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27 August 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (8/26/17)

HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(On if he ‘saw Christmas’ tonight)
“No.”
 
(On what he saw on the field tonight)
“Blah.”
 
(On how much of a factor it was missing several starters on offense)
“Yeah, we held eight starters out. That’s preseason football, we held a lot of guys out.”
 
(On if lack of scoring in preseason concerns him)
“It’s going to concern me if it happens on September 10. But tonight, it is what it is.”
 
(On if he is saving the full playbook for the regular season)
“Well, of course. But, that doesn’t mean you’re not trying to execute. We’re trying to execute. When you have turnovers and penalties in the red zone, it doesn’t matter what plays you call.”
 
(On takeaways)
“Takeaways were probably the best thing about the first half. We did a good job – other than third downs, we did a real good job on defense in the first half. Takeaways, we shut them down on first and second down, we just didn’t do a very good job on third down.”
 
(On the pass rush in preseason)
“Well, it was non-existent tonight. That’s how I would characterize it for tonight. But again it’s our best player, our best interior guy is not out there. Definitely not doing everything scheme-wise that we have in. But just straight up rush, it just wasn’t there.”
 
(On special teams)
“Well, [Bryan] Anger was huge there in the first half and ‘two’ pinned him down there twice. Those are two nice plays, Nick [Folk] making all his field goals. I think you would have given the special teams an ‘A’ if we wouldn’t have had that penalty on the punt return. That ended up being a 30-something yard penalty, that hurt us. We went from field position across the 40 to back to the ten yard line. It was not good timing for that.”
 
(On if punter Bryan Anger’s performance is surprising)
“It doesn’t surprise me. When Jason [Licht] brought Bryan a year ago, Bryan is just one of those players that maybe just needed a change of scenery. But heck, he was a high draft pick and he’s done nothing but perform for us.”
 
(On if red zone issues stem from a single problem)
“If it were just one thing, we could just fix it in a couple seconds. But again tonight, we had the turnover on third down and then we had two penalties that we got to the edge of the red zone. I don’t know exactly where they came, but two while we were down there and it bumped us back on those penalties. I’m sure it’s going to be a story for now. They start counting here pretty quick.”
 
(On team’s preseason injuries)
“Unfortunately I think we lost DaVonte Lambert tonight. I don’t know exactly, but I don’t think it’s good. He’s a solid backup performer for us. Any time anybody gets hurt that’s going to be long-term, it’s not good for your team. But, the majority of our injuries have a chance to be back and should be back for the Miami game.”
 
(On first game at home this season)
“Love to be in the home stadium. I wish we gave them a little bit more to cheer about. I know our fans are really ready to get behind us. It’s unfortunate that here we are in game three, a game where you want your guys to play a lot and we had to hold that many guys out. But, that’s just the way it worked out and I apologize for it. I don’t think that’s indicative of how we’ll be when we come back here on September 17 against the Bears. Obviously our first game is on the road against the Dolphins, but that’s what you’re building towards. Preseason is part of it and we didn’t quite get it done tonight. Again, it’s a catch-22.”
 
(On if wide receiver Bernard Reedy helped himself with his performance)
“I think he did, I think he did. Bernard has been pretty consistent.”
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On how he would grade his performance tonight)
“Not good enough, we didn’t win. That’s all I can tell you for now. But we did some good things.”
 
(On if he is concerned that he hasn’t thrown a touchdown this preseason)
“Not at all. It’s not about touchdowns, it’s about [the] team. It’s about us winning, it’s about us growing together. They are going to come.”
 
(On the disappointment of losing the preseason home opener)
“The good thing is it’s a practice game. Of course, we want to win every game. This is my chance to say it is a preseason game. The ‘ones’ – we went off [the field] winning. We won, so I guess that’s another reason we can pat ourselves on the back. But anytime we are at home we want to win and that’s just the reason we’ve got to get better week.”
 
(On what the offense’s issues were tonight at the goal line)
“Tonight it was just a pitch-and-catch thing. And the other opportunity that we had when we were on the goal line, it was a 50/50 chance. It was going to be a touchdown or it wasn’t and then I probably wouldn’t have to answer that question [earlier] if that would have counted (laughs). But yes, that was just a bad throw to Cam [Brate]. We were open, we had two guys open there and I’ve just got to be precise.”
 
(On what he did right in tonight’s game)
“We did some great things on the offensive end. We ran the football – Jacquizz Rogers, he pounded that rock. Doug [Martin], his first run was an explosive and then a penalty set us back. When you’re playing good football, penalties and turnovers, they hurt you. First drive – great drive, turnover in the red zone. It hurts you, just as far as moral, just as far as the confidence. Defense gets a stop then we go down, another drive – penalty, backed up again. Second and two we are in field goal range and we get backed up out of that. We’ve just got to – me, personally, [I] have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and just get over that hump. But man, it looks good, it feels good out there. We’re doing some great things. We’re not getting shut out, it’s not like we are having three-and- outs by any chance. We are hurting ourselves.”
 
(On how important it was for rookie receiver Chris Godwin to get playing time)
“It was important for everyone to see like, ‘Hey, we still had a productive offensive game with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and two starting offensive linemen hurt.’ We still had a great offensive performance but at the end of the day, even when we don’t have Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson we’ve still got to execute.”
 
(On the hit by Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett)
“It’s football, man. It’s football.”
 
(On the performance of kicker Nick Folk)
“It was great. He did a great job, but that’s what we expect from Nick. He’s a proven kicker in this league and I’m happy he had a great night tonight.”
 
(On what happened on his interception)
“Bad throw.”
 
