On what the Bucs need to do in Carolina
We've just got to keep executing and running to the football, gang-tackling and winning the turnover battle. Our last road win last season, that's something that we did – we won the turnover battle and we won the ballgame. A very simple winning formula for us is, when we get on the road and we win the turnover battle we tend to win ballgames. So we want to try to continue with that and, again, accept the challenge of going to Carolina to play. We know it's going to be a tough game. Most of our games against them have been gone all the way down to the end. So we shouldn't and will not expect anything less than a hard-fought ballgame. Hopefully we execute and find a way to win.
We never prepare for personnel. It doesn't matter who's at quarterback, the offense is going to get run. Our job is to out-execute them. We're not preparing any differently whether Jake plays or David plays. We still feel that the offense is going to run. It's going to start with number 26 [DeShaun Foster] and number 89 [Steve Smith] and it goes from there. Again, we don't know who we're going to see, but in the end it really doesn't matter because we've still got to go out and execute our defense.
On Jeff Garcia saying the defense is setting the tone for the team
Well, I would say the other way, because our offense is coming out and making statement drives, too. I just think for the past two ballgames we've done a fairly decent job of executing in all three phases. Again, we've protected the football and not turned it over, and defensively we've created turnovers. To me, it doesn't go any simpler than that. Now, the effort, the execution obviously goes into it, but in the end the trend of the Bucs is, if we win the turnover battle we normally win the ballgame.
On why everyone on defense is saying, "Hustling and hitting," recently
It's something that we've already over the years been defined by. It's just one of those things, as (Bucs defensive coordinator) Monte [Kiffin] said early on, that kind of got taken for granted because we used it to build this defense. Now we've got to go back and find out what screw was loose and where did we lose focus. One of those things was our hustling, our gang-tackling. That's one of the things that was kind of taken for granted in the past that became an emphasis this offseason. Again, it's just something that's being emphasized and thankfully we've been able to go out there and do it the past couple weeks.
On the Bucs-Panthers rivalry being heated
Well, I think the nature of the games, they've really come down to the end. They've had our number for a couple of years in some tough ballgames. Like I say, it's just been one of those things playing against them. To me, it's just been good, fun competition to go out there and play them. A lot of their players have been there for awhile, as well as ours. Actually, I look forward to it and I'm really glad to be a part of it.