HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
(On Saturday's game)
"After looking at the tape, that was such a long game last night, so many plays. They were asking me questions after the game; heck, I forgot what happened in the first quarter. Defensively, the positives: Four turnovers, of course we'd take that every week. We handled sudden-change situations well when our offense turned it over a couple times. We did a good job in two-minute drives, got interceptions, really, in both two-minute drives. So those were three positives. The negatives: Our first group did not play as well. They just weren't as consistent, maybe not as physical, not as detailed. Our red zone efficiency was not where it needs to be. And we didn't pressure the quarterback like we'd like to do. Now, I will say this: [Blake] Bortles is a good scrambler. He did a nice job – that guy can move in the pocket. Offensively we did play more physical than we did the first week. We ran the football. Everybody was worried about the run game; we ran for over 150 yards. And we did a good job of reducing our penalties. Negatives: We got off to a slow start; that's two weeks in a row. We can't wait for that third drive to make something happen. And we were poor on third down and we were not good enough in the red zone. We've got to do better there. Special-teams wise, [we] started fast. That kickoff return was nice to start the game, DD [wide receiver Donteea Dye] and the guys. We improved our kickoff coverage over the first week. And our punters were excellent in directional punting and our coverage was good. Russell Hansbrough had a couple of real nice plays in punt coverage. Negatives: We had a penalty there that hurt us on a return and we missed two field goals. Those are the negatives on special teams."
(On how you address the offense having slow starts)
"I'm not going to talk about last year, but it is two weeks in a row in the preseason with this year's group that offensively we've started slow. That's just a fact, it's happened. How are we going to fix it? If I knew that, it would be easy to do. I don't know that exactly. We've got to talk to them about it, we've got to emphasize it. I think more than anything, we've got to get Jameis [Winston] off to a quicker start. He just started real slow last night. Now, that interception I would say was more on the receiver than it was on the thrower but, still, the very first play of the game we had Vince [Jackson] wide open and Jameis has got to make that throw in his sleep. We've got to start faster. The kickoff return, as I already mentioned, got us off to a decent field-position start. Even though that was a sloppy start, as I also said last night, we still had a chance to go down there and get three points. That was not a pretty drive and Jacksonville helped us with a couple penalties there. We're going to talk to guys about it. I don't think there's anything magic but we're going to work on it."
(On running the ball better than Week One)
"Like I said last week, we just ran it more. All the backs and all the linemen will tell you, they need repeat runs. The backs want to keep getting it. So we ran it enough times that even though we still played five running backs, they all got multiple carries when they were in there. We got to repeat some plays where the week before we didn't repeat any schemes. They like that, they get better at it as we go. And I thought especially in our inside running game, our offensive line did a good job of knocking them back, which is a start. We gave our guys a chance to run and I thought all of our backs ran hard. Chuck [Charles Sims] got off to a nice start and we didn't want to get him too many exposures. We wanted to get a good look at Mike [James] and Peyton [Barber] and we did that, and then Russ [Hansbrough] and Storm [Johnson] got some there in the second half."
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston looked like he was out of rhythm)
"I don't know about the rhythm part, but he wasn't as accurate as he needs to be. He missed a couple throws. The one to Vince, the fade ball down the sideline to Mike [Evans], those are throws that have to be better."
(On if any of the running backs behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims III have separated from the pack)
"They're all doing fine and they're all also helping on special teams. I think Mike James really showed last night what he is – he's just real consistent in all phases. He runs the ball pretty good; there he is catching check-downs, he's right where needs to be, Mike Glennon finds him a couple times in the red zone, including the touchdown; and he's solid on special teams. We wanted to get Peyton Barber a few runs with the first offensive line; we did that. Just like we thought from practice, Peyton is a good inside runner, he’s a big back, he's powerful. He made a couple nice plays on special teams. If you're going to be a backup running back you've got to play on special teams. Peyton, he's learning. On the one drive when he caught the pass in the flat he ran the wrong route but after he caught it he did a great job of getting yards after the catch. So that's the kind of stuff that rookies like that have to improve on. Doug and Chuck, even these next two games, we're not going to pound those guys to death. We just don't believe in pounding our running backs during the preseason, so we've still got time."
(On reserve linebackers getting more playing time with Daryl Smith out on Saturday)
"Josh Keyes got a few more snaps than [Devante] Bond – Bond was coming off a little bit of a shoulder [injury] – but they both played, they both did some good things, they both made some mistakes. But it was good to get them time. We know what Daryl can do. We've still got some good competition there for the fourth and fifth linebacker spots. Special teams will factor in there as well."
(On if he knows how many linebackers he wants to carry on special teams)
"Yeah, I know. That's Jason [Licht]'s department. I mean, I have numbers that I want in my head, but Jason makes the call on that. In fact, he and I are going to meet on that a little bit today, but that's still a long way from being finished. The one thing I think you have to have, though, is you have to have a little bit of flexibility. I don't think you can have iron-clad and keep X number of linebackers if you've got an extra tight end or running back that can play special teams like a linebacker. That's just one example. You've got to have a certain number, but those last three or four spots you can have some flexibility."
(On his level of concern with kicker Roberto Aguayo)
“Well, I don’t know if ‘concern’ is the right word, but every player on a football team has a specific role and a specific job to fill and they’re expected to do their job. Roberto, in both of the first preseason games – I mean, he’s been pretty consistent in practice – but in both of the preseason games he’s missed kicks that he’s expected to make. You know, he’s working with two holders – we can make all kinds of excuses but the bottom line is he’s expected to make those kicks. He knows it, of course. Everybody knows it and we can’t hide behind it. We can’t hide behind any of our mistakes and trust me, I’m making more than anybody out there but yeah, he’s got to make them.”
