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07 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Against Carolina, RB Doug Martin ran for 106 yards, his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and the eighth of his career, tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The rushing touchdown gave him 15 for his career, tied for the eighth-most in team history.
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
Kicker Connor Barth
Running Back Doug Martin
(Opening Statement)
“Two 1-3 teams, need a win. [It’s] kind of as simple as that. Injury list: Johnthan Banks, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Russell Shepard and Evan Smith aren’t quite there ready to practice. The rest of the guys were all able to do something. When there is a bitter taste in your mouth, you can’t wait to get to the practice field. Seems like you really do put the last game – whether it’s a win or loss – you put it behind once you get on the practice field, so that was good.”
(On how limited padded practices impact the development of offensive linemen and how guard Ali Marpet and tackle Donovan Smith have adjusted)
“I would agree that when you are a young player every practice that you have, every padded practice that you have, only stimulates their growth, so I agree with that point. The competitive advantage is what we have to look at. We are all going by the same rules. You can make that case for more days in the offseason, there is a lot of things that could help develop our players, but there are reason why we don’t do it. We’re going with what we have. Young players, we have to use the time we have to just get them ready as quick as we possibly can.”
(On if he is starting to see consistency from the offensive line)
“Well it’s new and they haven’t played together that long of a period of time. We’re still developing. To be able to see us success against the pass against a pretty good front and to be able to run the football, that’s showing us what we can be. Now it’s about being consistent with that effort and that’s for our entire football team right now. We see signs. In every area we see signs of what we can be, but the good teams are able to maintain that and you expect to have that type of effort every time and you start to get it. That’s where we want to be.”
(On if he is impressed with the consistency from Doug Martin)
“Yes, I am. As we talk about our football team, we haven’t been consistent. Doug Martin, though, has. It’s been pretty much the same type of play from him each week. In order for that to happen you have to say that we’ve done some good things up on the line to have holes for a running back to be able to run. His play has been consistent throughout. We will need that. We just need everyone to have consistent play like that. We’ve talked from offseason, training camp on, Doug has gotten himself in a position to play well each game and that’s what he is doing.”
(On if he noticed anything different from Martin when he came back in the offseason)
“No, his demeanor is the same. Doug is high on life every day, smiling, engaging, that’s how he’s always been, so no. You don’t really listen to an awful lot about what everybody says they’re going to do. You’re going to be consistent, play good ball. Each week that’s what you want to do. You have to let it play out. He has. He doesn’t do a whole lot of talking. Nobody is really interested in guys that do a lot of talking. You just want to see the guys that keep performing and that’s what he is doing.”
(On if he has seen improvements from Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles compared to his rookie year and if those are the sort of improvements he expects to see from quarterback Jameis Winston)
“First you have to have talent. Blake Bortles has all the talent that you look for – can throw the ball, make any of the throws you ask him to, good mobility, too, he doesn’t get credit for what he can do to buy a little bit of time to throw the football. All young quarterbacks have to go through the same process. If you are talented, you are going to see improvements each week. Over a year of being an NFL quarterback we do. We see [Bortles] growing. He’s come a long ways. He’s a good football player. We just don’t want him to be at his best. We want him to have some young quarterback struggles this week.”
(On winning a home game)
“This is the 2015 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we’re disappointed that we’ve lost two home games, yes. But, we have an opportunity to do it again. Can’t live in the past. We’re a better football team. Eventually if you keep doing things the right way you get over that hump and that’s what we are going to do. Frustration with the two losses we have this year, yes, I understand that for our home crowd. They have been outstanding. I think our fans see where we are heading and they are going to be there with us when we get that first win this year.”
(On showing more composure on the road)
“You want to play good on the road and at home, but if you had your preference you want to play your best ball at home. We want to get that home field advantage where it’s tough to come in here. That’s what we will eventually have. It’s good that we play good ball on the road, but eventually we are going to do it at home. Why not this week?”
(On how the team balances quarterback Jameis Winston making big plays and playing safe)
“I think absolutely. I think just not the quarterback position. I think you can look – I always talk about quarterback vs. quarterback, running back vs. running back, so you are trying to do that. I think as a competitor, yes, but at the same time, you have to get your hand burned in the fire. Then you start seeing. For us, it’s about the turnover ratio each week. As you look in the league – just not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – that’s what it’s about. You eventually get that.
