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13 November 2016

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (11/13/16)

HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(On the team’s defensive improvement)
“I thought our D was a lot more aggressive today. That was one of the things we identified in the little mini-bye. We were sitting back a little too much. We needed to pressure more. We needed to add on more on our blitzes. I thought our guys did a heck of a job with that today. It started with that first sack with [defensive tackle] Clinton [McDonald]. That was a pretty vicious hit. He came down hard. I’m not sure how much that affected him [Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler] the rest of the game. You could tell that took something out of him.’’
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston spreading the ball around)
“Chicago did a good job. Their game plan was obvious. We were nervous that they were going to do a couple things the way they did it and double Mike [Evans] and they did that. It was huge for Jameis. Obviously [tight end] Cam [Brate] was the biggest recipient of that. Luke [Stocker] getting one, Freddie Martino, Cecil [Shorts] – we spread it around good. Jameis did a heck of a job. That touchdown to Cam in the red zone, that was a great read by him. It had to just be the certain look for him to be able to go to Cam. That was that look and he saw it. I think other than a couple of plays, I thought that was one of Jameis’ better games.’’
 
(On rebounding from Chicago’s Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half)
“It sure helped. It sure beats the alternative. We talked at halftime, let’s not let one play – we’ve scored on that play before, that’s a lucky play. Hat’s off to them. They made it. We’ve got to do a better job of containing the quarterback so he doesn’t have time to throw it. But let’s not let one lucky play ruin an excellent half of football. We played good in that first half. It’s just human nature to be a little bit down when you get hit by one of those right before the half. We were on a little roll right there where we were able to make some plays. Jameis made two unbelievable back-to-back plays. The third-and-long where he scrambled and threw it to Mike [Evans] and then the one to Freddie [Martino]. Those aren’t exactly how you draw them up. Those were Jameis making plays.’’
 
(On what was going through his mind during Winston’s third-and-long scramble play)
“Throw it away! Throw it away! Get down! Do anything! Don’t take a safety! We talked about that [with the media] earlier this week. The thing about Jameis, Jameis is going to do some things that we don’t plan for. He’s going to do some things sometimes that I don’t like. But Jameis is going to make some plays because that’s who he is. I always talk about that fine line. You can’t coach that out of him. He’s a special player in that respect.’’
 
(On Winston not giving up on plays)
“That’s a two-way street. That helps us sometimes. It hurts us other times. You’ve got to love that kid, the way he battles. There’s just something about him. You can see why he’s popular with his teammates. He was in college and he is here as well.’’
 
(On how it felt to celebrate a home win)
“It felt good. Let’s do it again in a couple of weeks against Seattle.’’
 
(On playing third-string center Ben Gottschalk)
“We talk to those guys every week about if you’re in the room on Wednesday when we start talking, you might be playing on Sunday. We had two guys like that this week, Ben Gottschalk and Ryan Russell, defensive end. They ended up playing. [Running back] Peyton Barber has been a guy that’s been in that [situation]. Multiple guys. We had a lot of guys step up and play today. When we lost Evan Smith, I consider Evan a starter – he’s been a starter in his career. In essence, we were down three starters on our O-line. That’s something we’ve been blessed to keep our starting five together on the O-line and today was a test of that. I’m sure that we’re going to look back on this and say it’s good experience for Caleb Benenoch to get his first start. We’ve got high hopes for him moving forward. But there were some times today when we definitely had some rookie mistakes.’’
 
(On wide receiver Freddie Martino and his touchdown reception)
“That was awesome for Freddie. Freddie’s my guy. Freddie was with us in Atlanta. He’s from an unbelievably small school. He had a gazillion catches in college. I always tell him all he caught was bubble screens. I say, ‘How do you make any catches?’ That was very cool, because that’s not how that play was drawn up, so for Jameis to hit Freddie on that, that was really cool.’’
 
