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14 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: RB Bobby Rainey was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, his second career Player of the Week award, also winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 11 of 2013. He joins former linebacker Shelton Quarles and former defensive back Rondé Barber as the only players in franchise history to win be named Player of the Week in two different categories.
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Running Back Bobby Rainey
(Opening statement)
“It’s always an exciting time, to get to the bye week and have a chance to heal up. When we come back, we should get a lot more of our players that we’ve counted on to be back on the football team then. It’s always good to go into the bye on a win. Guys are feeling good about themselves. We got some good work in [today]. We have a routine we go through on bye week. As much as anything, we want to heal up and just make the necessary corrections that we need to.”
(On his message to the team as they approach their time off)
“They need to take the time off. It’s time, you’ve earned it. Get away, just know who you’re representing. But that’s the case whenever you leave the building – know who you’re representing. They know that. The bye week is set up for them to get rejuvenated, refreshed, get away, go home, see your high school [or] college game, whatever you want to do. Be a fan for the weekend. Of course, we would like for them to watch the Redskins play, keep in mind what the division is doing at all time. Beyond that, go out and have a good time.”
(On the team continuing its ‘California Dreaming’ theme)
“We are California Dreaming, so anything to get us in that mood.”
(On what running back Doug Martin has improved upon to set up his impressive early season)
“I just know what he’s doing now. He’s doing everything we ask him to as far as running the football. He’s been great inside of the tackles, breaking tackles, making guys miss in the open field, catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s been good at his pass protections, so he’s just doing everything that a great running back should do. We’re counting on him. We’re leaning on the running game. We’ve always talked about having balance with our offensive attack and what better balance can you have, a lot with ball security – no turnovers this past week.”
(On the young players in the offensive line)
“Very pleased with [them]. If you’re a talented rookie, you know you’re going to have some growing pains to go through, but we’ve seen improvement from our guys, whether it be Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet – Kevin Pamphile hasn’t played an awful lot around here, but he’s stepped up. And that’s what it’s all about. You’re going to have injuries. If you’re not getting as much time as you’d like, eventually you’ll get an opportunity and you need to be ready, and that’s what we’ve seen from the o-line.”
(On the number of snaps that quarterback Jameis Winston took in Sunday’s game and whether Smith would like to keep that as a standard going forward)
“Yeah; in an ideal world, you want to score a lot of points and not have the [opposing] offense out there. And I should mention third downs, too. There are some important things you need to do during the course of a game. But there still comes a time when a quarterback needs to make some good throws and Jameis was on point just about every pass he threw this past game.”
(On his own plans for the bye week)
“Not a whole lot – I’m pretty boring most of the time (laughter). I’m going to stay around here. As a coach, once the season starts, you never get away. There’s a lot of things we can tighten up; you continue to self-scout. But I’m looking forward to watching the games this weekend, looking forward to watching the Redskins play, and we have division opponents coming up. I’m a football fan, too, so that’s what we’ll be doing this weekend.”
(On running back and returner Bobby Rainey being honored as NFC Special Teams Player of the Week)
“It’s very rewarding. Bobby had a good feeling as he came to me last week about knowing that – he thought he could be a difference in what we’ve been doing. I’m just pleased with that entire running back room. Of course we’ve talked about Doug Martin, Charles Sims – who’s been outstanding – and Bobby’s in that room too. They all made big plays. Bobby can make you miss in the open field, he has great hands and we need to be able to get more from our kicking game. Connor Barth, too, I should mention him stepping up and doing everything we asked him to do, whether it was extra points, kicking the ball off, and field goals.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander’s progression)
“He’s making progress. He’s still a rookie and you’re going to have a rookie season. It’s hard to become a vet your rookie year. So there will always be a couple mistakes and a couple things you’ll make, but Kwon does everything full speed. One of my favorite plays from that game [against Jacksonville] started off in a negative way, and most of you see it as a negative play – the long pass we gave up there at the end. But if you look at it, how Kwon Alexander ran and let us have an opportunity to play the next snap. He plays hard every down and he’s going to help us win a lot of football games around here.”
