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10 December 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (12/10/17)

(On committing five turnovers)
“Yeah, five turnovers. Going to be tough to win with five turnovers.”
(On balancing the work load of the running backs)
“It was Peyton’s [Barber] turn to start off in the second half. He was doing a good job, we stayed with him. Then, we used [Charles] Sims [III] there a little bit in the last two drives.”
(On what can be done to improve defensively)
“Well, I think our biggest issue is I think we are having a hard time getting pressure with a four-man rush. Detroit is a good passing team, [Matthew] Stafford gets the ball out of his hand. But 44 pass attempts and you don’t ever get him on the ground. We hit him a couple times, but we didn’t get him on the ground. That’s going to stress your coverage and they do a good job with their receivers. They’ve got all the routes, they’ve got all the answers. They went no-huddle pretty much the whole game. They make you identify man-zone with their formations. The best way to stop a good passing game is with a pass rush and we’re just not where we need to be in that area right now.”
(On status of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after leaving the game with an injury)
“It was a bicep injury is all that I know and that it happened in the first half and he wasn’t able to return.”
(On interception thrown towards wide receiver DeSean Jackson)
“I was actually looking at Mike [Evans] coming across the middle on that, so I’m not sure. We had a bootleg on, tempo play, and I was looking at the route. I saw Mike coming across the field, I’m not really sure on that until I see the tape.”
(On report that he and quarterback Jameis Winston are not seeing eye-to-eye)
“They told me about it after the game and that’s obviously news to me. I think Jameis and I have [had] an extremely consistent relationship for the last three years. I don’t think anything is different about it, but it’s just my opinion.”
(On concern for a report of that nature coming out)
“Well, it concerns me that we aren’t winning enough games. That’s my biggest concern. I mean, I know the truth about our relationship, but my big concern is our football team.”
(On what else he could have done to support Winston through recent shoulder injury)
“I could have whipped out my medicine bag and done some quick shoulder surgery and fixed him up. But I wasn’t able to do that.”
(On success of play-action pass on the goal line)
“Detroit, for all the good things they do, they’ve had an issue with play-action on the goal line all year. We hit the first one to [tight end] O.J. [Howard], and that was just simple. On the picture, it was the exact same play. When we looked at the picture, we noticed that Lenord [Wester] was wide open on the backside. So we said if we get down there again, we were going to do it again.”
(On tight end O.J. Howard’s fumble and the referees’ explanation that he can’t be a defenseless receiver if it was ruled a catch)
“That’s what they told me. They initially ruled that it wasn’t a catch, so it was a hit to a defenseless receiver. But if it’s ruled a catch, you can’t have a hit on a defenseless receiver if he becomes a runner. That’s what I was told.”
(On his message to team to keep them motivated before after falling to 4-9)
“That’s a good question. I’ve said every week we’re professionals and we’re paid to do a job. I thought our guys fought hard today and we had quite a bit of stuff go against us. We did a good job getting back in the game down two scores, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to overcome the turnovers. I’ll talk to the guys tomorrow then, because of Monday Night Football, they have a couple of days off. I’m going to have to spend some time thinking hard about that. Those guys get hit from all sides as well. That’s just human nature, and that’s just something that I will have to give some serious thought to. I expect guys – you’re paid to compete and we’re paid to coach them and we’ll do that.”
(On committing five turnovers despite having as much talent as team has)
“Well, I don’t think turnovers have much to do with talent. I don’t think those two things are necessarily related. Fumbles or interceptions – we’ve talked about this before, every turnover has its own story. Was it pressure? Was it just a stripped ball? Tipped ball? Whatever the case may be. I don’t think there is a theme in them, other than we can’t have five turnovers.”
(On progress of rookie tight end O.J. Howard and rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin)
“Yeah, they both showed up when they had their opportunities. That’s why they were high draft picks. [Wide receiver] DeSean [Jackson] was fighting some sickness today. I know DeSean didn’t feel well. He was fighting a bad stomach and tried to fight through it. But, Chris did a good job of getting in there and DeSean did a good job of trying to fight through it.”
(On status of center Joe Hawley)
“Well, Joe was up today. Joe was active today, so if we would have needed him, he would have played.”
(On if he thought tight end O.J. Howard was held on the second interception)
“I thought so, I thought he was. Play-action, that’s a play we’ve had some success with from my vantage point. But, those guys are professional at what they do and they told me he wasn’t.”
