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16 November 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, November 16, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season, Tampa Bay has allowed only 23 pass plays of 20+ yards, tied with Cincinnati* and Denver for the fewest in the NFL.
 
*Plays on Monday Night Football tonight.
                                                         
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“[There is] definitely a better feeling around here today, to get a home win like that in that fashion. [There’s] no such thing as an ugly win or anything like that. It’s hard to get wins in the NFL. [My] previous times up here [I] talked about not being able to finish, we finished – offensively, going on the drive that we had to have, defensively getting the last stop, getting the interception. Getting the takeaway by [Bradley] McDougald is the way you want to finish the game off. Dallas is a good football team with a bad record. [They have] a lot of great players. Our guys stepped up to the plate. We had a few injuries from the game. Mainly, George Johnson with a calf injury. As far as the rest of our guys – some of them that weren’t active – a little over 24 hours later not much has changed as far as I know. We’ll have a few more days before we go out for Wednesday’s practice. I’m sure everybody, our players enjoyed this game. We as a staff have already kind of moved on to Philadelphia.”
 
(On if there is reasonable optimism that players such as tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and safety Major Wright could play against Philadelphia)
“Reasonable optimism? Absolutely, some of them. It was close for a few of them yesterday. When a guy is out, it’s a process. It takes a little bit of time to heal. Hopefully we’ll get a few of the guys back this week.”
 
(On the play of linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David)
“Our linebackers did play well, probably as good as the two of them have played at the same time. Kwon has had a lot of splash plays. He’s had a few special games and yesterday he had some more – the sack was big, he had some good tackles. Of course we’ll keep working on his hands. He has to catch that ball. But no complaints about his play. Lavonte David definitely stepped up his game. Outstanding play on the sack. He blitzed well, tackled in the open field, just an all-around type of football game that we expect Lavonte to have each week. The defense as a whole played that way. Our back seven have been criticized quite a bit, especially our secondary. Our safeties both played well. Both of our corners did an outstanding job. That’s the type of defensive effort we had yesterday.”
 
(On if the confidence he had in the secondary allowed the team to blitz more)
“Yeah, when you have good play in the secondary it allows you to do everything you would like to do. As a general rule we just don’t play Tampa-2 ever snap. We would like to blitz about a third of the time in an ideal world. We love playing man coverage and mixing in zone. We were able to do all that yesterday. Improved play will allow you to do that. Good play by the front allows you to do that. Total effort yesterday.”
 
(On what cornerback Sterling Moore did to help the team prepare for his former teammate, Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant)
“We had a few guys: Henry Melton, Bruce Cater, guys who have been down with the Cowboys for a while, that know them. Dez going against Sterling of course last year, you go against somebody in practice every day you know a little bit about him, but you still have the make the play on that day. We matched Sterling up quite a bit. I thought he was pretty good, whether it was man coverage [or] zone coverage. He played a smart football game.”
 
(On if he is confident with Sterling Moore and Jude Adjei-Barimah as his starting cornerbacks)
“We played well yesterday. Yes, we have confidence in what we are doing. As far as a lot of combinations, that’s what you do. You give guys an opportunity, they play well, they continue to play. If not, you keep looking for answers on your roster. I always tell the players if you deserve to play and think you should start, think you should get more time, circumstances will work itself out where you get that opportunity. Then it’s what you do with it. For the last two weeks I’ve talked about our corner play, we’ve liked what we’ve seen back there.”
 
(On what he liked about the final offensive drive)
“It would be easier to think about something I didn’t like about it. Play-calling – good, starts with that – line-wise, we need protection when we threw the ball. We spread it around. It went to Mike [Evans], like anyone would, quite a bit. Just a good mix throughout. I think everyone felt like they had a part in us moving the ball down there. Most of the games you get to them and you want to play good early well throughout – start fast, play good – but it’s always about how you finish. For us, one drive – everything that happened – one drive, you can’t make any major mistakes. When you get opportunities to make plays – linemen, snap count, everything has to be perfect. That’s what we’ve got. Yeah, we had a couple close calls. It’s that way every play, it could go here or there. Jameis [Winston] going through the air – you don’t want to necessarily see your quarterback out of control in the air – last drive though, whatever it takes is what you do. For us to cap it off with a touchdown was big.”
 
