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22 December 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (12/22/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Running Back Doug Martin
(On right tackle Demar Dotson’s injury status)
“Concussion protocol.”
(On if there is a chance Dotson could be cleared before this Saturday’s game)
“I’m not sure about that. Again, the coaches are out of it. The protocol is all dictated through the steps and I’m not sure where that’s at.”
(On if there would be consideration to start Kevin Pamphile or Evan Smith if Dotson can’t go Saturday)
“There’s a lot of things in consideration. I can’t tell you, but we’re going to show up and be ready to play, I will tell you that.”
(On if the offense’s struggles on first down are a concern, considering how successful the team was on first downs last year)
“Of course. First off, last year was last year, okay and this year’s this year. One thing you’ll find in the NFL is you’re turning a third your team over every year. So, rarely does it have carryover unless you’re keeping all your guys together. First down is the most important down. Third down [is important], but what you do on first down determines how long you’re in on third down and we haven’t been doing as well as we need to the last few weeks, but that’s something that can change at any game. We’ll certainly be trying to do our best on that this week.”
(On if he thinks teams are keying in on the run on first down against them)
“I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Does anyone know what happened the first two first downs last week when we threw, anybody remember? First two first downs, anyone remember? We threw incomplete on the first one, then the next series what happened on first down? I think it was a sack-fumble, wasn’t it? How’d that turn out for us? So, what’s the object of this game? [To have] one more [point] than the other team. So, however you get there. How’re we doing in that area compared to last year? So, why do you guys keep asking me about it?”
(On defensive end Robert Ayers returning to practice today after missing yesterday due to an illness)
“Yeah, we’ve got a little sickness going through our team right now and that’s just part of this time of the year. Your guys’ bodies are a little bit worn down when you travel. Just like when you guys travel, bodies are susceptible to picking up a little virus and when you’ve got this many grown men around each other, it can spread. But again, we’re going to ready to roll on Saturday, so will the Saints.”
(On if that was a reason the team decided to change their practice schedule this week and remove the pads)
“Well, the reason on the pads is, we’re out of padded practices. You can’t practice in pads anymore, so that’s the reason for that. We did take our normal Wednesday practice on Tuesday and shorted it down a little bit, but that’s pretty typical of what most teams do later in the year. And yes, the short week and the late trip back, all of that combined into that decision.”
(On how confident he is that the running game can improve)
“Yeah, we haven’t been really as efficient as we want to be, but it’s getting there. We had some guys down and switching plays around, but we keep talking about the next guy needs to carry the flag and play to the best of his ability. But the running game is going to pick up.”
(On how much better the offense can be when the running game has success)
“Oh, definitely. Like you said, [Head Coach] Dirk [Koetter] wants to be a run-first offense and that’s something that we take pride in, being the most physical team out there. And if we do that, then we can run the tables.”
(On if he likes facing the New Orleans defense for the second time in three weeks)
“Yeah because you know their defense better because – I’ve been playing with them for a while – but, it’s able to make you play faster and able to react faster. You don’t have to think as much in the game.”
(On how frustrating to not have success running the ball against Dallas last week)
“Yeah, we didn’t get what we wanted to get done on the ground game, but we watched the tape and we learned from it and we’re just moving on to the Saints.”

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