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21 November 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day-After-Game Media Availability (11/21/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Buccaneers S Chris Conte is the first Buccaneers player to record consecutive games with an interception since LB Lavonte David in 2013 (three games: 11/24/13 at DET-12/4/13 vs. BUF). Conte is the first defensive back to do so since 2012 (CB Leonard Johnson, three games: 10/25/12 at MIN-11/11/12 vs. SD).
 
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s media availability earlier.
 
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(On what it says about the NFL players, who are ‘the best in the world,’ that they have gotten better each week)
“There’s no rule that even the best in the world can’t get better. There’s something to be said for player development and it starts with the guys wanting to get better and working at it. I’ve definitely been on teams where guys wouldn’t do that and then the fact that the coaches are working with them, pushing them, driving them. [Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach] Todd Monken stays out there with those guys, is always working with somebody, doing something individually. Like anything else, you’ve got to want to learn, you’ve got to want to get better and even the best can get better. And so yesterday, it sort of all came together on those third downs. It starts with protection. We did a great job protecting against a good pass-rush team and it wasn’t just the O-line, although they did a nice job. [Wide receiver] Adam Humphries had some nice chips, [running back] Doug Martin was phenomenal with his pass blocking and [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] was able to get through his progression. A lot of times we started with [wide receiver] Mike [Evans] and then moved on. I think Mike had two explosive [plays], ‘Shep’ [wide receiver Russell Shepard] had two explosives, [wide receiver] Cecil [Shorts III] had an explosive, Adam had a big explosive in the drive in the two-minute before the half. Those guys all made plays and it’s fun for them when they’re all contributing.”
 
(On how much progress he saw from offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch in his second game)
“Much better and that’s to be expected. I think I said he had a rocky debut. Rocky enough that we started Ben Gottschalk instead of him and Ben was playing fine. First on Ben before I get to Caleb: to come in off the practice squad and play 69 plays against Chicago at center and then start at guard 19 plays [against Kansas City] until he had an injury. And then Caleb came in and played 56 plays, played much better. I’ve said before, I feel like he’s on a similar track as [offensive lineman] Kevin Pamphile. I wasn’t here in 2014, but 2015 he did well. He played a lot of positions and did a solid job and then this year he’s stepped in as a starter and done a really nice job. Hopefully we can get him back here pretty quick. But Caleb, he’s just missed so much time with missing OTAs because of the school thing and then hurt in preseason and then you just don’t get a lot of reps right now until all of a sudden you have to play and this is real. This is real football, real speed, real physicality.”
 
(On having players from all over the roster contribute in games and what that does for the team)
“We talk about role playing all the time, play your role, understand your role can change at any second. Ben Gottschalk’s a good example of that. But let’s face it, in real life, everybody’s willing to play their role, but everyone wants a slice of the pie too. And it’s easier to do the grunt work, do the dirty work when you’re getting some of the glory. And even though we talk about it all the time, when you win, there’s usually enough to go around. Everybody wants a ball thrown to them, everyone wants to touch the ball, everyone wants to be at the point of attack on a run play, everybody wants to blitz off the edge, everyone wants hear their name called out there, that’s just human nature. So, of course. And these last two games, we’ve been doing a really good job as a football team of playing our roles. The coaches putting them in positions to play them, some guys’ roles have expanded, some guys have diminished roles. A great example yesterday, [cornerback] Alterraun Verner. I know Alterruan has not been happy with – not as a complainer or anything, but he’s playing behind two other corners and he’s played a lot of football in this league and here we are five plays into the game and [Brent] Grimes can’t go anymore and Alterraun came in and played a heck of a game. Other than one pass, he made some tackles, had some pass breakups, was in position all day. So to answer your question, yeah, I think that’s a big part of it.”
 
(On why kicker Roberto Aguayo has had more success since the Bye Week)
“I think just mostly between his ears. I think he got shaken, confidence-wise, a little bit there with some misses. That’s one thing about the NFL, is you hear about it from all sides. You hear about it from the coaches, from the fans, from the media, of course, you get hammered. For a young guy, that can rattle your bones a little bit and I think he just went back to the basics, worked on his routine, really cleaned up his mental approach. I think he was a little bit all over the place with how he was approaching his kicks, to use a golf term, what his ‘swing thought’ was or thoughts, maybe having too many. He seems to be hitting the ball much better now and was clutch yesterday.”
 
(On if safety Chris Conte’s play in recent weeks in due to him having a better understanding of his role in the defensive scheme)
“I think that’s part of it. He’s being asked to do a lot more. He’s being asked to, in the two-deep scheme – and we weren’t in two-deep every play, sometimes people make it seem like we were in two-deep every play, we weren’t. But, we’re not in two-deep hardly at all right now and in the quarter scheme and in the three-deep scheme, those down safeties, they’ve got to make tackles. And it’s physical, you’re playing against 230-pound running backs with a full head of steam when they get to you as a safety. So, Chris tackled a lot better yesterday, he did make the single biggest play of the game on that interception. That was a play that we’ve been burned on more the once – the hard run fake, the little glancing post in behind the safety. And I think [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] got a finger on it, it was a nice catch by Chris and then a quick transition. Got two really nice blocks, [linebacker] Kwon [Alexander] got out in front as did [defensive end] Will Gholston. That was a minimum 10, maybe 14-point turnaround right there.”
 
(On how many of Conte’s reads are due to preparation, like the one he made on his interception against Kansas City)
“That’s true for everybody, that’s what preparation is. Early in the season when there was no film – preseason nobody plays enough and there’s no film early in the year, but as the year goes on, every team has tendencies, every player has tendencies. And shoot, I’m doing it right now, when I go back upstairs we’re looking at how we can get Seattle’s guys that we play this week, how can we get player X in this position? How can I get Mike Evans on this guy? Rr how can we get [tight end] Cam [Brate] on this guy? That’s what we do. And so, when something works – it’s amazing when you watch film back-to-back-to-back and all the different ways we can cut it up on the computer, how similar teams attack other teams, both ways. Because usually what works one week, continues to work.”
 
(On the challenged Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson presents, being able to run and throw equally well)
“He’s probably the best at all that, of what you just described. And he’s hard to sack. This guy’s hard to sack and then when he does scramble, he still keeps his eyes downfield and makes a lot of big plays throwing the ball down the field and of course their receivers play off of him well, [wide receiver Doug] Baldwin and [tight end Jimmy] Graham, especially. Our fans are familiar with Graham from him time in New Orleans and even though you maybe haven’t heard as much about him [because] he hasn’t been healthy, he’s gotten healthy here in the last couple of weeks and he’s still a huge threat. The biggest thing is just, Seattle has not been running the ball as good this year as they have in past years. But Wilson, now that he’s gotten healthy the last two weeks, he’s really shown that he’s still one of the best players in this league.”
 
(On who received the game balls following the win against Kansas City)
“It was Jameis on offense, it was Chris Conte on defense and it was [safety] Keith Tandy on special teams.”
 
(On if Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman stays one on side of the field, or matches with the opposing team’s top receiver)
“No, he’s been matching. He used to stay on a side a couple of years ago, but he’s been matching this year. I was just looking at the Atlanta tape upstairs before I came down, he was matching [Atlanta wide receiver] Julio [Jones]. I fully expect that we’ll see him matching Mike.”
 
(On if running back Jacquizz Rodgers may return this week)
“There was some talk about that when [General Manager] Jason [Licht] met with the doctors this morning. So, we’ll see what Wednesday brings. I know I glanced outside and Jacquizz was out working on the field with the trainers, so we’ll see.”
 
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