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26 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, October 26, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: QB Jameis Winston currently ranks sixth in the NFL in yards per attempt (8.13) and second in yards per completion (13.75).
                                                                                                        
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“After watching the video, it never really changes on what happened the day before. It’s definitely the case. Of course, it was a tale of two halves. That football team that played in the first half, we’re that team. We’re, unfortunately, also that team that played in the second half. I think we’re more along the lines of what we saw in the first half. A lot of things came from that game, injuries number one. Louis Murphy sustained a significant ACL injury that will force him to miss the rest of the season. We also had Vincent Jackson that didn’t finish the game with a knee injury. We’ll continue to evaluate him. Hopefully we’ll get a few more of our other players back that we haven’t had for a while. Getting back to the game, [in the] first half we did a lot of good things. Some of the guys did good things throughout the game. Our quarterback was outstanding. Two weeks in a row he put together a very good football game. [He] made all of the throws, made great decisions. We see a lot of growth in a lot of areas. That’s the highest he’s graded out since he’s been a Buccaneer. Doug Martin, of course, just continuing the path that he has been on this year. [He] did a great job, as you know. We’ve been asking Mike Evans to really step up and he was able to do that in a big way. In order for that to happen you have to do some good things on the offensive line. We were able to do that. Defensively, [we] didn’t get those type of results. It’s kind of as simple as that. The first half we did some good things. Of course, whenever you score defensive scores you normally win. We were good starting off on third downs, but that flipped some kind of way. I don’t know exactly why. We didn’t make some of the plays we made early on even though late there they started getting a little momentum with what they were doing offensively. Special teams, we’ve been winning with special teams. The onside kick really hurt us an awful lot too. It came down to the end of the game. The end of the game offensively, even though we did some good things, we had a chance. If we could’ve gotten the ball in it would’ve been a different story, I think today. Special teams, of course, that onside kick as I said and defensively, though, with everything that happened it came down to us having a six-point lead and needing to keep them from scoring a touchdown and we weren’t able to do that. Penalties really hurt us throughout the day. I think there were nine or so that were called in the third quarter alone. We can’t have that. Reasons why; we’ve had some problems with penalties, but not like that. A lot of them were really big, I think 142 yards or something like that. That adds up in the end, hidden yardage that really makes a difference. So 2-4, very disappointed on what happened. We’ll feel bad, of course, until we play, but a lot of football left to go still. I’ve made the statement that we are getting better as a football team. I think, first off, you have to be a decent team to get up 24-0 on a team in the NFL. That’s telling you a little bit of what you can be. Hopefully that’s going to tell us a lot on what we’ll be in the future.”
 
(On how the team lined up on the onside kick)
“We didn’t line up properly on that play. I’ll just go on that. [We] didn’t execute the way [we wanted]. It starts with us first, as coaches. We didn’t have the guys lined up in the right position on that play. It’s kind of as simple as that. Great kick whenever you get it. Big play in the game.”
 
(On if there was a certain strategy to how the team was lined up on the onside kick)
“Again, we didn’t have the guys lined up right. I don’t know what else to tell you besides that. There’s a strategy behind it. You can look at it and see we weren’t lined up right on that play.”
 
(On the secondary’s performance in the passing game and giving up big chunks of yards)
“I wouldn’t say big chunks. To me, it wasn’t about big chunks yesterday. When things happen with coverage, I think you have to be careful with just saying what happened in the secondary. That was a combination. To me, just coverage and for an offense to get passing yards in general it does start up front first. We didn’t get the type of pressure we needed to get. It’s as simple as that. On the back ends, yes it’s unacceptable on what we got. You mentioned down in the red zone – a couple of those plays weren’t long throws or anything like that. They were slants in the red zone. That’s just not something we should have to talk about, but we are. We have to get that fixed. I’ve said that before in the past. There are a lot of techniques that you have [that] you teach a certain way, but the execution part of it is a little harder to do. That’s what happened.”
 
(On using different players in the secondary)
“If we’re making changes and we’re looking at different people, we are not satisfied with what we have gotten. It’s as simple as that. If something isn’t right and you feel like there is another option that you haven’t tapped into, you have to look at that. That’s what we’ve been doing. I think we’ve looked at just about everybody back there that we have on the roster to see if we can get the perfect combination, but we’re not there yet. We weren’t there for the last half of the game. The first half those same guys made a couple plays.”
 
