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05 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, October 5, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Against Carolina (10/4), RB Charles Sims caught a 10-yard touchdown pass after also catching a touchdown the previous week at Houston (9/27), becoming the first Buccaneers running back to catch touchdowns in consecutive games since 1991 (Robert Wilson, 10/6/91 vs. PHI-10/20/91 at NO) and only the fourth in team history to do so (also: James Wilder, 11/5/89 vs. CLE-11/12/89 vs. MIN; Adger Armstrong, 11/25/84 vs. L.A.-12/2/84 at GB).
Below is a brief selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Linebacker Lavonte David
(Opening Statement)
“[We] had a chance to look at the video. [We are] still disappointed in what happened yesterday. I’ve said that too many times up here on a Monday. I’m going to say again our football team is getting better. We did a lot of things better than we have done in the past – both sides of the football – but you can’t turn the ball over that many times, simple as that. When you get an opportunity to score some points – kick field goals, whatever – you have to be able to convert on those. That’s not the only thing. I’m not saying that we’re there and there’s [not] room for improvement. There is. We are on the right track. I am going to say that. We had a few injuries from the game. We are still evaluating them. [I will] be able to tell you a little bit more on Wednesday.”
(On what areas of the team are getting better)
“Yes, third downs, offensively. Offensively – third downs, red zone offense, running the football. We had Doug Martin over 100 yards [rushing]. Vincent Jackson going over 100 [yards receiving]. Those areas. Offensive line, they got a little bit of pressure once we got into the passing game, but when we were able to do what we wanted to do; run the football – those areas. Defensive side of the football, third downs. We haven’t done a good job on third downs, but under 30 percent yesterday. To hold an offense like that with some weapons, sudden change. I’ll stop. When you lose you don’t want to talk a lot about the good things you are doing, but we’re making progress.”
(On what he saw from quarterback Jameis Winston’s performance and his interceptions)
“You say the same thing about most picks. It’s not a good decision on throwing the football. It’s as simple as that. [He] would like to have some of those back. We had some options, just some tough decisions that were made yesterday.”
(On if he thinks the interceptions will be an ongoing problem or if they are fixable)
“This was the problem yesterday, no we do not see it that way. You can’t bring all that in. Yesterday we made some decisions that we would like to have over. Jameis hadn’t been in a situation where wet balls were involved. There were a lot of circumstances that you could probably say contributed to it a little bit, but no, I’m talking about yesterday’s game we turned the football over too many times and we don’t see that as a constant problem going forward.”
(On if he can set aside the turnovers and see good things from the game)
“That’s what I’m talking about from us. When you lose, you lose, but you have to look a little deeper than that. That’s what we’ve done. As a ball club, we saw individual improvement in so many areas. [We] saw guys playing hard right up until – there’s a sequence at the end of the end of the first half where we are down by seven. [We] could have at least gotten within four points of them. We had a downer, but our team came back the first play in the second half. You get a takeaway. We had an opportunity there and then it got out of hand, where things went against us. The guys were fighting hard right up until. That’s what we are going to build on. We’re going to highlight those things we did well leading up to this game. We realize that we haven’t won at home this year. We realize, of course, we have Jacksonville coming here. It doesn’t really matter who’s up next. I just think we’ve improved enough where we are on the verge of getting that win.”
(On if there is something the staff can do to help minimize Winston’s mistakes)
“Believe it or not that’s what we are doing. We’re not putting him in a position to face failure. We’re calling plays that we think we can be successful with. I think it’s a little bit more complicated than that, believe me. We’re not trying to put our quarterback in a bad position.”
(On if Winston is doing anything in the beginning of the games to get off to a slow start)
“No, we made some bad decisions at the beginning of the game [in] the two games we’ve had here, but I just don’t think that will continue. It’s part of the process, it’s as simple as that. Jameis is a good football player. It’s just not all on Jameis, believe me. We say those turnovers [are to blame] and they had a lot to do with it, but there are other areas we need to improve also and we will.”
(On if he has any regrets about keeping kicker Kyle Brindza on the roster after his performance against Houston)
“Absolutely not, he deserved another shot. I don’t think you move on from a player based on one performance. But when you see it becoming a trend, going a certain way, then you have to react to it and that was the case. Kyle has a strong leg, but in our league points are valuable. You can’t miss five out of seven field goals, two extra points, whatever it was. We just can’t afford to be in that position anymore, so I feel like we saw something we didn’t like two weeks ago and yesterday’s game told us the direction we needed to go.”
(On if he expected the extra point rule change to have the effect it has had on kickers)
“No, I did not. I did not think it would have this type of impact. I thought still moving back to the 15 [yard line] is still a fairly short field goal to make. A little bit longer extra point, but I didn’t. Now it’s really being discussed and we’re talking an awful lot about the kickers, putting more pressure on them each week. I didn’t at the time. Now, of course, we, unfortunately, really have to deal with it and we’ll find a way to deal with it a little bit more. We can deal with the extra point a little bit better. We can go for two more, but eventually you have to be able to make some field goals and we’ll find someone to do that.”
