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29 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Thursday, October 29, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston has had a passer rating of 120+ in the past two games. With a 120+ passer rating at Atlanta, he will be the first rookie to post three consecutive games with a 120+ passer rating since 2012 (Russell Wilson: 11/4/12 vs. MIN-11/25/15 at MIA).
                                              
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“Injury list, we added two players to it – really one player, Major Wright tweaked his hamstring a little bit yesterday so we held him out today. Logan Mankins didn’t practice, but more coach’s decision as much as anything. Besides that we had the same guys, Reid Fragel, Vincent Jackson, Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald, they weren’t able to practice.”
 
(On if Austin Seferian-Jenkins is looking better)
“Yes he is. Yesterday in pads you could see a little bit more even though he didn’t do a lot, but no problems for the day. He was able to practice on a limited basis today, a non-padded practice. He can catch the ball and he has fresh legs and all that, so we assumed we would see that.”
 
(On if playing on turf affects playing a player returning from injury and if landing on the turf in Atlanta is different from that at Raymond James Stadium)
“No doubt it is. As far as it affecting our decision, if a guy is healthy we put him out there. We don’t want to put a player at risk, but it’s definitely hard on your body playing on a concrete surface, artificial surface. We’ll always keep that in mind, but again, that’s just the base part of it.”
 
(On how the secondary will get better)
“Practicing and playing. We haven’t had the same two guys at a lot of positions. It’s not just us trying to find the right combinations. It’s their bodies too. Guys with tweaks, Johnthan Banks out, so it’s not just that we’re seeing who is the best combination to go with. There is some other things that have come into play with that. You normally play more than four guys. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s just that when you get reps, you don’t know how many reps you are going to get, they need to be quality reps your reps should say that ‘I need to be on the field. As long as I’m healthy I’m on the field.’ Eventually we’ll get to that, but yeah it’s practice, it’s games, it’s all the above.”
 
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s performance this season and if he is one of the first people on the team Smith thinks is a problem)
“No, I think of all of us. I think it’s a problem that all of us have. We haven’t done our job well enough. Gerald is a part of that. As far as double-teams, guys get double-teamed [all the time]. There are guys in our defense, the three-technique, that’s going to get double-teamed a lot on runs. It’s just a part of the game. A nose guard, you have a nose guard, he has a shade, he’s going to get a double-team just about every time. That’s just a base part like saying that a linebacker is going to have to take on a block. That’s just a part of life. Gerald McCoy has made plays. It’s not like he’s playing bad ball. We, all of us, didn’t play as well as we needed to this past game. Let’s not indict or brand a label on somebody based on what we didn’t do as a football team. We didn’t get it done that last time. We will. Gerald didn’t play that last time we went up there and played them. We’re feeling good about getting one of our main guys ready to go this week. Defensive line should love playing on turf. I know we talked about injuries and how it affects it, but defensive linemen should love playing on turf when you can get a good start, that should help a lot.”
 
(On the challenge Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman presents as a receiver out of the backfield)
“[He presents] problems in the backfield, out of the back field, carrying the ball, catching the ball. [He’s] just a good football player. He runs hard. He can make you miss. He can make you miss in tight quarters, so when he gets out it’s even harder. Again, he’s just tough duty. A lot of the things we are saying can be said about Doug Martin. Doug’s having a heck of a year, of course [Freeman] is also. Two good running backs will be on the field.”
 
(On Atlanta not having a run game over the previous years)
“They have been looking for that. I think most teams too, you want to have that – good running back that can do what you need for him to do as far as running the ball. Once you can split him out, the passing game is really tough. [It’s] a big challenge. Their numbers are really good offensively. Of course it’s just not him. We’ve had press conferences and haven’t talked about Julio Jones. [He’s] a pretty good football player too. There are some challenges for us this week.”
 
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries earning a spot back on the roster)
“It’s the same things he did to earn himself a spot initially. As I said yesterday, it’s not like he did anything bad, Donteea Dye did a whole lot of things that deserved playing time and we only had one spot. That’s why we kept Adam here. What will he bring? He’ll bring a steady hand, good slot player – we don’t have a lot of guys like him. He can play on special teams, punt returns, a lot of things he can do for us. We feel good, when you have an injury, you lose a player like Louis [Murphy], that you have someone waiting for that opportunity like him.”
 
(On having five receivers active at Atlanta)
“You keep all your options open. I don’t want to say we’re not going to, but for the most part you look at it [like] how many receiver do you really need? You look at every position on our team, we have a player and we have a backup. If you have four receivers, we don’t go four receiver sets an awful lot. We know you can get injuries like what happened to us this past week, but there are only so many guys you can dress.”
 
(On if Freeman’s emergence is one of the big reasons Atlanta has been successful this season compared to last year)
“No doubt it is. If you want to say one guy, we talked about Julio [Jones], Roddy White, those players have been good forever. You know Matt Ryan. They’ve had that. The new dimension that they’ve added has been that. It’s one thing when you play a one-dimensional team you are really focusing on the pass. When it’s run and pass and that’s what he’s brought to them. Again, along the same lines of why we are having success offensively too, we have some of the same star players in certain positions.”
 
