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10 November 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (11/10/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Buccaneers LB Lavonte David is tied for second in the NFL in tackles for loss, with 10.
 
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith
Running Back Doug Martin
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
 
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(On if wide receiver Mike Evans is out of the league’s concussion protocol)
“That’s correct, yup. He’s good to go.”
 
(On guard Kevin Pamphile’s status)
“He is in the concussion protocol.”
 
(On how confident he would be having offensive lineman Evan Smith start at left guard on Sunday)
“Real confident, no problem at all.”
 
(On if offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch would be the backup guard if Pamphile can’t play Sunday)
“Yes.”
 
(On how Benenoch has progressed)
“I’d say he’s comparable to probably Kevin Pamphile’s trajectory, along those lines.”
 
(On if it is doable to have only four receivers active on Sunday, like they had against Atlanta)
“You saw it, right? It’s doable.”
 
(On having running back Doug Martin back at practice for the second straight day)
“Limited. Doug Martin is limited.”
 
(On if he has had a chance to look at Martin on the practice field)
“Yeah, I’ve been out there looking at him. I’ve had a chance, yes, I’ve had that opportunity.”
 
(On if the team would err on the side of caution in regards to getting Martin back in a game)
“That won’t be a coach’s call. When a guy’s been out, that’s a medical call and a player call.”
 
(On if the medical team gives him an evaluation of how much they think a player would be able to play in a game)
“Like any player, when they come off the injury report as not restricted, as full go so, full go is full go. And if you’re up for the game, if you’re up on the 46-[man roster], that might mean 64 plays. Well, what if you’re the only guy left? You can’t go in thinking you’re going to play a guy 10 snaps because he might end up being the only guy. You just can’t do it that way. That’s why the probable, doubtful [injury statuses], that stuff’s out the window on game day.”
 
(On if it is less difficult for a new player, like wide receiver Josh Huff, to get adjusted to special teams on a new team)
“Yeah, just talking strictly as a returner. Josh also is a good gunner on the punt team. Which, again, you don’t have 15 different styles of doing it. Same thing with returns – even though you might have multiple returns, chances are he’s worked with a sideline return, middle return, a bluff return, something like that. He’s done those and those are like, three or four things that you might take into a game.”
 
(On the speed element that Huff brings to the game)
“When I was in Atlanta, we had Josh in the Senior Bowl when he came out of college, so we had a little bit of familiarity with him from that and then obviously, he’s got NFL film. Unlike some guys that come off the street that you’re taking them off of a workout or something, this guy’s got NFL film. Josh does have good burst, good quickness, good run after the catch.”
 
(On why the team isn’t playing well at home)
“Yeah, we’re not playing good enough. How’s that for a theory? How’s that, is that a good theory?”
 
(On if the team is less disciplined at home)
“No, you’re not less disciplined at home than you are on the road. That’s not even close. We’re probably the same amount of disciplined and that’s up to you guys to write if we’re undisciplined or not, but no.”
 
(On what the primary cause of the offensive penalties is)
“Procedural penalties and aggressive penalties are two different animals when you’re addressing penalties. We made a major push on procedural penalties, I think we’ve done a decent job with that. Not exactly where we need to be, but decent. Now, aggressive penalties – for instance, [center] Joe Hawley didn’t try to put his hands in the guy’s face. If you’re watching linemen copy ‘O’ and ‘D,’ they can probably call that on somebody almost every play. And when they decide to call it and not, they’re hard to argue with, but then they’re going, ‘Okay, they called that one, why didn’t they call that one?’ Both ways, ‘O’ and ‘D.’ Again, Joe wasn’t trying to do that, but they called him for it and it was legit. As far as holding goes – even on holding, there’s some times when a guy’s beat so bad that he’s holding to save the quarterback from getting killed. So, even though no one will beat the drum for us to cut down on penalties on offense more than I will, there’s kind of a fine line there. And how close it is in the league – two weeks ago, we were seventh in the league in penalties, down from 32nd a year ago. In just two weeks, we went to 18th in the league. So, that’s something that’s ongoing. We talk about it every Wednesday and Friday in the team meeting, show different clips, show the officials clips, show what the officials are emphasizing that week. We get a tape from the league on that and then the officials have a pretty good tendency to follow suit. So, we’re doing the things that we think are appropriate to battle penalties.”
 
