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11 December 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (12/11/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: The Buccaneers have 24 takeaways this season, tied for the third-most in the NFL.
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On if there is an update the status of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)
“He did have an MRI and Gerald – we had a meeting at 1:20 p.m. – he was not back from that yet. I don’t have the report on that. It was a bicep injury. He was getting an MRI on it and we will know more later today.”
(On losing McCoy with defensive tackle Clinton McDonald already out of the game)
“On game day, normally you have three defensive tackles up and we did yesterday, but we lost Gerald [McCoy], so we were down to two defensive tackles. We had to do some different things as to who the front four was playing with. Hopefully we get Clinton back this week. Sealver [Siliga] got his first taste and Chris [Baker] was in there. I mean, Sealver got a little bit last week at Green Bay [and] got his second active game. We will just see how it plays out here. We’ve got an extra day this week. We will just see how it plays out in the next few days.”
(On McCoy’s emotions and his desire to play)
“Gerald is a team captain. He is a five-time Pro Bowler. He was emotional when they told him he couldn’t go back in. That just speaks to the type of man he is and the type of player he is.”
(On if he has spoken with quarterback Jameis Winston about the report that came out claiming there was tension between the two of them)
“I don’t think so, no. I think we both said what we had to say and he and I know the truth about it. I don’t know what else there is to talk about.”
(On if Winston has shown improvement this year)
“It’s a team game, so as our team has not done as well as we hoped to do this year, there is a lot on the quarterback when things aren’t going well. I think Jameis just continues to grow and get experience as I said last week. Look at the three quarterbacks we have left to face in our own division – the last two MVPs and a Super Bowl winner. Then [we faced] Matthew Stafford last week [and saw] his growth. He has been in the league eight years already and I think he is a similar guy to Jameis – first pick in the draft. It just takes some time. I think Jameis is doing some things very well and he is also some making some mistakes, as we all are, that we need to improve on.”
(On if running back Doug Martin was replaced by Peyton Barber following Martin’s fumble)
“What happened in that is that happened toward the end of the first half. Peyton was going to start off the second half. Peyton started off and did somewhat similar to what he did at Green Bay. He was running the ball well. Peyton had 12 carries, had eight efficient runs and one explosive run. Doug had 10 runs, four efficient and, unfortunately, we had a fumble when we were already in field-goal range. There were other breakdowns on that fumble besides that, but ultimately ball possession is the most important thing. Peyton made some mistakes on some other things when he was in there. We will figure out what we think is the best rotation for Atlanta next Monday.”
(On what defines an efficient run)
“First and second [down] one to six [yards] – four plus [yards]. Second [down] and six or more – half of it. Third down – conversion. So, for instance, Doug [Martin’s] one-yard run on the goal line would be an efficient run.”
(On how well linebackers Kendell Beckwith and Devante Bond have done as stand-up pass rushers)
“Well, they’ve handled it fine. In both cases that is not their primary position – probably more so Bond than Beckwith. But of the guys we have available, we are trying to get our best guys on the field. We drafted Beckwith with the intent of him being an inside linebacker – possibly a SAM – but we are just not playing much base defense, especially Detroit [which] played more three-wides than any team we’ve played all year so we just weren’t in base very much. [We are] trying to get our best guys that are healthy out there on the field and trying to get some guys that can bring a little something off the edge. They are working on their rush technique in practice, but obviously when there [are] 44 pass attempts and we didn’t get him on the ground, that’s something that we have to do better.”
(On if he saw the video of the hit on Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage)
“I did not see it.”
(On if he believes the NFL concussion protocol is as good as it can be)
“I’m not an expert on that. I do think it is a step in the right direction. I don’t know how it could be improved. I’m not here to say that. We’ve had our share of guys in the concussion protocol this year. I think it’s much improved over years ago. I think the five-step process and having to take the steps that they have to take and eventually get signed off by an independent neurologist – I think those are all moves in the right direction. I know the league is continually putting money into research at better ways to do it. We’ve talked about this in this room many times that player safety should always come first. This is a violent game played by the best players in the world. There has been more than one incident in the last couple weeks that really humanized the part about the risk of serious injury.”
