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28 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: At Washington last week, WR Mike Evans (164 yards) exceeded 125 receiving yards and RB Doug Martin (136 yards) exceeded 125 rushing yards, only the third time in team history that Tampa Bay has had players exceed 125 receiving yards and 125 rushing yards in the same game. Also done 11/17/13 vs. Atlanta – WR Vincent Jackson (165 rec. yards) & RB Bobby Rainey (163 rush yards) and 12/9/12 vs. PHI – WR Vincent Jackson (131 rec. yards) & RB Doug Martin (128 rush yards).
                 
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
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Running Back Doug Martin
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“How about the injury list first? Reid Fragel is still in the concussion protocol. [He] wasn’t able to practice today. Vincent Jackson, we talked about him earlier with a knee injury, he was not able to practice today. Tony McDaniel continues to get better with his groin injury. Clinton McDonald hurt his [pectoral] muscle in the game, so he wasn’t able to go today. Beyond that everybody at least practiced on a limited basis. Most of you out there saw Austin Seferian-Jenkins be able to get into pads and do a little bit, so it’s a step in the right direction with him. Russel Shepard was able to go full. I think he went full most of the time last week. [We are] getting a couple guy back, adding a couple guys to the injury list. Whenever you have a disappointing loss like that you are always looking to move on to the next game as soon as you possibly can. When you have a division opponent on the road, [you have] an opportunity to get a division win on the road. It makes you move on quickly. You can get into the Atlanta game plan. That’s where we are.”
 
(On the possibility of wide receiver Vincent Jackson being out for several weeks with his knee injury)
“We’re not there. He didn’t practice today. He has a knee injury. As far as multiple[weeks], we’re not ready to go into much more detail than that because we don’t know a lot more. [It] hasn’t been that long since the game. [He] wasn’t able to finish the game. [He] wasn’t able to practice today, so that’s where we are at right now.”
 
(On Atlanta’s defense)
“They’re playing hard, getting a lot of guys to the ball. It’s not like they are doing a whole lot of things scheme-wise, just playing hard, taking the ball away. They’ve a good job stopping the run. They are one of the top teams stopping the run. That’s what they are doing – finding ways to finish games.”
 
(On how much getting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins back helps, especially after injuries to wide receivers Jackson and Louis Murphy)
“Once we get him back – disregarding the receivers – it’s going to help our offense in its own. We’re not there yet. Austin practiced on a limited basis. He was in pads today, but when he does come back that will help. It would have helped of course if he had him this past Sunday, but it does put you in a bind when you dress four receivers and two go down. It eliminates the three wide receiver package. [It’s] a whole different game when you can’t go to a three wide receiver package. It’s where we are right now. It’s always about the next guy stepping up.”
 
(On his experience with how teams bounce back after a loss like the one in Washington)
“When you go through an experience like that, you do call on your experience. Most of us have been in disappointing losses like that. What you do is move on to the next opponent. It’s tough if there aren’t any more games, but for us, we’re coming up, on the third game of the second quarter of the season and you have one of your division opponents coming up so you have to move on. There’s a mourning period that you go through. That’s right after the game, but by Wednesday we look at that game the same way we look at Jacksonville and about every other game that was in our path. You can’t dwell on it much more.”
 
(On if he worries that a loss like that could linger)
“No, you don’t, because you move on. You’re a professional, you move on. We’re into Atlanta’s game plan today. We weren’t going against Washington’s plays today. We were in Atlanta’s game plan. That in itself makes you move on. That’s what my experience has told me.”
 
(On losing at Atlanta last season and if that will motivate players this week)
“Forget the past and all that. You have to bring it back in. We remember what happened. It’s a division opponent we have a history with. Yes, we do remember what happened up there last time. That should bring out the best in us. When you have the type of game we had up there you can’t wait to go back to the same environment and see different results. We played them a lot better the second time around, but we didn’t beat them. Again, the best way to get a bad taste out of our mouths is to get another division road win and we’ll all feel a lot better.”
 