(On if he has sensed that there have been more illegal formations around the league this year)
“I’m not sure on that one.”
 
(On what the competition level is like at practice)
“It was really good today, really good today. We actually have a period every day, five plays, Bucs on Bucs, first ‘O’ against first ‘D.’ We call it a, ‘compete period,’ where we try to get a fast look, fastest look that we can. I think that the last two days this week – sometimes even though the execution isn’t where it needs to be – I think our compete level has been good. Really pleased with where that’s at.”
 
(On the team’s signing of Josh Huff versus their release of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins earlier this season)
“It’s very complex, much more complex than you even know. Much more complex than you know. There’s more to every story than meets the eye, there’s more than I’m ever going to say, probably more than the GM is probably ever going to say. So, I wouldn’t compare them, it’s not apples to apples if I was you. That’s just my advice, take it for what it’s worth.”
 
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE SMITH
 
(On what linebacker Lavonte David is doing differently in Smith’s defense compared to what he was doing in years past)
“Well, they are different schemes and the WILL linebacker in the scheme that he played in, it was set up for him to be a tackler and make lots of plays. It is somewhat different. I do believe this: I believe we all know that we can coach better and we can play better, but in terms of Lavonte, he’s been nicked up a little bit. Early in the season he missed some time, but everybody’s nicked up this time of the year.”
 
(On clarification of David’s role)
“Well, it depends on what play they’re going to run and in terms of how we can figure our defense and it has to be what plays that they run. Our MIKE linebacker has probably been more productive and he’s going to be the guy that’s probably got more clean runs to the football in the run game.”
 
(On how much of David’s decreased number of tackles is due to the new scheme)
“I think we’re all learning. I don’t think he’s not the same player that he was last year – I think he is. I think we’ve got to do a better job as a coaching staff, putting him in positions to make plays. I think he’s a very good player, he’s a Pro Bowl player in the past. His numbers don’t show that at this point and time in the season, but he’s doing everything that we’re asking and we’ve got to make sure that we put him in some positions where he can go make some plays.”
 
(On how much of David’s drop in production is due to being nicked up, versus still getting acclimated to a new scheme)
“I can’t put a percentage on it. I think it does affect every one of us. And one of the things that we’re finding out [is] you have to be able to identify what these guys are capable of doing. We’re going through that. It’s been a very steep learning curve and we have to continue as a coaching staff to identify what these guys can do well. We’re continuing to give up too many explosive plays.”
 
(On if David has to do more in coverage in this scheme)
“Absolutely. We are a match defense and as we like to say, ‘If you drop a match, you start a fire,’ and you’ve seen a number of fires out there through the first eight weeks of the season. It’s very important for us as a group to learn from that. We’ve had, quote, a ‘mini-bye,’ so we’ve had an opportunity to again evaluate what we’re trying to get done and we’re going to do everything in our power to play much better defense in the second half of the season.”
 
(On if the defense ran out of gas in the second half against Atlanta, having played an overtime game just four days earlier)
“Well, you get what you earn in this business and we earned five quarters because we didn’t play very well [against Oakland] and then we didn’t play very good in the second half of the game on Thursday night. And this is a no excuse business. You’re called to go out and play, whether it’s Thursday night, whether you’ve played 45 plays or whether you’ve played 95 plays, we’ve got to go out and play. And they did a very good job. I tip my hat to them, especially there in the second half. We really did not play very good defense at all.”
 
(On if Atlanta was able to execute more catch-and-runs and runs on the perimeter than other teams)
“Absolutely. The very first third down of the game, it was a one-yard completion that went for 15 or 16 yards on a third down and eight to a check-down to the running back. We’ve got to do a better job of pursuing to the football and putting a vice on the ball carrier. When he circled us and he got outside of our leverage, it became an explosive play.”
 
