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25 August 2015

Postgame Quotes, Buccaneers: Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati (8/24/15)

(Opening Statement)
“We’ve been working hard in practice. We haven’t seen the type of results, of course, that we would like to see always. We thought it was important to play well at home. I know we haven’t won a home game here in a long time. The players realize that. Any time they keep score you want to win. I know it’s a preseason game, but I like a lot of things we did tonight. Offensively we have to be able to run the football. I felt like we established the run throughout. Passing game-wise, I thought we did some good things. I thought (quarterback) Jameis Winston was outstanding with his play. We had a couple injuries on the offensive line, but some of the younger players were able to get some valuable reps and stepped up. Defensive side of the football we preached taking the ball away as much as anyone. Normally when you get a defensive score you win the game. And then getting those takeaways helped. We had a big return also. All three phases contributed. Things we didn’t do well: penalties. That doesn’t happen to good football teams. We have to clean that up. I think over 150 yards, or something like that, we were penalized. We’ll work on that. A lot of positives tonight that we’ll build on. Beyond on that I’m trying to think of injuries that we had from the game – nothing serious.”
(On if Winston came out because of his ankle or if it was the right time in the game)
“No, it was a tough fall he took there. That was just a coach’s decision on my part. I thought we saw enough of him. I thought he did some good things and felt like it was a perfect time to take him out. If we needed him to play he would have gone back in the game that next series.”
(On what good things he saw from Winston)
“What good things did I see from Jameis? Most of it. Jameis would probably tell you he would like to have that deep ball back, probably. Besides that I thought he was accurate throughout. Even some of the incompletions, I thought the ball was right there. A couple good plays by their defenders. I felt like he was in control from the start. He had an excellent week of preparation and he played winning football tonight.”
(On running back Doug Martin)
“Yes, I started off talking about Doug. Doug Martin has been outstanding in training camp – had an excellent camp, he’s healthy for the first time in a while, really healthy. I thought he ran hard. He had burst, vision. All those things you look for, I thought he displayed tonight. Our (offensive) line getting him to the second level too. We had two, I know we had a lot of young players – (tackle) Donovan Smith, (guard) Ali Marpet, young players that started for the first time. I thought they did a good job. It was good to establish the run.”
(On wide receiver Russell Shepard becoming more than just a special teams players)
“I’ve seen that happen a few times. I’ve been coaching other places where you give a guy something to do and initially for Shepard it was just as a special teams player and you just see how competitive he is. He’s always in my ear about playing corner. We know he can play a little bit of quarterback. He’s really growing as a receiver and it’s good to see.”
(On wide receiver Mike Evans’ hamstring)
“Hamstring, no, I talked to him in the fourth quarter and he didn’t think it was that serious. We wanted to get our ones (starters) into the second quarter and then get them out. We’ll kind of see how it goes with Mike.”
(On the defensive pressure)
“You know how much we talk about four-man pressure and that was four-man pressure. (Defensive tackle) Gerald McCoy played well against the Bengals last year and really came to play tonight. All of our guys did. They were in game-week mode, which we have to be. You got to learn how to win first. It was good to see the front put pressure like that. When you put pressure it kind of leads to some of the takeaways. Of course (cornerback) Alterrraun Verner’s touchdown helped a lot and it was a great interception by (safety) Bradley McDougald also.”
(On what the win does for morale)
“Winning helps no matter when. Again, I keep saying when you are keeping score you want to come out on top. Cincinnati is a good ball club. We realize that. I feel like they dominated the Giants last week. It was good to see us take another step. We have a long ways to go. I can’t wait to get back to the practice field now. (It’s) a lot easier though building on something with a win.”
(On how he feels)
"I feel great. It’s good to get a win here for Tampa Bay. That's what it's all about. It’s not about knick-knack stuff, it's just about how well we played tonight."