(On the pass rush technique on quick slants in the red zone)
“It’s the technique. We should be able to get there. The rush – you’re probably not going to get a sack on a quick throw like that. As far as how we’re supposed to play it, you’re supposed to take it away. Every coverage there should be a strength. You should take something away. Once you get down into the red zone, every team throughout the league, that’s what you do. You make them throw the hard throw. The hard throw, it’s more of a fade, which is a harder throw to complete than the quick slant. It’s very frustrating. You continue to ask it and I continue to keep talking about it also. With our players we haven’t gotten that point across yet.”
 
(On if the team is bracketing the tight end on that final touchdown)
“You can understand why I’m not going to go up here and tell you what we are trying to do every time. On a quick throw it’s man to man. You can’t get anybody to help him on that. Once you get down into the tight zone you can say you’re playing zone whatever. It’s man to whatever person is in your zone. If you bring some of those routes down closer to another defender then you can get some help, but most of the time you can’t.”
 
(On the defense not giving up a lot of yards but still giving up touchdowns and where the defense is succeeding)
“The succeeding part, we’re not talking an awful lot about where we are succeeding. We’re focusing on the areas that you mentioned. Again, it’s one thing if you are giving up a lot of long touchdown passes, a lot of long passes, passing plays. That’s just not the [case]. Some of the things we are giving up really shouldn’t be the hardest thing we ask our defensive backs to do. We talk about slants, too just talking with them. It’s not all only the defense. To throw a slant it’s a low trajectory ball, too. There’s a lot of people involved in some of those. That’s not the only thing. We had a busted coverage on one of them. We had a couple slants. Tight end, great play, great throws by [Kirk] Cousins on both of those, but we also gave up one were there was nobody on the guy. We had a busted coverage on the back end, too. Those are the things that you should be able to correct and we’re talking about something else that happened when we had a 24-0 lead, not some of those things.”
 
(On Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins completing over 80 percent of his passes)
“Numbers can be misleading a little bit as far as the percentage. You can be 100 percent and not get any yards just checking the ball down behind the line. It’s not necessarily that. It’s the plays that we did give up that I’m more concerned with. The percentage sometimes, if it’s third-and-15 and they complete a pass and they get seven yards and you get off the field, that’s a good thing. Third-and-long, you keep them out of field goal range – that’s a good thing. Be careful about the completion percentage a little bit. Touchdown passes, there’s nothing about being careful about that. It is what it is.”  
 
(On the failed third-and-goal play to Charles Sims and what was supposed to happen with that call)
“As we talk defensively, the slant, we weren’t supposed to – bad on our part. Starting with the coaches, then to the players. The onside kick, same thing. Bad on our part as coaches, then how we executed it. We did a lot of great things offensively. A lot of yards, the running game, passing game, but we would like to have back that (goal line) sequence, it’s kind of as simple as that. Ideally, no, we shouldn’t run the ball when you have – the ball should go a different place for [that play]. We didn’t handle the situation. It wasn’t on Jameis or anything like that. It starts with us as coaches. We didn’t put the guys in the best position to be successful in that situation. That’s about all I can say. It’s on us; we didn’t put the guys in the best position there.”
                                                                                       
(On whether he will try to be more aggressive on the final offensive possession before halftime going forward, as he has not taken those chances to score in situations this season)
“No. Not at all. Not in that situation [yesterday]. We had a good lead, felt real good about it. Our strategy for that, first off, was to see if we could get something going. We did. And then we were getting ready to take off, we felt like we had enough time to do something, but we got a penalty. At the end of the game, you always want more points, but in that situation I didn’t think we needed it. We were OK. 24-7 going in (to halftime). What could happen in that situation? I think more bad things could happen in that situation. So don’t bring the rest of the games in here, either. Each one of them is a totally different situation. Where we were yesterday, no, I felt really good about where we were, [and] coming out [from the break], of course, with the ball after that.”
 
(On whether the defense needs to develop more composure to close out games)
“Yes, I agree. No matter what we call it, we had a 24-0 lead. But, 24-0, that’s early in the game and, really, it was 17-0, they were driving and we got a defensive touchdown. So it was a little bit closer [than it seemed]. But 24-7 in the second half. Now, I’m going to go all the way down to a six-point lead at the end of the game. One stop. So, what it takes, that’s what we’re missing right now. That’s what we’re trying to find. Composure or just somebody stepping up and making a play in the situation. As you look throughout [yesterday’s game], they made some tough catches on that last drive. And they were almost perfect with what they did. Eventually we are going to get to a place where, yes, where we want that situation, our defensive line wants that. That’s the time when you get sacks, strip-fumbles, all of that, and a chance to get some picks. We’re not there yet. As I look at this game, and nobody wants to hear this when you lose – and, believe me, I think Lavonte [David] talked about the scar, I talked about the scar, it’s not going to go away – but then you look at it: OK, we lost 31-30, [but] there were a lot of good things that happened in that game. And if we had made a couple plays at the end, it would be a whole different scenario going on right now. I made the statement it takes a good football team to get up 24-0 on a team in the NFL. That’s what we’re capable of doing. I still believe that we are going to find that, that [which] we talk about that we’re missing. Whether it be defensively or, I’m not going to let the offense off. You can win the game with us handling the situation better, not giving up an onside kick – I think we can get those things corrected and this right here will only be a scar that’s healed up and has gone away. That’s how I see it. But today, hey, it’s miserable around here. We’re in a dark place today. But we won’t be for long.”
 
