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19 October 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (10/19/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: The Buccaneers have totaled over 400 yards of offense in each of the past three games. With 400 or more yards of offense at Buffalo, the team will tie the longest streak in franchise history (four games: 10/14/12 vs. Kansas City-11/4/12 at Oakland).
Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Todd Monken
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston threw at practice today)
“Jameis did not throw today. We made a decision to hold him for another day from throwing. He did everything else. I would fully expect that Jameis takes all of the snaps tomorrow.”
(On if he will take all of the snaps tomorrow)
“Yep, all of the snaps with the ones.”
(On if he feels pretty confident that Winston can go on Sunday)
“You guys will get an injury report. You draw your own conclusions.”
(On if he feels good about the progress that the injured players on the defensive side have made)
“For the most part. Josh [Robinson] is in the concussion protocol so that is a totally independent thing. That has to run its course.”
(On if he has sensed that the team felt embarrassed about their performance last week)
“All that really matters is how you play on Sunday. The rest of it doesn’t really matter. When I said that, I meant it because I mean what I say and I’m speaking for myself. You’d have to poll every individual player to ask if they were [embarrassed] or not, but I was and I said it and I stand by it. That was last week and this is a week-to-week league. We have to get better. We have to play better. We have to coach better and right now everything is moving towards the Bills on Sunday.”
(On if he senses increased energy on his team)
“This whole, ‘Do I sense energy? Do I think they were embarrassed?’ I go by how we practice and how we prepare and let me just say for the one millionth time for the record, I believe in our process. If I thought there was something wrong with our process I would switch it.”
(On if he senses that his guys have responded from last week’s game)
“That question will not be answered until Sunday between one and four o’clock – ever. I mean ever. I can sense whatever I want to sense. They can sense whatever they want to sense. Nothing matters until kickoff between one and four, if you are preparing right. If we stick to our process, if we prepare the right way, eventually we will be fine. I 100 percent believe in that.”
(On what stands out about Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor)
“His mobility. Like you said, they just don’t turn the ball over. That’s very impressive. I think maybe the Saints are the only team that [has] fewer turnovers than the Bills on offense this year. Tyrod does a great job with his feet [and] does a great job moving around. He is a shorter guy, so it is a little bit harder for him to see in the pocket. He does a good job of getting himself out of the pocket. As we said the other day, he is so dangerous in his ability to flick it down the field or to run with it. Their wideouts aren’t catching a lot of balls. They’re just a different-style passing game than the last two teams we’ve played, not that there is anything wrong with that. Every team builds their system around the strength of their players and Buffalo has done a nice job of that.”
(On what he has observed in the relationship between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick)
“I think there was mutual respect throughout our locker room with all of the players. Ryan’s experience and when you hear Ryan talk in the meeting room and the way he asks questions – Mike Bajakian does a really good job asking all of the quarterbacks questions so they have to talk. I think Ryan has said in the past, as a guy who has been on seven teams or whatever, he’s been impressed with Jameis’ work ethic, Jameis’ passion for football [and] Jameis’ competitiveness. I think that works both ways.”
(On what it says about Fitzpatrick to be able to not take any reps in practice and be able to turn in a performance like the one he had in Arizona)
“That’s exactly the reason we sought out that type of guy. At the same time, you’ve got to remember back in training camp we had a quarterback competition. Ryan Griffin was right in the middle of that, playing really well. [He] had an unfortunate injury in the preseason Cincinnati game, but now that we’ve gone further in and Ryan [Fitzpatrick] has served as a two and went in and played last week, I think the value of having that veteran backup has shown itself more.”
(On how Winston could be put at further risk by playing on Sunday)
“That’s a medical question and trust me the doctors make that call, not me. That is a decision that’s made. If there was any further risk of injury, other than the normal playing football, then Jameis would have no chance to play. I guess you could deduce by that, that that’s not the case.”
(On how much communication was an issue for the defense last week)
“Not that much. It was a tackling and fitting the run issue.”
(On the formula to starting faster and getting ahead in games)
“If there was a formula, everyone would be using the same formula. The formula for us right now is we need to play better football. We need to coach better football. That’s the formula for us. We’ve got to do what we’re supposed to do more consistently. That is the formula. Now, the teams have different schemes on both sides of the ball, but you can’t turn the ball over, you have to create explosive plays, you can’t get sacked, you’ve got to convert on third down, you’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone, you’ve got to run the football, stop the run [and] you’ve got to avoid penalties.”
