Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day-After-Game Media Availability (11/28/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: During Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak (Week 10-12), the team has held opponents to 10.7 points per game, the lowest mark in the league. The Buccaneers have also held opponents to 180.0 net passing yards per game during that timeframe, the third-lowest mark in the NFL.
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s media availability earlier.
(On if he has ever been around a team that is as closely knit as this Buccaneers team, or if they are unique)
“I wouldn’t say unique because I think a lot of teams in all sports talk about family. I think sometimes when that happens, that talk is a little shallow and – I don’t think when [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] talks about it it is, Jameis is a unique guy in that sense. And then the unfortunate situation with the passing of Alterraun [Verner’s] father. And then that brought to light [that] we’ve just had several players lose people close to them in the last couple years. It was definitely emotional, that just adds to it. That adds to the family and then Alterraun of course to make some big plays like he did. It was an emotional night. There were a lot of things that contributed to that, but we can’t – I always want to be real careful about crossing over between something like that that is a real-life thing that happened to Alterraun and his family, versus a football game.”
(On how the ‘family-like atmosphere’ around the team can affect the team the rest of the season)
“I don’t know. If we get beat next week, you won’t be asking me any questions about the family. That kind of stuff needs to stay in the locker room.”
(On if he feels players are playing for each other more now, as compared to earlier in the season)
“There could be something to do that. Again, these are hard things to measure. We can measure our punting average, we can see how many penalties we had, but when you’re talking about intangible things, they’re hard to measure.”
(On how defensive end Noah Spence has developed into being a force in games)
“I think we talked about this earlier – this is weird to me, but it seems like when he hurt his shoulder and they said, ‘You’re either going to miss the rest of the year or you’ve got to play with this harness,’ he started playing the run better after he put the harness on. And then the fact that we had multiple injuries at defensive end and we kind of had to throw him out there because we were sort of planning on him as only in pass rush situations, but there was a little stretch there where we didn’t have many bodies. And he’s gotten a lot better against the run. And then confidence, his confidence is high. When you get a sack in the first series on [Seattle quarterback] Russell Wilson, it was on after that. They typically are not a big help-protection team, they usually just leave their lineman. They do a lot of empty and so a lot of times that O-line doesn’t have help and our D-line did a great job of getting pressure all night.”
(On the defensive line having to pass rush as a unit against Wilson because of his ability to escape out of the pocket)
“Yeah, that was one of our ‘musts’ we call it, for the game, [was] having great pass rush lanes. They worked with the guys – especially with Noah – all week that went in Wilson’s favor. One of his moves is that spinout and if Noah would have been a little bit more aware, he would’ve spun right into him a couple times and he had a possibility of getting a couple more sacks. We talk about Jameis’ growth process all the time and Jameis is 27 games in, Noah’s only 11 games in. I think that’s something as time goes on, he’ll learn, he’ll learn how different quarterbacks have different escape routes. I don’t think [San Diego quarterback] Philip Rivers is going to be a big spin out to his left guy, he’s going to be more in the pocket. But I think that’s just things you’ve got to learn.”
(On if Winston’s mechanics are better right now)
“Mechanics are ongoing for every quarterback, I think until you really become an established player. [Quarterbacks Coach] Mike Bajakian is working with Jameis constantly on mechanics. I think at times, they’re a lot better and at other times – just like anything else. He’s been playing football his whole life and been throwing a certain way his whole life and we don’t really like to mess with that a whole lot during the season. Jameis wants to work on it – it’s like anything else. A player, if there’s something that we want him to do different and/or better, he’s got to buy into it. A lot of players would say, ‘Coach, I have no desire to change that, it’s been working for me my whole life.’ Jameis does want to work at it, he works hard at it. Sometimes it shows up positives and sometimes negatives, but he definitely made some big-time throws and we’ve just got to continue to get Jameis to make great decisions with the football all the time and when he does that, we can move the football.
(On what went through his mind when the team got a 14-0 lead against Seattle in the first quarter)
“48-0, that’s what I was thinking. And it didn’t quite work out that way [laughter].”
(On if he was surprised that the offense had so much against the Seattle defense so quickly)
“We executed really well on those first two drives. Those first two drives were really good execution and we have a ton of respect for what Seattle does on defense, one of the best and they have been for a long time. When I looked at the tape today, even though I still give a lot of credit to Seattle’s defense, I’m a little disappointed. I’m a little disappointed offensively that we had didn’t – we had some other good scoring opportunities. I’ve said many times this year about our offense putting our defense in bad field position. In this game, our defense put our offense in good field position and we had some opportunities to finish and we didn’t. Like any time you win, everybody feels great about it, but there’s always stories going on behind the scenes. San Diego’s looking at all our deficiencies right now and we’re not going to win very many games scoring 14 points. Last night, our defense ruled the day. Our defense stole the show and deservedly gets the credit. But the flip side of that is, we need to take advantage of our opportunities and that was a game we probably should’ve scored at least 28 points.”
