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27 November 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (11/27/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: This season Tampa Bay has a +6 turnover differential, tied for the sixth-best mark in the NFL. The Buccaneers’ 20 takeaways are the fourth-most in the league.
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston was re-evaluated today by the medical staff)
“Yeah, Jameis had an MRI this morning and then he also did some rehab work with the trainers and if he does not have any soreness tomorrow after the rehab work, it looks like he will be cleared to practice on Wednesday.”
(On if Winston will be limited in practice or participate fully)
“He would be able to take all the reps if he doesn’t have any residual soreness.”
(On if practicing on Wednesday would be a good indication that Winston will be available to play on Sunday)
“Well, let’s see. I haven’t seen him throw yet. I haven’t even talked to Jameis [Winston] since he had this workout. But until he is officially cleared, we will be making the game plan both ways and we will see what happens come Wednesday. You guys will see him out there.”
(On if he gets a sense that Winston feels good enough to come back and play)
“Yeah, I think so.”
(On if Winston has thrown the ball in the past few weeks while he has been out with the shoulder injury)
“No. He’s been doing some strengthening exercises. He’s been rehabbing. That’s why he is not out there when you guys are out there. He is doing his rehab. He had been getting treatment and doing rehab and then he comes out for the later part of practice, but he hasn’t been throwing.”
(On if Winston will be cleared if there is no soreness when he is re-evaluated tomorrow)
“That’s correct.”
(On if the defense followed the game plan in terms of covering Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones)
“We didn’t handle Julio. We didn’t handle him at all. He had seven plays over 20 yards. It’s a combination of a lot of different stuff. We played 14 different coverages yesterday. We played 14 different coverages and none of them worked. We had everything from the cornerback falling down, to a linebacker running out of [his] zone, to not getting pressure on the quarterback, to double moves, to them high-lowing us in a two-deep coverage and throwing over the corner’s head – every way you can beat those different coverages, they all happened.”
(On if getting beat in multiple ways is better than one particular thing being the reason for Jones’ success, or if it is just frustrating that nothing worked)
“The latter. Nothing worked and it is frustrating for everybody.”
(On if it would be an option to take cornerback Brent Grimes and have him mark Jones all game)
“Sure, you could do that. I mean we didn’t do that, but teams do it. We had Brent on Julio at times yesterday and there [are] other times we didn’t.”
(On what he expects from Winston following his rehab)
“I haven’t really given that a lot of thought. It’s my experience in the NFL that when your starting players are cleared to play, they return to be your full-time players. Over the next few days when the players come back to work here there will be some conversations about the type of thing you were asking about, but I didn’t really know if Jameis was going to be cleared today and officially, until they make sure he is not hurting tomorrow, he officially really isn’t cleared yet. Those will be discussions that we will be having here in the coming days.”
(On the third-down play late in the game to wide receiver Adam Humphries and if he should’ve gotten more depth in his route)
“Yeah, he should’ve gotten more depth, but they covered it well. Quizz (Jacquizz Rodgers) had that eight-yard run on first down. It’s second-and-two – let’s remember, you are trying to score a touchdown. You’re not trying to make two yards, you are trying to score a touchdown. We are down seven [with] between seven and eight minutes left in the game. We ran a double move to DeSean [Jackson] that we’d been trying to get up the whole game. We’d been trying to get the right spot for it. We finally got there. That’s a play that we are turning into the league. I thought DeSean might’ve had him and got grabbed a little there. It doesn’t matter at this point. No call, so third-and-two. I didn’t like the play we had when I saw the defense [and so I] called timeout. We went to a man-beater play. They were in man coverage with a robber in the middle of the field, so they were kind of in and out on our bunch formation there. Adam needed to get a little bit more depth and Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) had a little bit of pressure. He felt like he had to get it out. If he could’ve moved on in his progression there might have been some other options there. On the fourth down, we had already decided if we didn’t get it on third we were going to go on fourth. On fourth, we ran a play with three or four different options on it. Again, Fitz was under a little bit of pressure [and] had to make a decision and it just didn’t work out.”
