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16 September 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Wednesday, September 16, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Last season, Tampa Bay’s defense intercepted New Orleans QB Drew Brees six times over the two games the teams played, the most times the Buccaneers have intercepted an opposing quarterback in one season (also Green Bay QB Lynn Dickey, 1984).
                 
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
Center Evan Smith
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“Injury list first, how about it? Guys that didn’t practice – I know you were out there to see part of it – T.J. Fatinikun, Danny Lansanah has an ankle injury. Wasn’t able to go today, but we’re hopeful [he will be able to] a little bit later on. Major Wright wasn’t able to practice either. Guys who practiced on a limited basis – always good to get some of the players back out there – Bruce Carter finished the game, but he practiced on a limited basis today, was able to do most of the work. To get Mike Evans back, to do more [is good] and Mike Jenkins’ hamstring is getting better. So, three guys that are nursing injuries that were able to do a little bit. Beyond that, just want to get back on the practice field as soon as you possibly can. Of course the game didn’t play out the way we wanted it [to], but as I told the team, one game does not define who we are. We realize that’s what’s on the table right now. We’re doing something about it. It’s good when you go through something like that. Your next opponent coming up – for us, having an opportunity to get a division road win is big for us.”
 
(On Winston staying up late Sunday night to watch film and what that says about him as a rookie quarterback to put in that effort)
“Rookie quarterback and all of us – that’s what we should have done. When things go that way, you want to find out exactly what happened and you want to start working, getting a plan to fix it as soon as you possibly can. That starts immediately. Doesn’t surprise me, of course, with Jameis. Again, we were all disappointed in our play and we all watched the game right away. We’ll continue to learn from it and that’s what it’s about, especially your first game. This is the first game, I set the bar, now I know for sure what I need to work on and that’s what we’re doing.”
 
(On if he saw things that are easily corrected on film)
“I didn’t see anything that we can’t correct, I should answer the question like that. They played well, but a lot of times – not a lot of times, always, it starts with you and us, in this case. There are things that we can execute a lot better, from me down. When you go through something like this, it’s good to see that everybody sees it that way too, that we can [improve]. But the way you do that is not talking, it’s [to] get back out there and start working on it and that’s what we did. We got better today, which we needed to.”
 
(On the defense struggling despite having players that are familiar with the system)
“Players that know the system, that gets you up to pace a little bit, then you play the football game, so I can’t say that just because guys know the system [they] go out and play well. Every other team in the league knows the system, so that doesn’t get it. What we’re going to do, we’re not going to – for me, we can keep bringing up the same questions. We didn’t play well. I don’t know the reasons why, but we’re just working on being better. Our plan is to play a lot better this week and we won’t have to keep answering these kind of questions. I can’t change much on that. I don’t know exactly why all the things happened.”
 
(On who is held accountable after a loss like the one against Tennessee)
“Everybody that lost, that’s what they’re saying. One team isn’t going to do their job, so for us, Sunday, we didn’t do our job. But what else is there? You can’t keep harping on that though, you have to eventually move on. We’ve established that. We’ve said that plenty of times – we didn’t do our job. We all didn’t do our job. Now, you move on. We plan on doing our job this week. That’s where we are right now.”
 
(On answering the question regarding the team’s performance against Tennessee)
“We understand that question is going to be there until we play another game, but we have to move past that. You can’t let one loss beat you the next week. You do that by continuing to bring up the negative things that happened. There were some positive things, but publicly you don’t talk a lot about positive things that happened. But there were some and we’ll play better this week. That’s our plan. The only way you can do that of course, to feel like you’re going to play better, it’s what you do out there [on the practice field].”
 
(On how if the noise in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will make it impossible for the quarterbacks to communicate with the offense verbally)
“I wouldn’t say impossible. We know every year we’re going to play in a few domed stadiums. We played there last year and we had some success. Teams have had some success [there]. It’s not like that’s a ‘gimme,’ that you play in a dome and you can’t get any communication. We work on the silent count and being able to handle situations like this. We feel like we’re going to be ok. You’re right, it is tough duty, but we’ll be able to handle it.”
 