(On how the play to Martino was drawn up)
“Not like that. Freddie was doing the right thing. Everybody was doing the right thing, it was just based on what the coverage was, that’s not exactly how you think it’s going to go.’’
 
(On the play of running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at fullback)
“It was awesome to get Doug out there. With that said, I think it was Peyton Barber in the fourth quarter who got the pile moving. With Evan Smith having to play on the O-line this week, we’ve been using him as our goal line fullback. Gerald has been bugging the hell out of me since the start of the season to do it. When he was hurt that time, I went out on the field. He got up and I said, ‘You can’t get hurt this game before you play fullback. That’s the only reason I came today was to watch you play fullback’ [laughs]. That was another cool thing, to see him get that in.’’
 
(On Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith’s aggressive scheme today)
“Very aggressive, very aggressive. The guys responded, the guys responded to it. We talked about adding on quicker on our blitzes, hugging up more with our linebackers and our safeties. It paid off in a big way. I thought ‘Smitty’ called a great game, and I thought our players executed very well.’’
 
(On bouncing back after playing hot offenses versus Oakland and Atlanta)
“It’s great. The thing that we’ve got to remember is even though everybody’s doing their job, everybody’s got a job to do, and some jobs are to criticize when things go wrong, these guys are the best players in the world. These guys are the best players in the world. The best 1,696 players in the world. That works both ways. Atlanta and Oakland both red-hot on offense, but today our defense, those guys showed why they’re playing in the NFL. We played well.’’
 
(On if he had a chance at the end of the game to appreciate his first home win as head coach)
“No, no – I’m terrible, I’m terrible. I mean, I was asking [Senior Director of Communications] Nelson [Luis] on the way over here, I can’t remember half the stuff that happens in the game until I look at it on tape. I mean, other than [safety Chris] Conte getting an interception and I knew Cameron Brate and Jameis had a good game, everything else is a blur. But thank our fans – there were a lot less Bears fans in the lower bowl than last year, I know that. We didn’t have to go to silent count today. That’s a plus. Hat’s off to the fans. Great job. Let’s do it again here in a couple of weeks.’’
 
(On if the team’s second half performance showed that the players are buying in)
“We got good buy-in. Our players are all in. I don’t doubt that for one second. Even though we had a rough six-day stretch there, our players are in. [Wide receiver] Russell Shepard I thought did a good job in the locker room. ‘Shep’ wasn’t playing today but he was pumping those guys up at halftime when the coaches got done talking. I thought it was good stuff.’’
 
(On his eye injury)
“Man, Chris Conte acts like he’s never scored a touchdown before. When you come off after you score a touchdown, it’s OK to head bump guys who have helmets on. But when the coach is trying to give you a hug, he head-butted me right in the head, about broke my glasses, my hat was off [laughs].’
 
(On the state of the team in the NFC South)
“I don’t think we should even be thinking about that. I just don’t think that’s what we should be doing. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. I don’t think that helps us. I know that’s cliche, but I think we’ve just got to one week at a time. We play a really good football team next week in Kansas City. A lot of people are picking them to go all the way. We’ve just got to hang in there. We’re not consistent enough. Today was a huge day but we’ve got to be able to go back-to-back-to-back. We’ve got to stick some together. Of course, everyone’s happy. It’s going to be great. Players are off a couple of days. Come back on Wednesday and start getting ready for the Chiefs.’’
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On his scramble play)
“When you pull the ball down and the protection breaks down, the first thing you do is think, ‘How can you extend the play and get out of here?’ The linemen, they just kept blocking. They didn’t give up. There was one time I was running around, I thought I ran out of the end zone. I saw Ali Marpet continuing to block. Had a nice cutback and Mike [Evans was] wide open. It was just a great play.’’
 
(On whether he thought he was in trouble)
“Not at all. The defense was playing so well. You cannot start off the second half with a three-and-out. We didn’t want to do that. I tried to do whatever I could to make a play for them and it worked out well.’’
 
