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25 November 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (11/25/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Since the start of Week 7, the Buccaneers offense has averaged 28.2 points per, the seventh-highest mark in the NFL during that timeframe. The team has also averaged 396.2 yards per game during that span, the seventh-most in the league.
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Todd Monken
(On if offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile is out of the concussion protocol)
“He is, I’m happy to report Kevin is out of the protocol and good to go.”
(On the defense making clutch plays in big spots in recent weeks)
“They’re playing with a lot more confidence, we’re playing faster, we’re communicating better. It starts with that and success breeds success, confidence breeds confidence. You have a little success to back it up and most places I’ve been, that tends to build on itself.”
(On good practices leading to success on game days)
“You can definitely see it on film. Since the Thursday night game, the last three weeks our practices have definitely taken a step up, from a tempo standpoint. Coaching-wise, you’re always trying to increase the tempo, but it’s got to come from the players. When the players decide to do it, then you know things are looking up.”
(On how much it will help to have Pamphile back on the offensive line)
“Well of course, just like getting [running back] Doug [Martin], getting your top runner back, getting one of your top run blockers back. We have been able to consistently overcome injuries at every positon. We’ve done a good job of that this year and any time we get a starter back, we’re happy about it.”
(On how encouraging it is to have cornerback Brent Grimes back at practice the last two days)
“Yeah, real encouraging. He was a full participant today, so we’re very happy again. We’re at that point of the year where you never know what’s going to happen, so [it’s] great to have Brent out here.”
(On if defensive tackle Sealver Siliga is close to ready to play on Sunday)
“Yeah, he’s pretty close.”
(On how Seattle is using tight end Jimmy Graham differently than New Orleans did when he was on the Saints)
“They’re just keeping him in the core of the formation, inside the wide receivers more. New Orleans played him a lot more outside, like a wideout. Now, that doesn’t mean he never does that, it’s just they’re playing him more where you would expect – a tight end lining up next to the tackle more often than he did in New Orleans.”
(On if Graham is being used more as an inline blocker or is just lining up that way)
“Both. They’re asking him to do more inline blocking than he did in New Orleans. But, also where he lines up, yes.”
(On if safety Chris Conte’s interception against Kansas City was a sign that the defense turned the corner, as far as not biting on play-action passes)
“I would probably never say that one single play turns a corner for you, on anything. And as far as play-action goes, play-action is the hardest thing to defend because every defensive player, defensive coach is going to tell you we’ve got to stop the run, so if you’re able to have a good play-action game, that’s the hardest thing on the defense.”
(On how prepared he thinks the defense is at the nickel cornerback position without Jude Adjei Barimah the next four games)
“Yeah, we’ll be fine. It’s just like anything else, we’ve lost guys at other positions. We’ve always got guys ready to step in and they’re working on that, they’re building to that. You’ve got to have more than one guy ready to step in because that guy could go down. So, we’re going to be fine.”
(On if he feels the team is continuing to practice hard after their two-game winning streak)
“I do, we practiced very well the last couple of days and I’m happy with how we’re practicing. Practice doesn’t always equate to game day. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, but we’ve been practicing. We know we have a tough Seahawk team coming in here and we know we’re going to have to be at our best on Sunday.”
(On the challenges Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman presents for wide receiver Mike Evans)
“He likes to get up, he’s long, athletic, a former receiver, really good at reading routes, getting his hands on you, can play the ball in the air, so it’s a real challenge for Mike. And I know it’s one he’s looking forward to, as I would guess [Sherman] is. If you consider yourself a real competitor, you want to go against the best and see where you stack up. Mike’s at that point. Sherman’s been playing a long time and been considered one of the best and Mike thinks he is or can be one of the best in this league, the he ought to accept that challenge. I know he is, he’s excited about it, I’m excited to watch him play.”
(On how much the team has a ‘feeling out period’ during games to see what kind of contact the officials will allow)
“I don’t know. You’re right, it’s a little bit different each week, how they’re officiating it and what they’re allowing. Bottom line, if someone is physical with you, you better be physical back and don’t count on the officials to call anything. I think that’s where you get in trouble, is you piss and moan about calls, then you don’t keep playing and play physical. That’s what you should do, is keep playing and talking about how the officials are going to call it. And I thought we did a better job of that last week. We didn’t do as good of a job of that earlier in the year.”