(On what he saw from the players today that showed improvement)
“Well first, what they showed me is that they were ready to move on and, again, we hid what happened in the past. Now it’s about how you’re grasping New Orleans, the game plan that we’re putting in on what we expect. This [was] a padded practice today – just how we hit, how we played, how we performed out there today, that’s what we were looking on. That’s the only way to get a bad taste out of your mouth, is to go back to work out there. And if you’re not ready and you’re in pads, you can look bad again. That wasn’t the case. Again, we haven’t won a game this year. There’s not a whole lot else we can say until we win a football game. We got closer to winning a football game today, with that effort.”
 
(On if Sunday’s game against New Orleans will be a statement of pride for the team)
“There’s no doubt that the pride factor fits in when you get beat like that. And not after the game – before the game ended. They were up big in the third quarter. That’s where you start finding out things on how you handle that at the end. Defensively, right at the end – offensively too – guys fought hard, trying to get something positive going right up until the end. That’s when the pride factor started. From there, you have a chance for you to really analyze what happened. The pride makes the best come out in you most of the time. And that’s what we’re going to get. History does teach you an awful lot and we do have a history with [bouncing back from a big loss]. Hopefully we can have the same type of effort after a loss like that.”
 
(On running back Doug Martin)
“Talking about the positives, we’ve talked about Doug since the offseason type of camp. He was one of the few bright moments we had, but that was the case. He ran hard, the way he’s been running throughout. For us to get out of this hole, we need to get the running game going and stay in games where we can continue to run the football. That was a bright spot. I’m going to say again, a guy like Austin Seferian-[Jenkins], he has to build on a game like this. When you have your best game, you look at everything collectively as a team, but individually, if it’s your best game, you have to pull from that. And Austin should do that. We have a couple guys like that.”
 
(On linebacker Lavonte David’s comment that the early penalty against Major Wright drained the team’s energy)
“It doesn’t do any good to talk about an official’s call, unless it’s changed – something that happened during the course of the game. We had other opportunities. That was a good opportunity to get momentum, but we could have gotten momentum the next play. That’s about all I can say about that.”
 
(On running back Bobby Rainey working as the team’s primary punt and kick returner and if that competition is open)
“It’s always open, but I’m going to say [he was] one of the bright spots. We’ve been trying to get our punt return game – just our return game in general – going and Bobby did a good job. It’s a shame we had one of those returns called back, but Bobby can catch the ball, he can make you miss in the open field and he’s excited about playing on the turf this week and getting some more from our special teams. Our special teams, for the most part, did a decent job playing throughout the day.”
 
(On if the team wants to see more from the pass rush
“There were a lot of play-action passes and it’s hard to get a pass rush sometimes when it’s play-action and the balls are coming out quickly. New Orleans as a whole – what did they pass, over 50 times this past [week]? You have more opportunities to get to the quarterback, even though Drew Brees, of course, is one of the all-time greats and has a quick release on getting the football out. But we’ve played them before – in order to have success, you have to be able to get some pressure. Maybe two times this past week he was sacked? Not an awful lot, but we need to this week.”
 
(On how quarterback Jameis Winston responds to losing after having had so much success in college)
“Well it’s according to if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. As I see it, he lost – you said one game in college? He’s lost one game in the NFL right now. So he’s got one [in college] and one [in the NFL]. Jameis will be fine. As I talked with Jameis, we got behind big, I said – of course I talk to all the guys on how they were feeling, especially some of our young players. He said ‘Hey Coach, I’ve been behind a lot of times in college. I just assumed we were going to come back. That was the plan.’ Again, there’s a lot of football left to go. Don’t tattoo that performance on us. Just wait a little bit to see exactly who we are. Jameis and everybody else – all of us. I say the story will be written a little bit differently than that one.”
 
