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12 November 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (11/12/17)

(On the team’s effort on defense)
“Six sacks and stop the run game, that’s going to work most weeks.”
(On how he would describe the play of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick)
“Yeah, gritty. That’s what Ryan is, he’s a ‘Get it done’ kind of guy. He’s going to make some plays you maybe don’t expect him to and he might miss a couple plays you’d like him to make. But he’s a tough guy and he’s a competitor. You can’t have enough of those kind of guys on your team.”
(On the two big plays by running back Charles Sims III on the team’s final scoring drive)
“The toss was really just a ‘let’s keep the clock moving’ play. We got a heck of a punter and let’s pin them down there. They were packing the box so much, we blocked it well and Chuck hit it. Big play. On the touchdown, the very first third down of the game we went empty protection. They got our point and they kind of messed us up and made us hot. Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] got hit. We were thinking they might do it again and they did. That’s why they popped him out of there clean.”
(On how much of a relief it was to score a touchdown after having only converted field goals)
“Well, I wouldn’t use the word ‘relief’ but I’m always happy with touchdowns. But [kicker] Pat [Murray] did a good job banging those field goals home, too.”
(On what the win says about the team)
“Yeah, they did a great job. There’s always adversity in the world, and it can be as big or as small as you make it. You guys don’t always know how hard some of the guys fought just to play today. We had multiple guys that, when I got the initial injury report last Monday before I talked to you Monday-Tuesday, that they weren’t going to make it. Guys they didn’t think had a chance, I’m proud of those guys for wanting to make it, number one. That says a lot right there. That was not a work of art, but you don’t apologize for wins, either.”
(On what led to the defense’s six sacks)
“Well, I’ve said this many times. First, let’s just backup for a second. When Buffalo was red hot a week ago Thursday and they played the Jets, the Jets were last in the league in sacks. They got seven in one game. We got six by six different guys today. I always think sacks, other than just one guy beating his guy clean, sacks usually come down to the coverage and the rush working in conjunction. It seemed like [quarterback] Josh McCown doesn’t want to hold the ball and he had to hold the ball and then our rush was able to get home.”
(On if he could tell if this game meant more to Fitzpatrick coming against his former team)
“I’m sure it did, but I don’t want to speak for him. I would guess most players, when they play against their old team, that makes sense. You’d have to ask him that.”
(On having so many different players contribute on defense)
“That’s huge. We didn’t finish the game the way you would like to, but up until then our defense was lights out. When you are getting contributions from everybody and then you’ve got those three linebackers in the middle. I thought those three linebackers in the middle of the defense, your front, your back end and you have those three in the middle.  I thought those guys really played well, all three of them. So when you get six different guys with sacks, you’ve got six happy guys tonight.”
(On if any struggles in the run game were due to the offensive line)
“You guys always want to just go right to the offensive line. Some of them I’m sure are, but there’s tight ends and wide receivers and a quarterback involved in there, too. There were definitely some ugly plays and then there were a couple really good plays that got called back on penalties. We’re not where we want to be. To be able to run the ball 31 times, to be in a game where you can run the ball 31 times – you know, the Jets come in here as a team that wants to play field position and they are top 10 in the league in time of possession. Even though I’m not a huge time of possession guy, we did control that today. Our run game is still not where it needs to be, we’re not explosive enough in our run game. But, we’re not going to quit trying.”
(On players saying that the mindset needing to be changed heading into this game)
“Well that’s them saying it, not me. So, I can’t comment on that. I think we needed to play better and coach better, I’ve said that about 100 times. Let me just say, I can’t tell you how tired I am of answering questions about what other people say. I’ll be glad to answer any question you want and I’m pretty good at answering your questions. Me commenting on stuff I don’t even hear other people say, that’s boring to me. That’s tough, because you can make up anything you want. We needed to play better football and we needed to coach better football. That’s what we needed to do and we did that today.”
(On what helped Fitzpatrick pull out the win today)
“Well, it’s a team game. He’s got a lot of experience, he knows to not panic when everything’s not perfect and I doubt if Ryan has had a whole bunch of perfect games in his career. But, I think Ryan just hung in there. Ryan is just real even-keeled. He came off, whether it be after that one sack we gave up or after the interception or after a couple untimely three-and-outs, he’s the same guy. I think that’s important, but it’s hard to win a game in the NFL with your number two quarterback.”