“Just talking about Jameis’ interceptions – first interception, good play by a very good football player that squatted down on the route. Normally he’s not there. [One was a] tipped ball, one [was a] great play by a linebacker. These things will happen and you hit those like we’ve hit those. But there were a lot of good balls that Jameis Winston threw in that game. We’re just going to see more of those.”
(On what the team will learn about Winston, following a tough game last week)
“I think you learn from every tough situation [and] great things that happen to you and that’s what he’s gone through. In a month – four games of a football season – he’s had the different tough emotions that you go through during the football season. He’s been through that. He has learned. We saw him come back from a tough performance early on and bounce back that next week and that’s what we’re going to see. He’s already past that and again, it’s just not about him. When we have one of our players, one of our teammates, that’s had a couple tough things happen to them, it’s about the others rallying around and that’s what we need to do. As I see it, if you have a lot of turnovers, you need more takeaways. We’re going to keep harping on that and eventually as a football team we’re going to get it done.”
(On the depth at the cornerback positon with starter Johnthan Banks injured)
“You always want more depth and when you lose one of your starting players, it’s not a good thing, but we do feel like – we don’t think that we’re going to have a handicap or anything like that this week if Johnthan can’t play. The other guys have stepped up – Mike Jenkins, Tim Jennings, both of them have stepped up. Of course, Alterraun Verner [and] we moved up Jude [Adjei-Barimah] last week, so if [Banks] can’t go, we’ll be ok.”
(On cornerback Alterraun Verner making big plays on special teams after not starting)
“I think that’s your job. As a football player, you’re going to be in different roles each week, so I expect everybody, whatever we say we need to do this, this combination we need to go with this week, we expect the guys to accept it and do the best at it, whatever that role might be. That’s what Vern has done. Alterraun Verner is not out of our plans, by any means. We will find a way to get him on the football field and he’s going to help us win a lot of games around here.”
(On how important it is to get pressure with the defensive line)
“I think it’s a liability [if you can’t]. If we can’t get pressure with our four-man rush, yes, that is a liability. That just can’t happen and I don’t think it will happen. We have good enough rushers where we can do that [rush four]. In an ideal world, you want to get into situations where that four-man rush is based on third-and-long situations, where we can play one of our signature coverages and things like that. I think our pass-rush has been fairly good at times and it will only get better.”
(On wide receiver Donteea Dye)
“What he adds to our offense is [speed]. We have some big receivers, big, fast receivers, but the quick, fast – that’s what we’re really missing a little bit in our receiving corps. That’s what he brings to it. How a guy moves up is that when you’re on the practice squad, you go against the defense every day, so we have a chance to really see you versus a good group, a starting group of defenders each day, so you get a great evaluation. That’s why we moved him up, because he’s had a lot of success. We see what he’s been able to do consistently. It’s just not one time, we’ve seen that from him and we think that if he’s active this week, he will give us something that we haven’t had.”
(On starting the second quarter of the season and the importance of this week’s game)
“It will mean a lot. I talk on games – you just play the first quarter, it hasn’t gone exactly how you want and you come out, ‘Boom,’ big play to start the second quarter. Momentum shift right away. Then, for you to finish up, finish that way on high, going into the Bye Week of course is big. We’ve talked about this win would mean so much. I’m talking home win, but getting a win right now, just right where we are, we’ve had some things go against us, but to be 2-3 at this stage, we can live with that. It’s something to work with. We just need to see it on the scoreboard. We need to be able to find a win because I know we’re getting better as a football team. We’re going to be a good football team this year – just want it to happen this weekend.”
(On his first quarter grade for quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Coach [Lovie] Smith actually has the position coaches do first quarter grades on all the players. Obviously that should be kept between the coaches and players, but not good enough. Jameis [was] not good enough. We’re going to have some growing pains and we certainly had some last week.”
(On how many of Winston’s interceptions are due to his style and nature of play)
“Some, some. Unfortunately when you have four interception there is a lot of explaining to do. It’s different than if you threw one interception. We had four interceptions. It’s a fact. We had four. Two bad decisions, one tipped ball and one great play. That’s what I wrote on my sheet: two bad decisions, one tipped ball, one great play.”