(On how large a factor takeaways will be on Sunday)
“It’s big. And I hate to keep going back to the last game, but you look at how a turnover can really set momentum with that game. But it’s like that every game. You go through the teams that won this past week, it was based on takeaways or an offense turning the ball over. So we as a defense, of course that’s what we talk about each week. But the first thing we have to do is, in order to get a takeaway you have to have guys around the pile – as many as possible. The first thing we’re going to do is we start talking to our team about we can play harder. We can be more relentless defensively to the ball, and a lot those things will happen just kind of based on that. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
 
(On whether Tennessee’s success with play action was due to Tampa Bay’s linebackers being too anxious to defend the run left passing lanes open)
“Combination of that. And we were in different coverages when it hit us different times. We were in Cover 2 a time, man, three deep – play action passes, normally that’s the case. In an ideal situation, you want to be in man coverage where you have tight coverage for sure on him. And we had that too. It’s still about execution on that. Again, our game wasn’t the only one that they had popped passes, some quick play-action passes. You’re going to see those each week and we have to play them better. Up front: hands up, next level, linebackers getting into the gaps and of course the secondary. We’ll tighten all that up this week.”
 
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DIRK KOETTER
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s play against Tennessee)
“First of all, as far as our offense in general, there were only a couple guys that played good enough for us to be where we need to be. Jameis needs to do better in multiple areas, but he’s not the only guy in that position. We only had a couple guys play good enough to win.”
 
(On what areas Winston needs to improve)
“As I’ve said in here before and as Jameis has, we need to get better at everything. The very first interception, he just made a bad decision. They were playing two-man, we didn’t have a great route run by the receiver that needs to win. When you’re going against two-man coverage one receiver usually has a two-way go so he can go in or go out. The guy didn’t run a very good route. It’s the quarterback’s job to cut our losses. [The] first interception [was] a bad decision. [The] second interception, on the screen, was just a bad throw. You got to make a better throw right there. What does he need to get better on? Quarterbacks have to make great decisions. When quarterbacks don’t make good decisions, bad things happen. Quarterbacks don’t make good throws, bad things can happen. Now, that applies to every quarterback in the NFL not just Jameis Winston. Those are two examples of plays that hurt us that Jameis [has] to do better on.”
 
(On how he would describe the offensive linemen)
“Your offensive line, more than any other group on a football team, is jelling – you’re getting used to the communication between the guy that plays next to you. Two rookies in there, a new right tackle in there that hasn’t been here very long. The word I would just use is jelling. It’s two veterans in Logan [Mankins] and Evan [Smith] in the middle of the line, but three new guys in there. The O-line is indicative of what I say I said in the first question. Other than a couple positions, the O-line didn’t play good enough, the quarterback didn’t play good enough, the coach didn’t coach good enough. We got beat in all aspects. The O-line is no different than any of the others, but jelling would be the word that I would use.”
 
(On if there is a quality the offensive line needs to have in order to be successful)
“I don’t know if there is one thing. Tough, intelligent, nasty, you could use a lot of different words. Productive would be the word I think we would be voting for right now.”
 
(On how the early deficit against Tennessee affected his game plan)
“You can see, we need to be a balanced football team right now. Again, with a rookie quarterback we need to be balanced. If you look at the whole, our run game wasn’t too far off. It was still off, because we had those penalties that took us out of some decent runs. In any game you get behind – the other team scores – it’s the offense’s job to score. They scored on the first drive, we got the ball – not only did we not score, we gave them a touchdown. Now we’re down two scores and pretty soon we’re down three scores. We got out of our game plan quick because – I think we talked about this in one of my first meeting with you guys – time and score. We only have so many [possessions] in the game and you’re falling behind. Our game plan was to do different things. Tennessee’s game plan was to do different [things]. They didn’t blitz nearly as much as we thought. After they got up a few scores, they started playing more soft coverage because they didn’t have to blitz. They didn’t really pressure us that much with all the crazy blitzes we had prepared for. It happens. You get out of your game plan sometimes, it’s not what you want to do, but it happens. It happened in that game.”
 
