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14 September 2014


(Opening statement)
“We have to give those guys in the locker room an awful lot of credit. We made the plays we needed to make. Just really proud of them.  The guys stepped up. AD’s [Austin Davis] play right there at the end was a huge play. I can’t say enough about Austin. We said late in the week if Shaun [Hill] couldn’t go, we’d go with Austin. We felt like he’d be okay because he had a week’s worth of preparation. He was very poised today. Shaun did a great job putting them into position. Nothing was overwhelming to him and he made really good decisions and made really good decisions against a good defense - an injury depleted defense, but a good defense. The rain delay is something that you deal with, but the guys responded well to it. Came in with six minutes left and third-and-13. We ended up going in with three points and that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to get some points and we were able to do so.  A lot of good things, but the most important thing I told them is we can get so much better. Avoid the penalties and some of that stuff that happened but we can get so much better. It will be enjoyable to correct after a win finally.”
(On if he had ever had a game end with an injury runoff)
“No and I credit T.J. [McDonald] for overlapping and making that play. Ill take that. We could’ve put our defense in a better position. Everybody knew that ball was going down the middle, fortunately T.J. was the one that made that play.
(On Davis’ performance)
“He has a good feel for the offense. He made good decisions, handled the run checks very well and the play actions. He gave receivers opportunities to make plays.”
(On the lightning delay)
“I did in the preseason at Green Bay. It was significantly longer, over two hours, close to three hours.”
(On what players do during rain delays)
“Most important thing is just communicate with them. We finally found out the time frame and then told them what we’re going to do, just let them catch their breath. The coaches come in, almost like a halftime, just rally and make some adjustments and figure out what we’re going to do on that third down play. And then as it got closer we gave them an eight-minute warning and a four-minute warning, then we told them also what we were going to do to warm up. My concern is it’s different from halftime – its significantly longer, but we avoided all that”
(On giving Davis the start)
“Kept three [quarterbacks] up. At no point was there a chance for Shaun to start. We kept him up in case we had a problem and he needed to finish the game in shotgun. It couldn’t have worked out better for us. It’ll be day-to-day this week. This week really helped him and another week will help him and hopefully put this thing behind him.
(On changing starting quarterback)
“No. When Shaun comes back he’s our starter. I’m really proud of Austin, but Shaun’s our starter when he can play.
(On wide receiver Austin Pettis)
“Pettis is a team player. He helps the young guys. He knows exactly what to do. Every time you give him a chance to make a play he makes one.”
(On the third-down play that set up field goal)
“At that point, I was going through my mind, ‘What happens if it’s fourth and ten? We have three timeouts, do I take advantage of field position, punt the ball away and use the time outs to get the ball back try to make a play for a field goal or just go for it on fourth?’ Fortunately we didn’t have to make that decision.”
(On how big special teams plays are)
“They’re huge. Couple of them became problems for us. But he kicked the field goals today.”
(On McDonald’s blocked punt and blocked field goal)
“We’re kind of in that right mode now and everybody has to contribute. All three phases did truly amazing, made plays today. Had some blocked kicks today that were huge for us.”
(On running out the clock late in the fourth quarter)
“I wanted to run as much time off the clock [as possible]. I went to Johnny [Hekker] and I said ‘Johnny, if Coach Smith doesn’t use his timeouts, I’m going to run it down to two seconds and I’m going to call timeout to run time off the clock to take time away from the time after we make this field goal.’ And he didn’t understood me as far as he thought I told him just snap it with two seconds. So I was a little nervous looking at the mechanics and him looking at me, so I called time out as soon as I could. So in essence I iced our kicker.”
(On if linebacker James Laurinitis’ fumble recovery should have been ruled a touchdown)
“I only saw one replay and you have an elbow coming forward, but I don’t know if the wrist was coming forward.”
(On linebacker Jo-Lon Dunbar’s roughing the passer penalty)
“I explained to [referee] Jeff [Triplette] that if you stand behind the quarterback and somebody hits the quarterback here [points to front of shoulder] and his head goes back, it’s not necessarily helmet to helmet.”
(On what this game represents for their team)
“We’re not close to where we need to be as a team. Like I said, we’ve learned from a lot of this and there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
(On the severity of wide receiver Tavon Austin’s knee injury)
“I don’t know.”
(On when he officially knew he was starting)
“It was a game-time decision, so I guess it became official at the 90 minute mark, but in my mind it was official on about Monday.  I was preparing to start and anything else would have been a surprise.  I can’t say enough about this football team and you go down the list of guys who made big plays when we needed them to and to get a win on the road is just so huge for this football team.”
(On coming away with the game ball)
“It was special.  I felt at peace out there and felt at home, and that had a lot to do with the guys that I was around and how well we played.”
(On staying focused and composed when obstacles arise such as lightning delays)
“You don’t really think about it you just continue to focus and continue to play and have fun doing it.  I felt like there was a calmness and a peace out there that I can’t really describe.”
(On nervousness coming into the game last week vs. creating winning drives such as this one tonight)
“It was a lot different.  It feels a lot better too.  That play [wide receiver Austin Pettis] made down the seam, that’s huge.  I can’t commend him enough, the game was on the line and he goes and makes a play.  Again, you go down the list, the blocked field goal, Greg hitting three kicks, I mean this was a team win all the way.”
(On the week of preparation and mood of the team after a loss last week)
“If you had been at practice, you would have thought a 1-0 team was playing.  We had a great tempo, great enthusiasm, we knew we had a job to do and we came down here and did it.  I thought the preparation through the week led to the victory.”
(On keeping calm with all the pressure)
“There’s always a lot of pressure, but the ability to stay calm and execute the plan is what allowed us to be successful and eventually get a win.  You really just try to not think about it.”
