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07 September 2014

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS POSTGAME QUOTES SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2014

HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“That’s not exactly how we wanted to start the football season. The guys work really hard to get in a position to play better. We got ourselves in a hole the first half. We didn't do many things right. We talk about the turnover ratio always and if we talk about everything that went wrong throughout the game. At the end we had a chance to intercept the ball when we were down three points; we could of gone in for at least a field goal. And once we got the ball we fumbled it. Those two really just kind of knocked us out, but overall we didn't play well enough to win. But I do like the way we finished. Early on we had opportunities - we moved the ball here and there. Even though we couldn't establish the run game the way we wanted, we had a couple plays here and there. Getting knocked out of field goal range really hurt us. Some of their pressure we weren't able to deal with. On the other side of the football, we weren't able to get enough pressure on Anderson early on, but they played better than we did today. It’s kind of as simple as that.
 
(On offense in first three quarters)
“I think it was just all errors, and we weren't able to get anything going. You know, you need to establish a run, and we were never able to do that.  Of course, when we tried passing the
football they put pressure. They just controlled the play early on. They dominated time of
possession the first half. So it’s just really hard to get anything going that way.
 
(On quarterback Josh McCown)
“We’d like to have a couple of those balls back - especially the one where we fumbled it. Sometimes you just have to take a negative play and not, you know, make a bad decision and give the ball up. Those plays hurt us. So Josh [McCown], along with the rest of the team, didn't do what we needed to do early. At the end of the game though, I liked what Josh was able to do. We started moving it. Again, we had ourselves in position before that last one.
 
(On the Panthers’ defensive pressure)
“They kept us of balance with some of the play action things that they had, but we’re going to get that each week. We talk about in order for us to play a good defensive game we have to get pressure with our four-man rush and then take the ball away. It’s as simple as that. Their defense outplayed ours, and their offense outplayed ours too. But defensively we need to take the ball away.
 
(On choosing to punt after McCown was sacked in the third quarter and kicker Patrick Murray’s field goal range)
“Whatever direction we’re going in, we set it. We knew exactly where the cutoff point was, and it was the 35 yard line.
 
(On Quarterbacks Coach Marcus Arroyo’s input and lack of Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford)
“Marcus relayed the plays in, but it was a group effort. Jeff was involved a little bit. He was of course in the press box giving input when he could. I think the guys picked up as well as they possibly could. You know, we were in position to make plays — we just didn’t.
 
(On the offensive line)
“We had a little trouble with the offensive line and when you lose a player like Logan [Mankins]…I don't think we’re limited in other areas. I think our receiving corps is pretty good. Our tight ends are. We talked about Josh not making a couple of good decisions early on, but I think what we’re going to build on is how we finished the game. I mean, we were down 17-0 and really out of it. At the end though, offensively we scored 14 points. We went down the field and scored that and got ourselves in position at the end. So that’s what we’re going to build on.
 
(On struggle to establish the running game)
“They’re a good defense, period. But, for us that can’t stop us from continuing to try to establish it. If you keep going, eventually there are going to be a couple of cracks. To me, we can always say it’s on us. We have to do a better job whether it’s injuries or whatever. We have to do a better job with that.
 
(On McCown’s two interceptions)
“I would never analyze it too much. He made two bad decisions that he normally wouldn’t, and he won’t do that again. That’s how I’m going to look at it. No matter how long you play it’s the first game for us. We’re setting the bar. Normally there’s a big improvement from game one to two. We’ll need to do that. But again what we’re going to build on is how we played at the end of the football game. We were at least in the game at the end and most of the game we weren’t. We just can’t put ourselves in a hole like that. We’re minus three in the turnover ratio. You can’t win like that.
 
(On Carolina tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin)
“Those plays, especially with Benjamin, we can’t give up that. That should of been an
interception on that play. Greg Olsen is a great player. There’s a reason why I drafted him in the first round. He’s been good each year he’s been in the league, and we knew that coming in. But he had a couple big plays today on us.”
 