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’s performance)
“Jon Embree, our tight end coach, said in our staff meeting that it was the best game that Austin has played in his two years here. I wasn’t here last year, but Austin looked like he was moving towards the type of player that we all want him to be – a second round pick, a tight end. He had three explosive plays in the game, he had two touchdowns, he was able to win against one-on-one coverage, made a beautiful catch on a tipped ball. Austin was one of those guys that I mentioned that we need more guys to elevate to that level to be successful.”
 
(On how to prepare a young offensive line and rookie quarterback for the noise at the Merceds-Benz Superdome)
“[The] next two weeks we are playing at two of the loudest places at the NFL – the Superdome and then going to Houston the following week. You practice that stuff during training camp. We did need to work on it a little bit, Minnesota in the preseason was our loudest. The Miami game was not loud at all. That’s [the] number one thing on our board today of things we must do to be successful in this game is to handle the noise. Jameis has played in big games in big stadiums before, so he’s experienced that. The first two, right out the gate, being in dome stadiums that is going to be a challenge and something we’ll be addressing this week.”
 
(On if they can take advantage of New Orleans’ injured secondary)
“We hope to. They are banged up. They have, overall, three or four good football players that won’t being playing for New Orleans this week. Arizona was able to do a good job against them in the passing game last week. After the way we played last week we need to steady the ship first and foremost. We have to not contribute to beating ourselves. After you get that your attack mode also takes over and you are right back to playing to your strengths, hiding your weaknesses.”
 
(On what he says to Jameis Winston after a bad performance)
“I think Coach [Lovie] Smith did a really good job addressing that with our team. It’s one of 16. I didn’t expect that game to go that way. I don’t think any of our players expected [the game to go that way], but it did. We have to own it. It is what it is. We were not good enough in any aspect. I put myself at the top of that list. We have to own it. There [are] 15 more of them. Your actions are going to speak louder than words. We talked to the offensive players about that. We have to come before  you, you guys have a job to do, I have a job to do. I can say anything I want to up here, but bottom line is we will be judged on our actions – what we do moving forward – and that’s the same for Jameis as well as anybody else.”
 
(On checking down)
“You’re talking about the interception? On that one they were actually playing two-man, so there is no check down. Two-man is everybody is playing man under and you got two deep safeties – five guys playing man, two under. One of our five guys has to win, period. You have to beat man coverage. We had a good concept on, we had a guy that’s been successful throughout the preseason beating that coverage, very good at it in fact and in this particular play he wasn’t. That happens on every level of football. Once again, the quarterback, he made the right read, he was looking at the right guy, the guy was covered – you got to throw it away or you got to become a runner.”
 
(On if Winston maintained good mechanics or fell back into bad habits)
“I think when a game is going like that game [went], I think it’s very, very normal to revert back when things are that far – we’re not talking about one or two scores – when things are that far gone. I think it’s very normal to revert. It takes a lot to stay focused on coach speak. We’re telling those guys ‘play this play, play this play, play this play,’ that’s rough. The thing that is maybe most disappointing about the game is what a great turnout we had from the crowd. That stadium was ready to go crazy. Our defense goes out there. Our defense gets that big hit on the first play. We, I’m speaking offensively now, we needed to give them something and we didn’t do that. We needed to get the crowd in the game. That’s how you take advantage of your home field. As the game gets out of hand it’s tough to think one play at a time. It’s tough and we need to do better. Part of that is experience.”
 
(On penalties being an issue and whether it falls more on the players or coaches)
“It’s a team game. It’s the greatest team game going. It’s on all of us. Ten penalties, that’s ridiculous. We can’t have 10. I’m never going to be that one that stands up here and throws anybody under the bus unless it’s me. We all have to do better. Ten penalties were called on us, we have to own them and improve.”
 