(On his fist tenure with Tampa Bay when the players said enough is enough to losing and if he’s getting a sense from his team that they need to end the losing and start producing wins)
“No doubt, You get to a point where yes it is. I thought we would have said that by now, but we’re going to get another opportunity to say that. Eventually, yes we are going to say that, ‘Enough,’ but we’re getting closer. When you have a one point loss you are getting closer, but eventually we have to cross that hurdle. It’s as simple as that. I remember when that happened, but I think every team goes through that – when you have a team when you do get over it. You what can do that? Going to Atlanta and getting a road win. That could get us over.”
 
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries)
“Just talking about Adam, he earned himself a roster spot from what he did in the preseason when he got an opportunity to play. It’s not like he played himself out of position of anything like that. We just kind of like what Donteea Dye did to get himself an opportunity to play. We’ve seen Adam perform the last time when we really kind of featured him a little bit, he made plays. We’re not quite there yet. We have some options we’re looking at, but we have to go to some of our young players. We feel pretty comfortable playing them.”
 
(On how much defensive tackle Akeem Spence helps with depth on defensive tackle)
“Well he was rested and a fresh body. As a nose guard, that’s a big thing this time of the season. Akeem Spence has played good football for us, so to have a player to fall back on like that meant a lot for us. Of course, there’s a reason why he’s one of our guys and we were waiting for him to be able to be active and we got him out there right away. He’ll play better this coming week than he did this past [week].”
 
(On how to coach defensive linemen on being aggressive but not getting a roughing the passer penalty)
“It’s a fine line, but we’ve been going by these same rules for a while. Yeah, there is a fine line, but we’ve gotten the quarterback down times when a penalty wasn’t called so it can be done. We can’t go down that line. We know what the rules are. We have to do it that way the league says we can do it and that’s what we will [do]. We’ll continue to talk about getting pressure. That’s going to help and awful lot for our entire defense the more pressure we can get.”
 
(On cornerback Tim Jennings being inactive last week)
“He handled it well, like a pro. Your roles change daily and of course weekly they can. It’s based on what you’ve done previously. This is a new week for Tim. He coached the guys up on the field. Everybody is not active each week and they all have a different role. Tim filled that role. As far as what his role we’ll be this week, we’ll see that.”
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans having a big game against Washington)
“We all know that Mike is one of the best players on our team, one of the best receivers in the game. When he’s on, we talked a lot about needing some of your stars to really play – your ‘A’ players to play like that – Mike played like that. He’s a good football player. He’s tough duty in man-to-man situations. We got him matched up favorably last week. Hopefully we can do the same thing. He’s a guy that when things aren’t going exactly going the way you’d like, you lean on guys like Mike.”
 
(On players making contributions who played at non Division I colleges)
“It says that we of course do our homework. What it also says is that if you’re a good football player a lot of guys say, ‘If I’m not at one of the major universities I’m not going to get a chance to play in the NFL.’ History doesn’t say that and that’s just not the case. If you are a good football player we will find you. Word will get out. You’ll get an opportunity. Once you get into camps, we don’t ask guys what college or conference they came from. Put them on the field and if you are the best guy you can be from Hobart, Heidelberg or wherever. You need to see guys get that chance and then make it and do well. That’s what we are seeing right now.”
 
(On if you can tinker too much trying to find the right combination of players in the secondary)
“No, it’s not tinkering and it’s not trying to find the right combination. It’s playing guys that deserve to play and that’s going to happen again. We didn’t play great in the back end the entire time. I just don’t think you can go on what happened last year. It’s kind of what’s happening right now. I wish it was as simple as put four guys and keep them there and everything will be fine. That’s just not the case. We’ll get that eventually worked out. There is still time. We understand it’s late in the game, but the changes we’re making and the guys we’re playing is based on a lot of things. It’s always on who gives the best chance to win the game.”
 