(On spreading passes around)
“I don’t really discriminate. I’m always trying to find other guys. I go through my reads. When Mike [Evans] has his big games, the story ends up being, ‘Oh, Jameis is just throwing to Mike.’ But why not? We want Mike to have those big games. But we do have guys in position that can step up when he’s not getting the ball. He still got his balls. They were really playing tough on him today.’’
 
(On the feeling in the huddle when ball is being controlled)
“You know, it was so special in that huddle. The main reason was because we had a center [Ben Gottschalk] that I never took a snap from. The last time I took a snap from him – actually I took a snap from him a couple of times, but the last time that I really took a snap, live reps with him, was in training camp of last year. The guy came in, he didn’t care about his circumstance and played. Seventy-seven, Caleb [Benenoch] came up there and played. No excuses. No talking. They just had to play. They proved themselves well. I credit the three guys who were up there with them. Ali Marpet, this was the most I’ve heard him talk during a football game since I’ve been here. He really stepped up. Donovan Smith had Caleb’s back that whole game. ‘Dot’ [Demar Dotson] just was Dot. Dot is a big beast over there. That’s why I was really happy for this win, how well the defense played and how the offensive line overcame adversity.’’
 
(On wide receiver Freddie Martino)
“You know, guys are just stepping up at the right time. Let me tell you about Freddie. If you guys stick after practice, the last person I’m throwing to is Cam Brate and Freddie Martino. He’s staying out there, working. You never know when your time is coming. You never know when your time is going to be taken away from you. Take advantage of it.’’
 
(On the interception for a touchdown early in the game)
“It was amazing. Any time you see your defense score for you, you’re pumped up. You’re like, ‘Man, I can’t let our defense outscore us.’ ‘’
 
(On defense forcing safety)
“The defense played outstanding. They played amazing. That’s what they’re capable of. I talked to Chris Conte after the game because he had an amazing practice. So many PBUs [passes broken up] and he picked me off on a diving catch. I said, ‘Chris, that’s you. You practiced like that all week and look what happened.’ He’s a great player for us. I’m glad that he got that today.”
 
(On which practice Conte intercepted Winston in)
“It was the Wednesday practice.’’
 
(On accuracy on the deep passes)
“Week to week, you’re just trying to find a way to get better. I definitely was trying to focus on that. We had a lot of great opportunities to attack them with the deep ball. We just made plays.’’
 
(On getting running back Doug Martin back)
“It was amazing. That was amazing to have Doug – that’s the other thing I was going to get on, how amazing it was to have Doug Martin back there. You just see his presence in him being out there. Guys want to fight for him. The first snap, I said, ‘Guys, we have Doug back. We had a new left guard. Let’s play football.’ It was pretty big.”
 
(On tight end Cam Brate)
“He’s always having a good game. He’s definitely one of our top targets. But that’s just him. When it’s time for him to step up, he always finds a way.’’
 
(On if Brate is one of the more underrated tight ends in the NFL)
                                                                                                                     
“I believe he is. Just because of his work ethic. Cam is in there as long as I’m in there. Like I said with Freddie Martino, Cam is after practice, working on his craft, day after day, working on his body, day after day. Hard work pays off and he’s definitely a hard worker.’’
 
(On if he remembers the play call on the his scramble play)
“I remember what the play call was. You can’t get it out of me [laughs]. I remember what it was and it was a great play.”
 
(On Donovan McNabb completing a play similar to Winston’s scramble play)
“I don’t remember that, but I’m going to go look it up when I get home. I grew up an Eagles fan, but I don’t remember that.”
 
(On winning at home)
“It felt good, just for these fans. Especially for the fans who that come out and support us week in and week out. I was so happy for them. Being able to see the other team’s fans leave, basically look like they’re getting escorted out of the building and our fans are still there cheering. There’s a kid – and hope the kid listens, or his parents [do] – there’s a kid that asked me for my autograph and I told him I would get it after the game. So I hope I find him.”
 
