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29 October 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (10/29/17)

(On defensive play and finding offensive rhythm)
“Defense did a good job and playing short-handed at corner, I thought the defense did a nice job. Offensively, that first half, three penalties and an interception hurt us. We’re playing against a good defense and we just couldn’t overcome first-and-20 or second-and-20, whatever the case may have been. It seemed like every time we did get a drive going, something happened, whether it be a penalty or eventually three turnovers by the end of the game, that took us out of it.”
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s accuracy)
“I think the wind was the main factor in the passing game. Jameis did take a shot early in the fourth quarter and he was hurting a little bit after that, I thought he might have to come out. But, he stayed in. It was on the first play of a drive and he stayed in and we kept going and the game flow went. I haven’t talked to him since about that.”
(On if Winston sustained a second shoulder injury at Buffalo)
“No, he didn’t have another injury. On the sack-fumble in the Buffalo game, Jameis fell on that shoulder and it’s a bruise. It’s a bruise-type thing, so it was sore. It wasn’t a set back, in fact, it was very similar to the way it was the week before. The player’s health always takes top priority and that’s a decision that’s always made by the medical staff, by the doctors and the trainers. So that’s what that is.”
(On reporting that Winston was healthy on Thursday but listed as ‘questionable’ after Friday)
“I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. In my mind, I’m saying the same thing. He’s had the same injury, I mean, it’s the same thing.”
(On if Winson’s accuracy was a product of the wind)
“I do, I do. Yep.”
(On concern of Winston’s shoulder injury going forward)
“Well again, that would be a medical decision and of course Jameis’ health will be priority number one. But, that’s a medical decision.”
(On secondary playing well despite injuries)
“I thought Ryan Smith, who I know has been hungry to get his second opportunity outside and Vernon [Hargreaves III] going back from nickel to outside, I thought those two guys did a nice job.”
(On blitzing more on third down)
“Well, our plan was to do our best to keep Cam [Newton] in the pocket and not let him get out and make any runs. Which he only really got out on that one zone there where he pulled it. Other than that, I thought we did a good job of keeping him in the pocket.”
(On what his message to his team is after loss)
“My message to the team right after the game – you’ve got to remember that’s the most emotional time – was that I thought their effort was good today. I thought their effort was good enough, to not point fingers and if they need to point fingers to point them at me.”
(On if the offense is lacking an identity)
“No, I don’t think so. No. I don’t think we’re lacking an identity.”
(On if he is ‘stunned’ with the outcome of the last six weeks)
“I’m not stunned by anything. It’s a competitive league, it’s the best players in the world, so I’m not stunned by it. I mean, I’m disappointed that we are where we are and again, that all starts with me.”
(On adjustments to run game from first to second half)
“We tried to go with some tight formations in the first half and they overloaded the box. We spread them out and did a better job of spreading them out in the second half.”
(On why the offense is struggling)
“The main thing is the offense isn’t scoring points. We have to score points. As I alluded to, the main thing is you can’t have setbacks. You can’t have 15-yard penalties and turnovers and we had too many of those today. Then anything beyond that, until I look at the tape, you’d have to put it on me as a play caller.”
(On if Winston missing practice during the week has impact on offensive rhythm)
“Well as I mentioned earlier in the week, that’s not ideal. But again, that’s where you have to rely on all the work Jameis put in in the offseason, puts in after practice. I still don’t think this will be an every week, all-season thing. But, that’s just my opinion. I’m not the medical guy and I don’t know what happened. If he’s hurt from today, I don’t know that yet.”
(On if there is feeling that the season is slipping away)
(On if struggles to run the ball consistently falls on offensive line or running back play)
 “Anything that is going wrong is a Buccaneers issue, and anything that’s a Buccaneers issue is a Dirk Koetter issue.”
(On if he plans to start Winston going forward if Winston is medically cleared to play)
“Yeah, of course. Any starter that’s cleared medically to play, you’re going to play them.”
(On if the team’s losing record could cause team to easily shatter from the inside out)
“I didn’t say it was easy. I warned our team against shattering from the inside out. I said that that would be a big challenge for us and it will continue to be.”
(On if his shoulder was a factor in the game today)
“No, it wasn’t. I was good.”
(On if the wind was a factor in the game today)
“No, we are NFL quarterbacks. We’ve got to be able to throw in the wind.”
(On if he was pleased with his accuracy today)
“As far as completing the football I didn’t do a good job at that. We were off a little bit. Any time I’m not completing a certain level of passes I’m not going to be happy with my performance. I don’t think I had a good performance today at all.”
(On the deep incompletion to Mike Evans late in the game)
“It was just trying to give him a chance. I mean, by one stride…those are the plays that you make, it’s a great play. If you miss it, it’s a terrible throw. Definitely just have got to get better. No need to just point out one specific thing. I’ve got to get better, we’ve got to get better as a whole and we will.”
