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23 October 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (10/23/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Buccaneers rookie TE O.J. Howard caught two touchdowns at Buffalo, becoming the first rookie tight end to have multiple touchdown receptions in a game since 2013 (Philadelphia TE Zach Ertz, two touchdown catches vs. Arizona,12/1/13).
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On Buffalo’s 44-yard pass play to Deonte Thompson in the fourth quarter)
“They ran a three-wide-receiver set to one side with a tight end on the backside. We checked the coverage and both of our safeties were out of position on that play. The other thing is, as I’ve mentioned multiple times, your rush and your coverage – that’s a very difficult play to cover and they executed it well. I’ve tried to put that play in multiple times over the years and the reason you don’t see that play very often is it’s just a very slow-developing play. It takes a long time. [Tyrod] Taylor stepped up in the pocket so he had a lot of time to throw and he found the right guy. We didn’t handle it the right way with the positioning of our safeties.”
(On if that play was the result of a communication error defensively)
“No. [We were] just out of position – not communication. We were in the right coverage. We just weren’t in the right position. We weren’t on our landmarks, we didn’t re-route it properly and the centerfielder, against that particular set, needs to get to the three-receiver-side hash and he didn’t make it over that far. That would’ve helped the corner. The corner had no chance on that play.”
(On safety T.J. Ward’s postgame comments)
“When you lose games and you lose a game that you probably should have won like that, everybody is frustrated. It’s just human nature to be frustrated. I didn’t hear him, so all of this is second-hand to me, but everyone is frustrated. I talked to the team about all of our issues [being] self-inflicted right now – the majority of our issues are self-inflicted. We’re the only ones who can fix them. That’s how I handled that.”
(On the principle that when things go wrong, teams begin to crumble from within)
“Well I warned them about that. I didn’t say that’s what I was worried about. I warned them that I didn’t want them to do that.”
(On the expectations for Ward when they signed him)
“When we signed Chris [Conte] back and we drafted Justin [Evans], we knew that safety was going to be more of a position of depth. In T.J.’s case, he missed all of training camp not only with us, but with Denver. Then he’s been hurt the majority of the time since he has been here. I’m sure he is frustrated. Every player wants to be out there the whole time. That’s just part of the game.”
(On if he intended on giving the safeties an even amount of snaps)
“No. It wasn’t the intention to be exactly even – that’s hard to do. That’s hard to do at any position.”
(On the biggest issue defensively down the stretch aside from missed tackles)
“Eight of their plays accounted for almost half of their yardage. Eight plays accounted for 200 yards of their 400 and change. Five of those eight plays were on third down. All of those plays – the thing they had in common – we either had a missed tackle or we let the quarterback out of the pocket and he either ran with it or threw with it and we dropped coverage.”
(On allowing explosive plays and whether it’s due to missed assignments or players being out of position)
“Well, a combination of all of those things. I just sat in on the defensive meeting where Coach [Mike] Smith went over those plays with the entire defense and the guys had to call out what they were doing in coverage and they went over the way the assignments were intended to go. Everyone has to see it the same way.”
(On using a 3-3-5 defensive formation)
“Our third-down execution in general was not good enough. The goal with that is we were a little short on D-lineman and we were a little bit long on linebackers [so we were] just trying to get those three linebackers on the field at the same time.”
(On if he felt that package worked well)
“No, it didn’t work well in this game, but alignments don’t win or lose games. It doesn’t matter if you are in a 4-3-5, a 4-2-5 [or] a 4-1-6, there [are] all kinds of different alignments. Alignments [are not] what happens. It’s not what combination of linebackers and defensive lineman and DBs (defensive backs) you have – that’s not what it is. It’s execution.”
(On the performance of quarterback Jameis Winston versus the Bills)
“Jameis really played pretty well. He had an ill-advised interception there before the half. We were kind of nickel and diming it on the two previous plays and he tried to force that one in there. Luckily that particular one didn’t hurt us. The fact that Jameis wasn’t able to throw on Wednesday and Thursday and come out and play like he did [with] the number of explosives [and] his numbers in the second half. I thought Jameis played pretty well.”
(On what he saw in the play of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves)
“I think Vernon played better. Obviously when you are playing nickel, depending on what the other team does with their personnel – his snap count was basically cut in half and that’s dictated by how much nickel defense we are in. We were pleased with the way Vernon responded and that’s the first step.”
(On if he will continue to play in the nickel cornerback spot)
“That’s going to depend on injuries. You only have so many guys who can play corner and so many guys who can play nickel. Robert McClain who we moved outside is now in concussion protocol, so that will have some play in it.”
(On if he feels like he needs to have more of a hands-on approach with the defense due to the current state of the team)
“No. We have a great defensive staff. They all have proven track records in this league. We meet as a staff when we need to. I meet with the team three times a week and talk to those guys. When I do have time, I like to sit in on their meetings. It’s educational. I learn stuff, but I don’t always have time. I spend more time in the quarterback room than any other.”
(On how he felt cornerback Robert McClain did moving to the outside)
“I thought Robert did okay outside. I thought his two biggest issues in the game were he had a couple of misfits in the run game when they were running outside plays to his side. One of them was on that fly-sweep-toss-crack that they did. He needs to show up and get that forced.”
(On if the team still feel like they can contend for a division title, despite a 2-4 record)
“The only thing you can do right now is you’ve got to get one game. I showed the guys the division standings and we are what we’ve earned to this point. The fact that some other teams got beat in our division is in our favor. It is a factor [that] we have not played division games and those games can move you up fast. We have to play better football as a team. We have to coach better football. You’ve got to get one. You’ve just got to get one win.”
(On how to balance urgency with not trying to do too much)
“Well by just looking at the tape – it usually doesn’t lie about the mistakes that need to be corrected. Then you try to go out and work on those things in practice and you carry them over to the game. I thought we played with better urgency yesterday. Our urgency and our effort were good enough, but we still made too many errors.”
(On how he handles the frustrations of some of his players)
“I think it’s different in every case. The players get grades every week and the grades are reflective of how the coaches grade them. I talked to the players today about anybody that is frustrated or has an issue – the best way to take care of an issue on a team is to go to someone who can do something about it. Then I outlined who those people were. The second thing – in T.J. [Ward’s] case ironically enough, I did have a sit-down with T.J. in my office last Thursday and I laid out exactly what he could do better.”
(On mistakes that have cost the team wins)
“Any mistake with the game on the line – those mistakes are certainly magnified. As a team we’re making too many mistakes – that is why we are 2-4. We’re the only ones who can correct them. When you look at them on tape, the majority of our mistakes are self-inflicted, meaning we caused them ourselves and we are the ones that have to fix them.”

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