(On if there is anything about Kansas City’s red zone defense that they can apply to this week with Seattle)
“I think you look back and say, ‘What were the mistakes we made? What were the plays that we didn’t make?’ Some of them were self-inflicted, some were going against a really good defense. But it is week-to-week. Are we going to be able to count on going 11 for 16 on third downs? I’m not sure. Hopefully we will. Will we count on going one-of-five in the redzone? No, don’t count on that. So, it’s week-to-week, each team is a little bit different, how you attack them, how they attack you. And your personnel changes week-to-week, based on who’s available. So, that has a huge impact in it. We feel like we’ve got a really good plan and hopefully we give ourselves as many chances as we had last week to score.”
(On how confident he is that Evans will be able to ‘keep his emotions in check,’ like he has all year, on Sunday against Sherman)
“I don’t know, again it’s week-to-week. But I agree, he’s done a much better job of not sweating the small stuff and move on, go to the next play, quit wasting energy. Now with that, when you have highly competitive players, prideful players – and that’s what the NFL has tried to eliminate. It’s not the talking, it’s not the competitiveness, it’s not the fire because great players have that. It’s what happens beyond that. Now it turns into what? Pushing, shoving, fighting, things that we don’t want to represent the shield. But with that being said, I promise you – I’ve never coached in a game where Richard Sherman’s played, but I promise you, he’s confident and he’ll talk. And Mike’s the same way, he’s very confident. It’s just a matter of being careful to cross that line of the passion and the emotion. There’s a different between passion for the game and passion for playing and an emotional decision and I think Mike has done a much better job.”
(On how the offense can balance having quarterback Jameis Winston taking risks and being aware of Sherman’s abilities)
“It’s tough because I don’t know for sure, I’m not in their building, but I would guess he’s going to follow Mike around, so it’s tough. We went through that in Arizona with Patrick Peterson, you go through that with [Denver cornerback Aqib] Talib. Do you have to be careful? Sure, you’re against good football players. But the good news is, we like Mike and I think Mike’s a really good football player, so who are we in terms of competitors if we don’t say, ‘You know what? We think our guy’s pretty good. I know their guy’s good, but I think our guy’s pretty good.’ And then the other guys have to fill and do their part, like we did last week.”
(On if he was pleased with the receivers’ play against Kansas City)
“Sure. I think sometimes – we talked about this earlier in the year – I think players, people, we get pigeon-holed into what we are. ‘Okay, I’m this, I’m a special teams player, I’m a fifth receiver, I’m not good enough.’ That’s not true, all these guys are the best in the world, but are they willing to work at their craft to change that? Not everybody’s willing to work it, are you willing to stay out here and work at it and catch balls and study tape and be at your best, so you keep building your craft and trait. So again, I’m proud of those guys that got opportunities, everybody had an opportunity besides Freddie [Martino] to catch a ball. It’s a fun group to coach because they enjoy other people’s success and that starts with Mike being that way. But again, that’s what we’re paid to do as coaches, try to maximize a player’s measurable skill set. I don’t care who it is, if they put him on the roster, it’s our job to maximize their measurable skill set and to coach them as if they’re going to go in the game and give us a chance to win the game. Does it always work out that way? No. Did it help us that [Kansas City cornerback Marcus] Peters was out? Yes, but then you’ve got to still take advantage of it and I thought our guys did.”
(On if he coached against wide receiver Myles White in college)
“No, he was gone at Louisiana Tech. I asked him that, he was gone before I became a head coach [at Southern Miss].”
(On kicker Roberto Aguayo winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his game against Kansas City)
“That’s great for him. It’s a tough position because there’s nowhere to hide. We played some offensive linemen that struggled and are going to continue to get better, but no one knows it. The kicker and the quarterback, you can see it. It’s not easy – you saw it last week with the kickers and how many extra points they missed and there’s no ‘gimmes.’ College, you line up and kick an extra point and get your confidence back. I’ve said it before, like getting a layup in basketball helps you with the three-point shot. Well, you don’t get those layups anymore, so I think that’s difficult from a kicker’s perspective. And again, I’m no expert, I’m just fired up for him, I’m fired up for our team and what it meant for us because where the game ended up, I’m fired up for the organization because obviously we thought a lot of him to take him, so all of that. But again, it’s week-to-week, I know he’s excited about where he’s at in a frame of mind and in accuracy, you see it out here.”  

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