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Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Mike Glennon talk about facing the New Orleans Saints

Smith and Glennon spoke with the New Orleans media via conference call on Wednesday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We just spoke with Mike Glennon and he stressed the importance of this game, especially because the NFC South has already clumped up. I'm guessing you would echo his sentiments on this game?

"Yeah. They're all important but there is a group, and of course we are all fairly close in the standings. Just a division game in general though, we know how important these are. To have an opportunity for a road division win, it's pretty important."

Did you see how Minnesota was able to hang in with the Saints on the road and feel like you guys coming off of a win could be a little more confident coming into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

"I really don't get into what's happened in the past that much. Most domes are louder but I've taken my teams there before. They're a good football team. We are concerned about that as much as anything. We'll just let it play out. Of course there are advantages. They have a high-powered offense but, of course, the crowd is quiet then so defensively it gives our guys a better chance when it is quieter. We know our offense will have to deal with some of the noise."

What have you seen out of the Saints so far? Have you been surprised that with all of the talent they are 1-3 right now?

"I haven't paid a whole lot of attention. All I thought before last week was for us to get a win. But I know what their record is. It is so early in the season and that's what I've told our football team. People are still jockeying for position and seeing exactly what type of team they'll be. There is plenty of talent on both sides of the football. We know them well and of course they know us well. We'll need to play our best game."

How has Sean Payton changed since you faced him in 2006, 2007 and 2008?

"Well Sean and I go back even further back than that of course, when he was coordinator with the Giants and I was the coordinator with the St. Louis Rams. He has the same, for the most part, type of offense; a lot of formations, innovative.He is just a good football coach. His reputation, most people think of what they do in the passing game, Sean has always made a commitment to the run so we'll have to of course be on top of both of those."

Does it make it easier for your Cover 2 defense that Drew Brees isn't throwing the ball downfield as much as in past years?

"We'll play a little bit of Cover 2 but last time I brought my team down to the (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) he aired it out, a long touchdown then. We have to cover all bases whether it is deep or short. That offense has the capability of attacking you in all areas."

You were talking about staying the course as a coach and you guys stayed the course and got a win against Pittsburgh last week. Is that what the Saints have to do with their 1-3 start with Sean Payton?

"You have to talk to Sean about that. For us, we stayed the course. We are a young program and there are a lot of things we need to see about our football team. We need to go through adversity and see exactly what direction people wanted to go. I liked what we saw, going on the road and winning, of course in Pittsburgh. It's going to be tough going on the road and winning in New Orleans. You have to find a way. I don't really know all that New Orleans is dealing with, I just know for us we are trying to see if we can get two in a row."

How did you come to acquire Brandon Dixon, who has a twin brother on the Saints, and what have you seen out of him so far?

"Our secondary coach Gil Byrd, who has a connection too of course with Jairus (Byrd), went down and worked him out and we liked him a lot. We weren't able to get Brandon the first go-round but when we had an opportunity there at the end of training camp to get him we were pretty excited. He has good size, is a good guy and good football player that I think has a pretty good future in the league. That's always special when you get a chance to play against a brother. Of course we have the same thing going with Josh (McCown) and Luke (McCown) and as I mentioned Jairus and Gil so we have a lot of those close family ties this week."

A lot of people will look at quarterback as an obvious position of leadership, how much does your team look to the quarterback for guidance and leadership when gets into a bind?

"I think they definitely look to him for leadership when you are going through adversity, when you are not dealing with adversity also, I think just in general. Players on the team, everyone, looks to the quarterback no matter what you're going through. He sets the tempo with everything, and most quarterbacks like that, they realize that and they've been in that position all of their lives. Similar to how a Mike linebacker is, the guys that normally bark out the signals. Mike linebacker, quarterback, they are in control of the game most of the time."

Has the injury to Mark Ingram had an impact on the Saints offense?

"I'm sure it has. Every time you lose a good football player it has an impact on your team. Gerald McCoy, Michael Johnson to an injury, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I can go on and on too. This has impacted us every time. You want your best players on the football field. All teams are better when they have all of their guys, but it doesn't work that way."

What do you think Ingram was doing when he was out there?

"You have to tell me. He is a good football player. The same stuff he normally does, catching the ball, running the football. I know a lot more about our football team really than I know about guys that are injured and what they are doing down there."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Mike Glennon
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What are your thoughts after coming back to beat Pittsburgh on the road to move to 1-3 instead of 0-4?

"It was a real big win for us, the first win of the season, and it puts some more confidence in us. It was a great team win, all three phases of the game played well when we needed to. It was great to get our first win and we know the NFC South is wide open right now."

You mentioned the NFC South, are you surprised at how nobody has run away with the division? Are you surprised that since it is all 2-2 or 1-3 that you guys and the Saints have a real good shot at rebounding this year?

"Yeah, and that's why this week is a big week for both us and New Orleans. Whoever wins will be 2-3 and could end up at the end of week being tied for first place in the division. It's a big game for both of us. Anytime you have a division opponent it is a big game. The way that everyone's record is right now makes it that much more one of those games."

What are you seeing from the Saints defense so far?

"They're really doing a lot of different things, really trying to put pressure on the quarterback. Rob Ryan is not afraid to throw whatever defense at you. That's the way he was last year and that's the way he has been this year. We will preparefor all of the different looks they may give."

Do you see anything you guys can take advantage of?

"That's what the coaches are trying to do. We always look for the strengths and weaknesses of a defense and try to find areas that we can take advantage of."

How have you dealt with being the starter last year, having Josh McCown come in and now you are the starter again? How have you dealt with all of this and what is your mindset going forward as Josh will eventually be healthy again?

"Take it one week at a time. It sounds like a weak answer but that's really the case, especially in the NFL. You just have to take it one week at a time, focus on the game at hand, and move on to the next one. Right now our focus is on the Saints."

Are you surprised to see the Saints coming into this game struggling a little bit, being in the same position as you after all of the hype?

"In the NFL every week is a tough game, every week you could win, you could lose. They've had a lot of close games I'm sure they are trying to figure out what they can do better to win. But nothing really comes as a surprise in the NFL because every team has talented players and every team has talented coaches. It's tough to win the NFL."

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