(On how playing in the second half last week helped him today)
“I think it definitely helped, just to gain some experience and realize that its the same game.  It’s not anything other than what you’ve been playing your whole life so I kind of drew from that as well as going into the week and completing all the prep work, I think all of that helped.”
(On getting a look on the pass to wide receiver Austin Pettis)
“We ran four verticals, went with a quick cadence to try to get them up there on the line of scrimmage and beat them down the middle.  The safety rotated, they went to post safety and my route takes me to the seam so I just stepped forward and fired as hard as I could and hoped it got caught.”
(On getting excited and showing emotion when that pass was complete)
“Yeah, I tried to hold it in and stay composed all game but it got away from me after that one because I knew we were on the ball and Greg was going to make the kick, and the defense was going to hold.  So I sensed it and kind of had to bring it back and not let it go until the final whistle.”
(On his parents coming down)
“They did.”
(On seeing them after the game)
“Not yet, waiting on you to ask the last question.”
(On the game ball and who presented it to him)
“Yeah I did get the game ball.  Coach Fisher presented it to me.  So that’s a moment you can never take away and I can’t wait to celebrate with my family and can’t wait to get home to my wife, I know she’s ready to see me.”
(On the offensive work put in over the summer contributing to today)
“I think it had to help.  Just prepping and working, that’s why you do it because when your number’s called you want to be ready.  I worked a lot on accuracy and maybe it helped today and maybe it didn’t but I’m glad I did it.”
(On success on third down)
“We had a great plan, we had a simple plan.  I wasn’t overthinking things and guys made plays.  Sometimes that’s just the way it works.  We executed and it is what it is.”
(On the rhythm in the game and converting on third downs)
“Every success helps, so that first drive was obviously really huge for the entire offense and the entire football team.  After that you realize we can do it and just keep it going.”
(On where he was last year vs. where he is now)
“You can’t really explain it.  I just feel like it’s the Lord’s plan and I’m just walking the steps.”
(On how the offense improved from last Sunday)
“This game all came down to execution, really. It was ugly. We had the fumble and penalties, but at the end of the day it all came down to execution. I think we did a pretty good job, and we took advantage of the opportunities.”
(On having the mentality of making a big play each time he touches the ball) 
“We bring that mentality each and every week. We wanted to get the run game going this week, and I think we did a pretty decent job of doing that. It all started up front, those guys did a great job today. We just have a lot of improving to do, and we can get better.”
(On the importance of the run game in helping quarterback Austin Davis)
“It definitely helped him out from a standpoint of just giving him confidence. Anytime you’re balanced on offense that’s a pretty good deal, and I think we did a good job of that today.”
(On how well Davis played today)
“All the quarterbacks prepare the same way each and every week. He had a great week of preparation, and he showed it out there today.”
(On today’s victory)
“We never panicked. We came in playing a good Tampa team and this crowd gets into it, so it was a test for us. We never gave up, and Austin [Davis] did a great job back there. He had a lot of composure, and we got the run game going a lot better than week one. There’s a lot we improved on, and we can keep improving but it was a good win for us.”
(On how impressed he was with Davis)
“I thought he did a great job, especially starting his first game on the road in a loud place. You couldn’t ask for anything better. We got him hit a couple times but when we kept him clean, he was making some great throws. It was good.”
(On how much the offense improved from Week 1)
“Huge. We knew it last week – we had no run game. It all starts with the run game, it all starts with us up front. We really committed to the run. We’re moving guys off the ball and creating holes, and our running backs were amazing today. It was taking three or four guys to bring them down. It all starts with the run game, and we did a good job.”
(On the feeling of making the eventual game-winning field goal)
“Feels great. There’s really no words to describe it. Anytime you can help your team win the ball game, it’s huge as a kicker. The guys are out there depending on you to do your job; they’ve been battling it out for the whole game and you’ve just got to pull through for them.”
(On how he was able to stay calm during the kick)
“Just focus on your form. You try not to think about what’s going on in the game or the points really. You’re just trying to stay as calm as possible and just think about what you’ve always done, what you do in practice every day, and the rest will take care of itself.”
(On how he feels after this win)
“It was a great game. Well-fought by us. We’re just excited.”
(On how it feels to win a close game like this)
“I’m real excited, especially playing with these boys coming out to practice every day, grinding, and then coming out in this game right here – close game – and then finishing it. Man, it’s exciting.”
(On the performance of quarterback Austin Davis)
“He did a phenomenal job. He stayed calm under pressure, made every throw, he had everybody comfortable. It couldn’t have been done any better way.”
(On the blocked punt and the blocked field goal)
“On the blocked punt [we] just gave them a rush off the edge, gave them a good move. [I] was able to get up there and get my hands on the ball. On the field goal, same thing, good ball get-off, was able to get through the gap, get my hands up and get my hands on the ball.”
(On how the blocked field helped the team as a whole)
“The offense was able to get a little more pop, a little more juice going back out there on the field knowing that we didn’t give up the points. It’s good for the whole team.”
(On the team’s overall performance)
“It was a great team win today, from all three phases. We pulled together despite the rain delay. With everything we’ve got going against us, we pulled together and pulled it out.”
(On the performance of quarterback Austin Davis)
“He did a heck of a job. From the start of the game, he led us on that first drive to a touchdown. He just made sure that we tried to get points on every single drive. He was a great leader for us today. He did a great job getting the win for the team.”
(On Davis’ success on third downs)
“It’s just like basketball - when you’re hot, you’re hot. The basket’s like an ocean and you just throw it in. He stayed poised, he kept calm. No matter what pressure they were bringing, he just took his drop and made the quick throw just like we practiced all week.”

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