(On wanting to throw a touchdown reception after having now scored twice rushing)
“Absolutely. As you can see, we’ve got the weapons for it, but the way Doug (martin) ran the ball, since he couldn’t get it in, I got it in for him. The way he took us down (the field) that first drive, he just gave me an assist to put it in
(On his deep pass to wide receiver Mike Evans)
“You got to build on those. We’re glad that we got that coverage and we saw last week we actually hit that play to Vince (Vincent Jackson) and we completed it. I wish we could have gotten that touchdown with Mike.”
(On the opposing defense)
"It was pretty basic, it was just like last week. That defense is a great defense. Coach Zimmer actually came from the Bengals, so it was a very similar defense so that was a blessing that we got to see the same thing and definitely build on the positive."
(On the play where he tweaked his ankle)
"I don't really remember that play. What I remember is us going out there and playing a great football game."
(On center Jeremiah Warren and the offensive line)
“I was so happy that he stepped up. He did a great job. That whole offensive line had an amazing day, those guys carried us the whole way through. Obviously by them doing so well, it helped us get the win.”
(On his goals)
“My main goal is just to get better every single week. My first two passes were checkdowns, so that was a big thing. I don’t believe I had many checkdowns the first game. The main goal for this team is just to get better every week, build on the positives and eliminate the negatives."
(On checkdowns helping him settle in to a rhythm)
“Completions, all in all, help you settle in. The way we were playing, we started out fast. That was also a good thing. We upped the tempo real fast, so obviously we got on a roll early and we kept it.”
(On what was different this game)
“We actually broke down on, ‘Start fast,’ in the locker room before we went to the field, so that was the main thing, for us to start fast and get this train going”
(On getting a win for Head Coach Lovie Smith)
"It was amazing. It was just good to see everyone’s face. Even though it's a preseason game, a win is a win. It was so important to us. Like Coach Lovie said, any time we're playing we want to get a win, so it was amazing."
(On playing a primetime NFL game)
“It was amazing. At the end of the day, football is football, so I can’t really look at the fans and be soaking in the atmosphere. I’m just blessed that I get to play this great game of football with these teammates.”
(On the team’s weapons)
"I think it's a huge positive – you see how many weapons we have on this team. Everybody is valuable to us so their happiness is definitely important to me."
(On pregame nerves)
"No nerves. Never nervous at all, I was excited to play. The last game, just to get one game up under your belt, this game, used to it. ‘Hey, I played an NFL game,’ so and so. But it was good to play in an NFL stadium this time."
(On whether the intensity was higher this week)
“We just started fast. That’s the thing, when you get the momentum, just like in the last game, when we start playing with the tempo and the intensity went up, we played better. So I believe we just started fast and that was our mentality for this game”
(On Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter)
“I’m blessed to have him as an offensive coordinator. I’m blessed to have every one of those guys in the quarterback room. Obviously what (Koetter) brings to this team, how explosiveness is a big part of our packages and how we just move the ball up and down the field – it’s exciting and it has me so eager and elated to be able to play in his type of offense.”
(On the defense)
“Oh, defense was amazing. But I’m pretty sure that Gerald (McCoy) probably talked about the defense and how well they did. Man, I told at least two guys, I was like, guys, we’re going to get a pick six tonight. I know I told (Bradley) McDougald that he was going to get a pick and I wish he would have taken that one to the house, it would have been so amazing.”
(On whether the win is important)
“Absolutely. But the thing is for us to get better every single day. Obviously, people are going to look at this as a preseason game, but in that locker room, our team morale, we’re going to look at that as we are getting a win. That’s definitely important. Winning does matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a football game in the Wal-Mart parking lot, we want to win. So that’s obviously important to us.”
(On winning at home after a season without)
“I can’t focus on that. This is a new year. These guys, we have so many winners in our locker room. We want to win and we definitely showed that out there today.”
(On wide receiver Mike Evan’s health)
“Mike was fine. Mike was just in the same situation as me. We don’t want to risk anything. Definitely we wish we could have caught that touchdown. He said, ‘I wish I could have come out with the touchdown,’ so that was important, but Mike’s gonna be great. He works hard and he has a great work ethic, so we’re excited.”
