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30 August 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Sunday, August 30, 2015

Below is a selection of quotes from Head Coach Lovie Smith’s day-after-game media availability:
(Opening Statement)
“Still disappointed in our play from last night’s game. We are a better football team than that. Again, like we talked about, all three phases [did] as they were supposed to last week. We didn’t do that this past week. Offensively, protection wasn’t as good as it needs to be, has to be. In the passing game, Jameis [Winston], of course, would like to have a couple throws back. Doug Martin did some good things again when he got an opportunity to. You have to give the Browns, as I said last night, a lot of the credit for how they played us. Defensively, we didn’t take the ball away. Let’s start with that. It’s hard when you don’t put the offense in position to score points. It’s a part of what we have to be able to do. They did that defensively. We didn’t. Third down conversions were disappointing, especially our first drive. Get up field the first drive when we had an opportunity to, a few, things might have been a little different earlier on at least. Special team-wise, as I said last night, was just not good enough – giving up a punt return for a touchdown, missing a couple field goals. Our punters, though, did a decent job – placement and with some distance. Injury-wise [we] didn’t have a whole lot to report on. Not a lot of injuries.”
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston’s ankle is something the team will keep an eye on)
“No, it wasn’t most of the game. There at the end he was thrown down a few times. You get bumps and bruises sometimes when you get thrown down that much. He’ll be fine.”
(On if he can say definitively that Winston will not play in the final preseason game)
“Jameis and any of them, I can’t say that right now. There is a pattern on how we handle the last preseason game of the season. It won’t change.”
(On if he was discouraged with the play of the offensive line)
“We had some bad plays last night along our offensive line. It’s like that most games though. You have some plays you would like to have back. Good plays on [Cleveland’s] part. I’m looking at the overall picture. Just like before. When we played a lot better, you take everything in, which we will do, but that play last night for the most part is unacceptable for us and we’ll fix it.”
(On Winston and protection calls)
“It’s a combination, without going into detail, on how we handled it. The problems I have were when we knew who to block and we did not. It always comes down to that. Defenses are going to have good plays at time or they may have you outnumbered, but you have a plan in place when that happens. You have built-in things that take care of that. It was our execution. Part of that execution of course is when you know who you are blocking. We didn’t get it done. Sometimes I think it’s as simple as that. We just didn’t get it done, blocking.”
(On wide receiver Robert Herron not dressing for the game)
“He tweaked his hamstring a little bit before in the pregame warm-ups. It really was a tweak this time. That’s why.”
(On what he is looking for from his players in the final preseason game)
“The fourth preseason game, traditionally, we’ve looked at it as there are a few players getting close to putting together that 53-man roster now. Of course we’ll get down to 75 in a day or so. That game and right at the end, that’s what you look for that last game – one final look for some of the positions that you might have a little uncertainty as to which direction we need to go. For the players, it’s one more opportunity to prove that you belong on the team, to show us what you have. You can get an awful lot done on this. It’s about the whole 53-man roster, not just the starters or the guys you know you are going to have on the football team. That’s what we are looking for. This is a big week for us. Big week of practice, too, for our ball club.”
(On if he remembers a time over his career when a player did enough in the final preseason game to warrant a spot on the 53-man roster)
“I’m asked that every year and every year I say the same thing. Yes, it does happen. Without me, of course, giving names, yes, guys get an opportunity and they know it. Sometimes when you come down to that final strike, you hit a home run. We are looking for that. You have an idea about the group of guys it might come from. Some of the young guys who haven’t really had an opportunity to get a lot of reps, they are going to get those reps this week.”
(On how William Gholston has handled playing on both the inside and outside of the defensive line)
“I think he’s handled it very well and wherever we’ve put him, he’s handled [it] well whether it be contributing on special teams, playing the outside defensive end position, primarily in running situations, or an inside rusher in passing situations, he’s handled all of that well. He’s gotten our attention quite a bit in practice and in every game he’s done something to make us take notice, starting off with the Minnesota game. So Will Gholston is a player I can stand here and definitely say has gotten better. And that’s from the moment we got here. We have seen improvements from him and it seemed like everything we asked him to do, whether it be losing weight or play this position, get this one down, he’s always done it.”
(On if struggles on the offensive line and long down-and-distance situations make it tough to run the ball)
“It really is, and that is why you need to – and it’s more about, when you run it, to stay out of the third-and-long situations where most teams blitz more [on] third-and-medium, third-and-long. It’s harder with the third-and-short situations, so yeah, we would like to be in some of those. Cleveland, on the other hand, did a pretty good job – I’m talking about their offense – of getting some positive yards early on and they were in some manageable third down situations. Yes, we would like to do that. The week before we were able to do that. We’re going to be a football team, hopefully, that stays out of those third-and-longs.”
(On if stringing together regular season wins is something the team needs to learn how to do)
“Yes, you have to learn how to do it. Everything we’re going through we have to learn – first off, learn how to win, period. We have to learn how to win at Raymond James Stadium. There’s been a first, a lot of firsts for us, but yes, good football teams do that. We’ll have to do that and again, it’s a process. And keep in mind in the preseason on what we’re trying to do in the preseason. We’re going to [try to] win every game in the preseason but it’s bigger than that, too. A lot of different situations, a lot of different combinations you’re looking to before we can string together those wins that you’re talking about.”
(On if the play last night of Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith makes him rethink their roles as potential starters)
“Based on how they played yesterday? Oh, well if I did that, quite a few of us wouldn’t have a job if we based it on that performance. So, that’s just not the case. Guys are going to have bad plays. You look at the overall picture with those guys and for rookie offensive linemen we think we have two pretty good players. And are they Pro Bowl-ready right now? No, but they’re making progress.”
(On if Winston’s ability to handle blitzes is just part of the process he has to improve on)
“Yeah, but Rick (Stroud, Tampa Bay Times) every quarterback in the league is going to go through that. Sometimes in the preseason you can blitz some guys a lot easier than you can in the regular season so yeah, that’s just a base part of it. Keep in mind, when you blitz there’s some risk involved in that, also, so we think we’ll be okay with the blitz. We’ve been blitzed before and this is nothing new that they’re doing to us right now. As you work through some things in the preseason, blitzes look a whole lot better then. Take my word for it.”

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