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21 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Wednesday, October 21, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Against Jacksonville (10/11), RB Doug Martin rushed for 123 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game. With 100 or more rushing yards against Washington, he will become only the third running back in team history to post three or more consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards (also James Wilder, six games, 12/9/84 vs. ATL-9/29/85 at DET; Carnell Williams, 9/11/05 at MIN-9/25/05 at GB).
                 
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Running Back Doug Martin
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“The injury list first; Bruce Carter, Logan Mankins and Austin Seferian-Jenkins weren’t able to practice. Besides that, everybody was able to go. [We] had a couple of minor things that happened in practice today injury-wise, but nothing to really talk on. [We’re] excited about playing this week against Washington.”
 
(On if he treats groin injuries the same as hamstring injuries)
“No, hamstring is a hamstring. Groin is a groin. Two totally different things. They’re both, of course, muscle injuries, but I think hamstring is a lot more serious. My experience has told me that, but both of them can keep you out for a time. If Logan Mankins is out, he has a serious injury. That is the only thing that would keep him out. I’m an expert at hamstrings. I’m not an expert in groins. I’m going to pass that along to the trainers.”
 
(On the emphasis of getting off to a fast start)
“We do want to get a fast start for sure, especially when you are on the road, at home too. Everything we talk about – start fast, finish strong – but sometimes it’s hard to get that taken care of. We’re both jockeying for position a little bit, but hopefully we can get off to a good start and I’m talking about whether that’s with our defense going out on the football field first. Last year, of course, we got a takeaway right off the bat, which really helped us. Getting that defensive score really helped a lot. If it’s offense we want to get it there in the end zone too.”
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans)
“Just talking about Mike, we need Mike to come [along], but for our football team we like what we’re seeing as far as the direction we’re going offensively. To be able to add Mike Evans’ best ball to that, yeah, that’s exciting too. Sometimes it’ll take you awhile for whatever reason. Injuries can hold you, they can stop that progress a little bit. Mike is healthy now – getting away from ball, getting a chance to start anew with everyone. He’s a great player and we need him to play that way each week.”
 
(On if teams are defending Evans differently than in his rookie season)
“No, there is only so much you can do really. You can sugarcoat it all you’d like. You can roll-up, double-cover a guy, but you can’t do that very often. You are hurting yourself somewhere else. Most of the time, the receiver is going to be in a one-on-one situation outside. That’s where we have to be able to win.”
 
(On saying last week that the team did not finish the game against Jacksonville)
“When I say team I think the team did. Some parts we weren’t. We weren’t satisfied with one long play really, once you get down to it. We gave up one big play at the end of the game or we would have felt a whole lot better. No, I like what our team at the end in the second half. When we had to make some plays [and] made them. What we’re looking for though is 60 minutes or whatever. We want from start to finish; start fast, finish strong, all of that and eventually we are going to do that.”
 
(On taking advantage of Washington’s poor third-quarter play)
“We’re just going to play our game as much as anything. On what has happened to them in the past, it’s always about what we do. I think we’re setup. Most games come down to how you finish. We know we have to be able to do that. In order for us to achieve our goals this second quarter we’ll need to do that.”
 
(On the team’s pass rush)
‘We’re okay with it right now. After you’ve played five games into the season, how much can you – you can’t really be pleased with an awful lot. That’s saying that you peaked. We’re not there right now. We’ve had our moments. We think we’re going to be a good rushing team and we’re finding out things each week. We’ve had players we didn’t know a lot about step up. We had [Jacquies Smith] last year, but Howard Jones last times and Akeem Spence is getting close, so we’ll keep adding and we’re going to need all of those guys.”
 
(On Akeem Spence practicing and how much does the depth at defensive tackle make him not have to rush back from injury)
“We would never rush a decision. When a guy is ready though, we put him out there. We err on the side of caution always, but he’s looked pretty good. Today is his first day wearing pads, so you couldn’t tell an awful lot, but [he] looked pretty good out there today. Akeem Spence has played good ball for us. He can give us another presence inside. Some guys are okay taking on the double team, things like that, he is.”
 
(On the advantages and disadvantages of having an early bye week)
“Five games in I wouldn’t say that’s early. To me that’s just about right and where we were with a few nagging injuries, again, it was at the perfect time. I can’t think of a season when I’ve said, ‘I wish that bye was a different week.’ It seems like it always comes at the perfect time. We know we have a lot of football left to go, but once you can get over that initial hurdle a little bit you can gut it out the rest of the way. That’s why we ask the guys to get away, get refreshed because now we are in it for the long haul so we were good with when it was.”     
 