RIGHT TACKLE DEMAR DOTSON
 
(On Jameis Winston’s 43-yard pass to Mike Evans in the third quarter)
“I look back and Jameis is in the end zone fighting around, so I’m not sure what went down until I watch film. But that guy, number three, [has] got a heart, he’s a warrior. He’s always coming with tenacity and he’s a never-quit guy. He’s always walking around saying, ‘Man, I got your back, no matter what.’ The offensive line, we didn’t play good. I know I didn’t play my best game, but that guy, he’s a guy that keeps going. No matter what, you’ve got a chance to win because you see it. That’s probably one of the plays of the year from the scrambling and threw that ball to Mike. It just shows the character that guy’s got. He’s a guy that competes all the way to the end.”
 
(On the Buccaneers’ 10-minute drive in the second half)
“That’s what we take pride in, just taking the ball all the way down field and stuffing it and getting a touchdown. That’s what we take pride in. I think we had 22 plays. I think Jameis was coming off the field man, 22-play drive. That’s what we take pride in, just taking the ball and hamming it down their throat. That defensive line, they were talking all night, even down 30 points, they just couldn’t shut up. It felt good to do it.”
 
(On Chicago’s defensive line)
“I knew they weren’t in it, they just like to talk. They’re a good defensive group. I don’t take anything from them. They play hard, but I think at some point you need to just look at the score and shut up.”
 
SAFETY CHRIS CONTE
 
(On what he was thinking when he saw the ball coming his way on his pick-six)
“Your eyes just get big, nothing’s really going through your head. And then next thing you know, the ball’s in your hands and then try to make it to the end zone. So, it’s more reaction in football, you want to think during the week, but you don’t want to think during the game on Sunday. We did a good job, our coaches helped us out a lot by making things a little more simple this week and I think that paid dividends for us.”
 
(On why the defense was successful in creating turnovers today)
“I think it’s a mindset and guys were ready. The pressure really helps us. When those guys get after the quarterback, it really makes our job easy. So, getting the pressure, it all really starts with [those] guys up front and their ability to put pressure on the quarterback and affect the way he’s seeing the field and make his decisions have to happen a lot quicker.”
 
(On how big of a confidence builder this win is for the team)
“Yeah, we basically held them to three points. That Hail Mary, it was kind of a freak play. You hate to see something like that happen, but it happened. But really, we played a pretty good game on defense and basically held them to three points, so that’s a big confidence booster for us going forward. We need to take this momentum and keep it going into next week.”
 
LINEBACKER KWON ALEXANDER
 
(On whether having 10 days in between this game and Atlanta helped the body to get ready)
“Yeah, most definitely. Everything – messages, everything, everybody was just getting ready, get ready for this week. We came out here and played a great game.”
 
(On if safety Chris Conte has to work on his end zone celebration)
“[Laughs] Yeah, he does, he just fell in the end zone. He’s just having fun. He was acting like he was in the snow or something, doing the snow angel, but he had a great time out there tonight.”
 
(On if the team had a good week of practice)
“Yeah. Now, as soon as we got the – on Wednesday when we pads on, it was just a different vibe. Everybody was hungry, running, everybody was there making plays on balls, so the energy was there and we brought it out here to the game and that’s how we need to do it from now on.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
(On if he was expecting to have three rushing attempts when he scored the one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter)
“No, but [Head Coach] Dirk [Koetter] told me to get in there. It was good. It was pretty cool to be back there with [defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy as the lead blocker. It took us a little while but we got in there.”
 
(On kissing the end zone grass after he scored his touchdown)
“Happy to be back, just happy to be back. It was frustrating, but I was back and ready to go.”
 
(On how important it was to win at home)
“It was real big because it had been a while since we had a home win so I’m glad we could win this for our fans.”
 