(On linebacker Lavonte David playing well against Seattle after public perception that this has been a down season for him)
“You guys have been asking me about this every week, been asking ‘Smitty’ [Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith] about it – I’m not sure what the answer is. Lavonte made the play of the day yesterday. In the Kansas City game, it was [safety] Chris Conte who made the play of the game and this week it was Lavonte David. [Cornerback] Vernon Hargreaves made a nice tackle on [Seattle tight end] Jimmy Graham, got the ball out, made a nice return. Different guys play a little bit different every week – we’re not complaining one bit about Lavonte David. So, I don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s all numbers- based. I don’t really look at it that way, I just look at it, if the guy’s trying to play our defense, he’s one of our leaders, he’s one of our captains, so I think Lavonte is playing fine.”
(On how he would assess the running game against Seattle)
“Actually, we had no explosive runs and we only had five explosives on offense for the game. That goes into what [we were] talking about, about only scoring 14 points. The way you score points is, A, you don’t turn it over and we turned it over twice, both times when we were moving the ball, so that’s costing us points. We missed a field goal and we didn’t have enough explosives. Only five and the four of those five were in the first half. So, we’ve got to get some explosives out of our run game. We were close a couple of times and then we were really rolling with our offensive line there in the fourth quarter and then we’d always make some mistake. Whether it’d be a fumble or something else that would set us back. But our run game is still not where it can be. I thought our offensive line did a nice job, Seattle’s tough up front. But there was always just one little thing here or there. We missed a cut, we missed a block on the backside, we could’ve finished better. For us to achieve what we want to achieve, what we think we’re capable of achieving, we need to run the ball better.”
(On the defense being in a nickel defense for a majority of the game)
“Well that’s just based on their personnel. They were mostly in three-wides and then on third down they went in what we call, ‘01’ personnel, [with] four wide and one tight end. They just weren’t in much two-tight end or two-back sets. So, that’s what dictates how much we’re in the nickel.”
(On if Seattle being in the personnel that they were is a result of being injured at the running back position)
“Well most times really only have one running back. They’ve done a fair amount of 12-personnel this year, where they had Graham and 82 [tight end Luke Willson] in there at the same time, but I know 82, he’s bene coming off an injury, he hasn’t been playing quite as much. Again, that’s dictated more by them than by us. We’re a team that, for the most part, we match. Meaning, if they have three wide outs out there, we’re going to be in nickel. If they have two wide outs out there, we’re going to be in base, for the most part.”
(On what he saw on the last play of the first half when the clock continued to run after tight end Cameron Brate’s reception and if he has a better understanding of it now)
“I have an excellent understanding of it and I had an excellent understanding of it last night, too. The rule was enforced fine. In the NFL, if a player’s going sideways and he’s being contacted when he’s going out of bounds, they’re going to wind the clock. Of course, we practice it every week. My issue was with what took them so long to spot the ball. We were hustling – 15 seconds on the previous play, you’re right on the border. That was only a five-yard pass – it was actually a five-yard route, but by the time he ran it, it was about a two-yard route. So, I’ve seen teams clock it in as little as 10 seconds. And my issue was just, what took them so long to spot the ball? And part of it, it’s a long story, but the mechanic has changed – the umpire in two-minute used to be behind the defense and he’d be right there for the players. Due to safety issues, they put the umpire back behind the offense, I get it. But for the umpire to have to run all the way to the sideline and get a new ball and then run back to the hash – we’ve got so many ball boys on the sideline, I don’t even have a place to watch the game there’s so many ball boys down there [laughter]. I had no issue with them winding the clock, my issue was why didn’t we get the ball spotted? That’s execution. Their mechanics, I get the mechanics, it’s the execution of the mechanics that I was trying to get an explanation for.”
(On if defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s apparent injury looks long-term)
“I’m not sure, he’s getting some tests runs. He’s getting some tests run on his foot, ankle. It’s pretty common for guys that have a foot or an ankle injury to put them in a boot, just so they – it takes the stress off it, it takes the body weight [off]. I know Gerald is getting some tests done today and we’ll know more by tomorrow or Wednesday.”
(On if he has an update on Conte’s injury)
“I do, but we’ll put an injury report here shortly. Maybe on Wednesday or something, whatever they say we have to do. Whenever the rule says we have to.”