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20 November 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (11/20/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: Tampa Bay had five takeaways against Miami, the most takeaways the team has recorded since 2013 (five vs. Buffalo, 12/8/13). The Buccaneers had a +5 turnover differential in yesterday’s contest, the franchise’s highest in a game since 2013 (+5 at Detroit, 11/24/13).
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On the status of quarterback Jameis Winston this week)
“The medical staff evaluated Jameis sometime earlier today and they determined that he is not ready to resume throwing yet. Jameis will be out this week and re-evaluated next Monday.”
(On how much his confidence in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has grown after back-to-back wins)
“My confidence is the same, but I am sure other people’s has grown. Ryan’s done exactly what I thought he would do, but I can understand why other people that haven’t seen him in practice would not necessarily expect that. He’s playing how I thought he would play.”
(On if there was something that stood out about the final drive that allowed the offense to move the ball more effectively compared to the rest of the second half)
“We had several pass-type plays that we wanted to get to in the second half. We had a lot of pass plays we wanted to get to and we just didn’t have the ball very much in the second half – some of that by our own doing and the fact that they converted a lot of third downs. We would’ve liked to get off the field. We had a pretty good inkling that those down-the-field passes were going to be there. We just didn’t get a chance to run them sooner. Then we got the ball back with 3:05 – or something like that when we got it back – so we were just outside the two-minute [mark]. We were kind of mixing in and out of two-minute offense there, but we had a couple things we thought we could get on them.”
(On if he gave any thought to who the starting quarterback would have been this week had Winston been cleared)
“They didn’t. They didn’t clear him. Really, I am not thinking about them because until he is cleared I have no say in it. Jameis [Winston] isn’t cleared, so I can’t worry about it.”
(On if he believes that a starter can lose his job due to injury)
“No, not usually. [It’s] hard to do.”
(On what Fitzpatrick did better this week in Miami than he did against the Jets)
“Ryan made really good decisions. We didn’t turn the ball over. We say every week in our meetings [if] we don’t turn it over, we’ve got a great chance to win. Not only did we not turn it over, we were plus five [in turnover margin]. It starts with that. He made really good decisions. 60 percent completion, but then you factor out a couple of drops [and], I think, four throwaways. No matter how much of a veteran quarterback you are, throwing the ball away when the play is not there is still to this day one of the hardest things to get a quarterback to do and Ryan did a good job of that. He also scrambled a couple of times. One time he scrambled and got a first down running it. That very last drive [he had] that one to [Chris] Godwin right in front of our sideline, he scrambled – maybe before he really needed to, but still that was a nice play to get that drive going.”
(On allowing six second-half conversions of third-and-eight or longer)
“One, he just had too much time. It starts with that. You give any quarterback that much time and you’re playing zone defense – the guy is in the NFL. He has enough time against zone defense. You’re going to find a hole. Too much time – number one. Then we still are just inconsistent in our zone drops. It wasn’t just one guy – it was a guy here and a guy there and a bust on the long touchdown at the end. Like we’ve been saying all year, the rush, the intermediate coverage and the deep coverage – they’ve got to work together. When they don’t, you aren’t going to like the results and we didn’t like those.”
(On sticking with running back Doug Martin even when he hasn’t been able to efficiently move the ball at times)
“It’s not him that is not consistently moving the ball. In my opinion, he is not the reason we are not moving the ball on offense. If you look at that tape, Doug’s making a little bit out of not too much more often than not. We went over this exact thing last week. When the passing game is not going well, the quarterback takes the heat. When the running game is not going good, the running game probably takes too much heat. It’s a team effort. If we went through all 19 of Doug’s carries we would see he had an explosive on the trap on the first drive [and] he had a nice seven-yard run that he bounced outside. Doug had a couple really nice runs that were four-yard gains.”
(On if he feels the run blocking from the offensive line has taken a step back of if the opponents’ defenses are attacking them differently)
“I wouldn’t say attacking differently. I think [they are] just different defenses. Miami’s front did a good job. Their front four was physical and we were a little too high in our pad level at times. We did not do a great job of run blocking in this game, but that‘s an O-line thing. That’s a tight end thing. That’s a lead blocker issue. The running back is going to take the hit. Believe me if we thought Gale Sayers was sitting back there behind Doug [Martin], he’d be in there. I haven’t seen Gale out there.”
(On what led to the decision to activate wide receiver Freddie Martino from the practice squad and to waive wide receiver Bernard Reedy)
“That move was predicated 100 percent on getting Freddie Martino activated. We are not disappointed in what Bernard was doing in the return game at all. Bernard’s strength this season has been as a punt returner. We haven’t brought many kickoffs out. We chose to take touchbacks. Miami mortared us a couple of times. Jacquizz [Rodgers] was our kick-return guy for most of my time in Atlanta, so I knew what he could do. Hump (Adam Humphries) has been our punt returner. I knew what he could do. Our main reason for making that move is we need to get another physical receiver up that can play more than one position on offense. Bernard primarily is a backup to Hump in the slot. We needed to get a bigger guy up there that could also play a linebacker body type on special teams. Freddie Martino, for the second week in a row, had two tackles – one inside the 20 on kickoff coverage.”
(On if the coaching staff is designing more plays that utilize tight end O.J. Howard’s skillset)
“Sure. It’s obvious what O.J. can do when he gets the ball in space like that. You’ve got to have the right defense and we did. He also dropped one, wide open, down the seam. As I say every week when I am up here, DeSean Jackson needs to get the ball more. O.J. needs to get the ball more. Cam [Brate] only had one catch. We need to get our run game going. We’d like to target Mike [Evans] more. At the end of the day, the object is to get one more point than the other team, not see who gets the most targets and touches. To answer your question – we did throw him the screen. It was a beautiful play, minus two penalties. We got him open early on just a straight drop back on what we call a ‘bow-out’ pattern. He had back-to-back explosives. Then on a little play down the sideline, which Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) made a really nice play [on]. He underthrew it, but he was under pressure. O.J. – that was actually a heck of a play by Fitz on O.J.’s touchdown – and a really nice catch. We were in a hot situation. They overload blitzed us. They zero blitzed us on that. Doug Martin made a beautiful block and took out two guys or we would have had a hot right in Fitz’s face. We had guys wide open. We actually scored on the exact same play to DeSean. That was exactly the same play, just a little different formation. That was a heck of a play by O.J. on that.”
(On if the Miami game was the best for the rookie class so far)
“I don’t think about it like that. Like I said, I just care how the team does. I don’t think of it like that, but I’m sure you can make that case if you wanted to. All those guys had some good plays, but they all of those guys also had some plays that they left on the table. We’ve got plenty to work on.”
(On running the ball to the outside)
“We’d actually been doing better running outside on our toss-crack plays, but we got totally shut down on those. We got off track at the point of attack a couple times and the block that gets those plays going is blocking on the defensive tackle by your guard. We got beat at guard on those plays.”

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