(On defensive tackle Akeem Spence being back and looking healthy)
“Let me go back with the hamstring. I’m that way with a hamstring if you’ve pulled a muscle, only that. When it’s ready to go – Russell Shepard good to go – it’s not an issue for me. You’re right, when you miss this much time with a serious back injury like that there is a concern, especially at the position. [We] talked about double-teams, [he’s] going to get double-teamed every time, but he’s healthy, ready to go and he’s given us good reps when he’s been healthy. Again, it’s good to get him a few last week, he’ll get more this week.”
 
(On having two elite running backs in the same game)
“Yes, it has become [a passing league]. The running back position, there are very few fullbacks, so the two running back attack you don’t get an awful lot. It is encouraging to see that. We have more than two good running backs. Both backups are pretty good players too this week. I think you look throughout the league though, running backs are becoming more part of the offense and giving the offense a different dimension that maybe we haven’t had in a while.”
 
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LESLIE FRAZIER
                         
(Opening Statement)
“[We] just finished our walk through and I thought our guys did a good job – good concentration, good focus in the walk-through. Obviously we need to rebound this week and play well on the road against a good football team. The focus was very good yesterday and it was good today as well. We need to have a good practice this afternoon, but I think we are off to a good start from a defensive standpoint.”
 
(On if film study this week showed the problems the defense is having and if those issues are easily correctable)
“The Monday after the game and after the game itself, no question it was tough. In our league you do learn. You go back and try to correct the mistakes. You can’t dwell on it. You have to learn from it and get ready for the next opponent. That’s where we are. Our guys, all indications are they moved on passed that ball game and they are focusing on the Atlanta Falcons. That’s what you have to be able to do.”
 
(On if there is confusion in the secondary and how so)
“I don’t think there is confusion just in looking at the type and talking with our players. Is our execution what we want? Obviously not, but I don’t think it’s because of confusion.”
 
(On giving up touchdowns on slant routes)
“That is, for sure, one of the things we have to get corrected. We are seeing it week-in and week-out if we get in the red zone. We were not very good in the red zone and we haven’t been for a while this season. A lot of it has to do with our defending inside-breaking routes. We have to do a better job, for sure, in defending that route. We are going to see it this weekend if Atlanta gets in the red zone and we need to have an answer. We’ve gone over the tape and we’re going to go over it again in practice. Hopefully we’ll play a little better when we line up this Sunday.”
 
(On if executing proper technique is a problem in games)
“I know the guys that are out there, they’re doing the very best they can and we haven’t been getting the job done and we have to do better. Bottom line; we have to do better.”
 
(On the challenges of defending against Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones)
“He’s one of those rare athletes in our game who has the size, the strength, the speed, the athleticism. He’s got the whole package and he presents a challenge every week for any opposing defense and it won’t be any different this week. We have to find a way to slow him down. We think we have a pretty good plan, but so have other people yet he has 58 catches in six of seven games. We’ve got our work cut out for us. He’s an outstanding football player, outstanding wide receiver and we have to figure out a way to slow him down.”
 
(On how often the first offense goes against the first defense in practice with full pads)
“During the regular season you don’t do a lot of ones versus ones. We’ll find ourselves in that situation on a Thursday we do have a period that’s ones versus ones. Generally you are preparing for the other team and not so much practicing against your offense or defense. That’s pretty much the case around the league, but in our case it’s usually on a Thursday where we may get some ones versus ones.”
 
(On if the pass rush was disappointing against Washington)
“Some of it you have to credit their quarterback and their offensive line. They did a good job of getting the ball out. Gerald [McCoy] and those guys, they were trying to get there and we came close a couple times, but we didn’t get them on the ground. In that two-minute situation between rush and coverage we know the results. We didn’t make it happen, but they deserve a little bit of credit. They did a good job in what they were doing. They had a good plan and they executed better than we did.”
 
(On what he remembers in Tampa Bay’s Week 3 loss at Atlanta last season)
“I was talking to some of our players about this this morning. I don’t really dwell on what happened a year ago. Someone asked me last week in our press conference how much of a bearing would our Redskins game from 2014 have on the game in 2015 and my answer is really no different there than it is now. 2014 stands alone. 2015 in our league it’s just a totally different year – different people on both sides of the ball. Really have to focus on the 2015 Bucs, the 2015 Falcons. That’s the way you have to approach it. Things are a little bit different now.”
 
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and how limited he is due to a shoulder injury)
“Game-wise we haven’t had to adjust. We’ve done some things practice-wise where we’ve taken some reps off of him to get him ready for Sunday, but when we line him up on Sundays we expect him to be the Gerald  that we know – to go out and compete and make it hard for teams to single-block him. That’s been the case for the most part. We haven’t tailored our defensive scheme knowing he is a little bit banged up. I know Gerald is not a guy that would ever make an excuse for any reason. He’s not doing that now. He’s giving us everything he has. [He’s] not 100 percent. but you can go around the league to most teams, there are a lot of guys that aren’t 100 percent that are playing. That’s just the way it happens in our league. We have other guys that aren’t 100 percent that we’re counting on to go this Sunday.”
 
