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09 November 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, November 9, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season, Tampa Bay has gone three and out on only 10 of their 91 drive (11.0 pct.), the lowest mark in the league.
                                                         
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“Injury list first from yesterday’s game: Ali Marpet’s ankle is getting better. We’ll kind of see how it plays out the rest of the week. Bradley McDougald is in the concussion protocol. [Those are] two players, of course, that we need [and have] done a lot for us, so hopefully they’ll be good to go. Still a disappointing feeling that we have from yesterday’s loss. Again, we had opportunities, guys played hard, but – some of the things we’re doing – it’s just hard to win when you [commit] penalties. We talked about that again pre-snap penalties and post-snap penalties, those are the ones that you should be able to clean up and you have to be able to clean up. Offensively we’re moving the ball most of the time, but we are doing things to stop drives. Yesterday [there were] too many drops. Anybody that watched the game knows that, too many drops. The two fumbles didn’t help us by any means, either. Red zone, of course we need to be able to get touchdowns in the red zone. Defensively, third downs we weren’t good at all yesterday. Starting the game that way, that’s the way you draw it up with a takeaway right away. And the guys are doing a good job with that. [The] two takeaways helped a lot, big plays in the game. They ran the ball at times we didn’t feel like they should. [We] just didn’t get off the field. We had some favorable third down situations where we have to be able to win. Special teams-wise, in a game like yesterday’s – something small that could turn into something big, getting a little bit of life, a big play from our special teams. Missing that field goal didn’t help any yesterday, also. We know the reason why and we know the things we need to clean up. We haven’t figured out how to win two games in a row yet around here, but we have figured out a way to have a disappointing loss and come back and get a big win the following week. That’ll be our focus of course with Dallas coming to town this week.”
 
(On cornerback Johnthan Banks not seeing much playing time against the Giants)
“Yes, coach’s decision. Jude [Adjei-Barimah] and Sterling [Moore] both played, started the game yesterday. I feel like they both played well. We have looked for different combinations back there. I like some of the things both of those guys did yesterday.”
 
(On if Jude Adjei-Barimah and Moore played well enough at cornerback to start again)
“We liked that combination and like what they did yesterday. I don’t go over things like that on what we’re going to do this week. We’ll see how that week plays out, but [I] like what they were able to do – some of the things that they did.”
 
(On what Adjei-Barimah and Moore did that impressed him)
“They played the ball, Sterling getting the pick, just pretty good play.”
 
(On if tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is having any setbacks with his shoulder injuryconsidering the time he has been able to practice but not play)
“That’s where we made our mistake a little bit. You might have made that mistake a little bit of assuming that when we put him out there in pads that he was ready to go. [When] you talk to a player he is always going to tell you that he is ready to go. I don’t think there has been a setback. I think he’s been on schedule. This is the schedule he’s been on. Again, we had him go out and practice a few weeks back, but that was just running around. He didn’t have any contact or anything like that. We can’t wait to get him back on the football field. He is making progress, but he’s not there yet. As far as this week on whether [he’ll play or not], when a player is ready to go and he is good to go we’ll get him out there. He’s not there yet.”
(On if Banks did not play due to being disciplined)
“If there is something that’s going on, discipline related, we would keep that in-house, but that had nothing to do with him and who played on the football field yesterday. That was a coach’s decision based on me wanting to look at those guys [Moore and Adjei-Barimah].”
 
(On if Banks not playing was due to previous game performance)
“Everybody that is on the field is based on how they played in previous weeks and me not feeling good about how we’re playing and giving an opportunity to everybody back there that hasn’t gotten a chance. I like what we saw yesterday.”
 
(On if it was a last-minute decision to start Adjei-Barimah)
“He knew it before then. I don’t know exactly what he told you, [but] he knew it before then. Some of the decisions go right up until [the game starts]. When they say game-time decision, they’re a game-time decision. He knew it a little bit before that, though. I promise you that.”
 
(On clarifying his response about whether Banks was being disciplined yesterday)
“I’m saying I would never talk about something discipline related, period, for any of our guys. I would never talk about anything disciplined related with our team or anybody. As far as who played and why he played, that’s based on what we saw all week, who we had available and this is the combination we went with. You asked about Johnthan Banks – Mike Jenkins didn’t start yesterday, either.”
 
(On Banks’ response to if he was being disciplined yesterday as reason to clarify with the coach)
“Sometimes when you kind of hit those guys a little bit, some of the answers we get, like Austin [Seferian-Jenkins], ‘Are you ready to go?’ ‘Yes, I’m good to go.’ Well, in his mind he was ready to go. ‘Jude, [Adjei-Barimah], when did you find out [that you were starting]? When the PA announcer said it?’ No, a little bit before that. We let the guys know when we think they should know on who’s playing. Sometimes it goes right up until and it’s a game-time decision. That was the case with some of those guys.”
 