(On if the extra point being longer is affecting the kickers on field goals)
“I think you have to say that, probably. I think something has happened. Of course it’s harder moving the ball back, but it shouldn’t be that much harder.”
(On what is he looking for in a new kicker)
“We went with the big leg that could also put it through. As we look for our next kicker, first it’s about being able to hit field goals and extra points. Yes, we would also for him to put it out of the end zone on kickoffs, but we just aren’t looking for a kickoff guy. We’re looking for a guy that can hit field goals and be accurate with it first. First priority is that.”
(On if there is anything he can do to speed up Winston’s learning curve)
“Everything that we think you can do, you should do, we’re doing. That’s along the same question that was asked earlier. That’s what we are doing. Each week we learn something different. Again, we’ve gone through the first quarter of the season only. There are things we are finding out we can and can’t do. Then we’ll adjust from there. Eventually, I mean, we can’t run the ball each snap and we don’t have to. I’m going to say again, this wasn’t a good performance. We’ve had two performances that we could win with; we’ve had two that we haven’t been able to win with.”
(On if Winston’s mechanics are also affecting his play)
“It was a wet day yesterday, so you have to take that [into consideration]. There were tough conditions yesterday, so that’s not defining who Jameis is, yesterday. There were tough circumstances. Their quarterback fumbled the ball first snap of the second half. There were a lot of things that came into play. We don’t want to over react, but at the same time we are reacting to a bad performance that we had yesterday.”
(On if it was a tough throw for a quarterback to make for his first of the game during wet conditions)
“Yes, if you chose to throw that throw. It’s just not like we have plays designed and you’re just here. If you don’t want to throw it there, you have another easy option. We had an easier option on that.”
(On if a performance like yesterday could damage his confidence enough for a coach to bring in another quarterback)
“No, I’ll stop you there. It doesn’t. Jameis had a tough day yesterday. When you have a quarterback that’s going through a tough situation you try to run the football, get your running game going, which we were able to do. Maybe lean on it a little bit more, but when you get behind you can’t do that either. Jameis will be fine. [It was a] tough day at the office yesterday. He’ll bounce back this week.”
(On how to get a flow going in a game to have success)
“I think that’s what we are working on right now. In an ideal world, these games we talked about we didn’t get off to a fast start. We got in a hole right away. That’s just tough duty, so you just try to put yourself in the best position to get off to a better start. When you fumble the first snap, that’s hard right away. When you get yourself in a hole, you’re eventually going to get in a hole. You just have to work your way out of it. These are learning experiences we are going through right now. It’s going to pay off in the end.”
(On if he was in favor in extending the point after attempt)
“We’ve had the extra point a certain way for a lot of years. I can understand why we went that direction, but there were other rules and other proposals that were a little bit higher on my list than this one. It is having an impact. I guess that was the purpose for it. It is changing the outcome.”
(On the defense and missing opportunities for takeaways during yesterday’s game)
“Yes, very much so. We did a lot of good things well yesterday. I mentioned third down and all of that, but it’s just not a good defensive day for us unless we can take the ball away. We did have a couple of opportunities. I’m going to go in their long, what, 64-yard – Chris Conte, good play by him to take the ball away. We need people around it. We need to be able to get that ball. That would be plus one. Lavonte David will tell you that’s a typical interception for him. Those are two of the one that we have to be able to [get]. Should of at the very worst been a three takeaway day. You can live with a three takeaway day unless the opponent has a five takeaway day. It’s always defense versus defense, offense versus offense and we didn’t get that done yesterday.” 
(On what positives could be taken from the defensive performance on Sunday)
"We played hard, everybody just played hard, everybody was fighting, trying to get to the football, things like that. You could tell that we were going out there expecting to win games. Defensively, the guys put in a lot of effort."
(On getting turnover opportunities but not capitalizing on all of them)
"Our M.O. on defense is to take the ball away. When you have the opportunity, you've got to get it. We didn't get it as much as we wanted yesterday and it cost us big-time. We've just got to do a better job on that aspect and own it."
(On how you handle the situation as a leader)
"You only control what you can control. Take it for what it is and learn from it, get better from it. It's the game of football and things are going to happen. You're playing against the best of the best, so anything can happen. So all you can do now is move on from it, put it behind you and continue to get better."
(On how frustrating it is when scoring opportunities are left on the field)
"Obviously it's frustrating. When you get an opportunit to score points you want to score points. But defensively we can only control what we can control and that's us getting out there on the field. Whenever we go out there on the field we want to prevent the other team from scoring points. We go by the motto, 'If they're going to score, they're going to win.' And they got a chance to get in the end zone a couple times on us, so that's frustrating on our part and disappointing on our part. We've got to do a better job of that."
(On if it put pressure on him when Lovie Smith said he thought he could be a five-interception, five-sack player)
"That's just something I expect from myself. From the first time I got the opportunity to play in this league, I expected myself to make as many plays as I can, do whatever I can to make this team better, just do what I do, go out there and have fun and just love the game of football. That ain't nothing new. When he said that, that was my mentality all the way, every time. Every time I step on the field I try to make a difference when I'm out there."

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