(On how much slack he give rookie middle linebacker Kwon Alexander)
“I don’t have a whole lot to complain about Kwon Alexander. There were some things we did, we didn’t do as well as we should. I’m not complaining an awful lot about what he did. There were about three special plays he had this past week. As a young player, they are going to make some mistakes that young players make. You live with those. There are also going to be flash plays you can’t live without and that’s what we are getting from Kwon. He’ll get better and better each week and before long even those occasional mistakes he makes won’t be there.”
 
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DIRK KOETTER
 
(On the third-and-one toss to running back Charles Sims on the one-yard line)
“Okay, everybody get this straight, alright? I screwed it up, nobody else. I screwed it up, plain and simple. We got a check play on where we were checking on the goal line based on overload personnel. They had some injuries so they switched some guys around. I gave Jameis [Winston] bad information. 100, 1,000 – whatever number you want to use – percent on me, nobody else. Simple, alright? That simple. Put that to bed. I screwed it up, I got to live with it, feel horrible, I can’t take it back. I did it.”
 
(On if there was a way to check out of the play)
“It was a check to begin with. We were out of timeouts. Bad by me, 100 percent. Blame that on me.”
 
(On only having two wide receivers in the second half against Washington)
“Difficult, we had four wide receivers up for the game. We lost two. You’re down to two wide receivers, so about half our call sheet was out the window in the second half. It’s unfortunate. I’ve never had that happen before where we couldn’t run everything that we wanted to run. We were juggling some stuff around with the tight ends – getting an extra tight end in there. Our three tight ends did an awesome job of doing some things that we hadn’t practiced from basically the first play of the second half on. It did affect how we called stuff, because one thing is, now when you get in your three [wide receiver sets] you can’t guarantee whether you are going to get them in [their nickel defense]. They now control it a lot more than we have control. That’s unfortunate, but that really didn’t have an impact on the game. We still had plenty of chances to win it, regardless of that. That’s one of the things in the NFL when you only have 20 guys up on offense counting the backup quarterback. We had it happen once in Atlanta where you only have seven O-linemen dressed and [three] O-linemen got hurt. We had to play the whole fourth quarter against the Vikings with a tight end playing tackle. That’s one of the really weird things about the NFL and unfortunate, but it happened.”
 
(On wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s status for Sunday’s game against Atlanta)
“I don’t know the answer to that. That’s a question you are going to have to ask Coach [Lovie] Smith. Injuries isn’t my deal.”
                                           
(On how the game plan will be affected if Jackson does not play against Atlanta)
“Vincent is a heck of a player. It’s not going to change our game plan, but if you lose any good player at any position it affects you.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s progress over the last two games)
“Jameis did a nice job in this game. [He] played his best game, did a nice job, didn’t turn the ball over, made good decisions, got the ball out of his hand, got the ball out of his hand early, the double move to Mike [Evans], the timing – if you watch that on tape when he lets that go, where Mike is – I mean fantastic. Jameis did a really nice job.”
 
(On if too much is made of coaches playing their former teams and the amount of information they can pass on to their current team or if there is some legitimacy to it)
“There might be a little bit, but probably too much made of it.”
 
(On instances in the Washington game where he saw specific growth from Winston)
“The one, as I said – he had a tendency on his deep routes to be waiting too long. It’s common with a young quarterback. They want to see it. By the time they see it, they outrun his arm. Jameis has a strong arm so the first deep ball to Mike, that was a good one. The other one was the second series when we went down there. We had the third-and-two I think. We ran the naked boot and he threw the ball away out of the back of the end zone. You talk about hard for Jameis to throw it away on the goal line. Every quarterback out there is dying to throw a touchdown pass from the two-yard line. There’s two right there. Jameis, we had a lot of check plays on the road with crowd noise. We were having a lot of issues with my headset, my coach-to-quarterback going out with him. Jameis, he handled that like a champ.”
 