(On Moore and nickelback Alterraun Verner getting interceptions and adjusting to their new positions)
“I think it’s that way with all positions, though. We haven’t played the type of defense we would like to play and we will eventually play. If you’re not, you continue to look for different combinations at certain times. There are a lot of different reasons why you go a certain way. We do value what a player does through the week all the way up until the Saturday practice – his preparation all the way up to the last meeting before Saturday night’s meeting. We base who starts and who plays on all of that. Sometimes guys haven’t had a true chance to show you what they can do and they get their chance, they do something that makes you look at them more. That’s a good thing for us.”
 
(On Adjei-Barimah’s progression)
“I’m going to go all the way back to training camp. Jude has been one of those guys – we had a lot of free agent-type players that came in and they had traits that we liked. Sometimes when you have traits and you are down on the depth chart it takes a while before you get your opportunity to play, but when you do get your chance you do something with it. That wasn’t an All-Pro performance by Jude or anything yesterday, but we like some of the things that he did.”
 
(On why defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David are not playing up to expectations)
“[I] don’t know that. [I] wish I knew the answer for that. We do have high expectations. They have high expectations for themselves. Lavonte David missed some tackles yesterday. He was in position to make some other plays. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason. It eventually will happen. Lavonte is a great player, same thing for Gerald. I think you have to be careful sometimes when you just look at the stat sheet. Forgetting just the stat sheet, both of those guys would say it’s not good enough, just like very few of our defensive players would say that. Very few of our players in general would say that. When you have three wins, very few of us have played exactly the way we should, but that’s at the halfway point. That’s how we are. We’ll see improved play from these guys.”
 
(On if he makes it his responsibility to put his players in good position to make plays)
“Every snap, every down I’ve been here we’ve tried to put our players in the best positon. That goes without saying. Every player – all 46 guys – we’re trying to put them in the best position for us to win and for them to be successful, yes.”
 
(On if disguising coverages have caused problems when David is dropping back)
“Absolutely not. Everything we do I believe in, has a proven success rate. Again, everything that we do is to put the guys in the best position for us to be successful and that would be the case. And if they’re not, we’ll keep working on getting them in better position. When we get in better position they’ll make more plays.”
 
(On reducing penalties and if having officials at practice would be beneficial)
“No, I don’t think that helps an awful lot. When a guy makes a mistake you call him to the table on it. Whether a high school official coming in here and saying that, it’s not going to help us an awful lot on that. Do we need to take care of it? Yes and we’ll keep working on ways to take care of that. It’s not like we haven’t addressed that. Sometimes, just like some other things, we haven’t gotten the message across yet. We’ll keep working to try to find ways to do that.”
 
(On if there is a missing piece when it comes to winning consecutive games)
“Yes, there’s a missing piece. Exactly what it is [I don’t know]. I want to get back to that position again. Right now, what we have figured out though is how to have a disappointing loss and come back and win the following week. First step for us is to get back to that place. After that, we’ll work on trying to get two consecutive wins together. Right now it’s about one. It’s about the Cowboys coming into town. [They are a] good football team. Their record doesn’t show it. There are a lot of us in the league right now [that are] a team that could be a good football team that hasn’t played that way. [It’s] another opportunity for us. Eventually, whether it be penalties, dropping into coverage, who we put out on the football field – eventually all that will come together and we’ll get a win.”
 
(On red zone defense)
“We’re not where we want to be. Are we making progress? Yes. But are we where we need to be? No. They had a touchdown yesterday – two touchdown passes. One of them though is a tough deal. We’re not where we need to be, period, in most areas. When you have a 3-5 record you are not where you want to be at that moment, but we have a little bit of time to get it right, hopefully starting this week.”
 
(On if procedural mistakes leading to calling timeouts need to be fixed in order to be in better position late in games
“They are being addressed. When you are a 3-5 team you have some of those things that pop up. [It’s] another thing that we need to clean up. Again, everything that you are asking, everything question that I’ve answered today, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right and you’re right. We need to clean it up, we’re going to work for ways to clean it up and eventually we’re going to get it cleaned up. That’s kind of my answer.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On evaluating his performance through the first half of the season)
“You can look at it a number of different ways. With the success I’ve had in past years, I’m going to draw a lot of attention. You just have to learn how to play through that, find different ways to get open and produce. No, it hasn’t been what I want, especially since the Bye Week. I just need to pick it up. And I understand that.”
 
