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03 October 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day-After-Game Media Availability (10/2/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: LB Kwon Alexander is the only player in the NFL this season to total at least 30 tackles, 2.0 sacks and one interception.
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s media availability earlier.
(Opening statement)
“Pretty much like last week, after looking at the tape, very similar comments to what I had to say last night. The story of the game, from where I sit, is offense putting defense in bad position. Three turnovers in the first half leads to two scores, the fumble possible could [have led to] a field goal – we’re in field goal range and we can’t put our defense in that position. We’re hurting ourselves, we’re just not playing good complimentary football and being minus-nine on the turnover ratio for the season is killing us right now.”
(On Denver’s secondary play Sunday and the separation Tampa Bay’s receivers were able to create against them)
“One thing that Denver maybe surprised us a little bit, is they mixed more zone coverage in. When the game’s been on the line, they’ve been primarily a man team and they mixed more zone in yesterday and they actually changed up their zones a little bit. But as far as their coverage group, [cornerback Chris] Harris, opposite [cornerback Aqib] Talib and then when he goes inside and plays nickel and then they bring [cornerback Bradley] Roby in at the other corner – yeah, they’re talented, they’ve got a talented group and then they’ve got an excellent pass rush to match. As far as separation, I would just say, at times, fine. At other times, we had issues, but some of that depends on the route we have on versus the coverage they have on.”
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s injury status)
“We’re not sure, obviously the fact that Gerald couldn’t come back in the second half. Gerald, [defensive end] Noah Spence, and [tight end] Brandon [Myers] couldn’t come back in the second half. A couple of those guys were getting MRIs either today and/or tomorrow, some of that has to carry over into tomorrow. We have an extra day this week, so the players were off today, we’ll practice a little bit tomorrow, they’ll be off on Wednesday. We don’t know exactly as I stand up here right now, but there’s a chance [McCoy misses time] and obviously when you lose a player like Gerald for any amount of time, it hurts, he’s usually going to draw a double team. With that said though, [defensive tackle] Clinton McDonald stepped up, had his best game of the year. I also felt like [defensive lineman] Will Gholston had his best game of the year, I felt like those two guys – somebody needs to rise up any time another guy’s down and I thought those two guys did that.”
(On if McDonald is okay after missing part of the fourth quarter)
“What happened on that is he cramped in warmups when we came back out after the [lightning] delay. He went in the locker room and then he did come back out and he was on the sideline. I really can’t tell you for sure if he went back in the game or not, but he did come back out on the sideline. So I think the answer to that is yes.”
(On the play of the safeties)
“Well, it’s been inconsistent and obviously we had some penalties there that hurt us yesterday. Those guys, we have high expectations for everybody. Bradley [McDougald] probably played a little bit better than he’d been playing and Chris [Conte] didn’t have as good a game as he needs to have.”
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston needs to use more check-downs and “take what they give you” like he did against Atlanta Week One)
“Well that’s always in there, as far as taking what they give you, but the one thing to keep in mind there is Atlanta is a zone-based team, so your check-downs are going to be a lot more available than they are against man-based teams. Against man-based teams, check-downs – it still comes down to, you’re looking for your primary receiver to win his matchup and then you’re working through a progression from there. So check-downs against man-teams are not really the same. Now as I said, Denver did play a little bit more zone yesterday than they had been playing, so at times, yes, there were some check-down opportunities and quarterbacks always – and Jameis included – we can’t force the football. That first interception, that was – we didn’t win with the route. Whether it was a bad play design by me or we just didn’t execute the play very good, Jameis didn’t really have a good option. He’s got to be able to cut our losses and there’s nothing wrong with punting, it’s a 0-0 game at that point.”
(On if he needs to discuss with Winston about cutting down on his interceptions)
“Oh yeah, it needs to be discussed. I have not talked to Jameis today, I’m sure I will here at some point, but it definitely needs to be discussed. And Jameis has always been fantastic about that in his time here, as far as after he sees the tape and Jameis is always hardest on himself, his own worst critic and I’m sure he already knows that.”
(On what specifically they can do to limit Winston’s turnovers)
“Some of that depends on who your next opponent is and what kind of defense they play. Do we need to commit more guys to protection so he has a cleaner pocket? – And at times yesterday we did have a clean pocket. Do we need to get more guys out into the route, so he does have check-downs available? And at times that is there. At that position, taking care of the football is number one priority and like I said, I thought we were past this and I was confident we were past this, but we’re struggling with it right now and we’ve got to fix it.”
(On how Winston can fix his struggles)
“I think the real trick is, Jameis is such a competitive guy and Jameis always tries to – it’s a positive trait that he has – he’s always trying to make a play when sometimes there’s no play to be made and sometimes that’s throwing the ball when he doesn’t need to, sometimes that’s trying to keep a scramble alive too long and taking an unnecessary hit.”
(On running back Charles Sims III’s fumble against Denver)
“Like I said last night, just not something that we need to do. Not a good football play by us, in any way.”
(On if there has not been enough made of the running game’s struggles in relation to Winston’s struggles)
“Well, enough been made of it and making excuses, there’s a fine line there. It is a true statement that we’re not running the ball efficiently enough. Our numbers, our balance was better in the first half yesterday, I think it was 21-20. But the efficiency wasn’t there, we still had too many one-yard runs and that’s not always on the running back, there’s different reasons for that. But when we’re not being productive in the run game, we’re having to rely too much on our pass game, I think there is something to that. But even with that said, even if we as a team are throwing three straight incompletions and punting, that is still better, in the first half of a game, that is still better than turning the ball over and putting our defense on those short fields. When you really look at it, our defense really only gave up three legitimate points when Denver drove the ball on us in the first half. That’s probably the best half of football that our defense has played, definitely the best half that we’ve played since Atlanta.”
(On if he is contemplating changes in the running game, like more toss-sweeps to Sims)
“We didn’t have much success with our toss-sweep game yesterday, Denver played them well. But yeah, we’re definitely contemplating all of that. Maybe we have to go back and really look at fitting the roles into the players’ specific strengths in the run game. We’re going to get Doug [Martin] back here at some point and he’s one of the best running backs in the league, that’ll be a welcome sight when we get him back in there. But we definitely just can’t keep doing the same stuff because that’s not working.”
(On if he is contemplating making Sims’ role more of a change-of-pace running back)
“Charles has shown that he has been successful in that role in the past.”
(On Martin’s status for next week’s game)
“I think it’s too soon [to speculate]. Again, all those guys – obviously we won’t have to put an injury report out until probably Thursday this week and there’s going to be some new guys on it and hopefully some of those guys that have been on it will be coming off of it.”
(On if Winston being hit 16 times against Denver is due to protection or Winston trying to keep plays alive)
“Both of those things. I thought we protected fine, until the fourth quarter. Denver does have good rushers and when they get up two scores – we talked about this last week, like the old Colts with [Dwight] Freeney and [Robert] Mathis on the outside – they turn it loose on us in the fourth quarter when you’re having to throw it every down. We were down three scores, let alone two scores when you’re running out of possessions. Up until then, I thought our protection was okay, but Jameis is taking some hits that we would like him not to take because he is trying to extend some plays.”

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