(On what Winston did when Koetter was having issues with his headset)
“He fixed it, but we were down on the clock. If you notice in that second half after Vincent [Jackson] got hurt when we were down to two wide outs, we were down on the clock a lot because we were juggling groups. He was sometimes talking to the tight ends coming out of the huddle, reminding them, because based on which tight end was in the game, they were sometimes doing jobs they don’t normally do. Jameis is growing fast. He is doing a good job. We have to do a good job. We have to keep it up. Jameis played good enough in that game for us to win.”
 
(On Atlanta being committed to stopping the run and if it will challenge the quarterback)
“When Houston did that, they played a lot more man coverage than Atlanta plays. Atlanta is still primarily a zone team. Atlanta is very good against the run. They do like to overpopulate the box. They usually have one more guy than you do. Is that one of these games? Maybe. I don’t know that yet. We’re still going to try and run the ball. That’s not a big secret.”
 
(On how to keep up with Atlanta’s explosive playmakers)
“Again, that’s not a question for me, because I don’t worry about their firepower. I can tell our coaches and our players what I know about their players, but they’re not running the same offense. They’re running a different offense than when I was there. The two tackles were there when I was there, of course Matt [Ryan], Julio [Jones], Roddy [White] and Devonta Freeman. I can tell them something about individual players’ strengths and weaknesses, but they don’t need me to tell them how good Julio Jones is. Turn the film on. That part – minimal at best. I really can’t help them too much. I don’t study their offense. I watch the other side of the ball, so I can’t help them too much in that area.”
 
(On what makes Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan so good)
“Matt Ryan [is a] great leader, extremely smart, very tough, excellent passer, good decision maker, takes accountability, face of your franchise, exactly what you want. Excellent, excellent QB.”
 
(On running back Doug Martin going out of bounds with about four minutes and 10 seconds left in the game and the lead)
“Situational football, that is an excellent point. We talk about situational football a lot. We did not handle situational football as well as we need to, to go where we want to go. Doug was thinking about scoring a touchdown and if you really watch that play and I’ve watched it 15,000 time, whether it’s from the wide copy or the end zone copy, that’s pretty borderline if he was in or not. You can’t really see either official signal. Maybe it’s just that the film is cut off, but Doug was trying to score a touchdown. That guy came from a long way away. That a nice play by [Bashaud] Breeland to get him. I think with that much time you’re probably asking a lot with that right there because players probably thinking, ‘I’m going to score a touchdown and if I get pushed out on the three, four, five’ – whatever it was – ‘we’re probably going to score anyway.’ We weren’t in what you call four-minute offense. We practice four-minute offense every week where we’re trying to waste time, but we were not in four-minute offense at that point in the game. I think that’s probably asking a lot.”
 
(On Donteea Dye)
“[He’s] explosive, excellent speed, tough and just one of those guys nobody knows much about him because he comes from a small school. He’s done nothing but improve since he got here. Some rookies, they start off strong in OTAs, made it through training camp and they kind of plateau out. ‘D.D.’ has continued to ascend throughout the season, so he’ll do fine and if that’s the case then he’ll be fine.”
 
(On how his time in Atlanta influenced him as a coach)
“The first thing that pops in my head – I don’t go around thinking like that – is I had a chance to be around some great players and some great coaches. You get a chance to be around Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White – think about the guys we had there – Mike Turner, Devin Hester – the all-time leading return guy in the league. I had three fun years in Atlanta. The first year was the most fun, because we won the most games, but I got to work with some great players and some great coaches. Same thing here, I’m doing the same thing here. I’m enjoying every second of it except when I screw up plays on the goal line.”
 
(On how much talk has been around Atlanta’s 56-14 victory over Tampa Bay last season when he was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator)
“A little bit. None by me. A little bit. Players that were in games like that, they remember it – players and coaches, just like I’ll will remember this Washington game for the rest of my life. You remember things that you mess up way more than you remember your greatest victories, I think anyway. So that game last year, I don’t think about it at all. There’s been a little talk about it, but not by me. You would have to ask other people more about it.”      
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On if losing a close game hurts more than losing a game due to a lot of errors)
“Absolutely not, a loss is a loss. I look at winning and losing; a loss is a loss and a win is a win. You can swap it over and say if I played a terrible game, but we won – a win is a win.”
 