(On if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick should have thrown to the check-down receiver on the second-and-two play)
“He wouldn’t have had time to get it to the check-down. It was a double move. When you watch it on tape, everybody can see that Jacquizz [Rodgers] is open as the check-down, but if he would’ve held that ball another half a second he would’ve been on his back. If you remember in the first half, we ran a double move to DeSean [Jackson] over on their sideline, on the right side of the field, and Fitz threw it right on time, their corner grabbed him [and] we got the call. That was the other corner. This was a different double move, but similar. [With] the way they play, double moves have worked against them in the past. DeSean is a good double move guy. Anybody can watch the tape and say, ‘Hey man, that check down is wide open.’ But, anybody is not playing quarterback with a five-man rush coming at [them].”
(On if he understands when people question what is happening with the defensive game plans week to week)
“Well sure, I understand it. Players play and coaches coach. When things aren’t working, everything is questioned. Of course, I understand it. If there [were] easy fixes in there believe me I would be doing everything I could to fix it. Again, how do you go from being the leading third-down defense in the league to giving up 79 percent yesterday? We’re doing the same things. I mean, you’re scrambling up the order of your calls. We tried five-man pressures, we tried six-man pressures, we tried rolling to Julio [Jones], we tried pressing him, we tried three-deep zones, two-deep zones, quarters-based zones, quarter-quarter-half zones and the bottom line is we didn’t get it done.”
(On if part of the issue is choosing the right coverages in different situations)
“That is every game. There is always that chess match going on. That is going on in both sides of every game. There is a play call, there is a defensive call and then there is execution on both sides. That’s what the game is.”
(On if it is possible that one issue could be that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is very good at recognizing coverages and might’ve been recognizing things from familiarity with Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith)
“Matt Ryan was the MVP of the league last year, so I think that is a safe assumption, yes. I don’t think that’s just against us. Those two guys (Matt Ryan and Julio Jones) are pretty good. When I coached in Atlanta, Julio ironically enough had a 250-yard game against the team we play this week. I’ve seen it done before. Those two guys are pretty good and we didn’t do anything to stop them. We tried to do things, but they didn’t work.”
(On if the defensive line performance has been part of the overall inconsistency of play that he speaks about)
“Oh yeah. We’ve said many times in here that your rush, your mid-level coverage and your deep coverage have to work in conjunction. That’s it in a nut shell. The problem is [that] they all have their own breakdowns from time to time. Some of that could be play calling, both ways, of course. Like I said, that is why you don’t just snap your fingers and fix it. Yeah, I can say we’ve got to get more pressure on the quarterback. Well we blitzed 22 yesterday with either five or six rushers. When we brought six, we always had them out-numbered by one, and he got the ball out of his hands. We won some of those and we lost some. When you’re rushing six and playing zero coverage, if you have any slip-ups – that’s what happened on the touchdown run at the end. We had two guys in a gap and the running back bounced it outside and you’ve got nobody left. I think we blitzed 11 out of 32 times in the first half and maybe 10 out of 32 in the second half.”
(On running back Peyton Barber’s two-touchdown performance)
“I could’ve gotten that first touchdown – it was blocked perfect. The second one was a terrific effort by Peyton for a one-yard run. I thought all four of our running backs contributed in a big way. Peyton did his part. But again, that second one – the one-yard run – was a fantastic run by him. The first one was so well blocked, like I said, it wouldn’t have mattered who was carrying it.”
(On the job tight end Antony Auclair has done as a run-blocker)
“He is learning. That is what I would say. His inexperience is definitely showing, but when we brought Antony here the thought would be that he would fit in that Y-blocking tight end – do-everything tight end – but mostly on the line of scrimmage. Right now, the role he is having to play for us is more of a mixture of that and a fullback role. The fullback part is new to him.”