(On Carolina converting third downs)
“It affected us a lot. We had a third and long situation, and we can’t give up those. You look last year, and I think they were fourth in the league. So they normally stay out of third and long situations. So, they have been — that’s kind of who they are. We had opportunities across the board. I would like to have a lot of the decisions back that I made today. We’ll all get better for next week.”
 
QUARTERBACK JOSH MCCOWN
 
(On his interceptions)
“I’m more disappointed in the first one because I should have just ate it and should have went down. I saw Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] there and was trying to make a play. I have to trust our defense and trust our system and realize that everybody has a part in this and has to make plays so I don’t have to force them and try to make plays. I think that was part of the reason we got going [in the fourth quarter]. I started to sit back a little bit and trust those guys and didn’t try to force things.”
 
(On what happened on the second interception)
“I was just trying to throw it quick on the running game and I kind of checked there to Mike [Evans] and the ball slipped. I picked it up and knew the play was dead, but I was just trying to throw it over Mike’s head and regroup and it slipped again. It was unfortunate. I should have just ate it. Those things can’t happen. It’s 100 percent on me and we’ve got to do better in that area and we will do better in that area.”
 
(On their offense in the fourth quarter)
“I think once we found ourselves in the game and we had to spread out and start throwing it, we got a little bit of a rhythm going and that helped us. I don’t know if a whole lot changed. We were just playing better and making better decisions. I’m not quite sure what it was, but it was good to get going and finally get something moving.”
 
(On the energy of the fans)
“When we started putting drives together and when we got the two touchdowns, man, their energy was great. That’s the kind of energy we want to build here at the stadium, but we understand that in order to get that we [have] got to put it out on the field. When Carolina went back out on the field and we needed the stop and got the stop – that was a cool moment. Those are the things in this game we’ve got to circle and that’s the energy we want to create here at Raymond James, but it starts with us playing better on offense."
 
(On the fourth quarter)
“I thought we were going to win. I felt really confident about that – that we were going to move the ball down the field and win. We got the penalty there to back us up and we wanted to get rolling and a completion to get us in our groove and we got that. Bobby [Rainey] did some good things and got the touchdown and he’s going to walk away thinking about that [fumble] play and I hate that for him. I’m going to walk away thinking about my two turnovers and that is just the nature of this business, but everybody is made up like that. We’re going to look at what we didn’t get done and look at those things and make them better. We have a bunch of pros in there and that’s what pros do and we’ll bounce back.”
 
(On his aggressiveness in the second half versus the first)
“The game kind of dictated that. We were down and had to get it going and had to start throwing the ball. When you’re down a couple scores and you need to move the ball, you’ve got to throw it. So more than anything, that might have been what dictated us being a little bit more aggressive. We just needed to get chunks at that point.”
 
(On the team showing fight in the second half)
“That is the key thing for us. You don’t know where this thing is going, but what you want to see is fight. We certainly rose up and did that as the offense towards the end. The defense made a stop. But we have things that we just have to clean up and get better. The guys and the resolve – that’s key and that is huge. Again, you can’t talk about that all the time. We’ve got to be better and that will start with me.”
 
(On mistakes made in the opening game)
“This is not what we planned on. Even when you think there’s going to be growing pains there are still things you don’t plan for. I’ll own this one. The coaches did a good job and everyone did a good job. I made a couple bad decisions that put us in a bad situation but it doesn’t stop where we’re going or our growth. It’s just things that I can clean up and get better. We don’t need to focus on anybody else on those things because the coaches are preparing great and the players are putting in the time. That is why it hurts for me, because I see the work that everybody does and you go out there and have a couple mistakes like that and it eats at you. Those things I can fix and then we will move forward.”
 
(On the play calling)
“I thought [quarterbacks coach] Marcus [Arroyo] did a good job. He moved through the plan just like we talked about and it felt good. The turnovers are things that can’t happen and I own those things. That doesn’t fall on Marcus or anybody else – that falls on me.”
 