(On where he’s seeing himself improve)
“Taking care of the football. When you take care of the football, we see it gives us a chance to win. That’s something I’m always going to focus on week to week.”
 
(On the key to his long touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans)
“I think preparation. When we practice the play we ask the guy to go full speed so we can get these reps, no matter if we are going against the scout team or whatever. Whatever the circumstance, just go full speed. Mike did a great job of just being a practice player this week. We wanted to get him the ball and the guys around him, they rose too. When you practice well, you play well.”
 
(On if he can still gain confidence from his performance even though the team lost)
“In every loss, in every win there is always something to gain from it. I’m always going to be confident. It was a tough one, but the positive thing [ is] we started fast. This year we’ve been struggling, ‘Hey, they don’t start fast,’ but we started fast. We went up early, now we just have to finish. We have to keep playing, play that full game.”
 
(On if he gained confidence from overcoming a tough situation like losing two receivers on the road)
“I’m always comfortable, but when you have guys around you that are just out there strictly to compete and play football it doesn’t matter what the circumstance is. I have great teammates. When we lost Vincent [Jackson] and [Louis Murphy] in the game – those are valuable assets to our team – we didn’t panic, we said, ‘we have to pick up our brothers because that’s who we fight for, those two mean that went down we have to lift them up.’ You can’t leave them.”
 
(On the possibility of wide receiver Vincent Jackson not playing this week and how the team works around that)
“You have to work hard. That’s the thing about this league, we don’t know about Vincent, we’re just going to wish for the best. We know he’s going to work hard and do his best, but guys have to step up. That’s part of being in the NFL. Guys are taken here and being put there. This is how it works and we’re not going to look back. We know Vince, who is one of our leaders, if he cannot play he’s going to help us out more than he possibly could have if he was on the field. He is just that type of guy.”
 
(On the camaraderie of the offense and guard Ali Marpet getting a penalty for unnecessary roughness) 
“We fight for each other. Fight is a strong term, but we battle for each other. Not only are we playing with each other, we’re playing for each other. I love my teammates. We love each other and we don’t want anyone to try and intentionally hurt one another. As an offensive lineman, that’s the mentality, ‘I’m trying to protect my quarterback’. Me and Ali came in here together. Me, Ali and Donovan [Smith] better have a tighter bond than anybody. It’s just competing. Some of those calls can go any way, it’s just who they see. I believe it was a flop, but Ali is going to fight for me.”
 
(On Atlanta running back and Florida State teammate Devonta Freeman)
“I try to keep up with those Seminoles, but it’s hard, we have so many successful Seminoles everywhere. Devonta is playing amazing and even [Jacksonville linebacker] Telvin [Smith] is playing amazing in Jacksonville, but we get to play against Devonta. The guy is just great. I saw it when he was in college. He’s just a great player.”
 
(On what Freeman does to make him a great player)
‘He’s just an all-around back. You don’t have to take him out at all. He can spread out, you can throw him a pass. He can run routes like a receiver, he has great hands. He can run downhill, he can stretch field, run outside – he can do everything that you want a typical back to do and he’s hard-noised. He’s smart. He can pass protect. He can do anything you ask him to do and that’s why I believe we had a very successful team at Florida State. We had guys like that that are willing to do anything.”
 
(On what he could have done differently on the third-and-one toss to running back Charles Sims on the one-yard line)
“If Coach [Dirk] Koetter calls it, we run it. One play never sums up a game for us. The way that Coach Koetter calls, that one play may never happen because he’s always on point and we have his back. If he tells us to do something we are going to execute it. That’s how it usually is. When we’re running plays, he calls it and we execute. The man is a genius at what he does. Things can go the other way. What happens if I toss is and Chuck spins off that tackle and scores a touchdown? You don’t have that question. It’s definitely a ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’ type of deal. I back my coach because I’m going to do whatever he says.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On if wide receiver Vincent Jackson will play on Sunday)
“I don’t know if he’ll be down (inactive) or not, but if he is, I’m just going to do what I always do – just try to make plays when the ball comes my way and play hard in the run game.”
 