(On what caused his second interception)
“I’m confident in saying that Jameis thought [O.J. Howard] was going to be able to run by. It was play-action trying to get over-top of the linebacker. I’m confident that’s how Jameis saw it, that’s how I saw it from the sideline. Jameis felt like [O.J.] was going to get into the seam route, they were in a single-high coverage. Jameis thought O.J. [Howard] was going to be able to get through the corner and the safety there, that’s what it looked like to me, but I’m looking at it from a side view.”
(On how he will handle former head coach Jon Gruden being inducted to Ring of Honor)
“Well, I won’t be doing anything to do that and I’ll be the first guy to congratulate Jon Gruden for going into the Ring of Honor. He deserves it, so hats off to him.”
(On the report today released regarding his relationship with Head Coach Dirk Koetter)
“Listen, me and Coach Koetter have a great relationship first and foremost. We have the same goal when we go out there on that football field and that’s to win the football game. It doesn’t matter what anyone else can possibly say, obviously a lot of stuff can come out when we are not doing as expected, but that’s false. Coach Koetter coaches his tail off and he definitely supports me, so whatever anybody else has to say outside of that – that’s water under the bridge.”
(On his feelings about the report)
“It’s a distraction. And a lot of distractions come up when we don’t perform like we need to perform. I’m the type of player – first and foremost I’m a strong believer that coaches coach and players play. If you look at today’s game, the players – I didn’t play [well]. I had three turnovers and a predictable call or any call you can’t predict that,. When you have three turnovers, you can’t make that up.”
(On if it’s frustrating to have a talented team but still turn the ball over)
“Talent doesn’t have anything to do with turning the ball over. It was frustrating because they couldn’t stop us. We drove the ball up and down the field. We stopped ourselves and that was the frustrating part of the whole thing.”
(On his first interception)
“Twenty-three (Darius Slay) made a great play. I have to make a better throw or not throw it at all. Mike [Evans] was coming over late from the backside. I need to make a better decision there.”
(On his second interception)
“That was pass interference.”
(On his fumble)
“Listen man, I don’t have eyes on the back of my head. They have a defense that plays too. I know it’s a big thing of me doing too much of trying to make a [play], but that happens in the NFL. Obviously I have to do a better job of taking care of the football. The other turnovers, I can’t control those, but I can definitely control mine and those three were very bad on me. Luckily those things didn’t keep us from winning the game and we still fought back and gave a chance at this game. If we score on those drives and don’t turn it over, it’s a different story. But I have to do a better job of taking care of the football.”
(On the report that the offense is ‘too predictable’)
“It doesn’t matter what a coach calls, it’s our job to execute. I’ve been playing football since I was four years old. Being predictable is what makes you a good football team, when they know what you are going to do and you still go out there and you beat them. So being predictable, I don’t get that about an offense being predictable, execute to the [level] you are supposed to execute, it doesn’t matter. If they know you are running power, if you run power,  you execute power, you get it. It doesn’t matter if they know you are throwing the ball to Mike Evans if the quarterback and Mike Evans are on the same page you execute. It doesn’t matter. Being predictable that’s nonexistent in my world because I play the game with confidence and I play the game to dominate and if a defense knows something is coming, you better believe – ok, I’m glad you know it’s coming. Now stop it. That’s football, it’s a man’s will against another man.”
(On if they picked up on running goal-line play-action from watching film)
“Absolutely. I guarantee you it was predictable to them – they knew that play was coming. We executed that play. We don’t get asked about that being predictable because we ran the same exact play on both of those touchdowns. They knew it was coming. Like I said, execution. We have to execute. I didn’t execute to my caliber today and that’s why we lost.”
(On tackle Leonard Wester touchdown play)
“It’s always good to get a big man in the end zone. That was one of the few fun things about today’s game. One fun thing is we fought. We didn’t give up. The defense played an amazing game and the offense kept pushing up back and that was on me. The turnovers that I had kind of pushed us back, but we didn’t give up. The second thing that put a smile on my face – I’m happy that Leonard Wester got himself a touchdown. You should have seen the look on those offensive lineman’s faces. It’s always good to get a big man a touchdown.”