(On the first home win on the season)
“As an offense, we made solid strides this week. We did a great job rushing the ball and if we can  keep that up the offense will do good things. We need to work on finishing the drive and eliminating penalties as much as possible. The offense made a great jump from last week and we should continue to build as we prepare for Week 1 of the regular season.”
(On audibling from a run to a pass on his touchdown throw to wide receiver Russell Shepard)
“First, we had a run play and the Bengals’ defense showed a cover-zero blitz and I knew in my mind the run wasn’t going to work. The receiver (Shepard) did a great job beating his man and I threw it up and he made a great play on the ball.”
(On coming off the bench and playing well)
“I wasn’t sure when I was going in, but Jameis did a great job in the first quarter. When my number was called I was ready to go. It was a great building day.”
(On getting first home win of season)
“It was a great and much needed win for the team and the city. We executed well and it was a good win overall.”
(On Head Coach Lovie Smith calling the defensive plays)
“The defense has been his whole scheme and he wants to be involved as much as possible as a coach. It’s great to see an active guy like him.”
(On creating takeaways on defense)
“It felt great. That is something we preach every day and something we need to build on. This is only the preseason and it needs to translate to the regular season.”
(On defensive line’s performance)
“They did a great job and they bailed me out a couple times. They were aggressive and really harassed (Bengals quarterback) Andy Dalton.”
(On his interception)
“I just made a great play on the ball. We preach to always try to score and that what I did. My teammates made a couple great blocks and I was able to score.”
(On second-year players on defense)
“It makes things a lot easier. We gel and react off each other quicker. We still made some mistakes but it’s great to build off the momentum from last year.”
(On what was working well for the offense during the opening drives)
“The offensive line started the game off fast. Those guys deserve a lot of the credit. They opened up holes for me to follow and (they) protected Jamies Wiston”
(On his running style)
“As a running back, I follow my blocks and use my instincts to hit the hole with a full head of steam. Also, I want to set the tempo for the team with my running style.”
(On his hamstring)
“It’s feeling fine. I plan to be ready for Week 1.”
(On what made the offense successful in tonight’s game)
“We stepped up to the challenge and played well. Doug Martin ran the ball very well”
(On Jameis Winston’s progression)
“I feel he played great tonight. He commanded the huddle well. When we received pentalties he was in the huddle saying ‘We have to play through this adversity.’ He’s a great leader.”
(On the chemistry between Evans and Winston)
“He has a great football mind. We have been able to get on the same page during practice and it’s now translating to gameday.”
(On how the offensive line did in today’s game)
“I thought that we collectively played well together, besides cleaning up all of the penalties, we showed a lot of strength.”
(On the progress of the offensive line)
“I thought we showed flashes of how good we can be and we have a good collection of some veterans and some new guys which will help us move the ball a lot.”
(On how the offensive rhythm was tonight)
“The penalties did kill us, but offensively we showed what we can do.”
(On how Jameis Winston played)
“He’s an awesome guy to have and he gets the job done.”
(On how he played today)
“I thought I played much better in comparison to how I played against the Minnesota Vikings but I still have some areas that I have to clean up on.”
(On if there was a different feeling within the defensive line tonight)
“I don’t know if there was a different feeling in tonight’s game but I thought it was the feeling of playing at home which turned out to be a win and we didn’t win at all at home last year. To turn over a new leaf it started today.”
(On what was working for them so early in the night)
“Guys were just reading off the ball and feeling off each other’s rush. We made the Bengals one-dimensional by shutting down their running game, which made it very tough for them.”
(On how the team gelled together)
“We fed off the energy. There was not enough chemistry last year and we are rooting each other on this year so we had each other’s back. Anybody who makes a play out there, no matter who it is, you just want to see that your teammates appreciate the work you put in.”
(On having George Johnson on the end)
“Well George Johnson has a lot of experience and he was a top defensemen last year.”

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