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DIRK KOETTER
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans)
“We just need to get Mike started. He’s fine. We just need to get him started. He missed that first game, [we] threw him a bunch of balls in the Houston game and we were inconsistent throwing and catching [in] that game, he missed some practiced time – we just need to get him started. When you have multiple guys that need touches, it doesn’t always work out perfect. We have to do what we have to do to try to win games. We have two good guys on the outside. Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] is down. Other guys need to step up inside. We ran the ball well against Jacksonville. I’m sure Mike is a little bit frustrated. It is what it is. We’ve been down this road before with other guys. We’ve just got to get him started. There is nothing he is doing wrong. He’s playing hard, he’s practicing hard.”
                                  
(On if the emergence of running back Charles Sims changes the game plan)
“Everybody wants more touches. Doug [Martin] wants more touches. Charles wants more touches. Mike [Evans] wants more touches. Vincent [Jackson] wants more touches. Every guy out there wants more touches, so no, that’s the coaches’ job. We get a game plan, we’ve got to stick to our game plan. If we’re smart, we’ll keep trying to work it where we give guys touches in the right situations, but there are 64 plays in the average NFL game, there’s only so many. I tell the coaches all the time, ‘Start dividing them up, okay? How do you want to divide them up’. The easiest thing is to turn around and hand it off to a running back. We have plays tagged for Charles every week, we have since Week 1. We continue to have plays tagged for him. We have plays tagged for everybody. Just because we have a play tagged for someone still doesn’t mean they’re going to get the ball, because there are checks involved, there’s different coverages involved, different defenses.”
 
(On the competition at center and not losing a job to injury)
A couple thoughts on that. First, it wasn’t that long ago that everyone in here except me was scared to death about our O-line and now we’re worried that we have too many. Let’s not worry about having too many guys, let’s not worry about that, number one. Number two, I think Coach [Lovie] Smith talked a little about that. It’s not an issue until you have both guys healthy. We haven’t had an issue because both guys haven’t been healthy. When Joe [Hawley] signed here and we went to the Houston game when Evan [Smith] got hurt, Evan was the starting center – you only have seven guys up – Joe was the swing guard/center. Joe started games in the NFL at guard and center. I’m sure Evan could play guard if we needed him to play. I don’t really see it as an issue. Both those guys are quality starting centers in the NFL. It will work itself out as Coach Smith said, when the day comes when we have them both available, they are both healthy, they are both 100 percent then Coach will have to make that call.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s level of readiness to move the offense if opposing teams shut down the run game)
“The closest we’ve seen to that so far is the Houston game. Houston sold out to stop the run. We threw it more on first and second down. I think one of those games on run downs we ran it 18 out of 21 times. We were a lot more balanced in that Houston game. That day is definitely coming and Jameis has to be ready. I don’t have an opinion on it. We have no choice. He has to be ready.”
 
(On if the key for Winston’s success is on third down plays)
“As an offense, we try to stay out of third-and-six plus. We’re trying to keep it in the third-and-five or less. That’s your objective on first down. If a team sells out to stop your running game, you are going to throw it downfield more. You are going to have more bigger plays on first and second down, but you are also going to miss some of them. Hopefully on first and second [down] you hit those 15-, 16-yard chunk plays and you’re back in first or second. If you miss on first and second you’re in third-and-10. That’s not good. Then they crank up the pass rush. Some teams choose to play it that way. That day is coming where we are going to see that kind of a game. It may or may not be this week. Every defense in the United States at every level says they try to stop the run. There isn’t a defensive coach out there that doesn’t say that. Washington is very capable. That front seven is plenty stout.”
 
(On how running backs Doug Martin and Charles Sims complement each other)
“The teams that I’ve been around, you need at least two [running backs]. We feel real confident that if Bobby [Rainey] has to go in as our third – you’ve all seen Bobby before. When I was in Atlanta last year, our defensive coaches feared Bobby Rainey. There weren’t sure they could tackle Bobby. They thought Doug would just try to run them over, but they were scared Bobby would make them miss. In the Jacksonville game, Bobby and ‘Chuck’ [Charles Sims] complemented each other very well. Doug is a hit the hole fast [runner]. He has moves, he has speed, but he’s going to hit it and be a physical runner. Chuck is going to dance around a little bit more, has a nice burst, maybe a little bit more outside.  Other than the plays we tag specific, they both have to do everything and so does Bobby. When they play in practice they rotate through everything.”
 
(On running backs Charles Sims being an upright runner and if there has been an emphasis on lowering his pad level)
“He is an upright runner. There’s been plenty of upright runners be successful in this league. It’s my experience that you are going to have a hard time changing that, just like you are going to have a hard time changing the way a quarterback throws the ball. A guy runs how he runs, been doing since they were little kids. That style has been successful. [Running Backs Coach] Tim Spencer, that would be a good question for him. I personally do not waste any words talking to Charles about that myself.”
 