(On having a losing record this season and what he looks at for the rest of the season)
“It’s not over yet. Everyone else can look at the win-loss column. As a team, we have to come together and keep playing. We control our destiny right now and it’ll be better with just nine in the loss column than 12. We don’t want that. We play the game to win and I think everyone in this organization wants us to go out there and win. We’ve had some unfortunate things happen this year, but those things are out of our control. The only thing we can control now is how we approach the next game and the next game. Really, how we approach tomorrow, then after tomorrow is over how we approach Tuesday and when Tuesday is over how we approach the next day and the next day.”
(On losing when there are rumors surrounding the team)
“I really ignore rumors because everyone outside of this locker room – and Jenna you’re in there, we see you as family. You and Rick and Mark and Roy and Greg, like you all are family. You all are in there with us. So all the other clutter that’s outside of our locker room, that’s a distraction. That’s what happens when you lose. Last year no one was saying anything when we went on a five game win streak, guys. I’ve never been a part of – and a lot of guy in the locker room have never been a part of losing like that. When you lose, everything gets blamed on one guy: the head coach and the quarterback and I’m ok with that. I’m pretty sure Coach Koetter is ok with that. We don’t care about that stuff. All we care about is each other, our family, and trying to win.”
(On if it is fair to speculate on Koetter’s job status)
“I don’t control that. That’s not my place. I play quarterback for this organization, that’s all I play.”
(On where rumors came from)
“I have no idea.”
(On relationship with Chris Godwin)
“Chris is executing on special teams, he’s tired, and he’s still going out there blocking. He’s out there catching; I mean you can say [he is] the jack of all trades and master of none, but he loves this game, man. He’s out there playing and that’s the passion you want to see in a football player. That’s the passion you want to see in a teammate. He has it.”
(On his response if ownership asks about Koetter)
“I’ve been with Coach Koetter since I’ve got in this league and he has not wronged me since I stepped foot in those doors. I believe in what we have as an organization. We’ve got the talent. Some unfortunate things happened. That’s life. That’s football. Some people can blame it on this, some people can blame it on that, but at the end of the day we’ve got to win. As long as we are winning, no one is sitting here asking me questions about me and my head coach. No one.”
(On how disappointing the loss is)
“It was very disappointing. It’s always disappointing to lose, but you know like we say, we’ve got to just go back every week, figure it out and get over this hump. I don’t know what it is, whatever it is, a curse, or what it is, we got to get over it. We have to find a way to win, period.”
(On how frustrating it is from a defensive standpoint.)
“From a defensive stand point, I felt like we were doing a great job, offense too. We just all have to work together, play complementary football and once we do that, we’ll win.”
(On how tackling seemed to be an issue in today’s game)
“Yeah, we’ve got people running to the ball, we’re coming fast too. Sometimes people miss those tackles, but when we have everybody running to ball it will be okay. Some of those plays, we need to make those, but that’s not the only problem is tackling because we were out there balling. We played our ass off on defense. But we just got to come together and we have to win. That’s the only thing we have to do, play as a team and win.”
(On what will motivate this team with them now being officially out of playoff contention)
“We just play football, the love of the game. Go out there and play your hardest. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, just play your hardest and play as a team. I love my brothers, you know we out there grinding and nobody’s giving up. We are out there playing hard. That’s what I love about them so much. That’s who I’m rocking with. I’m rocking with them until the end.”
(On the play where he fumbled)
“I caught the ball. I saw the safety coming down. I really wasn’t trying to do too much after the hit. I was trying to protect myself from the hit. He actually hit the ball. I never thought he hit me in the hands. It was a fumble though, so it was just a great play by the safety. “
(On how frustrating it is to lose with so much talent on the offensive side of the ball)
“Yeah, it’s difficult. Our biggest goal every week coming into the game is to protect the football and we didn’t do a good job of that including myself, so that hurt us. When you turn the ball over a lot, you aren’t really supposed to win the game, but we were still close. That just lets you know that when our offense protects it, we have a great chance to be great. It’s just tough.”
(On his touchdown)
“Yeah, so it was a play where we knew they were going to try to cover me as the backside tight end with the defensive lineman and that’s what happened. I just beat him with speed to the pile line and [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] found me.”
(On the impact his rookie class brought to the game today)
“Yeah, [wide receiver] Chris [Godwin] is a warrior. Chris does a great job of coming in every week and blocking and then he makes plays when they’re thrown his way. He doesn’t have any touchdowns on the season, but he has a lot of great plays that amounts to the type of player he is, the type of competitor and he just does a great job for our offense.”