(On how Jackson’s potential absence affects the offense)
“It changes it a lot. We’re losing one of the best in the game, so now we don’t have that guy to throw it to. He’s a leader for us, he’s a captain. He makes it so much easier for me, even since last year. It’s like having an extra coach out there. But we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.”
 
(On the team’s mindset after a tough loss last weekend)
“Put it behind us. We’ve got a new task at hand. We can’t just keep crying about it. We’ve got to do what we’re paid to do: play football and try to win games.”
 
(On facing double teams if Jackson is out and if he practices facing double teams)
“Sometimes. We don’t know for sure if I’ll get double-teamed or not. The Falcons don’t show that they’ll double anybody. They think they’ve got corners that can match up with anyone, so we’ll see how that goes.”
 
(On facing Washington and having his best performance of the season)
“It was good. You know, I wanted the ball to be in my hands at the end of the game, made some big third-down conversions. I thought we had the game won. We had too many penalties. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. It happened. We’ve got to bounce back.”
 
(On what he expects against Atlanta)
“They’ve got some good corners. They’ve got two really good corners. They’re a good defense. They’re 6-1, it’s a division opponent. They’re tough, they play hard. We’re familiar with them though. We know what they’re going to bring. We’ve got to execute.”
 
(On Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant)
“He’s a really good player, one of the better corners I’ve been against in my short career. He’s real quick, very savvy and super fast. Both corners are really fast. I’ve got to match him with my physicality.”
 
(On what he has seen out of wide receiver Donteea Dye)
“He’s steadily improving. He came from a D-3 (Division III) college. He’s so fast. He’s transitioned very well into this game and that’s hard for guys, especially from D-3. [He and guard Ali Marpet have] transitioned very well.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
 
(On sharing carries with fellow running back Charles Sims)
“That’s Coach’s call, who he decides to go in the game at certain times. I was ready to go over the top, but that wasn’t the case. The O-line did a good job of creating lanes for us and me and Chuck did a good job making plays. We didn’t get the outcome that we wanted, but we’re moving on to Atlanta and we’ll hopefully get this one.”
 
(On if he feels comfortable in the offense, despite a changing offensive line)
“Yeah, definitely. Me and Chuck have a lot of confidence in what the O-line can do, even with a bunch of guys moving around and people replacing each other and people carrying the flag, we still have the confidence in them and they’re doing an awesome job.”
 
(On the importance of getting a division win)
“It’s very important. It’s a division game. Last time we were over there in Atlanta, we didn’t have the game that we wanted. That kind of left some scars. We’re excited to go down there and show them what we’ve got.”
 
(On if the team remembers their loss at Atlanta last season)
“Definitely, it’s something that you don’t forget. You don’t forget that game. We’ll keep that in the back of our minds as we play.”
 
(On facing Atlanta’s defense)
“I think they’re No. three in run defense, but we look at every defense as a challenge and we’re excited to go over there and show them what we’ve got.”
 
(On scoring touchdowns in the red zone)
“You’ve just got to get it in there. It’s unfortunate. We emphasize scoring touchdowns, getting six points when we’re in the red zone. We’ve just got to execute better and everybody needs to do their job and things along that line.”
 
(On if the team’s mentality changed after halftime)
“There were a lot of momentum swings that happened in the game, with the onside kick [recovered by Washington]. What we didn’t do a good job of was the penalties. We had a lot of penalties throughout the game. Some of them we would like to have back and some of them are in our control and some of them weren’t. That was a big thing during the game.”
 
(On he and Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman being among the NFL rushing leaders)
“It’ll be a fun matchup. He’s an explosive back. I’ve seen tape on him while watching other film. It’ll be a cool matchup.”
 
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