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10 November 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, November 10, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: WR Mike Evans and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins each scored a touchdown in yesterday’s game, becoming the first pair of rookies to score touchdowns in the same game since 2010 (Dezmon Briscoe & Mike Williams, 1/2/11 at New Orleans).
 
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Lovie Smith’s earlier media availability:
               
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“Not much has changed since we talked yesterday. Injury-wise, we have a few players nursing some injuries: Josh McCown is a little sore with his back, Demar Dotson has a sore neck. I’m trying to think of who else from the game [was injured], but beyond that there was nothing serious that came out of the game, I will say that. Hopefully we can get some of the players back that weren’t able to play: Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins, Doug Martin and Alterraun Verner, I don’t know the extent to their injuries yet. Today we’re going to get back into the game-week routine a little bit on it, just rehashing the game a little bit more after watching the video, not a whole lot changed. We had a lot of opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them – too many penalties, blown opportunities. We lost the lead, but there were some good things that we were able to do, especially offensively – third down conversions to keep drives going, Mike Evans’ play, I talked a lot about the receivers play overall, it’s been pretty good.”
 
(On if he is discouraged with the team’s 1-8 record this season)
“Discouraged? Disappointed, very disappointed. Discouraged? Again, I’ll go back to disappointed in where we are right now. A lot of football left to go in our division, you just kind of look at where we are and not a whole lot has changed from what I said last week about how we stack up. Even with all we’ve done and what little we’ve done so far, there’s still opportunities if we change things. That’s where I am as a coach. We have Washington coming up this week. Eventually we’re going to get over the hump, but we’re not there yet.”
 
(On the team getting too many penalties and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s comments about this team being ‘the most undisciplined team he’s been on’)
“We had too many penalties, I will answer that. You can talk to guys when they make statements like that, you can hit them on their statements, [but] we had too many penalties yesterday. I’ve said that on more than one occasion, but I’m just going to go on those two times that I really said that. Yesterday was a day where there were lots of things going on throughout. We have to handle some situations a lot better than we did, especially the pre-snap penalties that we had. Our defensive line, Gerald is probably talking about that, our defensive line was a big part of that, jumping offsides before the ball was snapped – we can’t have those types of things and we had too many of those.”
 
(On his postgame comments that some of the penalties in yesterday’s game were ‘ticky-tack’ calls)
“I probably said a lot of things, yesterday is kind of a fog right now a little bit. No, officials have tough job to do from time-to-time. Of course I disagree with more than one of the calls that was made throughout all the way up until the end, but we didn’t have our best performance yesterday and sometimes that’s the case with others too.”
 
(On his reaction to quarterback Josh McCown being emotional after the game)
“No reaction to it really – I’m definitely not disappointed in anything that our football team tries to do or their real feelings. Natural feelings as they come out, I’m all in favor of whatever they are. You really can’t control when it happens. Some losses affect you a little bit more than others, like some wins affect you a little bit differently. Whatever the emotions are that come out naturally, then that’s what I’m in favor of.”
 
(On Atlanta converting third downs in yesterday’s game)
“Just like you said, you’ve got to convert them in those situations, especially on some of the third-and-longs that we had. We had our opportunities and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a penalty – it’s the same whether it’s a penalty or just bad play – when you let an offense convert whatever way, you’re keeping the drive going. In a game like that yesterday, many practices, many days ago, as we talked about what we needed to do defensively to be a good defense, part of that is being one of the best third-down defenses around, there’s a lot that goes with that. That – along with other things – we’re not there yet, we have to do a better job with it.”
 
(On the safety rotations)
“We had a rotation going with our safeties throughout the game. Throughout the game we had rotations going with the safeties.”
 
(On the defense improving rushing the passer and getting more takeaways)
“That’s what we’re working on right now. If I could give you an answer, believe me I wouldn’t wait until Monday to give it to you, we would do it before, we’re not there. You went through all of the things that I could say, we’re getting some double-teams inside and when you get into one-on-one situations we need to win more of those and if we’re not doing that, there’s something wrong, but that’s the best you can get is a one-on-one situation against an offensive lineman and we need to win our share of those. On the other end though, we have to win our share of the one-on-ones there too, the coverage part. Coverage and the rush and as far as the takeaways, they need to come quickly and you can’t just rely on interceptions though with the takeaways, if the ball is snapped and there’s a completion or there’s a run, as we see it you have an opportunity to get the ball out and we’re not doing that. Again, we’re not doing a lot of things as well as we eventually will.”
 
(On if he underestimated how long it would take to rebuild the Buccaneers when he was hired)
“The master plan wasn’t for us to be 1-8 right now and I can just answer that way. I’m disappointed in where we are right now and hopefully we’ll turn things around, but again, that wasn’t the plan for us to be where we are right now.”
 
(On if there were a particular series he would have like to have back from yesterday’s game)
“All the series that weren’t successful – it’s as simple as that – we would like to have back. We had a lot of opportunities, of course there’s one, but there were a lot more than that. Even though we did a great job on third downs, there were a couple of others that we feel like we had opportunities to keep the ball going, but I don’t think it’s just as simple as that though. I always start off with talking about the turnover ratio, we were minus-three yesterday. I know there were two late interceptions, but the fumble that we had, their fumble recovery set them up a little bit also. All of those things, we can’t do.”
 