(On what can be done to put him in a better position to be successful)
“There are different ways. The reality is, week-in and week-out, I’m going to get the most attention up front. That’s just the reality. But I just have to find different ways to free myself up. Sometimes it looks like I have a one-on-one, and then there’s a running back waiting, or this guy, that guy. But the reality is, I need to be better. I’m doing everything in my power as far as throughout the week watching more film, at practice, whatever it is. I’m working on figuring it out.”
 
(On expectations for the team’s leaders like McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David)
“Any team throughout the league, or sports period, if a team has their best players, if a team is going to make a turnaround or change or be successful, the best players have to produce. We’re just not doing that right now. It doesn’t change who we are or what we’ve done [in the past], but this is a ‘What have you done for me lately’ league. We understand that, so, moving forward, we just have to be better. Let’s not lose sight that this is just midway through the season. There are eight more of these things to come. They talked about Carolina yesterday, they were 3-8-1 and since then they’ve won 12 straight or something like that. Things can turn around. But as far as myself, there’s a lot more I can do and I promise you I’m putting everything I’ve got into it and it will turn around.”
 
(On his health)
“It is what it is. You’ve just got to play through it. I’m not the only person hurting. If I can be out there, I’m going to be out there, it’s as simple as that. So I’m not going to sit out if I know I can play. I’ve missed enough games in my career, I don’t want to miss any more, I promise you. So if I got to play through pain, whatever. My team needs me, so I’m going to be out there.”
 
(On if his current frustration is comparable to any point in his career thus far)
“When I woke up this morning, I was sitting in the bed thinking this frustration that I have with myself feels like my first or second year. I haven’t been this frustrated with myself in a while. But there’s not a fan, coach or media member who can be as frustrated with myself as I am. And I understand that me being a franchise player, I have to do more. I understand that. And that’s where a lot of my frustration comes – that’s where a lot of my frustration was yesterday. I know I have to be better and I just needed time to cool off [after yesterday’s game]. But I will be [better]. I will be.”
 
(On Tampa Bay’s offensive and defensive production)
“The thing about our offense, they’ve been the quote-unquote ‘question mark’ for however long you want to say. Our offense has been on fire [recently]. They just really have. How many points did they give us against Jacksonville? From Jacksonville on, they’ve just been on fire. Yesterday giving us 18, that’s plenty. Our defense asks for 17, they gave us 18. We definitely have to be better as a defense, especially in the red zone. We’re at 66 percent right now and that’s not good. And that all starts with me and I understand that. Yes, I had an injury Week 2 and since then I’ve been limited, but, hey, it doesn’t matter. Whatever I have to do rehab-wise, on the field, in this locker room, at practice – I have to find a way to get it done. And I’ve never been one to run from any challenge or not know how to fight through adversity. It is what it is. Just move forward and keep fighting it.”
 
(On whether, in comparing his frustration level to early in his career, he compares it more to the points where he was injured or when he was first playing and getting used to the NFL)
“Both. Then, I was really mentally still a kid trying to figure things out. But that was a wife and two kids ago (laughter). I’ve grown up a lot since then. Fighting through adversity is not something I have an issue dealing with. It’s just the frustration level trying to figure out how to fight through what I’m dealing with. Whether it may be dealing with receiving a lot of attention, it just is what it is. I honestly can say this year it’s been more [attention from opposing team offenses] than usual. Usually you get a lot of going back and forth but this year it’s been go this way, go that way, it doesn’t matter. But there’s a way to fight through that. I just have to figure it out, and I will. So my frustration level, more than just my team, is me, because if I’m going to be the guy, I have to be the guy week-in and week-out. I can’t have ups and downs. I’m not allowed to; it’s just what comes with it. I can accept that, I don’t mind that. Put the team on my back and let’s go. That’s who I am.”
 
(On being an example for younger players during tough stretches)
“That was a big part of yesterday. I honestly did not want to leave the locker room, but I knew mentally I wasn’t ready [to speak to the media]. I just wasn’t there. I needed time. But we’ve watched the film. It’s over, you can’t change it. After you watch the film – really, after the game is over you can’t change it – but after you’ve watched the film, you really can’t. As a defensive line, we have the best offensive line in football coming into our place [this week against Dallas]. We have to be on it. So I can’t be thinking about my last three games: Washington, Atlanta, the Giants. We’re thinking about the Cowboys. So whatever I have to do moving forward, it’s the second half of the season, so why not just start it fast and continue it that way?”
 
(On struggling to win back-to-back games)
“We have to learn how to do that, get some consistency, myself in general, week-in and week-out. But that not winning back-to-back – we’ve learned how to lose a game and fight back and win the next one. We have to learn how to win a game and keep fighting and then win the next one. And that can be frustrating, but that’s something we’re trying to figure out as a whole.”
 
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