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18 September 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Media Availability (9/18/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: The Buccaneers limited the Chicago Bears to just 20 rushing yards on 16 attempts (1.25 avg.). The 20 rushing yards are the ninth-fewest ever allowed in a single game by the Buccaneers and 1.25 rushing average is the ninth lowest opponent average in a single game.
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On what he liked from his team’s performance on Sunday vs. Chicago)
“Well obviously, [the] defense shut down the run, only giving up seven points, three turnovers in the first half – all good things. Offensively, [we] did a good job on third down, only one penalty on offense – which is a big step forward in that area – no turnovers by the quarterback, that is a big positive. Special teams punt team continues to well. That takeaway, that was a nice play by those two guys (cornerback Ryan Smith and linebacker Cameron Lynch). We made all of our field goals, so those are all positive things.”
(On if he can confirm that linebacker Kwon Alexander’s hamstring is fine after Alexander posted about it on social media)
“I’m not friends with him on Facebook [laughs], so I can’t.”
(On consistently demanding more of his team, even after a win)
“Like I said last night, when you play the perfect game then you can stop worrying about what you have to work on, but I haven’t seen it yet. Everything about yesterday was really good and an exciting way to start the season – a unique way to start the season based on the set of circumstances. But at the same time, that was just one game. I just think we all have a tendency to be way over top for the good or for the bad and reality is somewhere in the middle. Every game takes on its own life. You can’t go into a game expecting you’re going to get four turnovers in the first half. That’s not going to happen every week, so we better figure out a way to play better when we don’t get those. There are going to be some calls that go against us in certain games, there are going to be some breaks that go against us in certain games, we are going to play certain teams that do things better in certain areas where the Bears weren’t as good as they would’ve liked to have been yesterday, so you’ve just got to take it with a grain of salt. It was a fun day. It was a good start, but by no means was it a clean day. We have plenty of things to work on. It was our first game [and] from conditioning to technique to execution, we have areas to improve in.”
(On why the Buccaneers were able to stop Bears running back Jordan Howard more consistently this season than they did last season)
“I thought we ran to the ball really well. I thought we got population to the ball. We had pretty good gap discipline. At times they did make successful runs yesterday, somebody got cut out of there gap. And they just didn’t run at us very often. They probably ran it at us a little bit more last year.”
(On defensive end Noah Spence’s knack for getting the ball out after his sack-fumble yesterday)
“There’s a handful of players in the league who are really good at that. [Jaguars defensive end] Calais Campbell is one. We are going to play one this week in [Vikings defensive end] Everson Griffen, who is another guy that’s got that unique ability to get the quarterback in his most vulnerable position and also get the ball out. I think, as I’ve said before, Noah’s best trait is his motor. He’s got a relentless motor, so he keeps coming and he won’t give up. On one of their best runs of the day – to the offensive right, defensive left – we were actually in 3-4 defense and Noah came off the back-side edge and ran all the way around the back side. That’s a play we got cut out of a gap and it could’ve been much bigger and Noah made a heck of a play, mainly because of his motor. Some guys just have a knack. Every D-line coach I know works on that drill where the quarterback’s got his arm cocked about trying to go for the ball, but Noah seems to be good at it.”
(On if he liked his team’s pass rush vs. Chicago)
“Well, quarterback hits are good. Quarterback hits are a good thing. You’ve got to believe that those had some impact on those turnovers. Our goal is to get one sack in every 14 attempts and we were nowhere close to that yesterday, but I don’t think anybody that watched that game would say that our rush didn’t affect the game. Sometimes a sack number by itself can not be that accurate.”
(On putting guard Evan Smith into the game)
“We didn’t pull anybody. We rotated left guards yesterday. It was pretty even. I think it was real close – it was in the 30s for both guys. Kevin [Pamphile] had been off for quite some time and Evan Smith had a very, very consistent training camp. We felt like both guys deserved to start. Then, at the start of last week Evan Smith got sick and was out for a couple of days. Really I wasn’t sure if either guy was quite game ready from a conditioning standpoint, but both of those guys have played a lot of football for us, so we decided to roll them for this game and [I am] not one bit sorry about that – that just helps build your depth from down the road.”
(On if he will continue to rotate the guards or if he wants to stick with one guy)
“I think you prefer, in the long run, to play with five guys. But, I also think there are circumstances, like I just described, that can override that.”