(On whether he is concerned about the number of points that the team gives up)
“We’re not happy about it and there are reasons for it. Sometimes a few positions can not play exactly the way you would like for them to and the entire defense looked bad [on Sunday]. We’re making too much progress [for that]. We’re going to be a heck of a defense this year, but that many points is too many, simple as that. We need to get that down.”
(On whether cornerback Alterraun Verner is now entrenched at the nickelback spot)
“He was playing nickel for us last game out. I’m kind of a short-term guy. We like what he did his first time out, though. Vern will be playing somewhere for us and we’ll just keep working to get him in the right spot.”
(On defensive end Howard Jones’ first career game)
“You take a look at the fact – your first play in the game and you get a sack. That’s pretty impressive. He’s adjusting well, coming from a 3-4 there in Pittsburgh and then coming here putting his hand on the ground and getting off the ball. He’s doing a good job and we’re hoping to get more of what we saw on Sunday.”
(On Jones’ speed)
“That was the No. 1 attraction. We looked at him coming out of college as well and had some dialogue regarding him. To be able to pick him up and take a look at the long arms, as well as the speed, those were two contributing factors as we were trying to evaluate, ‘Who could we bring in, what are some attributes that we’re looking for?’ He had them. The speed, the long arms, the athletic ability, then to go out and do what he did on Sunday, it’s a good combination.”
(On the pass rush accounting for six sacks against Jacksonville)
“It’s good to see our guys have that type of day. We went into the ballgame thinking that we could rush them. We thought we had a good pressure package as well. You combine our four-man rush with our pressure package and we were able to come up with those sacks. Gerald [McCoy] has been consistent all year long, but it was good to see George Johnson come along and get some pressure on the quarterback. Obviously, what Henry [Melton] did as well, doing a good job. All away around, all the guys contributed. Jacquies [Smith] – even though he didn’t get the guy on the ground, he still got good pressure for us and we’re going to need that in order for our defense to keep improving, our front four being able to rush.”
(On what he is trying to find by tinkering with the secondary)
“You’re trying to get that right combination, try to come up with the true starting corners, the true starting safeties that can do what you are looking for. We’re getting pretty close to honing in on the guys we think are going to give us the best shot to be successful back there. They are all working hard and they are playing hard. We just have to do a few things a little bit better.”
On cornerback Alterraun Verner’s game playing nickel cornerback)
“For his first go at it, he did a good job. We threw a lot at him in a short period of time. He handled it well. We gave him a lot of reps over the course of the week. We’re going to do the same this week and next week as well. He’s a smart gut, he can match up with these slot receivers with his quickness and his athletic ability and he has good hands as well. He’ll tackle so we think he’ll just get better and better as he gets more snaps.”
(On linebacker Lavonte David’s skills as a blitzer)
“Lavonte, to be able to bring him off the edge, whether we put him in the A-gap or the edge, he’s an excellent blitzer. We feel like he’s going to win on most running backs when we get him matched up one-on-one. That’s something we want to do more of and we want to get him more involved in our blitz package because we think he can win on backs. When he gets a chance to go against a guard or a tackle that’s bigger than him, we think his athletic ability [will help him].”
(On blitzing Lavonte David taking him out of pass coverage)
“He is good in coverage. You want to be able to use his gifts and he has the ability to be able to rush. We want to use that as well, but we do not want to take away from his coverage ability. That’s a big asset as well.”
(On Howard Jones’ technique)
“That’s going to be a process. This is still new to him, doing some of the things we’re asking him to do. We spent a lot of time today just working on some of his technique and we’ll do that again next week as well. That’ll come as time provides, but he has the attributes that you’re looking for so all the other things, the technique, the fundamentals of the position, those things will come into play. The fact that he has the ability, you have to start there first.”