(On the injuries suffered in the game versus Atlanta)
“We definitely have some injury issues this week. This was a very physical game and we had, as you mentioned, I think we had three offensive linemen that left the game and then came back in. We have seven O-linemen up [and] all seven of them played in the game. There is still testing going on right now, so as I say up here every week, over today and tomorrow that will all get figured out. But yeah, this is the most banged up that we’ve been after a game. We’re going to have a couple other guys this week.”
(On if he would’ve placed a tight end on the line if he didn’t have five healthy offensive linemen)
“Yeah, usually a tight end at tackle. We had that happen a couple years ago in Atlanta. We played the whole fourth quarter with Levine Toilolo at tackle. That is not a good situation to be in.”
(On the lack of yards after catch on offense)
“We had six [explosive plays] on offense yesterday. Our goal is eight. Usually if you can get eight you are in pretty good shape. [With] six, it’s going to be tough. You can make those stats say what you want. We had six explosives, we had 28 first downs and we were terrible on third down. How do you make 28 first downs and you only get six explosives? That means you are being pretty efficient on first and second down because our third-down number was low. We had, I thought, some really good opportunities in the screen game, but we couldn’t really get them started. Half the battle in the screen game is getting that first block and getting the guys to the second level. One of our five screens was explosive that we ran on the day. We actually, per average, ran the ball better than we had been running it per average, but we had zero explosive runs. We had a 10-yarder. Fitz had an 11-yarder on a scramble, but we don’t really count that in our run game. We’d love to be more explosive, but we’re taking shots – you don’t take shots on third-and-18. You take shots on second-and-two.”
(On if Winston may have benefitted from watching a few games from the sideline)
“I haven’t given that too much thought. Is that a possibility? Of course. Have guys ever gotten better by watching? Yes, they have. I’ve seen it happen. In Jameis’ case, it’s un-charted territory because he’s never watched in his whole life, so we will see if and when that does come about – we will see.”
(On if the appearance on ‘Hard Knocks’ created unnecessary expectations for the team)
“I don’t think so, no. I say all the time, no one has higher expectations for us than we have for ourselves, so I don’t think anybody from the outside could create expectations. We didn’t choose to go on ‘Hard Knocks.’ ‘Hard Knocks’ picked us. I don’t believe that had anything to do with it. That is a TV show about training camp. They do a nice job with the TV show part of it, but that shouldn’t have any effect on how we play on the field. We have high expectations for ourselves. We haven’t been able to live up to those. Trust me, no one feels worse about that than we do. When I say we, I am starting with myself.”
(On if he worries about motivation now that the team’s playoff aspirations are fading)
“Of course, I worry about motivation every week.”
(On if he worries more now that the playoffs are a long shot for this team)
“Yeah, absolutely. It’s human nature. I’d be lying. You’ve got your 53 guys, plus we’ve got 11 on our practice squad, plus you’ve got your IR guys – you’re not going to reach every one of those guys the same way. We’ve played several weeks in a row. You’ve got the holidays coming up. There are all kinds of distractions out there. You’ve got guys at the end of their contract, guys that are in their first year, you can talk about the “rookie wall” – that’s legit for some kids. There is a lot to think about, but those are all distractions and we are going to do our best to – all you can do is [say], ‘There [are] five weeks left, one week at a time.’ We have Green Bay this week. That’s an awesome place to play a football game. All we can do is get out there and do our best. We are 2-1 in the third quarter (of the season) and looking to go 3-1.”
(On if it is up to the players to keep their motivation going)
“It’s on all of us. Everything on a football team is on all of us. It’s on players. It’s on coaches. It’s on all of us.”
(On the rumor that offensive coordinator Todd Monken has been contacted by Mississippi State and is being considered for their head-coaching vacancy)
“To my knowledge, Todd Monken has not been contacted by Mississippi State and that comes from his mouth to my ear.”
(On if Monken has heard from a search firm that represents Mississippi State)
“Same answer. I talked to Todd about it and Todd says he has not been contacted. You guys are going to get a chance to talk to Todd later this week. You can ask him yourself. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that the school you’re asking about probably already has a head coach by then.”

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