(On if he is ready to play in the season opener)
“Absolutely, I’ve been ready. I’ve been ready. These games are helping us build up. A great week of practice is coming ahead next week and I’m excited. I’m excited to play against Miami, that is what we are doing this for. We are doing all these things building for Miami where we get to play four full quarters of football.”
 
(On the importance of the team going into the regular season relatively healthy)
“Obviously, we want to play healthy, but this is the next man up game. Our biggest concern is how we’re executing. Are we playing clean [and] are we doing things that we need to do to win football games.”
 
KICKER NICK FOLK
 
(On if tonight’s performance puts him at ease with the kicking competition)
“Not really. It’s a constant competition with myself and guys who aren’t here. There are still a bunch of good kickers out there so you can’t have a bad day, so you’ve got to keep going.”
 
(On recent success kicking in practice)
“Yeah I’m just tweaking things. Probably in the last four or five years I don’t want to start off camp too hot. It’s really hard as a specialty –golfers for example – it’s hard to hold the 100 percent readiness at all times. And you want to peak in Week One, so I’m still building to that. I’ve told that to Nate [Kaczor] and these guys so if you look at any specific swing or constant motion, it’s hard to maintain that for the entire length of the 17-plus week season. We’re still trying to build for Week One, so still some stuff to improve on, but I feel pretty good for that being the dress rehearsal. Feel ready to get going in Miami.”
 
(On the life of a kicker competing for the starting position)
“You ask any scout, they’re always trying to find the next best at any position, whether it’s kicker, quarterback, offensive line or whatever. You just have to be on top of your game… I’m just trying to stay on top of my game.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER CHRIS GODWIN
 
(On how the offense responded to the interception on its first possession)
“Anytime you have a turnover, obviously, it can affect the offense’s rhythm. We try not to focus too much on our negatives. Our main mindset is anytime we go out there we’re trying to score on each drive, so the next drive that we came out that was our approach to it.”
 
(On how he assesses his performance Saturday night)
“I think I did a pretty good job. I made a couple plays, but I also made some mistakes so I’m going to go back, watch the film and see what I can do to correct those.”
 
(On how ready the team is for the regular season opener)
“I think we will be ready when the time comes. We are taking it day by day, so we’re not looking too far ahead. We understand where we are going, we are just trying to work to get there.”
 
(On how valuable it was to play with the first team)
“I definitely think it was very valuable just because anytime – especially as a rookie and as a young guy – you can go out there and get some experience, good or bad, it’s valuable. So that’s how I look at it, just as a learning experience.”
 
CORNERBACK VERNON HARGREAVES III
 
(On his assessment of his play versus Cleveland)
“I played okay, I played okay. Obviously, I still need to improve on some things, but that pick goes to Lavonte [David] with the great assist – great tip ball – so I just happened to make a play on it.”
 
(On what he personally needs to work on moving forward)
“Starting faster, getting my body going, getting into the game faster. [It’s] preseason ball – it’s in the back of your mind that it’s a preseason game, but I’ve got to get that out of my game. Just overall – everything needs to get better.”
 
(On how he feels in preseason week three this year compared to his rookie season last year)
“Way more comfortable, obviously. I’ve got a full 16 [games] under my belt, so I’m starting to get a groove of it. It’s starting to just become a normal thing for me and we will see how it plays out.”
 
(On where the defense is as a whole at this point in the preseason)
“Like I said, we still need to work like every team in the league – that’s what everybody is going to say. We still need to work, but we will watch the film and we will break down the little things that we need to work on and we will get them fixed.”
 
(On the vibe in the locker room after the game)
“I think everybody just has a good understanding of what we are in. It’s the preseason – yes, we want to win, but all your guys aren’t playing so we all know that. We lost, but we are taking it. We are going to move on and we are going to try to beat the Redskins and then the Dolphins in two weeks.”
 
RUNNING BACK JACQUIZZ RODGERS
 
(On if he’s seen progress throughout the preseason thus far)
“For sure. Preseason, it’s about gelling together and trying to define a role on this team. That’s what us as players try to do.”
 
(On if he’s getting enough touches to be prepared for the season opener)
“I got enough touches tonight. Ten carries was enough. I’ve got to take advantage of my opportunities and get my yards per carry up. That’s something I would like to do. For me, with the goals that I set, I try to stay above 4.5 [yards per carry].
 
(On the team’s new home locker room)
“We’ve got enough room for everybody so we’re not all on top of each other like the last locker room. It’s a lot of room and it’s a great facility.”
 
(On how comfortable he feels compared to last year)
“I feel good. Anytime you’re able to play in front of your home fans is always good. We felt the energy at practice during training camp; now, bringing it to the stadium, it’s a great environment.”
 
(On how he expects to feel entering Week One)
“Oh yeah, I’m ready. I prepared in the offseason for this situation and I’m going to try to take full advantage of it.”
 
OFFENSIVE TACKLE DONOVAN SMITH
 
(On how vital the run game is for his team)
“Oh it’s big, to be able to have a balanced offense allows us to do more stuff. The other team has to worry about running and the pass game. That benefits us. We’ve just got to keep working at it and keep going. We did all right today, but we can do better.”
 
(On having another season in Dirk Koetter’s system)
“Its really big. Coming into a new offense, sometimes feel like you’ve got everything, but going into the third year, you learn new things and you know how to asses it to what you already knew and apply it and be able to break it down and know more and play faster. So being the third year, it's huge. In [our] offense, he [Dirk Koetter] expects a lot of us.”
 
(On the first game of the season in Miami)
“Yeah it’s going to be good and I can’t wait to get started with the season, so we just have to go out there and play our game.”
 
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