(On if he would take the bye week now if he had a choice)
“This is one of those things you have no control over. For us, it comes at a good time. We get a chance to get some guys that are banged up, healed up. Then you get ready to push, to sprint the rest of the way. It comes at a good time for us.”
(On if it is concerning that the defense gave up four passing touchdowns last week)
“Very much so. We talked about it this morning in our meeting. We did a lot of good things against their run game, pressuring the quarterback, the takeaways, those were huge in the ballgame, but you don’t want to give up those points, especially the last two minutes of the half and the last two minutes of the game. Those are crucial moments so it’s something that we have to improve on. Our guys know that and we’re going to work to get that fixed.”
(On if cornerback Tim Jennings struggled against Jacksonville)
“There were some things that Tim can definitely do better. It seems they wanted to come his way a little bit. Usually, he responds with some batted balls or even some interceptions. He struggled a little bit, but he’ll bounce back. He’s a veteran guy, he’s been through the wars before and he’ll bounce back from that ballgame. He’ll work hard this week in practice and next week as well. We’ll evaluate the position and make a decision on which direction to go.”
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s performance against Jacksonville)
“He had a 123 quarterback rating. You never turn it over, you have a 123 quarterback rating, you’re going to win a lot of games, that’s the main thing. He checked the ball down a few times – progress, definitely.”
(On how the offense performed against Jacksonville)
“That was our best game. That was our best team win, too. Everybody helped. On our side of the ball, it starts with the guys up front. We had some injuries – Kevin Pamphile stepping in at left guard, Reid Fragel stepping in, he played 24 snaps at jumbo tight end. We’re down three O-linemen and two tight ends, so some guys had to step up. That was great to see. The running backs obviously [played well] and we made the plays that we had to make in the passing game. It’s a good place to be going into the Bye.”
(On if he was surprised at the offensive line’s performance, despite the injuries)
“No, not surprised. You guys were worried about it a lot more than I was.”
(On if Sunday’s game was a blueprint for how the offense should look)
“Well, as we’ve talked in the other times that I’ve spoken, you get out of your game plan when you get behind. We didn’t turn it over three times in the first half, so you can actually carry out a game plan. Our game plans will be unique based on the defense that we play that week. It’s not always going to be like that, but there’s no secret that’s the way Coach Smith would like to see – that’s his vision for how we should play and that might be how we’re best built right now.”
(On if the game plan against Jacksonville was dictated by the Jaguars’ defense or if it was set up to avoid turnovers)
“Both. We were coming off a five turnover game. First and foremost, we needed to give ourselves a chance to win the game, and we did that. The more we had success, your team gets confidence going that way. I remain confident that we can win whichever way we have to do it, whether it’s running or throwing. You’ve got to remember, the object of the game is to win. To get one more point than them, no matter how you do it.”
(On running back Doug Martin’s potential this season)
“You’ve seen that before. You know what Doug can do. He’s done it before here, in his rookie year. For whatever reasons, he had a couple of years where he maybe wasn’t as sharp. I don’t even know the reasons why, but Doug is a good football player. He’s one of the better backs in the league. We need to use him. We’ve got a nice one-two punch going with him and Charles [Sims] right now. Hat’s off to him. Doug’s earned it and he’s playing like he practices, so we shouldn’t be surprised.”
(On what Martin has improved on)
“He’s working hard on catching the ball. He had some good catches the other day. The thing that’s most impressive to me – and I don’t know if this is different or not, because I didn’t watch him that close before – but he’s breaking a lot of tackles. Yards after contact, he’s doing a really nice job.”
(On if this is an optimal time for the Bye Week)
“That’s a good question. Optimal? You know, we’ve got momentum, I’d probably rather keep playing. But the flip side of it is you could always use the time off and we’ll definitely get some guys back. I don’t know how many, but we’ll definitely get some guys back.”