(On if there was any point in the game where he felt like the “rust came off”)
“There were some points in the game where I felt like I got my old legs back, and they’ll come back with more practice. I just did a little scout team this week and, practicing more, I’ll be just fine.”
 
(On how the Buccaneers responded coming out of halftime following Chicago’s Hail Mary touchdown to end the first half)
“Things like that, you’ve just got to brush it off. Next play. That’s with the penalties, that’s with anything that doesn’t go our way – just brush it off and line up and play the game.”
 
(On if scoring a lot of points is the offense’s expectation every week)
“Yeah. The goal is to score as many points as you can and if we keep playing like we did today, without penalties, then we’re going to do just that.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER FREDDIE MARTINO
 
(On Tampa Bay’s defensive performance)
“It’s nothing different from practice. In practice, those guys will go out and run around. They run around fast to the ball, they make plays. So coming out here today and seeing that – I always saw it in practice so it was not really a big deal. It wasn’t like I was shocked seeing [the defense] because it’s something I see every day so for those guys flying around, making plays, they set us up. We gave the ball away early in the game but the [defense] gave it right back to us. It’s just playing compatible football with each other, offense and defense.”
 
(On what a big play like Jameis Winston’s scrambling 39-yard conversion to Mike Evans does for the offense)
“Total boost, total boost because Jameis, that’s something he’s been doing since college. I remember watching him running around, avoiding tackles, making plays and throwing it up and making plays, finding the receiver downfield. By him doing that today – that was a good play by him and a good play by Mike – by coming open, catching the ball and making a tough play.”
 
(On his 43-yard touchdown reception from Winston)
“First, I’ve got to give credit to Mike [Evans] and Jameis for allowing that drive to keep going from that play [before] that Mike caught. Coach dialed the play up, we were running it in practice a couple times, we kind of knew the looks that we would get in certain situations and I ran my route, broke, I [saw] grass and I looked back and I saw Jameis and he hadn’t thrown it yet. But then I saw him winding up and the ball seemed to be in the air for a long time, and those – the easy catches usually are the ones that you kind of mishandle, but I was very confident and I was ready. I saw it, I grabbed it and made the touchdown.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE CLINTON MCDONALD
 
(On the hot start by the defense)
“We started off good as a team. I got a play, a lot of guys out there made a play. We’re just enthused about being back out there and getting guys back from being injured and what not. You’ve got Doug Martin on the other side of the ball, and everybody is back on the D-line for the most part. Keeping guys healthy is one of the hardest things in the NFL across all 32 teams, and we’re looking good so far.”
 
(On pressure brought by linebackers)
“Great pressure, great pressure. Coach couldn’t have drawn it up any better, and the guys couldn’t have executed any better. That’s what happens when a plan comes together.
 
(On taking command of close game after halftime)
“That shows resilience. You know, we’ve been trying to get it right for weeks. This week it actually clicked in our minds and clicked in the way we played. We said to ourselves if we want to be a great team and make that step, that’s the first one we have to take. (We) showed resilience and bouncing back after a Hail Mary score like that.”
 
(On winning at home)
“You can see, we haven’t won at home in a long time. To get a win against a Chicago Bears team that just came off a bye week, who were fresh and just beat the Minnesota Vikings who are one of the best teams in the league, it’s a pretty good boost going into an away game going to Kansas City.
 
(On having fun on the field today)
“We had a lot of fun, a lot more fun. We made it more so about having fun like kids when we first started playing the game. Allowing that to show and allowing that to flourish instead of saying that this is a job, this is something we have to do, this is work; we said this is no different than when your 14 or 15 years old and you really truly loved the game. We brought that back into our style of play and our style of attitude, and it’s paying off.”
 
 
DEFENSIVE END ROBERT AYERS JR.
 