(On offensive linemen Kevin Pamphile’s performance at guard against Jacksonville)
“Kevin did a good job in that game and stepped up. When Kevin came in a year ago they had high expectations for him and that was really his first chance this year to prove it and he did a good job. Our theory on that is once a guy proves he can do he should be able to do it again.”
 
(On tackle Reid Fragel playing as the sixth offensive linemen against Jacksonville)
“Yeah, [he] did a nice job. Twenty-four plays as the jumbo. Again, there’s another guy. Reid had to step up in the Jacksonville game due to our situation with Kevin [Pamphile] moving to Logan [Mankins] spot. Reid had to move in to Kevin’s spot as the jumbo. He did a nice job. We had Reid in Atlanta when I was there, so I’ve known Reid. He was excited. He’s a guy that bounced around, he’s been cut, he’s been on the practice squad. The guy finally gets a chance to play in a real game. He was excited as hell to be out there playing. I looked at him at the end of the game, his jersey was brown from being in there. That’s an O-lineman’s dream. I was excited for the guy and happy for him and he did a good job, but we’re not going to be sending him deep anytime soon even though he is eligible.”   
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On his chemistry with wide receiver Mike Evans)
“Oh, it’s good. We worked a lot over the summer, so we definitely have a chemistry. I’m definitely going to try to give him the ball more, but, I mean, some things work and some things don’t. It’s football. He had a big year last year and people are focusing on stopping Mike Evans. That’s the big thing.”
 
(On Evans facing more double coverage this season)
“Yeah, and that’s off of a sign of respect, because he’s a great receiver.”
 
(On Evans’ maturity)
“That’s the thing about this team. Everyone, they do their jobs. Like me; I do my role. My role is to play quarterback and I accept my role. Whatever, it doesn’t matter what situation we have, what game plan we have called. Anything that they call for me, my job is to do my role. And [Evans] has been doing that. He’s not going to sit there and complain because at any given time, one play can be – boom – touchdown. It takes one play to make a big play and for him to get a spark.”
 
(On opposing teams stopping the run game and forcing him to pass and whether he enjoys that challenge)
“Absolutely. Anything that we’re asked to do – this is football, so at the end of the day, teams are going to be like, ‘OK, give me your best against our best.’ So we’re going to have to compete no matter what. Any challenge that’s offered to me, I’m going to take it.”
 
(On whether there has been any more emphasis on having a fast start to games)
“A fast start is always a big thing for us, but the main thing is how you finish. As long as we end up with a victory, I’m pretty sure everyone would be happy. But that comes back to the thing of trying to get better every single week. Maybe this week we take the [initiative] of, hey, let’s get us a touchdown in the first quarter. But it’s just getting better every single week and we get it done how we get it done.”
 
(On spending the bye weekend in Tallahassee, attending the FSU and FAMU games)
“It was fun. It was fun just to get back in Tallahassee and have some fun, get to see the young guys shine. Dalvin Cook showed out again. Everett [Golson] had an amazing game. And even got to FAMU. That’s what people miss – it’s basically a family down there in Tallahassee. So it was good to support [FAMU] for their homecoming, as well.”
 
(On Tampa Bay running backs being used in the passing game)
“It’s a very comforting throw for me, because it’s a chance that they might catch the ball and make someone miss. So there’s always an opportunity for an explosive play. Again, my main job is just getting [the ball] out of my hands and into a better athlete’s hands. Because like I said, you never know what could happen from it.”
 
(On playing under two different centers thus far this season)
“This has probably been one of the easiest transitions for me, period, because we have two great centers. We have Evan [Smith], a guy that’s a veteran, been at Green Bay and been here, and Joe [Hawley], who’s been with Atlanta. They’ve been with two great quarterbacks, so they know how to play this game and they’re very good at it.”
 
(On the timing of the bye week)
“I can’t really speak on what time the bye week is going to be. This is my first year in this league, so I’m just happy that we got a break and I’m happy to be playing football again this week.”
 
(On whether having the bye after a win stops momentum)
“I think when you’ve got a taste of winning in your mouth, you’ve got to come back the next week [saying], ‘I want to get another win.’ I don’t really know about the momentum [being] stopped and stuff – we just want to win. Absolute [eager to be back in the building]. That’s how I was, it was a bye week, but this week – we’ve had our rest, so this week I’m eager. I’m ready to play football again.”
 