(On the passing game)
“This is a journey to find out who we are and you do that every week and there are 16 games and we’re going to find out. You want to be balanced and good at both and that’s the key. You find yourselves in situations where you’re seeing, ‘We move the ball better when we throw it’ or ‘We move it better when we don’t.’ We certainly moved the ball better later in the game and so I trust that the coaches will look at that and we’ll see. It is the first game and we’re on a journey here and we’ve got to be better every week and we’ll look at this tape and there will be good things. That’s hard for me to say right now since all I’m focusing on is the bad, but there will be good things and we will build and keep getting better and that will be the key for us.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On his fourth quarter sack)
“At the end of the game, your level has to go up. Somebody has to do something, so I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team.”
 
(On if the gameplan changed with quarterback Cam Newton not playing)
“It was the same gameplan; we didn’t really change. We had a great gameplan up front. We had a scheme of sliding, max protective, bringing the running back in. But that’s no excuse for how we rushed. We had a lot of missed opportunities.”
 
(On if he was tired toward the end of the game)
“I was tired. It is what it is. I’m not going to say I wasn’t. But the thing is, there’s no excuse. We needed to get off the field. People can say what they want about how long we were on the field, but we had them at third-and-long numerous times. So we’ve just got to get off the field.”
 
(On what enabled Carolina to have success on third down)
“It was a combination of rush and coverage. They’d get the ball out quicker some plays across the middle, and then some plays, in max protect, we couldn’t get done, and some plays we just had one-on-ones we didn’t win. It was a mix of a lot of everything. It was kind of a collective effort.”
 
(On today’s game)
“You never want to lose a division game at home on opening day, but [they are] the defending champs and we knew we had a tough one. We’ve just got to be better next time.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
 
(On why they were not able to establish a solid running game against Carolina)
“I’ve got to give some credit to the Panthers defense. They’re one of the top 10 defenses in the league. It was a challenge for us.”
 
(On what the team needs to do to improve)
“We’ve just got to play more fast. Start fast, finish strong. We finished strong today, but unfortunately, because we didn’t start fast, we didn’t get the W. But I believe that if we start fast and finish strong, we’ll be able to come up with the W.”
 
DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL JOHNSON
 
(On if the defense was tired late in the game)
“No, we just didn’t make the stops that we needed to make, and we had opportunities, too. So we’ll go back to the drawing board and get to work and get better.”
 
(On what enabled Carolina to have success on third down)
“They did a good job on first and second down.”
 
(On what the team needs to do to improve)
“We’ve just got to do a better job. They outplayed us today. We’ll go get back to work tomorrow.”
 
MIDDLE LINEBACKER MASON FOSTER
 
(On his overall thoughts for today’s game)
“They were in rhythm, but we just got to come out and start fast. You have to tip your hat to them. They played a great game and had a great game plan. They executed their game plan – that was it.”
 
(On the Panthers’ ability to move the chains on third down)
“They used safe routes, and they were just making plays. That’s what it comes down to sometimes, like one or two plays. You know, it’s the NFL and those guys get paid too. They made some good plays on third down, and we just have to make more plays than them.”
 
(On the defense losing the time of possession battle)
“That’s tough anytime you’re in long drives. Like I said, we got to make more plays. We have good players on this team and it’s just one of those things that happens. You have to tip your hat to them; they played a good game.”
 
(On playing your best)
“Any game you play, no matter if they’re the NFC Champs, you want to go out there and play your best ball and put it on tape. We just got to go watch the film and keep improving. We have a good group.”
 
(On how much the Panthers’ offense changed with quarterback Derek Anderson)
“I don’t think it changed at all. It was pretty much the same type of stuff we had prepared for, just not an athletic quarterback, but he made some plays with his legs too. So, he’s a good player and he’s proven that in this league. They’re a well-coached team and have a lot of great players.”
 
(On supplying more pressure)
“I don’t know about more pressure, but we just got to make more plays. We got to make the plays when they come to us. You just got to keep on learning, keep growing through it. I feel like we fought hard, but we just got to keep growing.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On what the team can build on heading into next week)
“Limit the turnovers, and we’ll have a good chance of winning. We lost by six and had three turnovers. We could’ve won.”
 