(On if the team has the mentality not to panic when things go wrong)
“There is nothing new about that. There isn’t any new thinking right there.”
(On if the team panicked on Sunday)
“Not to my knowledge, no. I don’t think it was a panic issue. I think it was just a bad football issue.”
(On how tough it is to get two quarterbacks prepared to play the game)
“It’s not something you hope for, but Jameis [Winston] took a lot of the mental reps yesterday and coach talked about ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) took the reps. We will see today. I think Jameis feels better today, so we’ll know a lot more after today’s practice.”
(On if he hopes quarterback Jameis Winston will throw in practice today)
“I would anticipate that, yes.”
(On if he would play Winston at less than 100 percent if there is no risk of further injury)
“That’s hard to say. Only Jameis can say how he feels and his ability to move our team and give us a chance to win. That is something that as we move forward that you’re not going to know, even when we get to the game, how he is feeling and how he reacts to getting hit. He is going to get hit. All of our guys are dealing – as the Bills are – with injuries [and] bumps and bruises. You’re almost getting to the midway part of the season, so when it gets to game time then we will see.”
(On if it is a challenge for Winston to play after not taking reps all week in practice)
“I would think so. I would think [with] any player it’s a matter of getting the reps. I thought he did a great job yesterday mentally being right behind Fitz and taking the drops and the mental reads. We will just have to wait and see. We will see today.”
(On what makes tight end Cameron Brate an effective red zone target)
“Cam has a great feel for creating space in tight quarters. [He is] very capable of making contested catches. He’s got a great rapport with Jameis [Winston]. Nobody stays after [practice] longer than he does and developing that. Those would be the three biggest factors of why – ball placement, competing for it [and] creating space.”
(On how different the game plan would be if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter, being that he has more limited mobility)
“I don’t know about that. Did you see him run and take a nosedive? He’s got over 2,000 career rushing yards. He’s athletic. He is more athletic even for his age. You can’t really change your game plans. That’s why you have to feel like the guy that goes in if your starter goes down can readily step in and execute the game plan. During a given week, your starting quarterback on every NFL team takes all the reps. Fitz went however many weeks we’ve been going without getting a rep – not one rep. I thought he did pretty darn well for a guy that didn’t get one rep since we were playing in the preseason. That’s why you bring a guy in that is really smart, that is a veteran, that doesn’t always need all of those reps, that has seen a variety of offenses. There are only so many ways you can run a curl flat, and flood routes, and four verticals and screens – it’s still about timing and accuracy and some of the nuances with your players. I thought he did really well and I think Jameis [Winston] will be ready to go.”
(On what has allowed the Bills defense to create takeaway opportunities)
“I think they’ve gotten around the quarterback, so that has put him under to duress in terms of throws. And I think they have caught a lot of the balls thrown their way. At times you go through, ‘Boy, we’ve had this many opportunities but we didn’t catch them.’ Or a tipped ball just seems to go your way and then there are times when it doesn’t. I think they play really, really hard. You are going to create disruption and turnovers the harder you play, the more you get around the quarterback. I think they’ve done a great job of catching it when they’ve had their opportunities.”
(On his impressions of Fitzpatrick)
“He’s unbelievable. What’s it been, 14 years? I mean who plays 14 years in the NFL? Who does that? The percentage of players that make it to the NFL, then the percentage of players that play [14] years when the average is what, three or under? I mean it’s a credit to him. [He is] really smart, a great teammate. [He] doesn’t have to take the reps. He went in there and threw for 300 yards, or something like that, a few touchdowns. [He] didn’t panic [and] was great on the sideline. That’s why you have him here.”
(On how he feels)
“I feel good.”
(On if he plans on throwing in practice today)
“Well you know, I’m just following the plan that they’ve got for me in the training room. It’s a day-to-day thing. I don’t really know – whatever tell me when I go out there.”
(On if he feels pain in his shoulder when he is not throwing)
“No, not really. I guess it’s a joint – I really can’t describe it.”
(On how his shoulder has felt since the game)
“It’s getting better every single day.”
