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13 November 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (11/13/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Since the start of the 2016 season, the Buccaneers have 43 takeaways, the third-most in the NFL during that span. The team has forced 25 fumbles during that timeframe, tied for the most in the NFL (also Atlanta).
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On the mood of the team)
“Better – that’s for sure. Mondays are a lot happier place after a win. We did a lot of good things and still have got plenty of things we can still work on.”
(On if what he said in team meetings last week resonated with the players)
“You ask yourself as a coach all of the time if anything you say in those meetings resonates with the players. You hope it does and you try to make good points. We’ve talked about it before, I still think the best leadership is internally from the players. We definitely played harder longer in this game in all facets. There are plays that look bad in every game when you really look at the tape. Playing hard and being on the right guy, finishing strong, not beating yourself – that goes a long way in this league. We were better in those areas. Not perfect, but better.”
(On what enabled the defense to get to the quarterback against the Jets)
“We had the lead. We were playing from ahead instead of playing from behind. The other team had to throw. We’ve been playing from behind a lot – too much. It’s amazing how much better your pass rush is when the other team has to abandon their running game like we’ve had to do several times – too many times.”
(On if wide receiver Chris Godwin earned a bigger role with his performance on Sunday)
“There [are] only so many roles. That’s the thing. You are going to have a number one, a number two, a number three and a number four. That’s just how it is. As we’ve said in here multiple times, you can’t have too many good players. I told you that Chris’ main issue to date has just been that he hadn’t had opportunities because he is behind those other guys. The way you saw Chris play on offense is really the same way he has been attacking special teams up until yesterday. It wasn’t just plug him in for Mike [Evans]. Chris did a lot of dirty work yesterday and Mike does some of that too. We had him and DeSean [Jackson] switching back and forth on a lot of different stuff. [I] couldn’t be happier with Chris’ effort and his finish. He got the game ball on offense.”
(On if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in Miami and if he we would like to see quarterback Ryan Griffin take some snaps this season)
“Ryan Fitzpatrick will be our starter this week. We know that much because Jameis [Winston] is going to be out again this week. Ryan Griffin will go into the week as the backup. If the opportunity ever presented itself, it would be good while we have this situation to get Ryan Griffin into a game. He has been doing well in practice, but it would never be just because we want to see him get in the game. It would have to be the right opportunity and we will have to see if that ever comes up or not.”
(On how much the health status of the offensive tackles was in question heading into Sunday’s game against the Jets and how much it helped to have all of those in question play in the game)
“It helps a lot to have your starting tackles out there. We didn’t know for sure until after Friday’s practice on Dot (Demar Dotson) and Saturday morning on Donovan [Smith]. We had to have an alternate plan all week and we practiced it that way. Kevin Pamphile played a lot of left tackle in practice last week. We had to prepare it both ways. I’m very pleased that both of those two guys fought to make it back – as did Robert Ayers. There was some speculation that none of those three guys would make it back. That’s just life time of year in the NFL. You’ve got guys beat up and they come out of a game sore. Multiple guys every week are getting MRIs [and] are getting treatment all week. When you’re out there, you see some of them aren’t practicing on Wednesday, sometimes on Thursday. You’re hoping your guys can make it back.”
(On how much the absence of the Bye Week matters now that the team made it to Week 11)
“Sure, you’d like to have it, but we don’t so we can’t cry too much about it. Shoot, it would’ve been nice to have a bye coming off a win and [to] let some guys heal up, but we don’t have that option. Then [to] put it into perspective, look what our opponents (Miami Dolphins) have to do. They’re playing tonight on the road and they have to play [Sunday], so that’s the hand that we were dealt. Neither team controls it, so we’ve just got to make the best of it.”
(On what led to receiver DeSean Jackson addressing the team after the win)
“I’m not sure what led to it, but I think DeSean has definitely grown with this team. I don’t know how he was on his other teams, but he’s grown with this team. The last three weeks, DeSean has done a nice job. He has done a nice job in practice, [he has] done a nice job in the games and he has done a nice job with how he has handled everything else that spirals around your football team. I’m proud of him for that. When you bring in a vet and a player with his pedigree, that is always an added bonus. [I am] very pleased with him doing those things. [We] would still like to get the ball to him more, though.”
(On Jackson’s 10 targets and if that is a sign that he is getting the ball more)
“Well I think he has had 10 targets before. We left some out there. Trust me, we left some out there.”
(On the status of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves’ hamstring and if it will be a lingering injury)
“[I am] not going to know that for sure. He is going to get an MRI tomorrow. He is sore today. It is a hamstring. I don’t know the severity of it. Nowadays they MRI those all the time. That tells the medical people exactly where he is at. We will know more by this time tomorrow.”
(On if the team’s success in using linebacker Kendell Beckwith as an additional pass rusher was due with the team’s familiarity with how to use him in multiple looks)
“No, it’s not so much that as just Smitty (Mike Smith) went to that package on second-and-long. He hadn’t been going to that at all on second-and-long. He went to it more yesterday – not just on third down. But we got them in some second-and-long. When you shut their running game down – they had several negative plays on first down – so we had them in second-and-10 plus [and] second-and-nine so he started using it more in that situation. Then we got ahead there in the fourth quarter.”
(On if he expects quarterback Jameis Winston to play again this season)
“I do. From what I know, I do. It was rest him for two weeks [and then] see where he is at. He talked to multiple doctors and that’s what the plan is. There is really nothing to add to that right now. I know Jameis is planning on playing again. There has been no discussion between Jason [Licht] and myself of him not playing again. That would all be something that would have to come up in the future.”
(On if anything has changed with tight end Cameron Brate’s role in the past two weeks)
“Well with Mike [Evans] out yesterday they actually doubled him in the red zone. Usually Mike is the one that gets doubled in the red zone. We had two or three things that we were trying to go to Cam inside the 25 and they surprised us with that. They hadn’t been doubling anybody in the red zone and so we figured with Mike out, they wouldn’t. But they put both safeties on Cam I think three different times in the red zone that we actually were trying to go to him. That’s the thing about that target thing. It doesn’t come out on the stat sheet that it’s a target, but [in] the play call he was the target. But when he is double covered, the quarterback is going to try to go somewhere else and then someone else gets the target. But by play design – that’s the fallacy in that statistic.”
(On the frustrations on the sideline following Chris Baker’s penalty late in the game)
“I didn’t see what happened. I didn’t see it. I’ve been briefed on it. I’ve been told about it, but I think when that penalty happened pretty much everyone on the sideline wanted to get in a fight with Chris Baker, including me. He’d beat me up, so I didn’t. Chris is a very smart player and that was not a smart penalty.”
(On his message following the win)
“Well, just that we need to feel good about it and [say] congratulations, look what we did better and learn from what we need to work on and let’s try to build on this. We wanted to start off the second half of the season [with a win]. Mission accomplished on that. Now, let’s see if we can come back to work on Wednesday for the players and let’s try to build on it.”

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