(On if Winston is seeing the underneath coverage well enough)
“When we use words like ‘a lot’ – how many turnovers are too many? One turnover is too many. Every interception, any turnover, has a reason tagged to it. Jameis throws hundreds of passes every day and we had four interceptions, we already established that. Everybody is going to start saying, ‘He does this, he does this, he does this.’ Jameis is good enough. He wasn’t good enough on Sunday. Offensively we weren’t good enough. We were good enough in some areas, but you can’t spot another team that far and try to catch up and that’s on our offense. I just would say be cautious about everybody wants to put tags on ‘a lot’, that word a lot. A lot of this, a lot of that. Trust me, I watch a lot of film. I watch a lot of film. You can’t turn the ball over, plain and simple. My wife told me that when I went home. ‘He you guys got to quit turning the ball over.’ Yeah, okay, I know. We have to quite turning it over. There’s reasons for turnovers, some more easily fixable than others.”
(On if he is seeing progress from what Winston was in college compared to now)
“That’s a hard question, because you’re saying, ‘When he was in college,’ Playing in college is not playing in the NFL. They are different animals. Did we throw too many interceptions in this game? Yes. Can we base the whole rest of Jameis’ career on that? No, we can’t. It’s bad. It’s unfortunate. Today is Wednesday. I’ve had my 24 hours of mourning and believe me I was mourning. But we got to move on. We got to learn our lesson and move on. We can’t let last week beat us this week.”
(On where Winston is making progress)
“We had our best day on third down [on Sunday]; our first day over 50 percent on third down, our first day over 55 percent in the red zone, three-out-of-five touchdowns in the red zone. We are making progress. Unfortunately, turnovers wipe everything else out. If it would have been a no turnover 17-16 game, we’d be talking about other stuff, but turnovers changed the game – fumbled snap, a pick-six interception, we’re down 10-0 just like that and the whole game has changed. Unfortunately, that’s happened two out of four games. In between that, Jameis played two pretty good games – a win in New Orleans and he played pretty decent at Houston. What can we learn from that? Our quarterback is playing inconsistent. We have a rookie quarterback and he’s playing inconsistent. What’s the next news flash we are going to send? [laughter] That’s where we are at, when you draft a guy and you start playing him from Day 1. Is it acceptable? No. Does anyone have to tell Jameis? No. I’ve told you before, Jameis does see the field well. That’s one of his strengths. He does see the field well. We have to get off to a better start. I have to help get him off to a better start. I think things will be fine other than that. It was just unfortunate it went down that way on Sunday. We have to own it. That happened.”
(On how to fix those problems)
“At the same time, even though we have to help Jameis get off to a better start, we also have to give our team the best chance to win and we said in the Houston game, Houston was going to  shut our run game down, was playing us all in single-high coverage. That’s not what happened in Carolina. Carolina played a lot more zone coverage, vision reads on the quarterback and they’re one of the better teams in the league at doing that. So we ran in to some different issues, but we are gaining experience for our quarterback. We’ve got some other guys playing well at their positions. We are making progress as an offense, but again, turnovers – we’re going to have the same conversation every week if we turn it over five times.”
(On the learning process involved with tailoring the offense to Winston)
“I think that is definitely ongoing, not only what [tailoring to what] Jameis does best, but what everybody does best. Then you have your revolving injury situation. Then you also have to factor in what the other team’s defense does. We played – I just explained – the Houston defense different than the Carolina defense and we’re playing a different animal this week in the Jacksonville defense. Yeah, that is definitely an ongoing process until we arrive at ‘This is the Bucs’ offensive identity.’ We’re not there yet. Hopefully, we get there soon.”
(On the offensive line)
“I told you a few weeks ago, initially not only was everybody [in the media] worried about Jameis, but they were also worried about the offensive line. We said several weeks ago our O-line is going to be fine. Our two guards played good football here this last week. We’re working with our second center. Guys playing consistently together on the front. One of the interceptions was also a pressure. They ran a blitz, the running back missed his check, so we had a free runner in the quarterback’s face. We can stand up here and make excuses of why this happened or why that happened, but our offensive line is doing fine. They’re doing fine. We said that from Day 1. It takes all 11 guys. We have to play together. Doug [Martin] is running hard. We had a 100-yard rusher. Vincent [Jackson] played outstanding. We still need to get Mike [Evans] more involved. That’s also on the to-do list. Bottom line, we’re going to quit turning the ball over and giver ourselves a chance to win.”
(On if guard Ali Marpet and tackle Donovan Smith are ahead of schedule in terms of their progress)
“Ali played well again. Donovan played fine. When the game got out of hand there toward the end, late third, fourth quarter, they put a speed rusher in there. We were having to throw it pretty much no-huddle every down – tackle is on an island. That’s going to be difficult for most tackles in the league. But those two guys are rookies, too. Let’s not forget it. I would say Donovan [is] right on schedule and Ali [is] probably ahead of schedule. Those two guys are going to be good football players for the Bucs for years to come.”