(On Brent Grimes’ interception setting the tone for the game)
“Definitely, that was big. I think Brent Grimes definitely set the tone for the game not just with the turnovers, but, with everything. We were having some issues the last couple weeks communicating and different things in the secondary and up front. That was a play of communication and correcting things that we did. You know, (Grimes) made a hell of a play on that route. It was a route that had given us trouble and that just set the tone. That put Jay (Cutler) in a situation where he had to hold the ball a little longer, and we were able to capitalize. That’s what it’s all about, us getting better week-to-week and learning and correcting things and moving on and playing as a unit. That set the tone for the day.”
 
 
(On playing confidently after Chris Conte’s interception and return for touchdown)
“You got to believe in the scheme and believe in your abilities, and that was a perfect example of him trusting the play call and trusting what we went over all week. That was a play we saw on film, and he made a great play. It was a big play for us; it was our second defensive touchdown for the season. That was huge, that was a good example of communicating and learning and listening to the scheme and being in the right position and playing with confidence.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On the in 39-yard reception from Jameis Winston)
“They played two-man coverage and Jameis just made a lot of people miss. I saw him keep the play alive, so I just put my hand up. He threw a great ball and I made a nice catch.
 
“Jameis just made a lot of people miss like backyard football. I was surprised he was still up, and then I saw him and he locked eyes with me. I pointed up and he threw a great ball.”
 
(On the importance of scoring on opening drive of second half)
“It was huge. They got the fluke play at the end, I wouldn’t say fluke play, but a good play by (Cameron Meredith).  But, it was good for us. We knew we could exploit some of their coverages and things like that with all the double teams, and we did.”
 
(On if he felt like he was being used as a decoy today)
“No, no, no, not at all. I felt fine; I was getting double-teamed a lot. I like getting double-teamed. It’s just a compliment and it means my teammates can eat getting one on one chances, and they did. Cam (Brate), (Adam Humphries), (Cecil Shorts), Freddie (Martino). They all played great, hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”
 
(On WR Freddie Martino’s first career TD catch)
“I’m so happy. I felt that this week, he had a great week of practice. He works so hard. He does the scout team, he does routes on offense; he probably runs the most at practice. Either him or (Russell Shepard), and he deserved that.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On whether all defensive calls were in play today)
“Yeah, you know, Coach [Mike] Smith just called a great game. We executed well, and made the plays we needed to.”
 
 
(On taking snaps on offense)
“There were three, there was three plays. First play, I wasn’t very victorious, ok. Second play was eh. Third play, we scored though and I made a block on it.”
 
(On if there was emphasis at halftime not to let up pressure)
“No, just make halftime adjustments and don’t let up. That’s been our biggest issue this year. We usually are in it in the first half. It’s rare that we’re out of the game in the first half. We have an issue finishing games, we just wanted to come out and finish.”
 
(On extra rest after Thursday night game vs. Atlanta)
“Yeah, that will help for anybody. Obviously you get more recovery time, but the biggest thing this week was our preparation. We met differently, if that makes sense. Our biggest issue was guys not being on the same page and communication. We worked on our communication, and it showed today. Now, we just have to be consistent. We can’t say we played well and then drop the ball. We got to keep going.”
 
(On last time he took and offensive snap)
“High school. I had fun, man. I rather do it when the defense is playing well. I wouldn’t go over there if the defense wasn’t playing well and doing what we were supposed to do. But, I’ve been wanting to do that since I got into the league. Actually, since I got to college.  I got an opportunity and it was fun, and I hope I get to do it again. Whatever they need me to do, I always say that. Hey, if I got to go out there and get knocked over just for us to score, I don’t care. Whatever lets go win.”
 
(On offense being able to hold on to ball and drain clock in the second half)
“Yeah, that’s great man, that’s great. All we got to do is stop them one or two times, and the offense took over from there. That’s complementary football, and that’s what we got to do moving forward. It was a good day for us, the fans got a win at home. It feels good, but we have to keep going.”
 
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