(On center Joe Hawley)
“Right now Joe just adds to the veterans we have. We have Logan [Mankins], we have Evan [Smith], we brought Gosder [Cherilus] in. We just don’t have a lot of veteran back up players. Joe is also a guy that early in his career in Atlanta did start some games at guard the year before I got there and Atlanta went to the playoffs that year. When I was there Joe was primarily a center, but right now Joe is in more of a depth providing mode. The verbiage is very much the same. I just talked to Joe coming off the field from his first walk thru. He’s up to speed very quickly as opposed to most guys you are going to pick up this time of year.”
 
(On if center Evan Smith had shotgun snaps looking slow)
“ He did have a couple that were. There were a couple times that they rushed Evan hard to his off-snapping hand, so he was really focusing on getting that hand up. A couple of those balls did float a little. That has not been an issue, but it did happen a couple of times in that game.”
 
(On if Winston graded out positively)
“No, he did not grade out positively. Nobody graded out positively. I’m sure there are some aspects, but, again, when you get beat like we got beat, you just have to tell it like it is as a coach. The players know. They know. You’re not going get up there – when you get beat like that – and make up a bunch of, ‘well, we kind of did this good and we kind of did this good.’ Austin Seferian-Jenkins had some good plays. Doug [Martin] had some good runs. Other than that we [have] to do a lot better. That’s all it is.”
 
(On if Winston knew what he did wrong as soon as he came off the field)
“Yes, absolutely. That is one thing, Jameis is very good in that area. He knows. He takes ownership for it, which is good, but we have to quit doing it. That’s the same for me. The mistakes I make I got to quit doing it. Holding on a run play, we got to quit doing it. False start, we got to quit doing it. That’s the same for every position.”
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On his first regular season game)
“You just have to put that one behind you. You have to move forward. And that’s one thing the veterans were telling me. In the NFL, it’s just one game. We have a long season, so you have to get ready for the next one.”
 
(On being in a groove with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“He’s just another great asset to our team. He’s an amazing tight end. We have so many weapons around us with Mike [Evans] and Vincent [Jackson] and Doug [Martin] that people sometimes forget about [Seferian-Jenkins], but it was amazing to see how he just stepped up and made some great plays.”
 
(On Seferian-Jenkins giving his game ball to Winston)
“That first touchdown pass, that was important, special, for what me and him have been doing – working in the offseason. Kind of a token of hard work.”
 
(On playing in noisy environments like what he will face against New Orleans at the Superdome)
“We played in Death Valley, which is arguably one of the loudest stadiums in college football. So that was a good noise [test]. But in the end of the day, we don’t play against the noise. We play with each other. We do a lot of things at practice to kind of prep us for the noise.”
 
(On whether he plans to exploit New Orleans’ secondary, which is dealing with injuries)
“My main goal is to go out there and just play Buccaneer football – do what I have to do to put us in a good situation. We know that they are going to have a great plan anyway, but I really have to focus on my technique and doing the right thing and protecting the football.”
 
(On how late he stayed up on Sunday night watching tape from the Week 1 game)
“I stayed up [until] probably about 2 o’clock, just trying to see what went wrong. I was trying to get every excuse just to put that one behind me – it hurt. But at the end of the day, the sun did rise again the next day and I was back out there playing football.”
 
(On what he wants to put behind him from the game)
“Just the early turnover. You always have that ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’-type syndrome, but the early turnover really just hurt me. But you learn from it and you move on.”
 
(On the reason for first the turnover)
“No, just a bad decision. A very bad decision. But you make those sometimes. I just can’t make it again.”
 
(On whether it’s typical for him to immediately watch film and get to work after a game)
“I don’t like failure. So, definitely, that was probably my main [motivation] was watching film that night. I need to watch this to see what happened. Like I always say, you put it behind you. You only can get better from there. One thing about being wise is not only learning from your mistakes, but learning from other peoples’ mistakes. Other people have done that before, so I just have to do my job.”
 
(On his first NFL experience)
“The experience was still amazing. That was my first game of my career in the NFL. The experience was amazing; the result wasn’t what I wanted, but, as a football player and for the love of this game, I loved every moment out there. I didn’t give up. I’m still here.”
 
