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25 August 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“(It was) good watching the video. I saw a lot of good things from the game. I thought it was that way; sometimes when you watch the video, you don’t like it as much as you thought you did when you watched it live. We talk a lot about starting fast – that first drive kind of set the tempo. We really talk a lot about our lines, offensive and defensive lines, showing up, and both of them did, which made life a lot better. Jameis Winston played well. Doug Martin ran well. We had a lot of other guys that contributed offensively. Defensively, of course the front led, but Gerald (McCoy) got pressure and kept pressure on them throughout. The takeaways came. We had ball security on the other side of the ball. So we did a lot of good things. Special teams-wise, pinning them down on the one (yard line) helped (and) we had one return. Negative, of course, were the penalties: too many. I think (14) or so. We have to take care of that, it’s as simple as that. It’s a lot easier correcting things on a win. It’s a short turnaround for us this week. We have a few injuries. As I said last night, Jameis rolled his ankle. Mike Evans injured his hamstring and Leonard Johnson also injured his ankle. (We are) still evaluating it. Again, a physical football game like that, you normally have some injuries and we had some.”
 
(On whether he anticipates that any of the stated injuries will keep players out of Saturday’s game)
“Yes. I know right now that Mike Evans probably won’t play anymore the rest of the preseason. We’ll probably keep him out. Hamstring – you guys know how I am about the hamstrings. It takes a while (to heal). Beyond that, Leonard Johnson’s injury, he might miss a little bit of time also. Beyond that, everybody should be good.”
 
(On whether quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to play Saturday)
“As far as I know, he will.”
 
(On whether he anticipates any of the time off for injuries extending into the regular season)
“I won’t go that far. I know he (Evans) is not going to play this week. Leonard and Mike will not be playing this week. The rest of our guys should be good. Evan Smith didn’t play in the game, he should be good to go. Again, we should have a light practice tomorrow and most of those guys should be out there then.”
 
(On whether holding wide receiver Mike Evans out is precautionary)
“Just so we know each other, if a guy has that hamstring injury, he’s going to be out a while. So, significant, how long – I could have come up here and said (Evans is) day-to-day, which most people do for hamstring injuries. It doesn’t work like that. He injured his hamstring, he’s not going to play this week, probably won’t play the following week. We’ll take every precaution with hamstrings, always, with me.”
 
(On whether there is still more to see from Winston this preseason)
“Oh, yes. We took steps last night, but there’s still a lot of – he’s still an inexperienced quarterback and there are a lot of things he would like to see. When you’re a football junkie, you’re not, he’s not wanting, even last night he wanted to stay in the game. He was having a lot of fun. So, yes, Jameis will continue to play this preseason.”
 
(On tight end Luke Stocker’s status)
“(Stocker) injured his nose. Nothing major. If there is someone that I know will be out for a period of time, I’ll let you know. The guys that I say, ‘Hey, we held them out a little bit, they should be back,’ that’s the case. Luke will be back out there tomorrow. But if a guy has an injury that we think we should sit him a little bit to make sure, we’ll always do that.”
 
(On Smith’s teams generally ranking highly in the league for takeaways)
“It always starts with talent. I had talent then, on those teams, and we have talent right now. But I think guys have to buy in. Coaching staff has to believe in it. We believe in it. We talk about it being in our Tampa Bay DNA, if you play defensive ball around here. We do practice it, but you need to see some results. But there, we left a lot on the field last night in a lot of different areas. It’s not like we want to talk about it an awful lot; it’s not like it’s some secret weapon or anything. It’s about getting the ball back – that’s what you’re trying to do when you’re the defensive side – and score. But it is good to see it happening. But we need to see it happen even more. Last night was good, we had two interceptions, but we only took the ball away, really, there was only one hard takeaway as we see it. We’ve got to improve on that.”
 
(On the importance of teammates serving as escorts for players who have possession of a takeaway)
“It has to become a habit for us. First you have to get that takeaway and then from there, yes, you transfer defense to offense right away. On Alterraun Verner’s (interception), that was a good escort into the end zone, some good blocks on there. On (Bradley) McDougald’s, though, we had a chance to score on that one. You can’t assume if you get it down there you are going to score a touchdown (with offense). It’s about getting it in the end zone then. We’ll keep working on that.”
 
