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30 November 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, November 30, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season, RB Doug Martin has 1,038 rushing yards, the second-highest total in the NFL and already the ninth-most in a single season in franchise history.
                                                                                                                          
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“This late in the football season you want to play your best football. It’s kind of simple as that. You want to be relevant, you want to be in the mix for what’s happening down the line. Yesterday was disappointing. We are in the mix and we are relevant right now, but yesterday was disappointing in a lot of different ways. Offensively, we’ve been moving the ball well – running the ball well, our passing game. Everything didn’t come together yesterday. We wish we had run the football better, more. Wish we had made a couple more plays in the passing game. Defensively, played the run as well as we’ve played it in a long time, but the passing game really let us down. Hurt us with the big plays that we gave up. Special teams we just haven’t really been able to generate anything to kind of boost our team when offensively and defensively we’re not doing things the way we would like. Penalties have hurt us quite a bit throughout the year. Yesterday of course there were some big ones that kind of dictated a little bit the outcome of the game. We have to clean those things up. We realize where we are. Again, it’s disappointing, but now it’s about the stretch-run. We have a five-game season, playing all NFC teams starting of course with Atlanta at home this week. [We] have an opportunity to sweep one of our division opponents. There’s a lot on the line for us once we clean some things up and play the best ball we’ve played this year.”
 
(On the defense not playing well in the passing game)
“We have found some answers. Yesterday was disappointing. [I] can’t really give you a lot of reasons why we gave up some plays we normally don’t give up, yesterday. All those things I said before the game, I’m saying right now. It won’t let us down anymore.”
 
(On the offensive line and pass protection being a strong point in previous weeks)
“It had been. Yesterday it wasn’t as strong as it’s been most of the year. That’s how we have to look at it. You have to give them credit. They were able to get pressure on us yesterday quite a few times. We didn’t run the ball as well as we would like. When we were doing those things well of course we would compliment our line quite a bit. We just didn’t play as well as we need to yesterday.”
 
(On the running game)
“When you’re not running the ball, you’re not running because you like something in the passing game – a match up that you have that we think we can get a big play on. Even though we’ve been running the ball well we’ve been throwing the ball well, too, and we like some of the matchups we had yesterday we just didn’t execute the way we normally do. I’m not going to stand here and say, ‘Hey, if we just had run the ball more everything would have been fine.’ That’s not the case. It just didn’t all come together there. Sometimes things just don’t come together when you think they’ll come together from then on. That’s just not where we are right now. We’ll bounce back this week.”
 
(On if the next step in the team’s growing process is to learn how to handle relevancy)
“There’s no margin for error as we see it now. Yes this is the final stage of our growth, rebirth, whatever you want to call it is to finish on this back stretch. Right now, as you look at our season we went 1-3 the first quarter, 2-2 the second, we have an opportunity – no, it’s a must – that we go 3-1 this third quarter finishing up with 4-0 in the last. Yes, the final phase is that. We are in position. In November you want to get in position and now it’s who gets hot at the end. We think we’re going to be one of those teams. There’s not a whole lot of doom and gloom around here. The last thing we need to see is that when you don’t take care of business late this is what can happen. I’m of the school of thought that we are going to be one of those teams that’s going to do this now, right when we need to.”
 
(On if there’s a trick to getting the team to play well in this final phase)
“There’s no trick. To me, I think if you just keep doing what you believe you eventually get over the hump. Things that we can do, we can look at those – penalties, cleaning up that. I’m not talking about some of the ones, I’m talking about we had pre-snap, we had a couple post snap penalties that we just can’t have. Matt Hasselbeck, you have to give him some credit. He’s one of the best hard-count quarterbacks around and he got us a few time with it. There are a few things we just can’t do. There’s no trick to it. I think when you have made progress and you’re a good football team you get to a point where you know and there’s no room for error that those things don’t happen anymore when they can’t. It’s a must that you get it right for the football team. I think that our players know that and they’ll get it right for the football team.”
 
(On what tells him the team is in the final phase of its development)
“Just where we are right now. We’re 5-6, we’re right in the mix. There’s disappointment, but it’s not like we’re 10 games out. We’re not. We’re right in the mix right now. That’s what tells me – we’re 5-6 and right in the mix. We haven’t been in a position where we can sweep a division opponent in a while. Again, disappointment for yesterday, but not going forward. We’re going to be one of those teams that will get it taken care of at the end.”
 
(On possibly substituting players in the secondary)
“The guys that we put out on the football field are the ones that we think we need to have out there that give us our best chance to win. That’s what we going on – just think about doing this for whatever reason. No, we’re trying to have a successful play every down and if that guy is out there we think he gives us the best chance. Simple. Every position on our football team, that’s how we look at it.”
 
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy not playing as many snaps as in previous weeks)
“I’m going to say the same thing. The situation kind of dictates it a little bit. We have eight guys we’re dressing and we feel pretty good about all of them being able to get the job done, we’ll do that. It’s hard for anyone to go the entire time, but as far as resting guys for later on, no. We have a plan in place of playtime before we go into every game, but it was no more than that.”
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans dropping passes)
“Mike Evans is a great wide receiver. We don’t bring back all other games. That was a big pass he dropped yesterday. I’m not going to complain an awful lot about Mike. He would like to have one of those passes back yesterday, but that one. Don’t bring back all the other games, we don’t go back that far.”
 
(On the team having a bad day)
“As you look at a football season, yes, there’s going to be some days like that, but you have to look at it. There’s going to be some days like that. We had one yesterday, but our football team is a good football team and every play we had yesterday wasn’t bad. There were some critical times in the game yesterday that we didn’t handle it the way we would like. We had the lead at the half, on the road, against a team that’s leading their division. There were some good things happening – that third-quarter stretch. We had momentum going into the half, came out with the ball, penalty hurt us and we just weren’t able to convert and get anything going right then. We had the one takeaway that we did get went against us with that penalty. That was a big change of events that happened during that time. I’m talking about we had some things like that that we didn’t handle as well as we need to. I just don’t think we are going to do that each week. Not where we are right now as a team.”
 
(On the leaping penalty called on safety Chris Conte)
“My understanding of the call and what I was told, I think officially it’s leaping that [was called]. I was told that and I thought – why I was okay with the call – I thought we had leaped and came down on someone or we used someone to leap across. I thought that’s what was called at the time. I said, ‘Okay, that’s correct,’ but that wasn’t the case. Just like we didn’t play our best game, I think officials too can go into games and say, ‘Hey, this wasn’t our best game.’ We’re going to worry about us, but they’re not going to always be perfect either and they weren’t yesterday.”
 
(On if the players handled this loss better than others)
“I know there was a lot of disappointment, but my message to them right away was, ‘We didn’t play well and we were beaten because we didn’t. Here’s the things we did wrong. We have to move on though. We have a five-game stretch, no time for doom and gloom. It’s about what we do from here on out.’ It’s good to hear [they held their heads high]. I still saw a little bit of the hangover. Normally there is some hangover until players actually watch the video and then they can move on a little bit, but we’re not going to do that. We’re disappointed in yesterday’s loss, but we’re going to get this right for this week’s game.” 
 
 

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