(On if there was a difference in the speed of the regular season)
“No. I was prepared. Coach Koetter and Coach Bajakian and Coach Smith, they did a great job with preparing me. I just made some bad decision that hurt us. They had me prepared, so I was ready, but, like we say, you have to put that behind you. You can’t focus on that. [Just] move on to the next game and try to redeem yourself.”
 
(On losing a game)
“That’s where the saying comes in, ‘You win some, you lose some.’ At the end of the day, I know I’m a competitor, so I don’t focus on any of the negatives or the losing for that matter. My main goal is to make it to the next day. As long as we live to fight another day, to keep competing, I’ll never give up. I have great teammates here, I had great teammates at Florida State, so what we’re going to do is keep competing and keep getting better. It’s going to change.”
 
(On whether having a loss to start his career helps him prepare going forward)
“It’s a very humbling experience, because the game could have gone either way. If I would have had a great game, people would be ready for me to have my, ‘How is he going to handle his bad game when it comes?’ I got it out of the way and it’s no laughing matter, but it happened fast. I was not expecting it to happen that fast, but it happened. So as a young man, as a quarterback of this program, I have to grow up from that and try not to live that experience again.”
 
(On the support he received following the loss)
“This team, they just put their arms around me. Everybody just came up to me, ‘Hey man, keep your head up.’ Because they probably saw it in my eyes after the game – I’m not used to losing a home opener. It happened. That’s football, that’s life. And in life you have to get back up, bounce back and keep fighting.”
 
(On the best advice he got following the loss)
“Keep playing. One thing about boxing, sometimes you might lose a round, but you get back in that ring. You keep fighting until you knock one out.”
 
(On how quickly he was back in the building after the game)
“I was here Monday morning. Just preparing, getting my body right. Got a lift in about 6:30 [AM], just trying to get everything out of my mind, just clear my head. But I’m excited for this week. That’s the main thing. I’m so excited to just give us a chance. This is a tough division game that we have and one of our goals, we still have a chance to make one of our goals, and that’s to win our division. So I’m very excited to play against the Saints and I know my teammates are as well.”
 
(On whether his grandmother will be able to attend the Week 2 game)
“Absolutely. I already got her her tickets for New Orleans. That’s another reason I’m excited – she’s going to be able to come to one of her first games. She wasn’t able to come to any of my games in college, so that’s going to be very important to me.”
 
(On quarterback Mike Glennon and the help he has provided)
“Mike helped me last week. That quarterback room that we have with Coach Koetter, Coach Bajakian and even with Ryan [Griffin], we help each other so much. Whether it’s Tennessee or what to be looking at on this type of coverage. So Mike has helped me tremendously since I’ve been here.”
 
CENTER EVAN SMITH
 
(On his first experience with crowd noise being a factor)
“As long as you trust the process of how we teach the silent count it’s not bad. If you are more worried about trying to get off the ball and stuff like that and you’re not really tuned in to it, yeah it can be hard. The teams that practice it are good at it, it’s not something that affects them. It comes down to making sure everybody is communicating. It is loud and you need to get all that stuff squared away. As long as everybody is on the same page – because it’s going to be hard to hear so we all need to talk to each other.”
 
(On what he would like the identity of the offensive line to be)
“We’d like to run the ball, be physical and be good in pass [protection]. I think that’s what every offensive line wants to be. I think the one identity that we want is to be a smart offensive line. We are working towards that. The smart offensive lines, all that stuff will come natural to you if everybody kind of knows each other and everyone is on the same page.”
 
(On how important it is to change the perception of the team this week)
“I think obviously everybody feels that way. You want to make sure you go out there and we put a good product on the field. The team everybody saw on Sunday is not who we are. It can happen to any team. Sometimes stuff just snowballs onto you and you have a hard time getting out of it. It’s a good learning experience. Obviously we have two on the road and we have to show teams that we can be a tough road team as well as a tough home team. We definitely have to go out here and make sure we are prepared well and we come to play on Sunday.”
 
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