(On what he as a head coach can do for Aguayo)
“No, I just yell at him [laughs]. And I swear sometimes, too.
(On how he tries to fix a kicker who might be in a slump for the first time in his career)
“Yeah, that’s what I was talking to Nate [Kaczor], our special teams coach, and when a guy that’s as good as Roberto – I think professional kickers, like professional quarterbacks are a lot like professional golfers. We’re all amateur golfers but when you go watch the pros play, they’re on a different level. I don’t know what’s wrong with Roberto right now. Maybe there’s some nerves in there, I don’t know. He might be overthinking it. There’s definitely pressure on him. It is the preseason, it’s the time to work it out, but I’m not the guy that can help him. I’m not that guy.”
(On if there’s been the thought to try the same holder for a week to help build his confidence)
“Yep, yep. There is.”
(On if giving Aguayo more kicks during practice is something the staff is considering)
“We could do that, yep. We can do – you guys making a list for us? What else do you want to put on there? Those are good suggestions. Those are both things we could do. I’m serious.”
(On if he expects defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and running back Doug Martin to practice tomorrow)
“Yeah, they’ll practice some. But we’re not going to put guys at risk that we know what they can do. These are not major injuries that these guys have, these are nagging injuries. It doesn’t do us any good to rush a guy back. I mean, Doug told me in warmups last night – and I knew it was going to happen – Doug went out and warmed up and he got pumped up, the crowd and the guys, and he said, ‘I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go!’ and I said, ‘ Well, you’re not going.’ They’ll be fine. We’ll see, we’re kind of day-to-day right now, but we don’t need to get those guys beat up.”
(On if he’s happy the way tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has played recently)
“Yeah, very much, very much. In fact, we’re going to even out those reps with the first group with Cam [Brate] and Austin. I mean, Austin’s worked his way right back in there and when he got moved down the depth chart all you can ask a player when he gets moved down is that he competes and does better and tries to get back up there and he’s done that. Now, he’s not perfect by any means and Cam’s had a fantastic camp – he did not have a great night catching the ball last night – but we’re going to need both those guys. We ran a lot of three tight end sets last night and Luke Stocker and Brandon Myers and Danny Vitale are also doing some good things out there, but Austin and Cam are the two guys that can bring some verticality to your pass game. The catch in the second half that Austin made on the ‘bow-out’ – there’s just not a whole lot of guys that can make that play. He’s earned a chance to get back and work more with the first group so we should give it to him.”
(On if there were any injuries from the game that appear to be significant)
“I don’t think we had anything long term there, no.”
(On how quarterback Jameis Winston has looked in training camp up to this point)
“He’s looked fine. You’ve got to remember, a year ago at this time we were scared to death because Jameis was throwing three or four interceptions every day in practice and he’s definitely not doing that. He knows what he’s doing. Jameis, the competitive side of him, he sometimes tries to do too much. Example would be it’s third-and-15 last night and he gets in a scramble situation. No matter how you slice it, he’s going to run for five yards, but he refuses to slide and lets the whole defense hit him. Now we ended up getting a penalty there which I think is more luck than anything else, but that’s the kind of stuff where Jameis, he sometimes tries to do too much and again, that’s just one example that you don’t have to win the game every single play.”
(On the area the team may have improved the most from spending the week with the Jaguars)
“I just think, again – and I’ve said it all week – is just working against different people. The O-line and D-line get tired of doing pass rush against the same guys, doing one-on-one blocking against the same guys. I think it was great for our DBs to see – I mean, overall, I would say Jacksonville’s receivers are faster than our receivers so I thought it was good. Jacksonville’s receivers, they ran a lot of double moves. I thought it was great for our DBs to work against it. We have smaller corners. Jacksonville has big corners that like to grab and hold on. I thought that was good work for our receivers. So I just think working against different scheme, different people, different offense, different defense, different blitzes, I thought that was all good for us, and hopefully same thing again [this week]. Now Cleveland comes in a 3-4 defense, they’re running some zone-read stuff on offense. I watched all their games when we were at the hotel. They’re doing some really nice stuff under Coach [Hue] Jackson and his staff, so we’re looking forward to a similar week here. We are going to cut a few reps out – that was mutually agreed on by both teams – we’re going to cut about 10 plays out of both days because both teams are a little bit more banged up when we started this whole thing, but we’re still going to get some good work.”
(On if he specifically sought out the Browns for joint practices because they play a 3-4 defense)
“Yes. I mean, when it came out that we were going to play them in the preseason we immediately started calling Hue up – Hue Jackson – and we definitely wanted to work with a 3-4 team because this is the only 3-4 team that we’re going to play and to get a couple extra days is big.”
(On how the end of the first half of Saturday’s game helped him go through the two-minute-drill process)
“Well, Mike Glennon took our offense down and I thought we did a good job. We had gotten in scoring position relatively quickly with time so you’re trying to bleed that clock down but everyone thinks you can work it out perfect where you score with no time and you can’t. So, we got another chance and that was a beautiful play by Vernon [on the interception] and a nice run back. We only had time for one shot there and we kind of had two receivers in the same area. We probably had another shot at a touchdown, but for us to get 10 points there in the last 2:15 of the half, that’s big. That’s where we kind of took control of the game.”