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26 September 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (9/26/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: QB Jameis Winston has thrown for eight touchdowns this season, the most in the NFL. His eight passing touchdowns are the most by a Buccaneers quarterback through three games in team history.
 
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Tight End Cameron Brate
Tackle Demar Dotson
 
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(Opening statement)
“I really don’t have a whole lot of different messages for you than I did last night. After look at it on tape, I pretty much feel the same way. So fire away.”
 
(On if he second guesses his decision not to call more timeouts in the final minute of Sunday’s game)
“Of course, of course. No one second guess my calls more than I do. We had the weather delay, we go in, we think we’re going to get the ball back somewhere around the 35-yard line with one timeout. They choose to throw the ball. They’re trying to end the game on that play, that was a choice they made, saved us a timeout. So we had our list of plays. We moved the ball the down, we got off to a really good start. We’re in our two-minute offense, we move the ball right down the field. We throw that ball to [running back] Charles Sims on the right sideline and we’ve still got two timeouts. Charles absolutely does the right thing by going for yardage right there. He is so close to pulling out of that tackle and we’ve got [wide receiver Vincent Jackson] and [tight end Cameron Brate] ahead of him with one guy left. He pulls out of that last tackle, he’s going to score. So at that point, we have a guy in the press box that’s keeping an eye on the clock management. He was doing exactly what he was supposed to do. He was telling me, ‘Timeout, timeout, timeout.’ That’s 100% me. We had a play that I’d been wanting to get to the whole game in no-huddle and I thought had a chance to be the game-winner. I wanted to keep the defense from huddling, I wanted to keep them going, so I decided to not go with the timeout and go with that play. We were a little bit slower lining up in between plays than we normally are in no-huddle, so it did cost us three or four extra seconds right there. We ran the play, thought it had a chance, we weren’t able to pull it off. After that point, we still ran four more plays and we still had two timeouts. And on two of those plays – actually the first two that we ran after that – [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] has to make some tough decisions under pressure, but we still had time to check the ball down and use timeouts if needed. The first play, Jameis took a shot in the back left corner of the end zone to Vincent and then the next play – the one where we overthrew Charles Sims a little bit – actually is the same play that Charles scored on right before the half in Atlanta. Had we been able to get the ball to Chuck, I think he would’ve had a chance to get that ball down there pretty close and of course we would’ve used a timeout. But when you go back and say, ‘Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve,’ of course you can second guess any call that doesn’t work, you can second guess it. Like I said, I beat myself up over that kind of stuff more than anyone else ever will, but when you’re going in the spur of the moment and you have just a couple of seconds to make [a decision] and I knew exactly why we were doing it. I have a lot of confidence in our no-huddle offense and in the plays we have in there, so it just didn’t work out this time.”
 
(On Winston’s play on the final drive)
“The hour [lightning delay] I’m sure didn’t do anybody any favors on either team. That’s really neither here nor there because it was the same for both teams. But Jameis actually made some really good throws in there and when you know that you need a touchdown, you sometimes have a tendency to throw the ball too hard and I thought maybe Jameis tried to throw the ball too hard a couple times and when you try to throw it too hard, it’ll sail on you a little bit. But he also made some really good throws. The first play to Vincent on the left, I think was a 16 or 17-yard gain. He made the throws to get us down there and there was another one where we had a chance right around the 10-yard line that I thought was a pretty good throw and we didn’t make the catch.”
 
(On if the explosive plays given up on defense are due to miscommunication or bad plays or calls)
“It’s a combination of all those things. I think I told you last night, on the first touchdown that we should’ve had safety help. We actually checked, based on the call that was made on the headsets that I heard, we should’ve had safety help. They went to an empty formation and we went to a different check there and so there really wasn’t a safety on that play, that was the corner’s play all the way. There’s some plays where it’s an individual, on the last touchdown to [Los Angeles wide receiver] Tavon Austin, they read the blitz. They went to a blitz check and we had a free runner, we couldn’t quite get to the quarterback. They made a nice play, it was a good check by them. We still had an opportunity to tackle the guy right there – it would’ve been a first down, but still on the edge of field goal range and we didn’t make the tackle. Just like me as the offensive play caller, you second guess your calls, I’m sure ‘Smitty’ [Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith] as the defensive play caller, when you talk to him later in the week, he’s going to second guess some of his calls. But it’s a combination of all three of those things that you mentioned.”
 
(On if Winston should have ran on the final play of Sunday’s game)
“As I said last night that looks a lot different from where everybody’s sitting than it does in real life. When you really like at that, when Jameis pops out of the rush, he’s still, say, 17 yards from the goal line and those defenders are all like three or four yards in the end zone. So Jameis has to run 17 yards before six guys can run five yards. It looks really wide open, could he have gotten close? Really what we talk about in that situation is – when it’s a fourth down and you’ve got to have a touchdown – is give somebody a chance. You’d just like to get the ball in the end zone, even if it’s picked off. Get the ball, give somebody a jump ball and maybe we catch it, maybe we get a [pass interference] call. We ran a couple in those last four plays after the [Sims catch], we had four plays left. Two plays had check-downs built in, two of the plays were everybody in the end zone type plays. On the two plays with everybody in the end zone, we’ve executed plays like that in practice before. We just didn’t give ourselves a very good chance on those two plays.”
 
