for us this year yet. We had an opportunity to get 13 last year, so maybe that will be the goal this year."

(On his trip to Japan)
"It was a long trip there, but it wasn't a bad trip. The seat I was in was first class going there, so I don't know what the seats will be like for us. Riding Japan Airlines, first class, was definitely good for me. They have push button seats that go down to a bed, the people there were real accommodating, they're service orientated, so they want to take care of you and that was good to see. Once we got over there, it was fun. It wasn't a good place, as far as getting in a workout. But I don't see many of the players wanting to get a workout when we get there. Most of them will be relaxing or practicing. It was a good trip. I had a great time. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people going there. I look forward to going back their and seeing some of those people and beating the Jets."

(On how long his recovery time was from the trip)
"Coming back I didn't know what to do, but I knew I didn't want to do the same thing I did when I went there, which was stay up most of the trip. So coming back I just tried to sleep the whole trip back and so when I got back I had an obligation with the American Heart Association that night and church the next morning, so I was fine. I was back on my schedule on Monday, working out again, so I didn't hurt me. I don't know how it will be with training camp involved. Hopefully it won't be that big of deal, but if it is I know our guys will overcome it."

(On Shinzo Yamada)
"He's doing good. We make fun of him, because last night he was falling asleep in our meeting. I had to ask him, ‘Are you still adjusting to the time?" But he's a pretty funny guy."

(On which teammate he would like to see sumo-wrestle)
"(Warren) Sapp, or (Anthony) McFarland. I like McFarland, he's close to their size."

(On what part of the Japanese culture shocked him)
"Just how friendly the people were. They are very service orientated. That's different to see. There they really want to make sure everything is fine with you."

(On if Japan is ready for the NFL)
"We had great receptions to the different events we went to. And everybody was ready to see football. Everyone was yelling and cheering, and ready for football. That's what it is all about."

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