(On former Buccaneer linebacker Derrick Brooks saying that he saw a ‘lack of effort’ from the team against Atlanta)
“Again, I think everybody has their opinion. I think when the score got to where it was, our effort was not where it needed to be. When you don’t force them to punt, let’s be very frank – that’s not a very good defensive performance. I’ve moved on from it. I’d really like to talk about our upcoming game, but since you asked the question, I’ll answer it. And there [are] no excuses. It doesn’t matter what happened in the previous week, we’ve got to go out and play. We’ve got to play much better and as I’ve said many times: let’s not pin it on the players, let’s pin it on the coaches and on me.”
 
(On the pros and cons of sending rushers to blitzing)
“Well, when you try to put pressure on the quarterback and you don’t get there, then you’ve taken resources away from your pass defenders. And when you take resources away from your pass defenders, depending on who you’re playing, you don’t like those one-on-one matchups. We’ve got to work in concert as a defensive unit and it’s not one unit that’s failing. We can’t sit here and say that it’s the defensive backs, that it’s the linebackers, it’s the defensive line – we’ve all contributed to it. The coaching staff hasn’t coached to the level that we need to coach, we haven’t played to the level that we need to play in the first eight games.”
 
(On if the defense’s main problem is communication)
“We’ve got to do a much better job of communicating, in terms of pre-snap and post-snap. There’s a lot of things that go on, there’s a lot of moving parts and when you don’t communicate well and you’re misfitting a gap or you have the improper leverage on a pass play, you’re going to give up some big plays. And we’ve got to do a better job making sure we put in a game plan that our players can go out and execute. And that’s the thing that we’ve spent time in the mini-bye that we just experienced over the three days, again, looking at what our guys do best and what gives us the best opportunity to stop them. Because again guys, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, we’ve lived it, it’s not acceptable.”
 
(On if the communication on defense lies on the middle linebacker)
“No, it’s everybody. This system and the way people present offenses, they don’t line up with two backs and a tight end next to an offensive tackle and two wide receivers. There’s lots of communication that has to go on. Not only prior to the snap of the football, but after the ball is snapped, based on how they disperse. And we have not done a very good job of making sure that our players understand that. We have not done a very good job of executing it. And it happens at all levels. Our linebackers have to communicate with our defensive line, our defensive line has to communicate with our linebackers and we have to communicate to the secondary as well.”
 
(On what stands out to him about the Bears offense)
“Oh gosh, when Jay Cutler’s playing quarterback, we’ve got to defend a guy that has a hose, he can freaking throw it. And he can throw it from all different angles. I’ve been very impressed with their rookie running back [Jordan Howard] – he’s a big, stout runner – and I’ve played against [Head] Coach John Fox for many, many years. They’re going to try to run the football and that’s going to allow them – if they run it successfully, then they’re going to try to throw it over your head and they’ve got some weapons. It’s a very big offensive line, if both of both of those offensive guards [Kyle Long and Josh Sitton] are back, you’re looking at two guys over 330 pounds at the guard position. Last time I checked, the last game they played they beat the Minnesota Vikings, who I think have a pretty good record. So, it’s going to be a challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it. The quicker we get back out on the field and really go out and play a game a compete, the better we’re going to be. So, we’re hoping Sunday gets here real quick.”
 
(On how he can get more out of the pass rush)
“Well, again, we’ve got to do a better job putting pressure on the quarterback to alleviate some of the explosive plays and you have to pick your opportunities when you’re going to do it. We’ve got to come up with a way that we can put more pressure on the quarterback. We’ve got to come up with a way for us to be successful. Whether that’s a four-man rush, a five-man rush, or a six-man rush, that’s got to be determined each week and we’ve got to do a better job of that.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
 
(On how he’s feeling)
“I feel good, I feel good. I was practicing yesterday and I felt I’m getting there, getting to that point. This has been kind of frustrating, but we’re just going to take all the proper steps and we have been taking the proper steps to get me back on the field.”
 