(On if he feels let down about the team’s performance on special teams)
“We’re disappointed in where we are and just about everything we’re doing. I can’t say that we’re pleased with any area. We haven’t won any games with our special teams. Special teams have really hurt us in a couple [of games]. Yesterday, we knew it was a great returner we were going against – he had one big return against us [in Week 3]. We were able to get one punt return for some positive yards. Just keep working through it. Michael Koenen will be the first guy to tell you he needs to punt the ball better – a lot better. Just like everything else, we’ll keep working in those areas.”
 
(On how much better the team could be if they could eliminate their mistakes)
“A lot better team. How much better? You know, we haven’t been in two games; the rest of the games we’ve played, we’ve had opportunities. Whether it be from just not being able to make a play, penalties, just doing something out of the realm of what good football teams do – whatever the reason, that is why we’re here. But I can give you hope too. And I know it’s kind of – when you’re 1-3 or so, it sounds a lot better than when you’re 1-8 right now. You assume that you’re going to clean up those things and that’s a part of what you use to talk about as a young program. That’s where we are right now. We’re in the last half of our football season and we should’ve cleaned up a lot of these things that we need to.”
 
(On the injury status of rookie offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards and if he has suffered a season-ending injury)
“We’re not too that point – Wednesday, we’ll be able to give you more of an update when we’re officially required to give you that. But, of course, whenever you see a guy in [a protective boot], it’s not anything really good, no.”
 
(On if rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from his touchdown celebration can serve as a teaching moment)
“It is a teaching moment for a rookie. With rookies, you want to have those teaching moments before something happens out there. We go over the rules, of course: you can’t use a prop after a touchdown, but when you do it in that situation, it’s just not good. Austin would tell you he’d like to have a lot – not a lot, but a couple of plays [back]; he jumped offsides one time. You’d like to have a couple of things back. Guy really plays hard and we’ll clean those things up.”
 
(On his reaction to Seferian-Jenkins posting a photo on his Instagram of his touchdown celebration that resulted in a penalty)
“Shouldn’t even have to answer that. You know what I’m going to say about that. When guys make mistakes, I confront them immediately – which happened this time.”
 
(On what it says about the team that they have had five fourth-quarter leads and lost)
“It says that we’re close. But again, like I said, that means a lot more early in the year. I think it’s established now the way we’ve played teams that we can be a pretty good football team. But good football teams, when they get a lead, they keep them. So as we talk to our defense, no matter what’s happened, we have a fourth quarter lead, you should be able to maintain those leads – especially at home. So, again, this is part of our growth. These growing pains are sometimes pretty painful.”
 
(On what he thought of rookie running back Charles Sims NFL debut)
“First time, as much as anything. You just think about missing all of the offseason work – not all the offseason work, but preseason games and all; we need to get him into the mix as soon as possible. The plan was to get him a little bit of action and he did some good things. But [he was] rusty; got a long ways to go still – he’d be the first guy to tell you that. But he’s in the mix now.”
 
(On if he is concerned that the team is losing part of its fan base)
“We understand the frustration from the fans. How we’re looking at that situation right now is we understand the frustration – even we understand some of the fans won’t come [to games]. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep working to get our football team better and we’re going to put a better product on the field eventually and then that’s when everyone will come back. But right now, it’s on us to play better football as much as anything. And eventually, we’ll do that and there will be a lot of time for people to come back.”
 
(On if some players saying their teammates are not taking the losses hard enough means that he needs to motivate them better)
“Well first off, I think we have to be careful about how we say people feel. ‘It doesn’t hurt enough.’ Now, I’ve been in all those locker rooms afterwards and our players – for people that don’t think we’re hurting [or] they’re hurting: they’re hurting. When you’re hurt, you’re trying to do something about it – that’s what I’ve seen. So I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think it really hurts really bad right now and I don’t think it needs to hurt anymore. But that naturally happens when you keep losing games. And eventually, if you keep pounding, there will eventually be a crack. So that’s where we stand.”
 
(On what he makes of the NFC South having a record of 5-18-1 against non-division opponents this season)
“What I make of that is – we’ve been talking about where we are and we’ve won one football game. How many games are we out of first place? Three. That’s how I’m looking at it. I’m glad we’re in the NFC South right now with how it’s turned out for us. There’s still hope before this game. We’ve been talking to our football team about, ‘Hey, man, we’re running out of time to make a run,’ – unless everybody in our division loses. Of course, we knew playing [a division opponent], one of us would [lose]. Two of us have lost [this week] so we’re still hanging in there and that’s an opportunity with that.”
 
(On if he confronted Seferian-Jenkins about the Instagram post)
“The penalty, of course, right away and when I found out about the Instagram [post] – I’m on Facebook a little bit so I can get pictures of my grandchild, but besides that, I’m not really into the rest of the stuff. Once it came to my attention, then I confronted him, is what I thought I said and what I should have said.”
 
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