(On if it was the game plan, Coach’s call or the quarterback’s read to get DeSean Jackson the ball early)
“Well, all of those and we tried several other times to get it to DeSean. You know, DeSean Jackson, even though his numbers are not a reflection of it, but that guy for the last three games he has been everything we asked for and more as a free agent signing. That guy’s had an excellent attitude, he’s practiced hard. He hasn’t got rewarded, I know that he hasn’t gotten the reward. But, I notice stuff like that and that’s just one of those little things that helps your football team. He gave a terrific speech in the locker room after the game. DeSean is our best home run threat. We’ve got to still keep looking for ways to get him the ball. “
(On how tough it might be to go forward with Fitzpatrick as the starting QB for multiple weeks)
“Injuries are something that you don’t have control over and I’ve been totally forthright in what I’ve been telling you guys all along about what I know – me, as a football coach – I’m not a doctor. Right now, Jameis, they said, was out for a couple weeks and then they’ll reevaluate it. Whatever happens is going to happen. How comfortable am I with Ryan Fitzpatrick? As comfortable as I am with the other 53 guys. Ryan Griffin has gotten his opportunity. We’re going to play with the guys we got and we’re going to try to get it done.”
(On his expectations for the offense when wide receiver Mike Evans returns)
“That was not the most beautiful offensive game I have ever been in, but I’ve been in some beautiful offensive games and we’ve come up short. All I care about is we got one more than they got at the end of the game.”
(On grinding out a win today)
“I think that’s awesome. That’s the type of win that can kickstart a season I think. It was just a hard-fought, everybody made plays when they needed too, defense played great. It’s just a good feeling in the locker room, to have that back after such a long string of games when you come back in the locker room disappointed. That’s the kind of thing that can get things going, a win like that [where] we just king of stuck with it and grinded and grinded and got a win.”
(On speaking with quarterback Jameis Winston throughout the game today)
“Jameis was great. We had an open dialogue the whole time, whether it was perspective as to what was going on with the defense or even just talking to me about myself and the different things he was seeing out of me. He was really helpful with all of that, I’m glad we could get a win for him.” 
(On the touchdown play to running back Charles Sims)
“When Dirk called it in I was really excited about the call and the way that they played it, it was the perfect call. Chuck did a nice job just racing to the outside and outrunning that guy. I thought it was really nice timing by Dirk with that play call.”
(On how he thinks he played today)
“I played ok. I mean I didn’t play great by any stretch of the imagination. We won the game and I’m getting too old now to worry about that other stuff. I’m so happy we won, my job filling in right now is to do the best I can and try and grind out wins and that’s what we did today.
(On having his kids with him)
“When we win, they get to come back in the locker room with us. So that’s a motivating factor for me. Part of the reason I’m still playing is to allow them to have that type of experience and it’s great to pull them out of the stands and bring them in with the guys so it was great to be able to do that today.”
(On the play of wide receiver Chris Godwin today)
“Chris played spectacular today. He made some real tough catches. He had some good run-after-the-catch-deals, but we needed him to step up especially with Mike [Evans] out. I think he’s such a talented guy that maybe gets lost a little bit in the shuffle because of how many weapons we have and how the ball needs to be spread out. It was nice to see him step up today. When the ball came his way he made nice plays.” 
(On the message in wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s message after the game)
“I just think DeSean’s been around a long time and on some different teams essentially we need to keep going, keep grinding. This is the thing we have been waiting for for the last few weeks and it’s just been loss after loss, trying not to get down, but hopefully this is the spark that gets us going. “
(On the running game)
“I think we ran the ball well when we needed too today, it’s a tough defense to run against. Todd [Bowles] does a really nice job of them not just having talented guys, but the scheme that they run with it. I think it was a combination of that and when we needed to eek out some big runs, I think we did a nice job with it.”
(On getting this win against his former team the Jets)
“I mean, I’ve obviously played against former teams a lot, but when I played Buffalo for the first time, when I was in Houston, that was a really emotional time to just stand on the other sideline. I had so many great friends that were still on the Buffalo team, so many people that were still in that organization. Not that I don’t have great friends spread around the NFL on the different teams that I’ve played on. But today just standing on the other sideline and looking across and just seeing – I mean those guys that are still around that I played with, they are not just teammates to me, those are brothers. So it was kind of emotional standing on that side, looking across and even just seeing those people that work in that building. I mean I had a great two years there in terms of the people that I met and just the day-to-day interactions. So that made it special to me to be able to win that game, but even just to see them and compete against them was special too.”