(On the conditioning of the team)
“Well on a really hot day, it wasn’t good enough. But, we aren’t going to have a really hot day for at least two weeks as far as a game goes. It’s going to be 72 and perfect in our next game, but we are coming back home in a couple of weeks and it very well could be. It’s going to be like that probably Wednesday at practice. It’s just something that we have to deal with and I would say that was a concern going in, mainly because of the timing of how many days we had off. We didn’t have a chance to account for that in our planning, so it really didn’t surprise me that that was an issue. I also think, the first time you play with 46 guys on game day, I think it was just as much of an issue for Chicago. If you look at that last drive of the third quarter – when we had the ball and we went no-huddle – when Peyton was in there, both teams were walking out of gas when that horn went off to end the third quarter.”
(On what sticks out about the Minnesota Vikings)
“Well they have a good football team in general. They are very well coached and their football team has a lot of good players. They obviously had their quarterback out yesterday and didn’t have the same result that they had the first week, but we are well into our preparation for Minnesota.”
(On if he received a call from Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon)
“I did not. I think Jason [Licht] might’ve talked to him, but I didn’t.”
(On how the Bears played them defensively)
“They did a good job of changing their coverages up. They did both – they played some two-deep safeties and played them way back there and then more in the second half, they started hitting it. They were bringing some safety blitzes, they blitzed right into a couple of our runs and we were ready for some of them and we didn’t adjust as well as we need to on a couple of others. They did a nice job of mixing. That was their game plan – to try to change coverage up on Jameis [Winston]. But, I don’t think their changing coverage was necessarily an issue that hurt us. They did a good job of it, but I don’t think that was necessarily anything – I think our execution, when we had a lack of execution, was more on things we could do better.”
(On the performance of guard J.R. Sweezy)
“I thought he did a nice job. J.R. loves football and it shows up. It shows up in the way he plays out there. He competes hard to the whistle. It’s not always the prettiest thing, but there are plays where it’s late in the play and he is eight yards down field trying to get after his guy or get after a linebacker. He is going to bring a dimension to our team that can be contagious and [that] you hope other guys feed off of.”
(On the two-minute drill drive leading up to halftime)
“Again, when you get the ball like that late in the half and you have at least one timeout – which we called a timeout on fourth down so we had one timeout left – I think a lot hinges on [whether] you can get that first play. They still had a couple timeouts, so one thing you don’t want to do is give them the ball back and give them a shot. That’s always tricky about that end of half. But, we had an explosive play to DeSean [Jackson] on first down. We had a couple of mistakes in between there, big third-down conversion in there to Cam [Brate] to keep it alive and then the play that we executed to set up the field goal – that was a specific play for that type of defense that we work on all the time and we work on it on our little Saturday situational plays. We run it against our defense all the time. It doesn’t always work. Our defense knows it’s coming and we know we’re going to run it, but that was executed about as well as you can execute a play.”
(On the performance of tight end O.J. Howard vs. Chicago)
“He did fine for his first game. O.J. is going to have a very bright future.”
(On if running back Charles Sims will typically be the third-down back or if the third-and-one play got changed from a pass to a run)
“No, he was in on the previous play. He stayed in. We had 12-personnel in the game, they stayed in nickel. We had a mental error, we didn’t block one of the linebackers [who] had a free run at the running back. Charles, if he is in there on third-and-one, we expect him to make the first down.”
(On running back Peyton Barber’s performance and if he can expect to see a bigger role in both halves moving forward)
“Yeah, I would if the numbers work out. For the game, [Jacquizz Rodgers] had 19 carries and Peyton had 10. Just the way the situations worked out, it didn’t work out in the first half. We had a plan going in to make it similar to how it was in the second half. I don’t think 19-10 is a bad split for your first two ball-carriers, but I don’t ever have a number in mind of what it should be. I thought Quizz (Jacquizz Rodgers) played fine as well and when Peyton got in there – other than getting tired when he carried it a few plays in a row, I thought he got tired – other than that I thought he did a nice job.”
(On how he thinks his team will handle starting off the season 1-0)
“That’s a good question. There’s points of emphasis every week based on what the situation of the game is and I think that’s already been brought up to the players, not by me, but I think it’s a legitimate concern. We went on the road and we got handled pretty good last year in Arizona. Now that shouldn’t have any carryover to this year and I would hope it wouldn’t, but we know Minnesota is a good football team. Coming off of a loss yesterday, with Coach Zimmer they are going to have their hair on fire. We are going into a hostile environment with a loud crowd and a dome stadium and it presents its own set of challenges. Going on the road is one of those.”
(On if he has confidence in his defensive ends and his team’s pass rush)
“We had this conversation last week – your guys are your guys. Once you’ve got them, you’ve got them. I love them all. We are going to coach them all. We’ve been over this a million times – just because someone says, ‘You’ve got a weakness here and you’ve got a weakness here,’ you can’t go out and get 53 new guys. It doesn’t happen that way. We’ve got the guys we’ve got.”

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