(On the Washington defense)
“You have to take what they give you. I guess that’s the same thing every week. The main thing is take care of the football and play the best we can play.”
 
(On whether one learns more from wins or losses)
“You learn more from losses all the time. A wise man is going to not only build off his mistakes, but build off other mistakes. So when I see myself on the film, I might go back and watch another game and see if a quarterback messed or did something great. When I’m watching film, I watch how their quarterback played against the team we’re going to play this week, so I can see how I need to play for us to win.”
 
(On the biggest lesson he has learned through his first five games as a pro)
“You can’t turn the ball over. That’s just the ultimate lesson.

(On whether there were any particular quarterbacks he looked forward to watching during the bye)
“I look forward to watching all the quarterbacks on Sunday, especially when I get a chance. In my household, no quarterback ever gets talked about, no quarterback gets scrutinized, because we play the hardest position in football. Every quarterback, to me, is never playing a bad game. So if you ever ask me about how a quarterback did, don’t ask me, I don’t judge.”
 
(On whether the bye was important to allow him to take a step back and breathe)
“Obviously for body-wise, I guess it’s good, but at the end of the day, I’m so excited, I’m still pumped to just be in the NFL, playing. So the more football, the better. I’m really enjoying it.”
 
(On whether there has been a noticeable difference between college and the NFL in terms of teams game planning to stop Winston versus stopping other aspects of the game to force Winston to step up)
“I guess you can put it that way, but I’m really nobody in this league yet, so they don’t have to worry about me. I have great teammates that do a great job and we have a great team. That’s what I think the biggest thing about this league is: you have complete team wins. You can’t have a game where your offense plays really good and your defense and special teams don’t do well and win the game. You can’t have a game where your defense plays outstanding and your offense and special teams don’t do well. You’re setting yourself up for failure. So I think this game is just a complete team game, whereas college, one person, basically, can take over the game. I think that’s like every level, other than basketball. In basketball, one person can probably take over a game at the end of it, though.”
 
(On whether he feels he will one day be the type of player who can take over the game)
“Hopefully one day I can, but for right now I’m just trying to get better every year and trying to get some wins under my belt and just trying to do my role, play my part.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
 
(On Washington’s defense)
“They have a strong defense. We look at every defense as a strong opponent and they have a good secondary and a good, stout defensive line. [Our] guys will be ready for them.”
 
(On if there is an emphasis on starting fast)
“We strongly emphasize starting fast. We definitely need to start fast because you start fast and you have a strong finish, that’s a whole complete game. You don’t want to start fast in the second half. Starting fast is definitely something we emphasize and finishing strong is also something we emphasize as well.”
 
(On if starting fast leads to finishing strong)
“Yeah, exactly.”
 
(On how he and running back Charles Sims complement each other)
“It helps the team a lot. Me and Chuck complement each other a lot. We as the running abck room in general, with Bobby [Rainey] catching the returns and doing his things, we all put in work and it helps the team.”
 
(On if he and Sims have two different styles)
“I look at it as we are all pretty balanced in the running back room. I do take pride in getting those YAC yards as well as he does, so [we’re] pretty balanced.”
 
(On the challenge an upright runner has when lowering his pad level)
“Once you get hit enough, you’ll start to learn. He’s still learning and it took me a little while. I got hit a couple times to make me realize I needed to keep my pad level down. It is [hard] in some aspects, but we learn off each other.”
 
(On how much Running Backs Coach Tim Spencer emphasizes lowering the pad level)
“All the time. Coach Spencer teaches us a lot of technique and better ways on how to shed blocks and how to break tackles.”
 
(On Washington’s run defense)
“They are pretty stout. It’s going to be a challenge for our O-line, but we have a lot of confidence in what they can do and I have a lot of confidence in what they can do from the last game. [I] can’t wait to see what they are going to do.”
 
(On if they design plays to run away from big defenders or if they stick with the game plan)
“You are going to have to watch the game and see what we do. I can’t really explain. [Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton] is a big guy. Like I said, we have a lot of confidence in what our guys can do and hopefully we can run the ball on them.”
 
(On how it feels to be off to great start)
“It feels good, but like I said it’s a team effort. The reason why I am getting yards is because guys are blocking up front and the receivers are blocking on the edges. I’m just doing my job. I’m doing what I’ve been doing.”
 
(On General Manager Jason Licht saying Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter’s confidence in Doug helped push him to another level)
“When I first came here, I just wanted to come in here and be successful and do my job. I just knew if I just did that everything would fall into place and I’ve been successful on the field.”
 
(On being involved in the passing game)
“It feels good. It’s a change up and as a running back you like to have space and that’s what you get when you get passes like that.”
 
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