(On getting the ball to DeSean Jackson early)
“The New York media knows I love to force the ball to my favorite guys [laughter]. I’m out there trying to execute and find my place and figure it out. DeSean is obviously a nice guy to have on our side.”
(On speaking with Todd Bowles)
“Yeah I talked to Todd on the field for a second, then I just talked to him outside for a little bit. I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a coach. There [are] no hard feelings in me not being there and the way it ended or anything like that. I have respect for him and we still have a good relationship.”
(On the offense not putting up big numbers but still winning)
“I love 300 yard games, but for me in my career and where I’m at, the wins are awesome. They are hard to come by. You have years like this where you’ve lost five games in a row and you start to realize – and the year I had last year in New York, you start to realize how hard is to win in this league, so you take them however they come.”
(On what he thought of his play today)
“That wasn’t my best effort. I can play better than I did today. And I don’t think it has to do with being comfortable or feeling guys out. I just think it’s about me going in there and doing a better job. The one thing about me stepping into this role, it’s not like I’m stepping into a role where we are going to try to manufacture some things and we don’t have talent. There is so much talent on this offense that it is fun to get into this role and have Dirk call the offense and have him really know the guys and have me step in and do my best.”
(On if he saw Charles Sims’ touchdown)
“I didn’t see him go into the end zone but I knew he was going into the end zone, yes. He was open and I knew I threw it [laughter]. I don’t know if it was a spiral. It was probably like a half-spiral, but I knew it was going to be a touchdown. Then I heard the crowd.”
(On the things he could improve on next game)
“We got behind a couple of times with some penalties and some missed throws today, some things what were easy completions. Just have to do a better job, we did have some third-and-longs today, but a lot of that was because of penalties here and there or the execution by me and that’s stuff by me that we have to get better at.”
(On what today’s game means to him).
“In the grand scheme of things, when I’m all said and done, it’s definitely an important win for me. It’s always fun to beat your old teams, but in the here and now just to get the winning feeling back with this team and just trying to go on a bit of a run. Sitting at 2-6, it wasn’t hopeless because there is so much talent. I’m telling you we are a good football team, we just have to go out there and do it and hopefully this will get us heading in the right directions.”
(On how special it is to win against Jets)
“Like I said, the Jets and Buffalo were different than any of the other ones I’ve played, yes. Part of it was just because of the relationships I’ve formed. Nothing to do with any ill will or bad feelings. Just the relationships I had with the people in the building and how special those people are to me.”
(On the team staying positive during the losing streak)
“We’ve got to stick together. For me, part of it [is] I try to approach it the same way no matter if we are winning or losing and I think we have the right idea in the locker room in terms of guys doing that. We have great leadership. We’ve got guys out there that are trying to do it the right way and if you keep doing that good things will happen.”
(On his message to Jets quarterback Josh McCown)
“I talked to him before the game and after the game. We don’t know each other really well, but just from afar, watching his career and the things he’s gone through and the ups and downs, we are very similar, in terms of I know a lot of what he’s been through and he knows a lot of what I’ve been through. There aren’t a lot of people that can relate with that. We had a nice conversation before and after the game. I have a ton of respect for him and the way he has stuck through it throughout his career and the way he approaches it.”
(On if he also spoke with Jets quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty)
“Yeah I talked to Christian before the game, I talked to Bryce before the game. Christian’s got some goatee thing going on that I don’t know – I’ve got to make sure to let him know that I’m not necessarily a fan of it, maybe he should cut it off [laughs]. Bryce will always be a dear friend for me. He’s got so much potential. When he came out of Baylor, he didn’t know a lot and he didn’t know that, but he’s learned a ton, he stuck with it, he plays hard, he competes and I’m looking forward to seeing what Bryce’s future holds.
(On if he had any advice for Hackenberg)
“We just talked and caught up. The biggest thing for Christian is just to keep working hard and keep learning when you’re not in there and good things will come.
(On if the team did anything different on defense in today’s game)
“No. We just went out there and had fun. Everybody did their job and we took the ball away. We need to keep taking the ball away. We’re going to get on a roll and stay on a roll and that’s what we’re going to do.”
(On his forced fumble)
“Just playing hard. Just finishing through my tackle. The ball came out – supposed to be a touchdown. Lavonte [David] picked it up and was about to run it for a touchdown, but they didn’t count it. It was just a great play [by] the whole defense.