(On running back Doug Martin and his consistency)
“Exactly how he practices. He comes to work every day, he works hard, he finishes plays, he knows his assignments, runs really hard breaking tackles. He got involved a little bit in the passing game. [He] made a nice little play on the screen the other day. They actually blitzed into it. He bluffed his guys, made a heads up, savvy, veteran play on that screen. Doug is one of the guys that’s playing winning football for us right now.”
(On how it helps to have a reliable running back)
“Just like the passing game, just like protection, everybody is involved in the run game: the line, the tight ends, our receivers have been blocking, our fullback. But it’s always great when that running back can make some yards on his own. Doug is doing it with power and breaking tackles. [Charles Sims] is doing it, too. He’s doing it more with making guys miss, but he’s just not getting as many touches, but he’s making some plays as well.”
(On Winston being more in a rhythm when the offense plays up tempo)
“He is. Jameis is definitely playing better in no-huddle. Obvious next question is, why aren’t you going no-huddle more? You can’t do everything you want to do game plan-wise out of no-huddle. It’s harder to do some of the things you want to do, especially with this being everybody’s first year in the system. We probably should be doing no-huddle more. We are playing better probably in no-huddle than when we’re not.”
(On if they went away from the no-huddle last week to give the defense more rest)
“No, we went away from it, then we came back to it right before the half. Our plan was to go the entire second half. We kind of got in and out of it and then in the fourth quarter we were more in a two-minute no-huddle instead of multiple no-huddle, pretty much the whole fourth quarter.”
(On Jacksonville’s run defense)
“They are excellent against the run. The reason is they always outnumber you by one. It’s the Seattle defense that Coach [Gus] Bradley brought from Seattle – single-high, eight guys in the box if you got two backs or two tight ends, seven guys in the box if you have one back and a tight end. They are always going to have you outnumbered by one. In coaching terms, you are always running up hill. You’re always looking how do we get a hat for a hat? How do we get leverage? They play with excellent leverage. They play very hard on defense. They are a good tackling defense. That’s why they are good against the run.”
(On if Jacksonville’s run defense changes his game plan to throwing the ball more)
“That’s the big question right now. That’s what we are going to start practicing today is how we can balance all that. Jacksonville, again, plays very hard on defense. They are impressive with their run defense.”
(On getting off to a faster start in games)
“Everybody talks about it, but talking about it and doing it – we need to do it. I thought Coach [Lovie] Smith did a great job talking to our team about that, our team in general, last week. Going back to that nasty turnover word, we could have nine or 10 guys playing great, but if we turn the ball over that really takes everybody else out of it. We turned it over the second play of the game and we turned it over that next interception in the next drive. You talk about fast starts all we want, but you can’t turn the ball over. I think we would start fine if we didn’t turn the ball over, but we have, unfortunately. It’s not an easy question to answer – stop turning the ball over. How do you stop turning the ball over? We cannot go out there and run it 50 straight times if that’s what you want me to say. We can’t do that. There’s no way that will work. It’s never worked and it won’t work now.”
(On if the turnover issues put the defense in a bad position)
“Absolutely. I feel like I should apologize to our defense after last week.”
(On if missed field goal attempts and extra points affect what the offense does)
“No. Again, I tell the offensive guys if you don’t want to worry about it, don’t put it in the field goal kicker’s hands. Finish with a touchdown. That’s the way I look at it. If we score touchdowns then we don’t have to worry about field goals. Again, I have plenty of problems on my own. I’m not worried about that.”
(On wide receiver Donteea Dye)
“Well, we are going to find out. To everybody he’s a little bit of an unknown. Played small college football. He’s a guy that worked his way up – made the team, undrafted rookie, worked very hard in practice, flashed every day in practice, he makes plays against our defense in practice. He’s been elevated, he’s going to get some time and we’ll see what he can do. He’s got some juice, he’s got some confidence. It’ll be a big week for him. He’s playing in his first NFL game. He’s come along way. I’m proud of the guy. You got to admire what he’s accomplished. It’s a good story. We should be talking about that story instead of how many interceptions we’re going to throw this week.”  
(On how tough it was to watch his film from the Carolina game)
“It’s tough anytime you lose. It’s just tough when you lose.”
