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27 October 2014

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, October 27, 2014

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: WR Mike Evans has recorded at least four receptions in his first six career games, becoming the first rookie in franchise history to do so. Evans is the first player in the NFL to accomplish the feat since RB Reggie Bush in 2006 (first 10 games played).
                                   
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Lovie Smith’s earlier media availability:
               
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“Six losses wasn’t part of the master plan coming in. Me coming in front of you, talking about a loss this many times, of course, wasn’t part of it. Having the bye week to correct some things – felt like we had. We did put a better product overall on the football field. It kind of comes down to making a couple plays late in the game – we had opportunities to make plays late in the football game that would’ve led to a different outcome. They made the play – great play by their player at the end to win the game. But we still have to look at the big picture, as I said yesterday, for our football team. We started the game yesterday a couple wins away from the first place team and we’re still in that same position, even though there’s disappointment for our football team. Message this week will be to keep fighting and keep pounding the rock, and eventually we’ll see a crack and we’ll be able to get over the hump. Didn’t have a lot of injuries from the game – we had a couple. Nothing serious and hopefully we’ll get some of our injured players back – guys like Charles Sims. Guy was able to practice a little bit last week; Jonathan Casillas, Keith Tandy, some of our guys that have been more in special teams roles. And then kind of get ready for the Cleveland Browns.”
 
(On if he would play quarterback Josh McCown against Cleveland if he is healthy)
“We stand exactly where we stood last week. We have two quarterbacks we feel good about playing. Josh was able to go through practice last week. We’ll start practice again Wednesday like we normally do. I never kind of go over starting lineups or anything like that until the end of the week. If we were going to make a change, I wouldn’t talk about it an awful lot. The plan isn’t for that. I thought Mike [Glennon] did some good things yesterday. You’d always like to have a couple of plays back. The first thing I thought about as far as improving our ball club wasn’t, ‘We’ve got to make a change at the quarterback position.’”
 
(On if a more mobile quarterback would help with the current offensive line)
“Being able to run the ball will help our offense. The one game that we’ve run, we had the same guy back in the pocket. For the most part, same offensive line. And I’m going to go back – we’re one play away yesterday, one defensive stop late, one interception, one play earlier and we have a win. So we’re close is what that’s saying. So to make drastic changes – we didn’t start fast yesterday on either side of the football. But we hung in there. We consider all things. We haven’t started the gameplan for the Cleveland Browns yet – we’re just kind of cleaning up the video from the last game right now.”
 
(On the performance of tackle Anthony Collins so far this season)
“I’d say – and I would say this about just about all of our players – we’ve all performed at a 1-6 pace. I mean that’s our performance. Anthony would tell you he hasn’t played well enough – I’ll say that. Like most of us haven’t. Try not to single out one guy because it’s kind of a group effort, especially on the offensive line. We haven’t played as well as we need to to win more games.”
 
(On why the plays called during the season have differed from the plays run during training camp)
“I think it’s play-calling, down-and-distance, not converting on third downs, not having enough plays, situations as they unfold during the game. You can say those plays – we haven’t moved the ball or run the ball as well as we would like, as well as we ran it early on. In my picture of our offense, there’s a lot of things we haven’t done as well yet. And I think you can say that around the league. And for us, we’ll continue until we eventually get to a place where we feel pretty good. There were some things we did [well]. Mike Evans had a pretty good game yesterday. We need to be able to get the ball to him more. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – you want to take away that one play at the end – thought he did a few good things. Just overall right now, as a group offensively, we’re not where we need to be.”
 
(On if the team’s performance so far can be credited to the lines)
“We as coaches are going to say it starts with us. And everything starts up front on both sides of the ball. For us to have success, we need to be able to play well and dominate on both sides of the line of scrimmage. We haven’t done that. Their defensive line played better than we did on our offensive line yesterday. Our defensive line didn’t get as much pressure as we need to.”
 
(On if you can coach players to have a sense of urgency throughout an entire game)
“I’d say we’re coaching them and we’re trying to teach it. I think the game played out that way [where the offense had more urgency at the end]. I think every game, the more you look at in the NFL, you can say that there’s more urgency at the end of the game. That’s just how it goes. And no matter what type of game you’re playing – I don’t see how you can put more emphasis on starting the game from what we do and what we’ve done, for whatever reason. But yesterday though, I think you may ought to give – you’re talking to offensive guys. May ought to give the defense some credit yesterday though. Both sides of the football played pretty good defense early on, and I think that had as much to do with it as anything.”
 
(On if there has been any thought to bring in a consultant to help with the offense)
“Zero thought to that. It won’t be happening with me here.”
 
(On if the team will continue to punt with an emphasis on fair catches instead of distance)
“If we’re in a punting situation, we’ll – it’s kind of based on where the ball is, what type of punt we use. Yeah, we’ll continue that. But we haven’t tinkered with [Michael Koenen’s] approach that much. Again, if it’s a situation where we need to try to pin him inside the 20- and 10-yard line, based on where the ball is placed, we’ll do that. If we need something where we need a deep kick, we’ll try to have directional kicking going on with that. But that’s just our typical way of doing things. And it will be that way each week.”
 
(On if he is excited to see how running back Charles Sims fits into this offense)
“Very. As I talk about not being able to get more from our running game, of course it’s just not on the front – we say it starts up front. A lot of the big plays you see happening in the league in the running game is based on yards after contact – making someone miss in the open field. That’s all a part of it also.”
 
(On what he saw in terms of coverage from Minnesota’s defense)
“As far as coverage, I don’t know about anything out of the ordinary. I think we had a pretty good idea of what they were trying to do. There’s only so much you can do coverage-wise. As you’re writing articles – you can play man, you can play some form of single high zone, and then you can play some type of roll up Cover-2 – that’s it. We’re going to get that each week and then you’re going to get different types of blitzes – that’s what we got yesterday. We did the same things that they did for the most part. Each team pretty much does the same thing – it’s kind of when they do it. Mike [Evans] was able to get open though. Mike had a few big plays yesterday also – just like [Buffalo wide receiver] Sammy Watkins did [against Minnesota in Week 7]. I don’t think they necessarily shut us down completely.”
                               
(On running back Doug Martin and the team’s rushing attack)
“We need more production from the running game, period. But we played more than one guy. Bobby Rainey played yesterday, we talked about Charles Sims coming [back]. But again, it’s just not on Doug. Doug is a part of it and we’d like to have more, but in order for Doug to get more yards, we need to get a lot more touches and going to go to third downs. Just having more plays. I’m going to go to the defensive side of the football as well: even though we did a lot of good things yesterday – kept them to 13 points – zero takeaways. That gives more opportunities for our running backs to get more carries. So all of this is kind of connected as much as anything.”
 
(On if he feels the defense is getting the coverage on the back end when they get pressure on the quarterback in response to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s comment that the rush-coverage combinations are not working)
“Sometimes. As far as pass defense in general, it’s a combination of the rush and the coverage. If that’s what Gerald is talking about, yes. At times yesterday, our rush was pretty good and our coverage was pretty good at the same time. Other times, coverage was bad, rush was good. Rush good, coverage bad. It’s a combination of things most of the time. Overall, we haven’t had the rush and the coverage the way we would like. Once we get that, you’ll get more takeaways too. Again, I’m going to go back to that. We had how many takeaways yesterday? Zero. And that’s just tough. It affect all of the game. And as far as the Vikings were concerned, the few that they got kind of made the difference in the game yesterday.”
 
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