(On what was said to help the team improve defensively between the first and second preseason games)
“Everything that isn’t exactly the way we would like for it to be, we address. So yes, it was all addressed. At the same time, we played better last night and we got a win. (But) we’re a long ways away from being Tennessee-ready. We’re going to go back, we’re going to keep preaching the same things we have been preaching before. There’s so much to clean up. Again, we’re headed in the right direction.”
 
(On the performances from center Jeremiah Warren and tackle Reid Fragel, both of whom started against Cincinnati)
“I talk a lot to the team about doing something. Make us put you on the football team. Make us put you on the 53(-man roster). Use the opportunity that you have. For Reid (and) Jeremiah, they had a great opportunity and they both met the challenge. Made us take notice. Sometimes, when they’re out there and you don’t know that they’re out there, that’s a good thing. But they feel like they held up, they held their own. (It was the) first amount of significant time that they’ve gotten, but again, they’ll get challenged an awful lot this week too. We have another (defensive) front coming in here that will be going against our offensive line.”
 
(On running back Doug Martin)
“Of course, you’ve all been here for training camp. First off, he’s healthy. You know how much that means to a running back, but he’s worked hard. He’s looked good in training camp practices, but you want to see him do it in a game. There were holes last night, but there were also – there was a wall and he was stopped at the line of scrimmage a couple times and he made something out of nothing a few times. He broke tackles, again, ran hard – just a good game. I wasn’t around when Doug had his breakout year, but that guy we saw last night, that’s what we’re looking for, that’s what we need in order for us to get this running game going. (Running back) Mike James also came in and ran hard throughout. You need more than one good running back. I thought all of our running backs did a good job.”
 
(On the performances from rookie offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet)
“They continued to get better. Donovan and Ali – Ali was playing against one of the best defensive linemen in football in Geno Atkins. Geno had at least one good rush on (Ali), but I thought (Ali) held his own pretty well. But each week, (Ali) is going to play against a player like (Geno). Same thing with Donovan. Both did some good things, along with the rest of those young guys on that offensive line.”
 
(On if Donovan Smith and Marpet look out of place against NFL competition)
“No, not by any means. We’ve been saying that a while – they’ve both belong but again they’re both rookies. (There are) a lot of different looks they need to see also.”
 
(On if there were any issues for quarterback Jameis Winston when playing under center)
“Yes, there were. I think his feet might have gotten tangled up with Jeremiah’s maybe a couple of times. That had a little bit to do with it. That’s why I say we’re not (Tennessee-ready) yet. It’s tough when you’ve been working with (center) Evan (Smith) throughout and right before the game, the day before the game, ‘Hey, you’re going to be going with another guy.’ (Winston and Warren) haven’t had a lot of time together, so you expect some of those things, but it should be smoother if we would have to go that way. We shouldn’t have to go that way, but if we have to go that way next time, it should be better.”
 
(On if Winston stared down his receivers in the first preseason game and if he improved against Cincinnati)
“I think you can say that about most quarterbacks early in camp. Your first preseason game, especially a guy when it’s your first – I know you can say that about a rookie’s first game. They look at their receivers. The second step is to look off, (that’s) not the first step. We understand that he’ll only get better and better with that, but again, he knows what he’s supposed to do and all those things like that we will see improvement daily from.”
 
(On if safety D.J. Swearinger saw time as a cornerback)
“Some packages, you end up putting the safety in certain places they normally aren’t. That was more their multiple tight end package. He won’t be out there (in that capacity) very often. Preseason, you look at a lot of different things. You won’t be looking at him out there very often (in that capacity) through the year, I can tell you that. If he’s on the team that is – I should throw that in there.”
 
(On Swearinger’s hit on Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert)
“That was a good hit. I thought it was a perfect example of how you can still be physical and play the ball with that type of attitude. Not only that play, D.J. was pretty good throughout practices. Guys have noticed him out there too. He’ll hit, he’s a tough guy, he’s made plays on the ball and we knew when we signed him that he was a good football player and he’s showing that. Can’t have too many good safeties. That’s what our history has shown us. Talking about that, Chris Conte should be a lot closer to playing. Hopefully we can get him out there fairly soon too.”
 
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