(On the defensive line’s performance)
“They played amazing. They were getting to the routes and getting to the quarterback. We plan on running to the ball in practice and that’s what we were doing today. We were getting to the quarterback and making big plays.”
(On how they plan to take the win)
“We take it day-by-day, man. We’re going to stay humble. We’re going to come back to work tomorrow and do the same to prepare last week and prepare this week like we did last week and hopefully have a big game this week.”
(On overall defensive performance)
“The team did a great job. We all played together. We fed off each other and that’s how we came up with the big win.”
(On the defense’s six sacks today)
“We were playing hard man and trying to get to the route. We were playing like savages. You’ve got to take it. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
(On if the team sensed that they could get after Jets quarterback Josh McCown)
“We have to get after everybody. We just did a good job of that today. I’m just proud of the way we played. As a young guy, it’s just exciting to see us all playing at a high level.”
(On his first career sack)
“It felt great. I really didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to celebrate it or what to do. It felt great.”
(On what allowed the defense to get to the quarterback more often today)
“It was just the mindset that we had. We knew that we had to get some better pressure on the quarterback. It’s been a goal every week. When we came out today, we just had that mindset that we had to get to him. Like I was saying, every time you are lined up across from the quarterback and you know you’re rushing, you’ve got to think that you’re going to get him. We did a good job of it today.”
(On how much he liked being used as both a pass rusher and a traditional linebacker)
“I love it. I am just in awe. I love it. I am able to stand up. I am able to rush. All the things that I wish that I could’ve been doing my whole career playing football – just rushing the passer, standing up, playing the run, playing the pass – I love it. I love every minute of it.”
(On the key to the run defense)
“We knew that they [were] a team that were going to try and pound the rock on us. As a defense, you’ve got to take pride in not letting people run the ball on you. I think we did a pretty good job of that. I don’t know what the exact numbers [were].”
(On how much confidence it gives the defense moving forward after picking up six sacks against the Jets)
“We’ve known since the beginning of the season [that] we can do that. It’s just a matter of us coming out and executing like we did.”
(On if the team was inspired to get a win today)
“Every game we want to inspired. Every game is another opportunity to play. We just came out and executed the defense. We didn’t do anything different. We just held each other accountable like we always do and just came out and made the plays.”
On what the defense did right in this game
"Everybody just did their jobs and had each other’s backs. We held each other accountable. We just came out there, played football, kept playing, kept playing, took it one snap at a time. We were feeding off each other and played great football and you see the results when we do that. We've been really inconsistent the last five weeks, but we were able to put it together today. But, it was just one win; now we have to start stacking them up."
On improved tackling from the linebackers
"That's been the main focus. [Linebackers] Coach [Mark Duffner’s] been doing a great job with that, tackling drills. After watching last week's film, we were not at our best as a group, missed a lot of tackles. We challenged each other to come out here and do this today and we did."
On if it's as simple as identifying a problem and fixing it
"Yes, exactly, exactly. It's not magic, it's not rocket science. You've just got to hold each other accountable. We say we're brothers – we have to play like we're brothers and have each other's backs."
(On having a bigger role on offense in today’s game)
“Yeah, it definitely felt a little bit different, but like you said I had the opportunity to step into a bigger role and thankfully I was able to take advantage of it. Any time I go out there, my main goal is just to help the team in any facet of the game and thankfully I was able to do that.”
(On what it was like playing without quarterback Jameis Winston or wide receiver Mike Evans)
“It’s definitely weird anytime you don’t have your two leaders on offense, but Coach [Koetter] says all the time that it’s a next man up mentality and that was our goal this week. Whoever was up needed to step up and perform.”
(On snapping the team’s losing streak)
“It’s huge. Obviously we have a long way to go, but it starts with one. We’re going to celebrate this and then go back to work tomorrow.”
(On setting the tone in second half with two first down catches)
“I definitely think it was big. Obviously we had some struggles in the first half, but coming out and getting two first downs definitely set the tempo.”
(On if he had the mentality that this was his chance)
“Yeah, of course. Any time I step out there I feel like it’s my opportunity to be able to step up and make a play. With Mike [Evans] out I was able to have more opportunities that I was trying to take advantage of.”
(On if his favorite catch of the game was the onside kick)
“One hundred percent. That way we secure the game.”
(On his interception on McCown’s deep pass)
“Just playing ball. He just ran the post. I just ran with him and made a play on it and [caught] the ball.”