(On if he was surprised by the offense’s performance today)
“Three turnovers by me, you can’t win like that, especially against a team like them. They have a great defense but you turn the ball over three times, you’re not going to win. You score three points, you’re not going to win. Again, we stuck ourselves in the foot – a couple penalties called back some explosive plays but at the end of the day, we’ve got to just execute, we’ve got to finish, we’ve got to continue to fight and bounce back next week. We can’t do [anything] about this game.”
(On if his mindset is that there’s no room for error)
“That’s every game we play, there is no room for error. It’s not about the season, it’s about the game we’ve got next week. It’s about us approaching the game knowing that we are going to win. That’s what it’s about.”
(On the play of Carolina middle linebacker Luke Kuechly)
“He’s great, he’s the middle linebacker. Every time he’s going to either be blitzing or be in the middle of the field. I believe we got into the right checks. We [had] one protection issue the whole game, they’ve just got good rushers. They’ve got good rushers, we’ve got good pass protectors. My job is to complete the football and I didn’t do a good job of that today and we got beat.”
(On his fumble in the second quarter)
“I was attempting to throw it to Doug [Martin] and the guy had my left arm. Sometimes, times like this, stuff isn’t going to bounce your way but you aren’t fixing to see me pout. It’s time for us to step up, rise to the occasion and this was all about [were] our backs against the wall? Yeah. Did I play good? No. Am I going to come out next week ready to play? Yes, but I’m going to say that every week. I’m a football player and I love this game and I’m definitely not going to let one game ruin a season.”
(On the team’s approach of knowing it will win the game)
“I think we always can improve on that. That’s something that – team bonding is something that we’ve got to get better and better and better at because this game is won off complementary football. The special teams, defense, offense – everybody has to be clicking and when all those teams are clicking we are going to be hard to stop. But we’ve got to continue to get better. Again, a humbling experience, all the credit goes to Carolina but at the end of the day, we can’t beat ourselves.”
(On the play of the defense today)
“Defense played amazing. They definitely gave us a chance, and it goes back to what I said: I’ve got to play better. [Kicker] Pat Murray did that – if you’re not scoring any points for your defense it’s going to be hard to win and I definitely didn’t come out and do that today. I’m happy that I feel good [physically]. Now we’ve got to go to New Orleans and make some noise.”
(On how he assesses a three-point output given all the weapons on offense)
“I mean, I don’t want to have a three-point game if I was playing with high school receivers. I want to win, I want to score. Yes, we’ve got talent and like I said, it’s my job to get them the ball and I didn’t do a good job of that today.”
(On the status of his shoulder injury and how it affected his preparation this week)
“It was good, I just had to show up to this game. I’ve got to show up to the game. I feel good, I feel good, I’ve just got to show up to the game and play and lead this team to wins. I mean, you guys are going to ask all the questions when we are losing but when we are winning that’s when I start liking the questions. We’ve got to win, that’s all. You can pick and choose from every little area of our defense, offense, special teams but we’ve got to find a way to win and no matter how we do that, we’re going to see how we do. I’m excited for it, I’m still motivated because I’m blessed to be one of the leaders of this team and I’m trying to see how we are going to persevere.”
(On how hard this season has been given the amount of promise heading into it) 
“It’s challenging, but at the end of the day I’m not giving up. No one is going to give up in that locker room.  We can’t, we can’t. This is the time that we all must come together, and I know it sounds like a broken record but that’s just the truth of things. This is football, this is a game where we need 11 people at the same time to have success and when that starts happening effectively, we will have more success.”
(On if it’s particularly hard to have a disappointing loss in front of the home crowd)
“I’m very sorry to the fans, definitely for my performance today. I didn’t show up and show out so fans, I apologize. Hopefully you all will stay with us. Just keep standing with us. We are going to bounce back, we are going to bounce back strong. I know you are disappointed in us but we’ve got some wins coming your way, you believe it. Hopefully the fans continue to believe in us if [nobody else does].
(On the frustration of another loss)
“Yeah, it’s frustrating, especially when you hold a team under 20 points and under 100 yards rushing. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way, whether it’s us getting some more turnovers and giving our offense a short field or [us] scoring. We’ve just got to find a way to get a win.”
(On if it’s frustrating that the team doesn’t appear to be playing complementary football)
“It’s frustrating. Any time you lose, it’s frustrating. It’s more searching for answers when you’re losing rather than just going out there and playing. The only way to get this feeling out of your mouth is we’ve just got to keep coming to work and just keep working on the little things and hopefully that translates to wins in the game.”
(On his outlook on the rest of the season)
“It’s just one week at a time. We’ve still got a lot of division games, still have a chance to win our division. We’ve just got to take it one week at a time and just go to work and work on the things we’ve got to get better at. Just keep working – that’s the only way to get better is to keep working and when it’s time for us to play we’ve got to go out there and make plays and win games.”