(On how much getting injured players like tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins back will help the offense)
“Every one of the guys that we have out, we’ll take advantage of whoever we can get back, Austin being one of them. I look over there sometimes on the bench and see a lot of good players in offensive jerseys sitting over there, so we want to get them all back.”
(On if center Evan Smith will remain the starter over Joe Hawley once Smith returns from injury)
“Evan’s our starter when he comes back. A player shouldn’t lose a starting spot because of injury. We’re happy to have Joe and Joe’s going to be a valuable piece. We’ll need them both.”
(On what he has seen from defensive end Howard Jones at practice)
“High motor. That kid’s got a high motor. He gives good effort every day.”
(On if the Jacksonville game was the best rhythm he’s gotten into as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator)
“I don’t know. Again, it was great execution by the players more than anything.”
(On guard Ali Marpet)
“He’s playing well. Talk about a guy who has strung some games together. Ali’s playing really well. He’s doing a nice job.”
(On running back Charles Sims)
“I think Coach Smith addressed why he was brought here in his press conference. When I was with the Falcons, we coached Charles in the Senior Bowl and we thought really highly of him too. He’s an all-purpose [running back]. He’s got speed, he’s got hands, he can run routes, you can move him around. We’ve seen his explosiveness, what he can do with the ball in the open field. Like I said, we’ve got a nice one-two punch going right now.”
(On the third-and-15 conversion against Jacksonville)
“That was a screen, and the blocking on that play – Kevin Pamphile, Joe Hawley, Louis Murphy and Vincent [Jackson] all had beautiful blocks – and then Chuck [Charles Sims] turned on the speed. He almost had enough speed to outrun that No. 50 [Jacksonville linebacker Tevin Smith] – that guy is pretty fast.”
(On if he is glad that Tampa Bay’s bye week falls now or if he’d prefer it at another time)
“It’s not my choice. I just take what they give me. Every week my main goal is to get better, so it doesn’t matter. I’m feeling guys need a break, we have some banged up guys, and hopefully we can get some guys back.”
(On his bye week plans)
“Just going to FSU. Going to support them, other than that, nah.”
(On running back Doug Martin)
“He’s a dynamic back. You can’t knock our offensive line, because they block amazingly. When you’ve got a guy going to go against a defense, a great defense, and their main focus is to stop the run, he pounds it and he grinds it and works hard and competes to have a day like he did. It’s amazing. He’s special.”
(On what about Martin makes Winston say ‘Wow’)
“God just blessed some of us in different ways and He blessed him to tote that rock, man. He’s amazing.”
(On what he’s taken from studying his film from the game)
“Make the simple decision. I’m not the only person on this team that’s getting paid – we have a lot of great players. And Doug [Martin] and Chuck [Sims], they showed us how dynamic our team can be when we establish a running game and we have a balanced attack on offense.”
(On whether he would have preferred more of a passing game to the running game last week)
“I’m competing. As long as we’re winning, I’m still competing. It doesn’t matter. My job is to play my role and it was so exciting just to get that win. It doesn’t matter – like I say, we have one of the best offensive coordinators in the country. That man, whatever he does, I’m with him.”
(On running back and returner Bobby Rainey)
“Our running backs – we have a unique group of running backs. Bobby being one of our special teams guys, you know, special teams wins games for you. When you’re able to flip the field with just one return, get a big play, that’s great.”
(On Rainey winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week)
“He deserved it. He definitely deserved it.”
(On a play from last week’s game where a Jacksonville player blocked one of his own teammates)
“I haven’t even seen it yet. Guys have been telling me. I remember last year when – I don’t want to throw any shots, but I am, because they’re Gators (laughing) – Gators were blocking each other against Georgia Southern two years ago. So it made me laugh. Jacksonville is close to Gainesville, so, you know, there’s something going on up there (laughing).”
(On whether he is surprised that University of South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier chose to resign from the team midseason)
“I have so much respect for Coach Spurrier. Whatever he decides to do, I’m not going to say nothing.”
