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12 October 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, October 12, 2015

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: RB Doug Martin is currently tied for the second-most rushing yards in the NFL (405) and DT Gerald McCoy is tied for the second-most sacks in the league (4.5).
                                                                                                        
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“We still have a good feeling, for sure. It was good to see the football team win, to be able to celebrate a victory afterwards. When you talk about making progress, you have to get that W. So, to go into the bye week [and] start the second quarter off the right way with a win yesterday [was] big for us. Just like yesterday, we’re talking about the things we did offensively – it always starts up front. After watching the video, you like what the offensive line did as much as you did yesterday in brief moments that you saw. Guys individually across the board, they all played well. Doug Martin looked as good today as he did yesterday, making people miss – all things I talked about yesterday. Charles Sims, Jameis Winston made great decisions. So exactly what you wanted from on offense, we were able to do yesterday: third-down conversions, of course ball security. Defensively, didn’t like the way we finished. It’s a shame that we finished that way. But that’s where a few individual guys overall, they followed through; when we needed to make some plays, we did, stood up when we needed to. Howard Jones, George Johnson coming back, some players like that. Of course, you have your normal cast of the Gerald McCoys that played well. One of my favorite plays was on a play that I really didn’t like – was the long pass at the end where we gave up the long pass, but Kwon Alexander [ran] the guy down. That was impressive. A lot of build on there. And then special teams, of course: Bobby Rainey, Connor Barth, and then our coverage units. Even a guy like Donteea Dye on the coverage units did a good job. We did some good things; [it’s] something to build on.”
 
(On injuries from the game and the status of players heading into the bye week)
“Out of the game, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy, a knee (Tandy) and an ankle injury (Conte). I don’t know the extent of the injury right now; I don’t think it’s that bad. But having a couple weeks before we play, hopefully we’ll have all of them ready. And then getting some of our other players back. Logan Mankins missing [Sunday’s game]; he hasn’t been in that situation. Then others, before long: Demar Dotson, Akeem Spence. We have other players coming. But we had a few offensive guys [out] yesterday. Again, we only had one healthy scratch, so we’ll need those guys for this next push.”
 
(On whether tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be back following the bye week)
“We hope so. Just know that he’s doing everything we’re asking him to do. He’s really been engaged from the sideline, being involved, doing everything he can. With what we’re doing right now offensively, adding that piece, and we get Luke Stocker back also, that should help a lot, too.”
 
(On whether the identity of the offense is what showed on Sunday)
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it is. Once you have that run going, and, to me, when I say ‘run going,’ there are some trick-em runs, and then there are – I mean, we were in two-back a lot of the time, they had eight men in the box. We’re running it, they know it, and then you can still run it. Yes, that just sets up everything else. Of course the running game is a quarterback’s best friend. That and the checkdown is a quarterback’s best friend and we were able to get all that going yesterday.”
 
(On execution shown by the offensive line that allowed the running game to be successful)
“Just that – doing their jobs. One-on-one blocking. I have to get some push against you. Run situations. Then it’s as simple as that. It’s Oklahoma Drill, it’s just one-on-one; you have a winner each play. And we won a majority of the time this year. Again, it’s just, we’re able to look at the video a little bit different today based on a win. I will continue to say [that] it’s hard winning in the NFL each week. And five games into the season we have two wins. To start this second quarter [of the season], we have one win, and that’s the best position we can be in right now. We need to build on that.”
 
(On the defensive backfield and his feelings about how many points have been allowed)
“We haven’t played well enough – it’s as simple as that. No, I’m not pleased at all. Simple as that. We’ve had opportunities to take the ball away more times. A game like yesterday, to finish on a note like that was discouraging. Where there were missed tackles and just your play on the ball. So we’re not where we need to be on the back end right now, it’s as simple as that, but we’ll keep working on it.”
 
(On cornerback Alterraun Verner being moved from outside cornerback to nickel cornerback)      
“He handled the move like a pro would handle the move. He did what we asked him to do. He made a couple plays from the nickel position. When people look at the nickel position sometimes and you wonder why you put a player like that in the position. First off, you just look at kind of who we’ve had here playing the nickel position – it takes a special player to do that. The nickel position can be as involved as any position on the defense. He gets a chance to blitz – Vern got a sack yesterday on it. At times, he’s going in for one of our SAM linebackers, so you’re going to for sure be involved in the run. [You play] man coverage – he gets a chance to do everything, so you need a pretty good football player at that position. Vern’s first start there, [he] did a pretty good job. He’s such a smart player too. You need a heady player at that position also. I was pleased with what he did the first time out.”
 
(On kicker Connor Barth’s first game back with the team)
“It was exciting to watch, to say the least, to put it mildly. First one out – you know last week, you guys reminded me forever, ‘Lovie, OK, you guys are going to have to cover this week. Connor is going to hit it to about the 20-yard line every [kickoff].’ That wasn’t the case. He really did a great job kicking off and of course he was perfect [on his three field goal attempts and three extra point attempts]. What a homecoming, a welcome back and all that. There’s a lot on the kicker, to perform when his number is called. He stepped up to the plate big-time.”
 
(On the pass rush)
“Pleased in general. We left a little bit out on the field yesterday. That’s what Joe [Cullen] and Paul [Spicer] will say, but you have to be pleased when you see young players like ‘Jacq’ [Jacquies Smith], coming around, Will Gholston moving into a more prominent role, Howard Jones – it’s not like I’ve spent a whole lot of time with Howard myself, but it’s good to see a young player like that come up and get his opportunity to get playing time and come through. I think your first passing situation, you get a sack. What a great move, too. So that’s been fun to watch. Some of those players stepping up. We kind of changed it up a little bit, started dressing eight defensive linemen instead of seven and letting everybody have an opportunity to play. Once you get that competition on who gets back there [to the quarterback] the quickest – it’s just not that. You take away the quarterback run yesterday and we did a fairly good job against the run too. Of course the defensive line and the linebackers – along with the secondary – had a lot to do with that too.”
 
(On if the offensive line is exceeding expectiations)
“We’re talking about after yesterday’s game, they are meeting our expectations. I don’t see how you can exceed expectations. They’re meeting [them]. This is what we expected them to do. This is what their talent says they should do. I know we have young players – a guy like Kevin Pamphile hasn’t gotten a lot in there, but he’s been around a while. Whether you’re blocking from the guard position or the tackle position, there’s going to be somebody on your outside edge that you have to take care of and you’re expected to step up. Again, they did a great job yesterday.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston protecting the football)
“I think it says that he is growing. Experience teaches you everything. You can talk, talk, talk about it, but you have to get in that situation. Again, I talked last week about sticking your hand in the fire a little bit and seeing what it does to you. When you’re as smart of a quarterback as Jameis is and our football team is, when you’re part of turnovers, you see how much it hurts a ballclub. You have to take notes. On the other side too, for a takeaway, we keep talking about, defensively, taking the ball away. You see what a takeaway can do, what it can do for your team. George Johnson’s play, at that time, was as big of play as there was in the game. You have to live that and then feel it. Yesterday, we got a chance to do that.”
 
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