(On the process he is going through with Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter to minimize turnovers)
“It’s just decision making. That’s one thing we pride [ourselves on] here is just making good decisions and winning the turnover ratio. Obviously last game wasn’t what we expected, but I just have to get better every week.”
(On if there is something he is doing consistently to cause him to throw interceptions)
“No, I don’t sit back analyze, look for excuses I can make about turnovers. My job is just to protect the football. I just have to do a better job of protecting it. You got to learn from them.”
(On the challenge of coming back after a four-interception performance)
“It’s a good thing. You can only go up. I try to motivate myself to get back in the game and go play, because that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to play and try to get us a win.”
(On attacking Jacksonville’s defense in a smart way in order to limit turnovers)
“It’s a great challenge. It’s a challenge for me, it’s a challenge for this team. We’ll accept that challenge and my job is definitely going to be harping on just taking care of the football. We got some great players around me on this team that can make plays, so I just have to protect the football.”
(On defenses watching his eyes and how he tries to prevent it)
“Eye control is one thing that I always focus on, so I know eye control is no reason for the interceptions. I just need to take care of the ball.”
(On the process of making better decisions)
“It’s really is that simple. You just have to take the simple play. Give it to your back, let him make a big play. You can’t put everything on yourself. Sometimes [defenders] they make good plays. Thomas Davis made a great play on that interception. There are so many ways you can sum up an interception, but at the end of the day you just got to try to limit those. There are opportunities to make that play and try to protect it a little bit more.”
(On if he needs to do a better job with checkdowns)
“Yeah, definitely.”
(On if he is still trying to learn what throws he can and can’t make)
“Yeah, it’s just with film and preparation you see what type of guys you can make that throw on and what type of guys you can’t. Obviously I’m still trying to get better. This is my first year, so I got to take stuff and look at it and learn from them.”
(On interacting with children during Tuesday’s Rookie Club visit to Metropolitan Ministries)
“It was amazing to be with the kids and make them smile. They made me smile and made me feel real good about myself. Any chance we, especially the rookies, when you get a chance to do that and touch a kid, it’s amazing. I have a eight-year-old brother. He means a lot to me. Looking at those kids’ faces and making them smile and just making their day, maybe even their life, is very important.”
(On why the no-huddle offense has been successful for him)
“I like the up tempo, but we have one of the best offensive coordinators in the whole league. I just have to do what he coaches me to do. I have to take care of the ball. He’s putting me in great situations, I just have to make the right decision more consistently. In no-huddle it’s easier to make the right decision, because it’s quicker. You have to make a quick decision, you have to get the ball out of your hand. Same with our whole offense, you have to make quick decision to get the ball out of your hands. No matter if it’s no-huddle or if it’s huddle, at the end of the day, the ball has to be in our hands and not the other team’s.
(On not putting everything on his shoulders and learning about himself at the NFL level)
“Yeah, it’s learning about myself. I’m adjusting to this game, trying to get better at something every week. You see last week, third downs, we were way better on third downs last week. Last week we talked about how we struggled on third downs, we came back. Red zone touchdowns, we had two redzone touchdowns, so that was important. Every week I’m trying to work on something, improve on something and for the rest of the season and from now on I have to work on not turning the ball over. That’s an easy thing to do, because if I don’t it’s going to be bad.”
(On the relationship with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter)
“He’s been doing this for so long, I know he knows what’s best for me. I just have to help him out. It’s not a one-sided relationship. It has to be a two-sided relationship and not only is he making me look good, because every play he calls is setting it up to make our team look good. He just trusts me with his offense and I have to execute for him, not only him, [but] for the whole team.”
(On if the adjusting to the NFL is harder than he originally thought)
“It’s week by week. It’s the first quarter of the season. I got to get better. It’s not like it’s a mystery. I just have to play better. I have to perform better. The thing is it’s good. It’s a learning curve. It’s learning for me and it gives me a chance to bounce back.”
(On the grade he would give himself through the first quarter of the season)
“I don’t give myself no grade. My [goal] is to just get better every week.”
(On his footwork against Carolina)
“The thing about playing football is sometimes you have to make that awkward throw. The main thing, like you said, fundamentally every play you try to be as technically sound as you can possibly be. I felt like, especially my footwork, I’m getting better on my footwork every week, my drops and my pocket movement. I’m improving on that, but the main focus this week and for the rest of the season is just taking care of the football.”
(On if there is any back-and-forth between him and Koetter that helps them push each other)
“The mentality Coach Koetter has is the mentality everybody needs to have – just do you job. It’s not a time to make excuses. You can say you if, and or but about it, but at the end of the day you have to go out there and perform and execute.”