(On if he anticipates he will be ready to play this Sunday against Chicago)
“I hope I’m ready by that time, but we’ll still seeing if I’m able to go at full speed and that’s why I’m taking so many precautions and I’m seeing where we go from there, but I’m hoping I can.”
 
(On if he has any limitations in practice)
“We’ll see. Just the individual [drills] yesterday and we’re going to add a little more work, see what I can do.”
 
(On how hard it has been to see three other running backs go down with injuries while he was out)
“It’s been really frustrating. We’ve had guys step up, ‘Quizz’ [Jacquizz Rodgers], ‘Tone’ [Antone Smith] and a lot of guys continued to step up. You see guys go down and it’s hard to see. You want to get in there, but you can’t.”
 
(On how he felt when he woke up this morning, after the individual drills yesterday)
“It felt really good to get back on the field in general. To put on the pads, we had pads yesterday, so it was good to put on the pads again and be out there with my brother and get out there and do the running back drills. I felt pretty good doing them.”
 
(On how devastating it was when he had a setback to his injury)
“It was real devastating. I thought I was ready to go and I kind of pushed it, could have pushed it a little too hard and had the setback. So, we’re making sure right now that we take extra proper steps. That’s why it’s probably taking so long. So, we’re just going to make sure we take all the proper steps to make sure that I’m fully healthy, so I don’t have another setback. So, that’s what’s been going on, but yeah, that setback, it definitely sucked.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On running back Doug Martin returning to practice)
“That’s great. Doug is one of the guys I’m closer to on the team. He’s been around for a while and he’s a comic book guy too, so it’s always fun to go back forth with him on that. But, his talent level and his ability to run the ball second to none, in my opinion. When he’s healthy, he’s tough to deal with, so it’d be great to have him back.”
 
(On if the defense’s performance against Atlanta was due to being exhausted after playing an overtime game four days earlier in which they were on the field for 93 plays)
“That’s an excuse. It doesn’t matter how many snaps you play, we’re in the NFL. If you have a game, you go perform. Playing a bunch of snaps is an excuse. It was us. We went and watched the film and we were not on the same page, that’s what looking in the mirror got us. Everybody was able to look at themselves and say, ‘I thought it was this, and the other person thought it was that,’ and it wasn’t. And if you’ve got a defense with just two people out of the 11 thinking two different things, you’re already messed up. So, it was more so of us not being in place and Atlanta – a really, really good team – taking advantage of that. So, we’ve got to be better and we’ve got to get on the same page.”
 
(On what pops out to him about the Bears offense)
“The guards, for me. Once again, whether people want to hear it or not, I’ve been a fan of [quarterback] Jay Cutler since he was throwing those bombs at the combine and he was like, hitting people in the chest and you could hear it. I was like, ‘Golly man, I don’t know what else he can do, but he definitely can throw the football,’ and I’ve kind of been a fan of his ever since. It’s always good to compete against him, but those guards man, I’ve got a lot of respect for [Kyle] Long and [Josh] Sitton, two dominant guards in this league and hopefully they’re healthy enough to play because I enjoy games like that. A lot of people are like, ‘You don’t want this guy to play because that gives them the advantage.’ I don’t care, it’s fun. This is the NFL and you should want to compete against the best, that’s the only way you go out there and really prove who you are, is you compete against the best. So, I hope they play and it’s going to be fun to compete against them.”
 
(On his relationships with quarterbacks on his team)
“I’m always cool with our quarterbacks, those are the leaders of our team, whoever it may be. I think I’m closer to Jameis [Winston] than I’ve been with any of the other ones because I’ve been somewhat of a mentor to him since he came in the league. I spoke with his parents when he got drafted and made a promise to them that I’d look out for him. I can’t say that I did that to the other quarterbacks, but with his family I did. But as far as my relationship with all our quarterbacks, it’s always been really good.”
 
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