(On how tough it is to see the lack of sacks from the defensive line)
“It’s tough because as a defensive lineman you pride yourself in getting sacks. We’ve just got to keep working together – the ends turning the corner there, the tackles getting the push, and they’ll come. It’s frustrating because we’ve been through six, seven games where we haven’t gotten the production that we’re normally accustomed to but we’ve just got to keep working.”
(On the reason the offense is starting slow)
“I honestly don’t know, but I know we’ve got to pick it up soon or the season is going to be gone. What are we, 2-5 right now. We’ve got more than half the season left, so we’ve got to pick [it] up right away. We’ve got to pick it up soon if we [want to] have a chance to reach our goal.”
(On if the wind was a factor for quarterback Jameis Winston)
“I don’t know, I’m a receiver. The ball was coming good, Jameis was throwing it good to me. I don’t about any of the other guys. It was blowing pretty hard so I’m the quarterbacks had a tough time, but the ball was coming good to me.”
(On if Jameis Winston’s shoulder was a factor in his performance)
“He played great in my opinion. They blitzed a lot. Our penalties hurt us big time. We’ve just got to clean those things up.”
(On the Carolina defense)
“They played well, but not well enough for us to have three points. We beat ourselves more than they beat us, but they played solid.”
(On the reason the offense hasn’t seemed to find its rhythm)
“I wish I knew why we weren’t starting fast and finishing fast. I don’t know what it is. Like I said before the season, on paper we are an amazing team, but we’re just not as good as we thought we were, so we’ve just got to pick it up. The good thing about it [is] we have nine games left.”
(On what has been the identity of the offense this season)
“A lot of missed opportunities throughout the year. We have explosive players, but we’re not making enough explosive plays.”
(On what hurt the offense the most)
“We had some success moving the ball. Doug [Martin] did a good job running hard and the line blocked for him. But like you said, it just seemed to be at the worst times, maybe a penalty that brought us back and killed momentum, or a turnover. Those are things we’ve got to fix. [We’ve got] nine games left. There is a lot of ball to play, so we just [need to] keep our heads up and keep working.”
(On if he notices a difference in the games when quarterback Jameis Winston isn’t taking all the reps throughout the week)
“No. He prepares, even the days he doesn’t throw, he is preparing like any other day. He is right behind the huddle mentally taking every snap, so there is no difference. He is one of the toughest people I’ve ever met and for him to take some of those hits and keep plays alive with his feet, it says a lot about him and the heart that he has.”
(On the slow start)
“There is nobody more frustrated than us right now. It’s tough. We are not doing our jobs, so that’s a problem.”
(On the team’s inability to get all three phases of the game flowing at the same time)
“Yeah, complementary football wins and we haven’t played complementary football. We haven’t been playing complete games – offense, defense and special teams.”
(On what made the defense more effective today)
“We stopped the run [and] got off the field on third down, which is what we haven’t been doing for the past couple weeks. Everybody was really gap-sound, we tackled well and got off the field when we needed to.”
(On the frustration of losing, even after an improved performance defensively)
“We’ve got to keep doing our part. We had three points. If we don’t allow them to score, they don’t win. That means we need to do more. We’ve just got to keep them out of the end zone and we’re going to win.”
(On the performance of the secondary without Brent Grimes and Robert McClain)
“They played well, man. It’s a next man up mentality and even though we were missing guys, Coach [Mike] Smith puts us in great positions to make plays. We’ve just got to go make them. We played well today, just not well enough.”
(On the mentality of the team)
“We’ve got five [division games] left. One day at a time – we can’t let the frustration set in. Obviously we feel the frustration, but we can’t let it set. Take it one day at a time [and] one practice at a time. We’re going on the road again, but it’s against a division opponent. We’ve just got to go out and get a win next week and we can stop the bleeding.”
(On if he feels this is a time to step up and fulfill his leadership role)
“As one of the leaders, you look at yourself first. You self-evaluate and then see what you can do to help your team out. Obviously your mind starts to wonder about what can be done. That’s not just players, but that’s coaches as well. There’s going to be some searching being done. That’s what happens when you lose – you try to find a solution, but everybody has to start with themselves first and then go from there. But definitely as a leader you take a good, long hard look in the mirror and then go from there.”
(On how frustrating it was to get in the red zone but come up empty at the end)
“It’s always frustrating. Any time you get in the red zone you want to get touchdowns. Obviously, that wasn’t the case.”
(On being 2-5 and his reaction to the season outlook)
“[We] just have got to keep playing. We’ve got nine games left so we’re going to take it one game at a time and go from there.”
(On if the Buccaneers can still be a great football team)
“Yeah, absolutely. I think 11-5 is a pretty good record. Of course, that [means] us having to win every game from now, but it’s still possible. We still have the potential to be great, but potential is only what you do with it.”
(On how frustrating it is to lose when the defense plays well)
“It’s just frustrating to lose. That’s the only thing frustrating about the outcome of that game, is losing.”

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