(On offensive lineman Leonard Wester being free on a release twice and scoring a touchdown on latter opportunity)
“We mentioned that last night. You never know if you are going to get to your goal-line offense because your goal-line offense is basically from the two-yard line in. That’s one thing Detroit has had an issue with all year. I think out of like six passes on the goal line going into our game, they’d given up like six touchdowns – all on similar plays to what we ran. When we got the first one [I was] looking at the pictures [and] noticed that they turned Leonard loose on the backside, which sometimes happens when you have a tackle in there and they’re playing a man coverage. We just made the comment at the time that if we happen to get down there again, we will run it again. [I told] Jameis [Winston] look at the front side and then if it’s not there, take a peek back at Leonard and he did.”
(On if it stings any worse that the other three NFC South teams are in playoff contention)
“It doesn’t sting any worse. You recognize that they are three good football teams and we think we can play with all three of those teams. We have in recent history and we were right there in the end at the Atlanta game. We know that those teams are all squarely in the playoff hunt. But, we have to be concerned about what we can do to play our best football.”
(On why the defense doesn’t send more rushers at the opponent’s quarterback)
“We talked about that before in here. When you bring six, you are basically play zero coverage [with] no help. There [are] other ways you can bring six, peeling in on the back and still keep a safety in the middle of the field. We brought six multiple times yesterday and for the season when we’ve brought six rushers, we’ve had more wins on those plays than losses. Yesterday when we brought six, it wasn’t pretty. On their last touchdown [it was] second-and-eight and we got the roughing the passer penalty, which was a bad play. The very next play we brought six and the safety wasn’t in the right gap, they split us, there was no one home – 18-yard run – longest run of the day. Two other times on third down we brought six and when you bring six, there is nobody to help on crossing routes and they hit one of those for about a 15-yard first down and another one the guy kind of bobbled it and we knocked it out. There is a catch-22 to bringing pressure. I understand the frustration with that. We have frustration with that, as well. We’ve played a lot of different types of coverage. I thought our coverage was okay yesterday. When you get three turnovers in a game, you don’t expect to lose the turnover margin by two.”
(On if there was frustration on how long it took to get the call on tight end O.J. Howard’s fumble)
“First of all, I will just say officiating in general – I could never be an official. Everything happens so fast. I can sit up there and click it back and forth in slow motion and still not understand it. I don’t think that was targeting to begin with. When you look at the tape, he doesn’t hit him in the head and he doesn’t hit him with his head. But, that was the original call. For better or worse, that was the original call. The way they explained it to me was there [were] three variables on that play. One – did he catch it and become a runner? Two – was it an incomplete pass? Three – was there helmet-to-helmet contact? Ultimately, they decided he did catch it, he was a runner [and] then you lose the defenseless-receiver protection, so it could have been first-and-goal on the six. It could have been first-and-10 on the 16 – either one of those would have been good. We didn’t get those two. We got, ‘Okay, it’s their ball.’”
(On if the nationally-televised game will get the players excited for the game against the Falcons)
“I think they will be excited to play on Monday. We are still within 24 hours of the game yesterday. When you lose a game like that, it takes some time to get it out of your system. The players have a well-deserved two-day break here, but we’re going to give it right back next week. Next week we are going to play Monday night, the game is going to get over at midnight, they are going to have one day off and then we are going to be on a short week next week. They’ve got to enjoy it while they can and we’ve got to get as healthy as we can and then on Thursday when the players come back, we will start preparing for Atlanta. I mean the coaches are on it now, but the players will start.”
(On if he handles the day before a Monday night game the same as the day before a Sunday afternoon game)
“We tweak the schedule a little bit. It’s a little different when you have a night game versus a one o’clock game. [There are] some extra meetings on that day.”

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