(On taking mental reps instead of physical reps at practice)
“I think it’s just great that Ryan [Griffin] is back. I’m happy that he was able to step right in and get those reps, but that’s all we do. Coach [Mike] Bajakian and I, most of our practice when everyone is doing reps, we are taking mental reps all of the time, so nothing is different besides live reps.”
(On if he has ever played a game, in which he was unable to throw the week before)
“I can’t remember.”
(On if he treats this like a Thursday game where he would only get one day of live practice)
“I don’t know. I’m ready. When they let me go, I’m ready.”
(On if he has dealt with an injury similar to this one and when that was)
“My whole football career. I had a couple of AC joints that I had to play through, so I’m used to the pain.”
(On if this AC joint sprain is similar to the previous ones he has had)
“Every one is different. I can’t tell you about my injuries eight years ago. I can just tell you about this one.”
(On if velocity is the biggest concern when dealing with this type of injury)
“No. The biggest concern is my shoulder. It’s not really about passes and making the throws. It’s just the pain. That’s all. This is a long season. That’s the biggest thing – it’s a long season.”
(On his thought process)
“My thought process is to play – that’s my thought process.”
(On if it would be smart to take a week off to preserve his long-term health)
“If that’s what you believe then you can take that. But with me, I’m going by what they tell me. I’m going by how we work together and see what happens.”
(On how the decision on whether he will play or not will be made)
“It’s a joint decision. Everybody is going to have their say. Ultimately, whatever happens on Sunday happens.”
(On who gets the final say)
“It’s a team decision.”
(On when he expects that decision to be made)
“I don’t know. I can’t tell you.”
(On what has led to the close relationship he has with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick)
“We probably spend more time in that quarterback room together than a lot of people spend their whole year together. We definitely developed a great relationship. With him being here and doing everything that I can possibly dream of in this league, I just think it’s great to have a guy like that to look up to, to go to for guidance and to be able to lean on. He knows that I’m there for him as well. Of course he wanted to get that win. He is from Arizona and that had a big part behind it. But, he played his tail off for me. I’m kind of surprised to hear that he felt like he disappointed me. He didn’t. He played [hard].”
(On how hard it is not to be out on the practice field preparing)
“Like I’ve said, this game [has] such a mental part. As long as we are getting mental reps, I mean, I’ve been throwing the football practically my whole life so I know I can throw. I just think that it’s about recovery right now. It’s about being consistent in my reads and progressions and that’s the most important thing.”
(On if the Bills defense under head coach Sean McDermott is similar to what he ran when he was in Carolina)
“Very similar schematically. The Bills, they have a great team. Their defense swarms the ball. They are aggressive. I call them head-busters. They swarm around the ball. They are trying to knock you out. That’s fun when you see a team that has that. I don’t know if they have a chip on their shoulder because they have some pretty impressive wins, but it’s fun to see a team that plays the game like that – all out.”
(On the best part of the Bills defense)
“The effort. Their overall team effort – you think about defense – that is what defense is all about, you know, guys swarming to the football. They perfect that.”
(On if the team has a chip on its shoulder)
“Every week I’m coming with a chip on our shoulder. I just think the biggest thing for us is to come out of the gate fast and come ready to play. I think that we are capable of doing great for the remainder of the season, but this is the game that we have next, so we’ve got to be prepared and we’ve got to come out there and start fast. We’re in their home field, so we’ve got to bring it. We’ve got to bring our own energy.”
(On if he has relied on any motivational quotes while rehabbing his shoulder)
“No – just getting better. No quote can fix anything right now – treatment can. I’m so grateful for Bobby [Slater] in there in that training room. Those guys, they work their tails off to get us back. You look at ‘Vonte’ (Lavonte David), we didn’t know where Vonte was going to be. Those guys worked their tails off. He committed to his treatment and got back sooner than we had thought. Hopefully other people will be coming back this week to join us. Right now, mental reps and getting my shoulder right – treatment, treatment, treatment – is what I’m focused on and when Sunday comes we all will know what will happen.”
(On how much time he has spent in the training room)
“I’m in there every time I can be in there.”
(On if the offense takes some responsibility for the early deficit in Arizona)
“I feel responsible because as a team we all take an L. No matter how we get the loss, or however we get the win, as a team collectively, we all play a significant role in that loss. It’s not the defense. It’s not the offense. It’s not the special teams. It’s all of us together.”

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