(On the message for the defense)
“It’s all about assignment football. We come in and bring the energy. It’s just playing fundamentally sound football. Like I said, we knew what the Jets were going to come in and try to do and we just had to be ready for it. We came out, had a good week of practice and carried it over to the game.”
(On if defense carried the team today)
“We just knew we had to come play. All that other stuff is going to happen. It’s football and people are going to miss games sometimes, but we just knew we had to come out and play solid ball against a team that’s going to come out and try to run the ball and play a fundamentally sound game. We came out and did that. We competed all day.”
(On if the defensive line helped the secondary’s performance)
“They had a great game. The quarterback (Josh McCown) was getting hit, he wasn’t comfortable all day. That’s what football is all about. If you can make the guy that’s controlling the game uncomfortable, it’s going to be a lot easier for everybody. Hats off to our defensive line and our linebackers when they did blitz to just stay in his face and make him uncomfortable.”
(On not having receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston in practice and in today’s game)
“It’s the NFL. One man goes down, the next man has to step up and get the job done. Throughout the week we knew the circumstances and we knew what we had going against us, but all that mattered was coming to Sunday and getting a win. I think everybody zoned in and focused on what they needed to do as a man and took care of their job first.”
(On quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick running the huddle in today’s game)
“Yeah, he did a good job. He had a full week to prepare for that. He’s very familiar with the opposite opposing team we were playing today. So, he was able to go out there confident and run the offense that he was very comfortable doing. We needed him to make some big plays. I needed him, the whole team need him and we depended on him and he went out there and got it done.”
(On whether anything felt different this week as far as a greater sense of focus in concerned)
“No, not necessarily. We are all here for one thing and that’s to win the game. The first eight games have been rough on us and everybody is accountable for it, so we just wanted to come out and do the best we could to get a win.”
(On if the offense changed their mindset for today’s game)
“Shoot, being 2-6. I think everyone in the building needs to change their mindset. So, I think so. I’m glad it was able to show today and we went out there today and got a victory. It’s any given Sunday for here on out, so let’s see if we can get on the road and try to win out.”
(On the difference in playing with a younger quarterback versus a veteran)
“It definitely is good to have a veteran quarterback to come in, so you don’t lose a beat or step. To have a guy like [Fitzpatrick] who’s played a lot of football in this league. I’m very confident in his game and his skills. Today he got the call and he went out and did a good job.”
(On how important this victory was)
“It was huge. We got it started. So now we are started up and hopefully like I said, we can get on a little roll here and try to win as many games as possible because right now being 3-6, obviously not in our favor. We are at the bottom of the division, but you know we are going to keep fighting. We are going to keep striving and go out there every game, every Sunday, Monday, whenever we play and put our best foot forward. So, that’s what we look forward to.
(On what allowed for a more effective pass rush today)
“We sent more people than we usually send. Honestly, we got ourselves in manageable third downs and situations where we could rush. We stopped the run early and often. Like I always say, if you stop the run, you get to rush the passer. We just did what we are supposed to do.”
(On getting cornerback Brent Grimes back on the field)
“Taking the ball away is always huge in trying to get a victory. Brent is a great cornerback. You heard them rattling off all his stats he’s had since 2013 or something like that. When you got a guy like that, it definitely changes the game.”
(On how to give a more consistent defensive performance)
“One day at a time. Go and fix our mistakes from this game and just keep it going. We’ve been having really good weeks of practice even when losing on Sunday. We just can’t get tired of doing the same thing and just doing it right. Eventually it will break through. Today we got a big W and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
(On if the team started to build momentum on defense over the course of the game)
“What I told the defense and what we preached this week is energy. We’ve got to have energy. We’ve got to come out expecting to win from the first play. From the jump, we’ve just got to come out expecting to win. If you [saw] before, like during the timeouts, you [saw] everyone jumping around – it was because we knew that we needed that energy. Just because a team is like jumping around or dancing or whatever doesn’t mean they aren’t focused. It means they are focused – they are ready to rock. That was very helpful in us playing well on defense today.”
(On having his most productive game of the season and helping his team get the win)
“I’m just going out there and competing and doing my job. We fought on every aspect of the ball – offense, defense [and special teams]. The defense played a hell of a game today. Special teams did a great job. We just played as a group today [and] competed hard.”
(On the team turning its season around)
“Just one [win] at a time. We’re just doing it one at a time.”
(On his performance and the team win)
“I just feel great. As a group, we are going out there and competing and coming out with a win – that’s the most important thing.”

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