(On if the offense should have gotten wide receiver Mike Evans involved more on the final drive)
“Again, we seem like we talk about this target thing every week. Sometimes Mike was involved there, but he didn’t get the ball thrown his way, for one reason or another. On one of those last plays where we had guys going to the end zone, Mike was singled, other guys were doubled and Mike was singled. In a perfect world, that’s where the ball should’ve gone. But I’m coaching, you guys are watching, Jameis is playing. We threw the ball 58 times, which is too many. Jameis was under pressure, even though our line – for the most part, considering the pass rushers they have – did a good job in protection. And there’s pressure built in, so it’s not a video game, it’s real. I don’t think Mike not getting any balls thrown directly to him – he might’ve been the primary guy with the call and not got the ball thrown to him. You guys would never know that, you just know where you see the ball thrown and I don’t mean that condescending at all, that’s just the truth.”
 
(On why he thinks the defense is struggling)
“Well I’m not sure exactly why it’s starting out [this way], if I was 100% sure, we’d try to do something about it right now. You have to realize that of – whatever the number is, 101 points or whatever it is [that we’ve given up] – our offense has contributed way, way too much for that. We moved up one spot  in turnover margin, from 32nd to 31st. When you really look at that game last night, at one point we were plus-two and we had a 10 point lead. And really the key play in the whole game was 2:52 [remaining] of the second quarter, we’re up 20-10 and I thought their defense was tired, we had just gotten a first down and we turn the ball over. Again, you talk about second guessing yourself, I second guess myself way more over throwing the ball there than I do about not calling the timeout at the end. To me, that was a way more critical play. So our offense put our defense in that situation and then our defense fought hard to keep them out of the end zone, they had all their timeouts. And then we have another good drive in the quarter and we get the sack-fumble. A very demoralizing play, should be a minimum of a 10 point turnaround right there and maybe 14. Like I just told the team today, don’t point fingers. We had a lot of opportunities, offensively, defensively, kicking game, we had opportunities. That’s your guys’ job to tell us all the stuff that we need to do better, but we know what we need to do better. You ask me do I think the defense will come around? Absolutely I think the defense will come around. I believe in these players and I believe in these coaches. We’re not where we want to be right now. Of course, everyone wants us to be 3-0, no one wants that more than I do and we’re not, we’re sitting here 1-2, we’ve got to own it and we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to get better.”
 
(On kicker Roberto Aguayo)
“Well we’ve seen it before, where Roberto struggled and was able to bounce back. It’s unfortunate, that was one of the things – when we missed that first extra point, now you’re playing that two-point game and we didn’t do very well on our two-point [conversion] plays either when that reared its head in the fourth quarter. You want to be confident – extra points are tougher now that they’re at the 15, but really even on those field goals inside of 50 yards, in the NFL you’re expecting those guys to make them if it’s not unusual weather. That’s a part of it, again, we have to figure that out.”
 
(On his ‘culture needing to change around here’ comment he made Sunday)
“When I say ‘around here,’ I hope no one confuses that – when I’m talking about the culture, I’m talking about the culture of our football team, I’m not talking about our organization, I’m not talking about ownership, I’m not talking about this building, I’m not talking about our fans, I’m talking about the 53 players, the 10 practice squad guys and however many coaches we have. The guys that are coming up with the game plan, putting the game plan together and trying to execute the game plan. The best teams that I’ve been on beat with one heart and they count on the guy next to them to do their job every time and they win and lose together. And maybe our fans have cheered for a team like that at one point, hopefully all of our players have played on a team [like that]. I know when I’ve been on teams like that, you can feel it and man, you want to grab it and hold onto its tail because it’s elusive. When you don’t have it, you can also feel it. We’re just missing something, I feel like – and as my title suggests, it’s my job to speak up. I feel like sometimes we find too many ways to lose a game instead of creating ways to win a game. Now, when I say that, I put myself right at the top. I’m number one on that list, so I’m not calling out any player or any coach above myself, but that’s just how I feel. And until we change that, we’re going to have nights like last night.”
 