(On the frustration of losing and being officially eliminated from playoff contention)
“Yeah, it’s frustrating, just like you said. Regardless of what our record is, we are going to come out and fight every day. That is the type of dudes we have in this locker room. Just to have those turnovers – I felt like we were moving the ball well all day – a couple turnovers here and there, it’s not the way to win in the NFL. We’ve got to correct those. I don’t think you’re going to see a letdown from us from our fight standpoint. I think we are going to continue to work hard and fight to stay in games. [We have] three games left, [we’ve] just got to correct those turnovers and keep fighting.”
(On the five turnovers)
“It’s tough, especially when you are at home. We were moving the ball, completing some passes, hitting some big runs and you get the momentum going. Then for a turnover – it just kind of kills the momentum. We can’t have those and it’s unfortunate.”
(On the momentum shift late in the game)
“I thought it was good to see everyone stay in it [and] just keep fighting, like I said. We are not going to quit. We’re always going to fight to the end and unfortunately, [we] couldn’t come out on top. But, that drive in the fourth quarter was big to get it tied up. It gave us a lot of confidence going into it.”
(On the emotions of seeing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy leave the game due to injury)
“For me, it’s tough to see because I know how much Gerald loves this game. You can see it on his face when he is hurt on the sidelines. It’s tough to see. He is our leader [and] one of the best players in the league. To see him hurting so bad and knowing he wants to be out there fighting for us and playing with us is tough for everybody to see him on the sideline like that.”
(On the chances the team had offensively in the first half)
“We had many chances, but we can’t turn the ball over. I know we talk about that a lot and we just didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
(On the five turnovers)
“You are definitely not going to win the game turning the ball over that many times, so that’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of, taking care of the football. We can say it so many times, but you’ve just got to find a way to protect the ball.”
(On what this team has left to play for in the final three games of the season)
“We just need to finish strong. This is a team that still has a lot to prove and finishing strong will definitely start getting us ready for next season.”
(On being replaced by running back Peyton Barber in the second half)
“That tends to happen when you have an effective back like Peyton Barber. He’s been effective. Last game we saw what he could do. When you turn the ball over and you fumble, your chances get cut pretty short, so that’s what happened there.”
(On what he knows about the injury that caused him to leave the game)
“I just know my arm hurts. I don’t know. I’ve got to get an MRI to see what’s going on.”
(On if it was a tough day for him)
“I love what I do. I love my team. I never want to disappoint my family. When I’m not out there, I can’t help. It wasn’t something that I could’ve controlled. People question my effort or how much I care or whatever. I tell them I love my team and what I do. It sucks to not be able to help them. It hurts.”
(On his teammates gathering around him after his injury)
“We [are] family – that’s what families do. You expect that from them. I love those guys and I’m going to get back as soon as I can.”
(On how his injury occurred)
“I don’t know. You’re in the middle of a play, you go to the next one, you feel a certain pain [and] keep playing. It actually happened on the first play of the game. You just keep playing. I play through pain all the time and then it gets to a point where it’s pain tolerance. I kind of couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I didn’t want to be out there playing with one arm. You’re not helping your team at that point – then you’re being selfish. My teammates know I fight. I fight and I fight and I never quit. If I would have kept playing I would have hurt my team.”
(On the team’s effort after he left the game)
“Yeah, they fought. This team is always going to fight. We’ve just got to learn how to come out on the other side of these things. We are always going to fight. We fought back last week. We fought back this week. We just are not coming out on the right side of it. It’s a fine line between winning and losing. That fine line was a field goal today.”
(On if he still believes that there will be a playoff season in Tampa Bay during his career)
“I’m never going to stop. I love this team. I love this city. We’re just going to keep fighting. It won’t change [anything] for me. I don’t care if we never make the postseason. I’m going to fight until we get there. It’s just who I am. I tried to go back in. I felt the pain that I feel now on the first drive of the game and I kept playing. It’s just who I am. Then it came to a point [when] I just couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. When you are out there and you’re trying to push through for your team, but you can’t do certain things then you’re hurting them. You are not helping them. But I am a fighter. I’m always going to fight. I’m going to push with everybody else. [We are] just going to fight. That’s all we can do.”

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