Press Pass: Inside the locker room

In this edition of "Press Pass," see what Tampa Bay Buccaneers like Michael Clayton, Jeff Garcia and Adam Hayward are saying about Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. It's a premium feature from Bucsblitz.com.

WR MICHAEL CLAYTON

On Sunday's game being an opportunity to sharpen some skills

Definitely, every game is a big game for me. It's been a lot of work and everything that I can use as preparation for the next game will be utilized. I just have to go into the game prepared to play for 60 minutes and do the best I can.

On if there is any redemption in the back of his mind that he wants to achieve this week

I just want to catch everything. As a receiver, it's our job to catch the football and to do the little things that make us great receivers in this league, and most of all to win the football game. It's good momentum to go into the playoffs with a win. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get a win last week, had some turnovers. We have to clean that up going into the playoffs. It's going to be a great game. It's always a rivalry against them. They are a heck of a team, and we definitely have to play with our ‘A' game to come out with a victory.

QB JEFF GARCIA

On his odds of playing Sunday against Carolina

Coach will have to answer that one, I really don't know. I'm preparing like I am going to play but he has expressed the possibility of certain guys not being on the field on Sunday and if he chooses to sit me, that is just the punch I have to roll with, but I'm preparing to be out there and just go from there.

On if he's been in this situation before with his team having clinched and the game having no effect on the standing

As a matter of fact it did happen last year where it came down to the last day but we found out prior to our game that we've clinched. I actually just went out there, I played a series in the game and then was relieved by our back-up, so similar situations. I was disappointed that I didn't get to play more, but that was one of those weeks where we did prepare as if we were going to have to play because we were still in a hunt for a division title.

On what he does on the sideline if he is not playing

Really, just stay very involved in the game, try to help the other quarterbacks who are playing in the game as much as possible from a visual and mental standpoint. Being able to recognize defenses and help them with play calling and help coach with suggestions on plays at certain times of the game. But definitely staying mentally sharp and in tune what were doing this weekend, I think that's important. It's not a week you can take off from a mental standpoint. It's important that we stay on top of everything that we're doing and build on what we're looking forward to do in the first round of the playoffs.

RB EARNEST GRAHAM

On if his work rate will be the same this week

I'm just going to do what coach asks me to. If he wants me to go the whole game, something I've been doing, if he takes me out the first play, I'm going to do that. They make the call. We have some important games in front of us, so coach is going to make the best decisions for the team.

On if 1,000 yards is meaningful

It's very meaningful, but as I said, we have some important games in front of us, so everybody on this team has to put some things on the back burner to ultimately get ready for some pretty important games.

On the possibility of going 6-0 against the division

It would definitely be good. It would be unrealistic to think that we're not looking at the playoff game, but we have the Carolina Panthers coming here, a team that has been great in this division for a while. They're rivals of ours, so naturally, we want to win. We definitely want to win the football game. It's another NFL game, so we want to win.

G DAVIN JOSEPH

On the last game of the regular season

It's Carolina week. We want to finish our division with authority. We want to go into the playoffs with momentum and on a good foot.

On how much the starters will play

I have no idea. I hope I play the entire game. I need the work. For me personally, I hope I play the entire game, and I'm sure I will.

On what he would think if he was a fan and the starters weren't in the game

If I was a fan, I would just want my team to win. As long as we win, I think we'll be alright.

On the playoffs being the real important games

Exactly, but you want to win every game you can also. You don't want to go in [to the playoffs] with a negative feeling. You want to go in there with a positive beat. It's important to win every game you play, so confidence-wise, I think it's important that we win.

LB ADAM HAYWARD

On what he can learn from Derrick Brooks

He sees so many different little things to adjust and get yourself in a better position, and I just need to learn how to do that. I know it's going to take time, just watching him, but now that I think about it, I [say], ‘I could have done this or that and made the play a lot easier for myself.' That's what I wish I could go back and fix.

On trying to uphold the Bucs' defensive standards

I don't think there was any pressure because obviously the coaches trust you enough to put you in that situation, knowing you're not going to skip a beat. They're going to call the defenses and not change anything because you're out there. It wasn't too much pressure, it was just making sure I did my things right, that I knew the plays. I studied all week to make sure of that.

On preparing to possibly play on defense again this week

I'm going to be in a situation where I might go in because they want to rest some of the starters and I don't want to be in a situation where I have Coach Gruden doubting me because I didn't prepare myself well. So I'm going to prepare myself like I'm starting the whole game, the whole year.

DT CHRIS HOVAN

On Carolina

We have to take this one day at a time, one game at a time and channel our attention on the next game. We have to get ready for a good Carolina team and then we'll just take care of the playoffs when they come.

QB LUKE McCOWN

On the Carolina Panthers

It's a good team. The Carolina Panthers are coming in and we have to get ready for them and win a game.

On the importance of going undefeated in the division

Well, you always want to play and win the game. You always want to play well, certainly, so preparation doesn't change for me. It has been the same every week, prepare to play, prepare as hard as you can and look at much tape as you can and go out there and put your best foot forward.

On if it is going to be tough going into this game knowing that the playoff position is set

I don't think so. I think everybody in here wants to win games. We're not looking ahead to who we're playing in the playoffs, we're not looking ahead to next week. We have one more game left and we have to win this game and that's our mindset.

TE JERRAMY STEVENS

On how tough is it to be focused on Carolina when the playoffs are next week

It's not tough at all for me. I don't think it will be for the team. Coach Gruden and Coach Kiffin are going to have everyone ready and we're professionals and this is what we're responsible to do. I don't think it's going to be difficult. It's a challenge, and it's a different challenge every week. We know we have to win to get some momentum going into the playoffs. We're going to play hard and get the job done.

On if it is tough to gain momentum when starters are resting

It's a different situation. I had a similar situation in Seattle when I was there. Do you play the guys, do you risk them getting hurt in a game that doesn't really mean necessarily too much as far as your position in the playoffs? It's a difficult decision for the coach but as a player, you just have to go out there and be prepared to play whatever role you're asked to play. Everyone on the team is professional enough to get that done.

On if it is a challenge to get the intensity level up when the playoffs are set

I think Ray Jay Stadium is going to lend us a hand. Our home crowd will get us pumped up and get everyone ready to play. But knowing in the end it's going to be our responsibility as players to go out there to do our job and we have to get it done.

LB JEREMIAH TROTTER

On how big of an accomplishment it is to go undefeated in the division

It's huge because when you play division games, records really don't matter because you're playing those guys twice a year and you're playing for pride, too. So it's a lot on the line when you play a division game.


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