(On the progress that Winston has shown, especially over the past two weeks)
“I think it’s been outstanding. If you look at where, we talk about the dark place we’re in right now, and two weeks later we’re talking about what Jameis has done. It can happen. So, for him, I remember how he felt after that tough loss [against Carolina] where he threw picks and things like that. But he went back to work. And that’s what we’re going to do. I think if you’re a good football player, you’re a good team, eventually you get over that hump, when you see that you can do it. And we’re on record right now of being able to finish a game and do some things the right way from start until finish. We haven’t just done it all within a 60-minute timeframe yet.”
 
(On how losing wide receiver Louis Murphy for the season affects depth at receiver)
“It hurts, but you have to be able to adjust. And going into the game – there was a time when we dressed five receivers, but with Russell Shepard being down, we’ve been going with four lately. And that affected our game plan a lot the other day, yesterday, I guess. It’s about the next guy up, though. Donteea Dye has really stepped up and given us some good reps. With Louis down, of course, I’d say we’re going to move another guy up. Adam Humphries has been in that role before, but we’ll just kind of look at our options out there and then go from there. Hopefully, too, before long, we’ll get another option in our passing game in Austin Seferian-Jenkins back. That can also counter the third receiver and what he’s been doing, too.”
 
(On having had 10 or more penalties in five of six games this season, including 16 yesterday, and why Smith’s message on penalties doesn’t seem to be resonating)
“I can’t tell you. We’ll keep working to try to get that message on those, you said 10? Ten out of 16. For those 10 that we did, and those others, whatever those numbers you told me there, it isn’t resonating yet, but it will some kind of way. And some of the penalties you see, you can live with a little bit. You shouldn’t have that many. A couple of the ones, guys were trying to pull guys off of their teammates. Whether hand fighting on a big receiver like Mike Evans, you have to put that one down there, too. Gerald McCoy’s stumbling, somebody pushed him and he runs into the quarterback. Some of the things like that, it’s hard to stop them from doing that. That’s going to be a part of it. But 16 for 142 yards, it can’t be that. We’ll keep working on it, just like we’ll keep working on everything else.”
 
(On a postgame photo that showed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy smiling and shaking hands with Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins and how Smith feels a player should comport himself following a loss)
“As you look at the NFL, they all know someone [on the opposing team]. So I don’t think that if a guy greets someone from the other side, that that guy doesn’t really feel bad [about a loss]. [Washington Defensive Backs Coach] Perry Fewell was on my staff for a few years, [Washington  Defensive Coordinator] Joe Barry, when Joe first started out, we’re pretty close still. You could have taken a picture of me hugging them after the game. That’s what you do. But, believe me, I felt bad, all right? But if you caught that [moment] right then, it could say a different story than how it really was. I don’t think you should judge anybody based on that. I know how Gerald felt after that game. He felt like the rest of us did: really bad.”
 
(On encouraging players not to bounce back after this loss and not stay down for too long)
“That’s a good point. Being just a competitor in general, most of the guys probably haven’t had anything that hurts that way, that bad. But guys like me have. I know what it feels like to really be devastated after a loss. But what you do as a coaching staff is you move on. There’s a mourning period, though, and today is our mourning period. Talk to [media], let [media] bring up everything that we didn’t do, and we’ve done that with the players, the players with us. We’ve all done that, beat ourselves up. But then you move on and that’s what we will do. Because for us, as devastating as this is right now – and we really feel bad – but, you know what, when we played Atlanta the first time last year, there might have been some pictures of guys afterwards [but] we felt pretty bad after that one. And we still have that same feeling right now. It hasn’t gone away. And, for us, you look at our division. We’re 1-1 in our division, that’s where we are, with a chance to get a division road win. If we get that, take care of business, we take care of visiting and get that done there, we’ll feel a lot better. So we don’t have time to really mope around too much longer.”
 
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