(On if the culture change starts with belief)
“Our guys competed really hard last night. We made a big point of emphasis here about competing, I think our guys did a good job of that last night. Twice in the fourth quarter, we’re down two scores and both times we come back. When we got that sack-fumble, that’s about a demoralizing a play as you can get in football, when you’re going in to score. And for our guys to go back out and overcome that and give ourselves a chance at the end. Again, it’s elusive, it’s an elusive thing, it’s not something that you can reach out there and put your fingers on. I think our guys believe for the most part, but I talked to the guys a lot about this today in the team meeting and as I’m sure you can understand, a lot of that needs to stay between the players and the coaches. I know the fans are going to speculate – hey, this is our most popular game in the world, I get it. We’ve got to figure it out and we ask the fans to hang with us, it makes a difference. Man, those fans that were there at the end however many that was, those fans when we came back out, that was the loudest the stadium was all night, was when our defense went back out there for there for that third-and-11. Once again, it’s our job to give the fans something to cheer about during the whole game. We’ve got to find it and I just don’t think we should sit back and act like it doesn’t exist because in my eyes it does. I’ve been on those teams that have it and we’re going to keep looking for it until we find it.”
 
(On if the culture could just be a bump in the road that a young team has to go through)
“One could hope that it could be as simple as that, but rarely is anything that simple.”
 
TIGHT END CAMERON BRATE
 
(On how tough it was waking up today after yesterday’s close loss)
“Yeah, minus the fact the offense played 90 plays, I think all of us are pretty beat up physically. Just to be so close there at the end, a game we really thought we should’ve won, to come up short is pretty tough. [I’m going to] obviously watch film this afternoon, correct some of the errors we made. It’s going to be a big game for us this week against a good team.”
 
(On what went wrong at the end of the game)
“I think everyone had that mentality that we were going to get the ball back, we were going to win the game. We hit a couple plays there, it looked we were going to win it. Just couldn’t come up with a big play there. We had a couple chances, a couple balls thrown into the end zone. It’s one of those things when you have an opportunity to make a play, you hope someone steps up. Unfortunately yesterday we didn’t.”
 
(On if Los Angeles was standing up at the goal line on the last play of the game)
“That’s what it seemed like. To be honest, I haven’t watched the film yet. But yeah, it looked like they dropped eight into coverage and so I can’t really imagine anyone was open. So obviously [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] took off. It looked like he was going to have a chance to score, but [Rams defensive end Robert] Quinn is pretty fast, was able to chase him down from behind.”
 
(On if the team was nervous during the last series of the game)
“I don’t think we were nervous, I think we were all really confident. Like I said, in the locker room [during the lightning delay] everyone was really fired up. We thought we had a good chance to win the game. Definitely not nervousness out there. We were all really excited to try to make that last play.”
 
(On scoring two touchdowns)
“We knew this week we had some good looks in the red zone, especially in the tight end room. We missed on a couple in the red zone too, but to get a couple touchdowns is definitely something we can build on going into the next couple of games.” 
 
(On facing the Denver Broncos next week)
“It seems like every week in the NFL is pretty much a must-win. You’re going to face a good defense every [week], every team has good players. Obviously a big thing for this week is going to be protecting, with a player like [Denver linebacker] Von Miller, he’s pretty tough on the edge. It’s going to be a lot of one-on-one matchups, receivers and offensive line, so just going to have to make the plays when they come out way.”
 
TACKLE DEMAR DOTSON
 
(On what was discussed in the locker room during the lightning delay)
“[There] wasn’t a whole lot of discussion, it was just more of trying to tell guys to stay loose because there wasn’t a doubt our mind that with third-and-11 on the five yard line that the defense was going to stop them. So we knew what we had to do, we just had to get out in our minds that we were going to be in a two-minute drive, we were going to have good field position, so it was going to come up on the shoulders of the offense to win this game. So [there] wasn’t a whole lot of discussion, it was just telling guys, ‘Stay loose, hydrate and get prepared for this drive that was coming up.’”
 
(On the mistakes the team made against Los Angeles)
“Everybody played a hand in [the loss]. It was a team effort loss, everybody from every phase had some mishaps. The Rams, they’re a good team. They’re a team that plays hard, but a team that we should’ve definitely beat and that’s one that we let get away from us.”
 
(On the final play of the game)
“It was just a simple protection call. I was blocking my guy and I looked up and I saw [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] scrambling. I noticed he was in front of the line of scrimmage and he was still trying to pass it. I didn’t really see the beginning of it, but I saw the end of it.”
 
(On what went through his mind when they lost the game)
“It was a hurt feeling because I knew right then and there that we let one get away from us. And when we got the ball to start that two-minute drive, we were going down the field, it was kind of like no doubt in my mind we were going to win this game. And then we let a lot of seconds tick away and then we got the ball and we have like nine seconds to go. Then get pushed back on the penalty, now we’ve got four seconds [remaining in the game] and one chance. And when it was over with and Jameis got hit, it was just like we let one get away. A game we should’ve won and a game I thought we were going to win. I think we fought hard. The guys up front we fought our behinds off. I came out of that game feeling like I’d been in a dog fight. And not to win it, that hurts because I think we played too hard and put too much into it.”
 
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