(On not being happy that another kicker lost his job but being glad to be back)
"At the end of the day it's a business. I'm just looking forward to coming in here and hopefully helping this team win some games. It's nice to be back. I'm looking forward to it."
(On where he is in terms of readiness to kick for the Bucs)
"I'm good. I've got DePo [long-snapper Andrew DePaola]. I've got Jake [Schum] holding and DePo has been a long-time roommate of mine. He snaps the ball great and they make it easy on me. My job is to make the kicks no matter what happens and I'm just looking forward to it. We had some work a few weeks ago and we'll get back in the rhythm this week and hopefully have a good showing on Sunday."
(On what a kicker can do to stay sharp when not on a roster)
"Actually, I have a trainer back at home, we're doing a lot of beach workouts and I'm kicking at my high school. My kicking coach up in Charlotte, Dan Orner, works with a lot of guys around the league. I bought this 300-pound tire and I've been flipping it down my street a little bit. The neighbor's been a little weird about that, but it's been fun. No, I like different kinds of workouts, but just staying sharp and mentally staying sharp, just waiting for a call."
(On his journey of recent years, starting with an Achilles tendon injury in 2013)
"I think it's pretty normal for a kicker. It's very rare these days that you're going to stick with one team. So you've got to look at as a business. I'm kind of a consultant. What, there's 32 jobs? It's just a blessing to be able to play wherever, no matter what it is. To be able to be one of the 32 guys again is pretty cool."
(On other teams making kicker changes but not signing him in recent weeks)
"It's always frustrating, but at the end of the day it's what team do you fit the best with? What does a team need? That's all you can do. You've just got to keep working. I've always had a positive attitude no matter what, so you've just got to take it in stride. Luckily I have a great support system with family and friends and my agent, so you've just got to keep rolling and see what happens."
(On if he thinks kickoffs are the reason he wasn't previously on a team)
"That's definitely probably one of the reasons. I had the awesome luxury of having Mike [Koenen] here for three years. If he's not the best he's one of the best kickoff [guys] in this league, and obviously punt as well. I think it was almost like people – it wasn't because I couldn't kick off, it was more that I just didn't have to do it. When you don't do something for three years – it's kind of like when a quarterback gets the, 'He doesn't have a strong arm,' kind of thing. People have just forgotten that I could. I did kick off the first two years here from the 30, so it's just getting back in a rhythm because I haven't had to do it. I'm looking forward to actually getting to show what I can do with that, actually get a season to show what I can do from that aspect and do well. So, yeah, it is what it is. You're always trying to get better. If you're perfect at everything you might as well stop playing. You've always got something you've got to work on and I'm looking forward to working on that and just getting better at everything I do."
(On getting a 100-yard rushing game and what's working in Tampa Bay’s running game)
"I haven't had one of those in a while. I take my hat off to the linemen – they did a good job of staying on guys and [blocking] guys downfield, but that's something we've got to continue doing down the line."
(On quarterback Jameis Winston learning to check down some throws to the running backs)
"We can probably do a better job of getting in his ear about it. That takes the pressure off him on the long throw. If you don't have it, check it down to the backs and that could be 10 [yards] or maybe even 20. That's something that he's learning and we'll get better at doing that."
(On if he's feeling like his old self)
"I've been feeling like that since training camp. It's a new season and I have a great line in front of me and they've allowed me to do the things that I've been able to do."
(On if he's been surprised by the offensive line and its two rookie starters)
"We have two rookies and we had Dot [Demar Dotson] go down and guys had to step in, and those guys are playing hard. They're playing hard, they're hungry and coming in as rookies they had some growing pains but they're hard-workers and they want to win. They're fighters and that's the type of guys that most running backs want in front of us blocking."
(On if he takes Jacksonville's strong rushing defense as a challenge)
"Every time. Every time I hear they're good at stopping the run I take it as a challenge. I just can't wait to get out there on the field."
(On how Tampa Bay could attack Jacksonville’s defense if they load up the box to stop the run)
"I can't give away everything that we're going to do, but everybody has to execute. Everybody has a job to do, and if everybody does their job and stays on their guys, we'll be successful. But I can't give you everything."
(On if this is the best he's felt in his NFL career)
"Physically, yes. Last year I was hit with the injury bug and I was never able to reach 100 percent. But now that I am I feel pretty good. I feel good and I feel confident in my game."

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