(On scoring one offensive touchdown in the last two weeks and if it not having Jackson and Seferian-Jenkins return can help)
“Yeah, we’re going to be better when we get those players [back], but going back Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye – that drive we talked about – both of them came up with big plays throughout. Yeah it’s hard, but let’s give them a little bit of credit too. They played well yesterday and I can’t remember, who did we play in the game before that? I have a hard time keeping up, but I know yesterday they played well. [Dallas Defensive Coordinator] Rod [Marinelli] had the guys in position throughout and they were big. It was going to be one of those type of days, but we had the ball down there a couple of the times where turnovers hurt us. We could’ve gotten points there and I think we’re talking about a little bit different of a situation. We missed the field goal. We’ve been getting in position to do some things. However you can get it and yesterday was that type of game.”
 
(On tackle Donovan Smith)
“[He] played well. Three [penalties] of course too many. One there’s reasons why, two of them are kind of unacceptable a little bit. All of them are. Penalties as a whole, we did a better job yesterday. The last penalty we got, by Mike Jenkins, we can’t have that. As far as all things that are happening with good play throughout, we’ll keep working on getting it down, but we saw progress in that area and Donovan Smith played well against a great football player. Again, as a young player, you play against different types of guys throughout. [Greg Hardy] is one of the best defensive players in the league and [Smith] definitely held his own.”
 
(On still having a chance at making the playoffs)
“This is how we set up our goals at the start of the season: we have the goal of beating our next opponent, so beat Philly, win the NFC South, win the Super Bowl. What can’t we accomplish? As far as [being in it], we talked about being relevant. We are. We are in the mix. Everything that we set in front of us is there. That’s the carrot. Yeah, it would be great to win two in a row, it would be great to get to .500. All of those things though, are automatically built in to what our goals are weekly. Our main goal weekly is to improve on last week’s effort.”
 
(On how pleased is he with safety Bradley McDougald’s progression)
“I think it’s been documented how much I like Bradley McDougald. He’s a good football player. Just like our entire football team, we haven’t played as well as we would have liked all throughout the season. The last couple of weeks he has played well. Yesterday, not just the last pick, he played a good football game throughout. We need him to have more birthdays. It shouldn’t take something like that to play your best ball, but we’ll take it and motivate him any way we can.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s postgame locker room speech)
“I say this a lot, but I think you’ve been around Jameis, so to me it’s not news anymore when Jameis is being vocal. That’s who he is. He’s not a rookie quarterback anymore. He’s been in that position for a long period of time and that’s just normal Jameis Winston as far as how I see it. He’s in that role.”
 
(On previously saying technique was a problem in the red zone on defense and what has improved)
“That’s what you asked me about red zone. If you asked me about tackling, reading keys, making plays it’s always about technique. You ask me about the red zone, that’s what it is. We have a system that’s proven and when we play it the right way we are going to have success, period, versus anything that happens during the course of the game. That’s what we’ve been working on forever. Each week we get a little bit better at it. Some of things that happened to us in the red zone like giving up certain plays that we shouldn’t, it takes time sometimes to get those things done. We’re closer to playing better technique-sound football, about as close as we have been in a long time.”
 
(On holding Dallas to two yards per rushing attempt especially against a good offensive line)
“[It’s] very hard to do that because again, [Tony] Romo isn’t there, but the offensive line is intact. [Darren] McFadden is an excellent running back intact. Great job – discipline, technique, all the same, trusting your teammate to be in [their] gap, just stopping the run as a whole is tough duty. We haven’t given up a lot of big plays. There are a lot of good things that we’re doing. Yesterday you say ‘What else can you do better?’  We’re going to talk and look to the takeaways and how many. They got a couple. We got the one at the end of the game. Third downs are improving, but guys it’s always about the ball.”  
 
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