(On how McCoy graded out on Sunday)
“He didn’t grade out as well this last ball game, but he has had a good season up to this point and he has done some good things. You’ve got to remember the standard for Gerald McCoy, it’s a little different than most, so we expect certain things from him that we don’t expect from ‘Joe Schmo.’ It’s a little bit different. It’s a higher standard for Gerald McCoy.”
 
(On if defensive linemen have to develop countermoves to go along with their speed)
“Oh yeah, without question. A guy like Howard [Jones], he’s a young guy, his strength is his speed, without question, it’s shown up on tape. As he develops he’ll get some of that, but to say that’s there now after two games that he’s played, not so much. Jacquies [Smith], we’re seeing a growth in his development as well and other guys on our D-line. The guys that have to make it happen for us are Gerald [McCoy], we’re counting on Henry [Melton] as well. Those are two guys that stir the drink for us. Will [Gholston] has done a good job. He has given us some good work inside as well. Now we get Akeem [Spence] back. We think that’s going to help us. I thought he did a good job on Sunday. The young guys, it’s a process. They’re not get it all in three or four games or five games. For some it may not be until their second season.”
 
(On continuity in the secondary and not rotating players every game)
“It’s so much based on production that if a guy is not playing the way you want him to play you are going to always try to put the best 11 out there. You want to have continuity. You want to start the same 11 every week if you can. That would be ideal, not just in the secondary but across the defensive line and at linebacker as well. We think we are getting to that point. Hopefully we’ll have a good group that will be out there this Sunday and we can settle and play well going forward. You always want to try and put the best 11 out there and we think we have some guys that are capable. We think we have capable depth. We’ll see what happens as we go forward.”
 
(On only being ‘as good as your last game’)
“To a degree, but every game you go out there, whether you are playing linebacker, D-line or secondary, it’s a production business. Same with coaches, it’s a production business.”
 
(On Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman)
“I’ve really been impressed with the way he has come a long. I remember watching tape of him a season ago. To see his maturation as a young player, just looking at how far he’s come as a running back, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, make people miss, even when there’s not a hole there he can create a hole and then he has the speed to run away from people. He has really come along in his second year to where he’s a featured back and leading the league in rushing, so [I’m] very, very impressed.”    
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman)
“He’s developing into a great running back. He’s having a huge year, very dynamic and we have to be ready for him. He can kill you out of the backfield. He can make all the runs, any run you need. He can make all the plays. He’s a huge part of the offense, so we have to be ready for him.”
 
(On the biggest change for Freeman since his rookie season)
“I just know he’s playing better than last year. Last year they tried to let him block more. This year he’s not doing much blocking, they are just letting him be more free. He’s more of the featured guy, last year he wasn’t that.”
 
(On how defensive tackle Clinton McDonald helps McCoy be successful on the field)
“He’s been that way since he got here, since leaving Seattle. He hasn’t changed. He takes pride in his job. His job as the nose guard is to anchor down and one-on-one blocks from the center, he’s supposed to win them all and he takes pride in that. He doesn’t always win them all because this is the pros so you can’t win them all, but even if he gets out his gap he finds a way to get back. You never have to worry about whether he’ll be around the ball or giving it his all. That’s a huge luxury for anybody on the defense, not just me.”
 
(On the challenge foe the defensive line against Atlanta)
“We have to get pressure on Matty Ice (Matt Ryan). I think he’s one of the top five quarterbacks in the league. He’s definitely an elite quarterback so we just have to get pressure in his face, make him uncomfortable early. If he gets comfortable, it’s going to be a long day.”
 
(On stopping the run and making Atlanta one-dimensional in the passing game)
“They want to run the ball for sure and have a pretty good run game. Their O-line, they definitely create great seams, do a lot of really good one-on-one blocking. That’s not what you really see in the league anymore is a lot of one-on-one blocking from the O-line in the run game. But they do it and they’re successful with it. [Devonta] Freeman feeds off that.”
 
(On the 56-14 loss against Atlanta in 2014)
“Last year’s first Atlanta game I didn’t play. I broke my hand. I broke my hand in St. Louis and I didn’t play. That was a Thursday night game. I can tell you a little bit about that game though. They didn’t treat us too well. They were not the most polite of hosts and they did what they felt like. We haven’t forgotten. [We’re] doing everything in our power to not allow that to happen again.”
 
(On if he is happy offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is on Tampa Bay’s side this season)
“Yes. He’s a magnificent coordinator and he has been very helpful for us preparing for their offense with their personnel. It’s a different scheme, but he knows the personnel. He knows a lot about Matt Ryan and his mindset, so it’s been helpful.”
 
(On Tampa Bay’s offense)
“They’re great. It just takes time and we have a rookie calling the plays and it takes time for him to learn, but he’s a winner and he loves the game, so he is going to do everything in his power to get better. You take that and mix that with the vets and all the playmakers we have, they can’t help but go up and that’s what they’ve been doing.”
 
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