(On playing his first rookie game)
“It was a great experience. It was my dream and it’s a blessing to be out there. This is my job, and I’m blessed. I could’ve played better. I played decent, but I could’ve gotten more involved in the run game and could’ve made more plays. 
 
FULLBACK JORVORSKIE LANE
 
(On the Buccaneers’ performance)
“I feel like as a whole, this is our worst game since we’ve been together. Yeah we started off slow, but as a unit, we played our worst game. I’d rather have it now than later.”
 
(On his long run in the first half)
“That play, I still look at it crazy. Yeah I made the play, If I was 10 pounds lighter I would have scored. I’m hard on myself, 10 pounds lighter and I would have put six points on the board for my team. You never know what would have happened. The momentum swung a little bit, but if I would have scored, you never know what would have happened.”
 
(On his role with the Buccaneers)
“In this game you just have to adapt. You have to find ways. I just have to get stronger somehow. Starting tomorrow, 10 pounds are coming off and I put my team in a better situation. I’m open for anything. Whatever game plan we have coming in next week and the week after that, if my role is to run, block, or whatever, I’m just here to play football.”
 
(On the Carolina Panthers’ Defense)
“That team is really good. Their front seven is really good. They play really sound football. It’s part of the game. They had our number today. We’ll meet them again and we’ll see how it goes from there.”
 
(On if the approach changed not having Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford on the sidelines)
“We had the same approach. We prepared with Coach Tedford as we prepared without him. I don’t think that was a really big issue. We just have to come together Tuesday, watch the film, get this loss out of the way, and move forward.”
 
SAFETY DASHON GOLDSON
 
(On if the defense’s gameplan changed for Quarterback Derek Anderson instead of Cam Newton)
“No, our game-plan was the same. We just came out here, we knew what they were trying to do. We tried to stop the run, create turnovers, and get off the field. ”
 
(On the Buccaneers’ performance)
“We started slow, I think. We wanted to start off fast this game. We came out fast for the most part, but they extended some drives on offense and kept our defense out there a little longer. We just came in here and got it corrected [at halftime] and got off the field.  It was frustrating they were converting on third downs. They made some good plays. Their quarterback [Derek Anderson] came in and did a good job filling in for your Cam [Newton]. They just made more plays than we did.”
 
(On his dropped interception in the fourth quarter)
“It was real close. I thought I was in good position, he broke his route off and as soon as I turned around the ball was right there. Unfortunately I didn’t come down with it. I think that would have sealed the deal. I just missed it, no excuses, I just missed it.”
 
(On rookie Kelvin Benjamin’s performance)
“He did a good job, the rookie did a good job. He came and made some plays, extended some drives for them.  He came up big.”
 
(On what the Buccaneers can build on moving forward)
“We kept fighting, no one gave up.  We came out in the second half and played a little better. We did a good job against the run, they extended a little bit on the run, but for the most part we did okay.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER CHRIS OWUSU
 
(On his touchdown reception from Quarterback Josh McCown)
“Just got two feet in and Josh made a great throw to me. I was able to outside release, it was just a tough loss though.”
 
(On the Buccaneers’ fourth-quarter performance)
“We converted the key third downs that we needed to convert that we didn’t do in the first half. We just got it going offensively in the fourth quarter”
 
(On the positives the Buccaneers can take from the loss)
“Just the way we ended the game. Trying to run the ball and trying to pass the ball. We were able to pass the ball with efficiency in the fourth quarter. Guys were making plays; Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans were making plays. Brandon Meyers was making plays from the tight end position. We have a lot to build on going into the next games.”
 
(On his first NFL career touchdown)
“It felt good, but it always sucks to lose a game, especially this kind of game. We have a lot to build on and we’re going to be encouraged going into the next game.”
 
(On the offense’s play in the fourth quarter)
“We were able to convert some key third downs and guys were making plays. Josh McCown was dropping back and getting time, making plays out there that we needed to make. We have a lot to build on going into the next game. ”
 
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