(On Spurrier’s legacy)
“Let’s just start with his accolades on the field. A Heisman-winning quarterback and then he coached a Heisman-winning quarterback. That alone speaks for his whole resume, not even mentioning that he’s the winningest coach for Florida and South Carolina. ‘How do you know this, Jameis?’ Because I like Steve Spurrier (laughter).”
(On whether he keeps in touch with Spurrier)
“We don’t. I think I met him one time, but I just love football and he’s a great football legend.”
(On University of Florida quarterback Will Grier)
“I can’t really speak on that.”
(On his message for the team heading into the bye week)
“You said it: there’s really never an off day. The main thing is for guys to get rest on this relaxed week. Get rest and come back next week ready to play, ready to battle.”
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and how eager he is to return from injury)
“He’s very eager, because he’s a competitor and he loves being out there with us. You ought to see him on the sideline. As soon as we come off the field, he’s the first person shaking our hands. He’s ready. So I know he’s going to work hard this week to get back.”
(On the biggest thing he’s learned about the NFL now five weeks into his rookie season)
“The biggest thing is you have to take one week at a time. Like this week, I still have to prep. I don’t have time to sit back and relax, or chill and take days off. I have to work my mind in some way each day.”
(On what winning last week did for the team)
“It did a lot for this city. We haven’t won here in 11 home games. The city needed that, and that’s why it was important to us.”
(On whether he sensed frustration from the fans at home prior to the victory)
“I’ve just been here a year, so I don’t even know, but I just know they were happy after that win. It was great.”
(On wide receiver Mike Evans and getting him more involved in the offense)
“The great thing about having a guy of his caliber that we haven’t even given him the ball that much – I haven’t given him the ball, we’ve had plays to give him the ball. It’s a learning process for all of us. But the thing is, he’s like our secret weapon now. People are still going to be game planning for him and I haven’t even given him many opportunities to shine yet. So he’s just our secret weapon for right now.”
(On winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and previously winning an Offensive Player of the Week Award in 2013)
"No, you're right – both sides now, offense and special teams."
(On going to Head Coach Lovie Smith and saying he could make a difference in this game)
"Right. I pretty much go to him probably just about every week, but this week it was different because we were looking for that spark. I took it upon myself. Like I told the guys on special teams, 'It's got to come from us. We can't win them all on offense or defense.' And those guys did a great job of blocking. They actually gave me a chance to get some returns in, with no penalties bringing them back, which was great."
(On praising his blockers)
"Nothing can happen until those guys block. If they decide they want to let everybody go, I can't get a return. I can't go through all 11 guys. Everything happens up front, no different than offense or defense. Like I said, those guys did a great job of blocking at the line of scrimmage and also stopping their gunners."
(On if he has special plans for the bye week)
"My daughter and I, will go back home and visit family. Plus, it's my birthday weekend. This is the second bye week that's been on my birthday weekend, so that's good."
(On putting in extra work during this week)
"You're getting a break for your body, your legs, but at the same time you still have work to do. You can get more film work on [the Washington Redskins] because they have a game this weekend."
(On if he'd rather play this week to maintain the team's momentum)
"It kind of sucks when you have this momentum and then you've got to stop for us to have a break. I would rather just keep going, but we just have to do that with our bye week."
(On what he sees differently this year from RB Doug Martin)
"His whole running mentality. He's bringing out juke moves I haven't seen. His whole running mentality I just think is different. I wasn't here in 2012 when he had a great season, and one of the guys mentioned that those were the type of moves he was making in 2012. He's doing a great job."
(On if he's making a conscious effort not to call fair catches)
"Not really. I feel like the first guy will never make a play on me. That's my mentality, period, no matter if it's on offense – the first guy will not make a play on me. So if I have room to catch the ball, I have room to make a move, and I feel like my move is better than the tackler. I wouldn't say it's my intention not to call a fair catch, but if I can make a move then I won't call a fair catch. I want to do the things I need to do to put my team in a good position."

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