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19 December 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day-After-Game Media Availability (12/19/16)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: TE Cameron Brate has 56 catches for 648 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He is tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions among tight ends, while ranking seventh in receiving yards and 10th in receptions at his position.
 
Below is the transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s media availability earlier.
 
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(On if tackle Gosder Cherilus was injured during the last few drives of the game against Dallas)
“Yeah, he did. He got hurt. He actually got hurt on the screen play after the turnover there where we got the ball back around midfield and we ran that screen on second down. He suffered a groin injury. He tried to gut it out. That’s the best I can tell you.”
 
(On trouble the offensive line is experiencing this season)
“We’re having some trouble in multiple spots. We’re too inconsistent overall on offense. We just got out of our rhythm. We’ve been in a nice little roll of not turning the ball over and we got back to putting our defense in bad positions. We had a couple of chances early and we’ve got to finish with touchdowns. Those two field goals we kicked in the first half, the eight points that we left out there by not finishing with touchdowns, those look pretty big at the end of the game. Then, the fact that a couple offensive turnovers led to field goals the other way. So, everybody gets credit when we do well and everybody gets to share in the blame including the coaches, including me when we don’t do well. So, I’m not one to pin all our woes on our offensive line. We all took turns.”
 
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander’s performance)
“Kwon, from a numbers standpoint, he had a huge night. The kid – any time you get it in the 20 tackle range, I don’t know what the official numbers that we end up turning in are, but it’s somewhere around 20 or 21. That’s huge and he was in coverage, he was matched up against [Dallas tight end Jason] Witten a lot. Witten’s a wiley veteran who is going to be in the Hall of Fame sometime. So, Kwon, his mission all season has been to become the leader of the defense. All of it has been well-documented, all of his extra time spent with [Tampa Bay Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith] Smitty, spent with [Linebackers] Coach [Mark] Duffner. I think he’s reaping the rewards for it in how fast he’s playing from sideline to sideline. He had some big, physical hits last night as well.”
 
(On problems moving the ball efficiently and what changes need to be made)
“Like we talked last week, it’s usually not the same thing twice. It’s usually multiple, multiple things. So, in the second drive right before the half, we actually had it at first-and-10 on the 10 and we had a running play and we had somebody late off the snap, so we had like a four-yard loss that would have been second-and-14 and then we get the penalty on top of that, so now we’re in second-and-28 or whatever it was - a long ways. We had to work it back down to get the field goal there. The first drive, they covered us pretty good on third down. We had that third-and-two. They actually covered, we tried to throw that pass to [tight end] Cam [Brate] over the middle. They covered us pretty good. Third quarter of course, we were on fire in the third quarter and then we couldn’t move it enough to get it in the red zone in the fourth quarter.”
 
(On how he believes safety Keith Tandy played)
“I think he played fairly well again. When you look at the tape, every player that played is going to have some plays that they look back on and said, ‘I did this well, I did this well, but I wish I could’ve done better on this particular play.’ Every time [Dallas running back Ezekiel] Elliott broke off one of those significant yardage runs, somebody’s getting cut out of their gap or somebody’s in the wrong gap. Again, much like we say on offense, there’s a different culprit at different times. Dallas is so talented on offense, they make you pay for your mistakes. That’s the best offensive line we’ve played against all year and their running back is right up there, if not the best. He’s as good as we’ve played against. Their quarterback was red hot last night and did a good job and their receivers caught the ball for them.”
 
(On whether he believes cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah will be ready to play after returning this week from suspension)
“I don’t think so because even though he’s coming back into the building, I don’t think he’s healthy. At the same time the suspension hit, Jude also had an injury. Since we haven’t been allowed to talk with him, he will be back in the building starting today or tomorrow and I know the training staff has met with him, but he’s been rehabbing off-site. He’s not going to be healthy at this point.”
 
(On why he was upset before the last play of the game for Tampa Bay’s offense)
“I’m not really sure what you’re talking about. That was a difficult place to communicate and we tried to go a lot of no-huddle last night, so communication was extremely important. From the coaches on the sideline into the quarterback and Jameis and [center] Joe Hawley, the primary communicators to the team. So, communication was at a premium and shoot, over the course of that game, I had various things that got me a little bit fired up and I’m not even really sure what play you’re talking about particularly. I’m not sure exactly what play you’re talking about or really what it was. I’m really not trying to hide anything, I really just don’t know exactly what you’re talking about. Those fourth-and-12s are hard to get, so maybe it was that.”
 
(On if the team handled the loss the way he’d like them to)
“Well, yeah I don’t read too much into how we traveled on the way home. We got back at 5:15 this morning, our plane was delayed out of Dallas. The guys, they were tired, they were beat up, it was a physical game. More than anything they wanted to get home and get in their beds and get some rest and start healing up. Now, guys have been steady streaming in here today and there’s always the trainer’s report, the doctor’s report, the medical report. The day after every game, there’s always the bumps and bruises, the typical ones and there’s always a couple surprises that appear more serious than you thought last night. That just compounds it, when you get on a plane and we didn’t leave Dallas until early in the morning and we rolled into One Buc and I looked at the clock in my office when I got there, I think it was like 6:03 AM. I’ll know more about that tomorrow, how they bounce back starting tomorrow. I wouldn’t read too much into it how last night went.”
 
(On if he knows the severity of defensive end William Gholston’s injury yet and if Gholston will play this weekend)
“I think it’s probably too much to ask. Will has played through a lot of injuries and he was in a lot of pain last night until they got that thing put back in place. He had an MRI today that confirmed that his elbow did in fact dislocate. Just depending on how much we have left, I think there’s a chance that Will could get back at some point, but not probably tomorrow.”
 
(On if right tackle Demar Dotson is still in the league’s concussion protocol)
“Yes, yes he is. And that’s really all I can say about that because of protocol.”
 
(On if Cherilus’ injury could keep him out next week and if Leonard Wester would be replacing him if that were the case)
“Well, now you’re speculating a little bit. So, let’s just slow it down here a little bit and see what happens.”
 
(On if he thought of helping the right tackle in protection last night with the tight ends)
“Oh, we were trying. Yeah, we were trying to help him. I don’t think many people in the league do as much as we do to try to help with protection, but when you’re in that kind of a situation, time and score, it’s difficult to stay in seven-man protection. There’s just not many teams that – that situation, probably every team in the league is going to be in some form of six-man protection and we’re no different. We were trying to give him some help. I think if you take a look at the tape, you’ll see that we were trying to get some help over there and the fact that the crowd was very loud. Shoot, that’s how [former NFL Head Coach] Tony Dungy’s teams in Indianapolis made their money. They got up on teams at the end, they’re in a domed stadium, it’s loud and the pass rushers can pin their ears back when you have to throw it every down. And then we’re in essence playing our third right tackle at that point in the game. So, that’s no excuse, we have to have a way to move the football and we got the ball back with a chance, that’s all you can ask for and we’ve got to be able to move it down the field.”
 
(On if the team’s decision to activate running back Peyton Barber over Jacquizz Rodgers was due to special teams)
“Yeah, that was the case last night. It was a hard decision at the end and with [tight end] Luke Stocker coming back and [running back] Charles Sims coming back, between the wide receivers and the tight ends and the running backs, we were just going to have to sit one guy out. And right now, Peyton Barber is starting on four special teams and Jacquizz is starting on two special teams. Shoot, we love Jacquizz, he’s a major contributor, but right now it’s just hard to get that third guy any carries on offense behind Doug [Martin] and Charles. So, that’s the way we went last night, that doesn’t mean that it will be forever.”
 
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