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02 October 2016

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (10/2/16)

HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
 
(Opening statement)
“Three turnovers in the first half. You’re not going to win games against a Super Bowl defending champions and a team that’s won eight in a row by turning it over eight times in the first half. Our defense did a good job in that first half, but our offense put us in trouble. And it’s going to be tough to overcome those types of turnovers.’’
 
(On decision to punt on fourth-and-6 in the fourth quarter)
“I’d been watching our offense the whole game. I don’t know why anyone expected we could make it on fourth-and-7 if they’d been watching our offense the rest of the game. I sure didn’t expect us to.’’
 
(On offensive struggles)
“First off, Denver has a terrific defense. They’re one of the top defenses in the league. Hat’s off to them. Still, we showed we could move the ball, early in the game. We can’t turn it over three times in the first half. You just can’t do that. It was a combination of both, but obviously it starts with the caliber of defense Denver has. That’s just not acceptable play for the way we played.’’
 
(On keeping quarterback Jameis Winston in the game)
“There’s definitely a fine line, but you can’t take your whole team out. You don’t have enough guys. You can’t take everybody out. We thought about it. We had plenty of time to think about it. We left him in.’’
 
(More on punt decision)
“I’m playing the percentages, guys. When we don’t make it on third-and-7 and we’ve got the guy wide open on third-and-7, what makes you think you’re going to make it on fourth-and-7? We’re not going to come back and run the same play again. We were struggling all night. At that point, why would we give them the ball at midfield instead of putting them back inside and hoping we could get a turnover? We’re hoping our defense could come up with the ball. We weren’t playing well enough on offense. That’s my decision. You guys can all tell me that I’m full of crap. That’s fine. Shoot, I’ve seen a lot of offensive football. We were going to have a hard time making it on fourth-and-7. If we gave them the ball right there, what good was going to happen then? I made a decision.’’
 
(On if he is concerned about Winston)
“Very.’’                         
 
(On if Winston is regressing)
“He’s not regressing, but we’ve got to take care of the football. We can’t turn it over three times in a half. We just can’t do that. You’re playing a championship football team there. Our defense was playing good, we were running the ball okay. Fairly balanced in the first half. We cannot turn it over three times in the first half. You’re not going to win football games that way.’’

(On if Winston was calling for a pitch back when running back Charles Sims III fumbled)
“I believe he was. That was not a smart play on our part. It sure appeared that way. Not by design. That’s not one of our finest moments right there.’’
 
(On safety Chris Conte being called for holding)
“That’s one example [of poor play]. The big story tonight was three turnovers in the first half. We didn’t do enough when we had chances.’’
 
(On message to the team)
“My message to the team was just that the defense did a better job tonight. Offense can’t turn it over three times. And I didn’t care for the way we finished the game. We didn’t finish it like professionals finish a football game when we went out after the break.’’
 
(On reigning in Winston at times)
“Absolutely. Not every play is going to be a big play. We went through this very similar thing first four games last season. Hopefully, we’ll learn the same lesson we learned last year and we’ll get on a little roll.’’
 
(On Winston’s interceptions)
“On the first one, we were trying to run a little rub play. We were trying to bring Adam [Humphries] back underneath the traffic. Talib was the one covering Adam. How he got through all the traffic and the ball got to him, I’m not quite sure. From standing on the side, that’s hard to tell. On the second one, Jameis actually got off his primary read and was working toward the backside, trying to get the ball to Mike [Evans]. When it left his hand, I thought it had a chance. I didn’t really see how Talib got in front of Mike. I didn’t really see that.”
 
(On how the Buccaneers finished the game)
“When a team is lining up in Victory [formation] at the end of the game, you don’t start a pushing match. That doesn’t do anybody good. We did it on both sides. That’s not how you finish a game in the NFL. That’s not what we’re about. That’s not what our franchise is. Denver is a first-class franchise. We don’t need to be doing that stuff at the end of the game. We need to be saving our fighting for during the game.’’
 
(On if the game got out of hand)
“We were definitely talking to the officials during the game. There was some stuff on both sides. You always see things through your own rose-colored glasses. Shoot, I know the officials have a tough job. I know I could never be an official. We’ll see it on the tape.’’
 
(On how Winston improved after a slow start last year and if he can do it again)
“The only thing is, he decided last year to come out of it. He made a conscious choice to come out of it. He did a great job of that. We need it again.’’
 
(On if he is still optimistic about the team)
“I still think we’re going to be a good football team. We weren’t good enough tonight in a lot of areas, starting with coaching, my coaching. We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas.’’

(On if Winston is pressing without running back Doug Martin playing)
“When you lose players — and we lost more tonight — it hurts your team. We talk to our guys all the time about taking care of what they can control, what their job is. I’ve never seen it work, when a guy tries to do more than his job. I don’t think that’s ever going to work.’’
 
(On if Winston is doing too much)
“That’s hard to say. I’m not sure.’’
 
(On injuries)
“We lost three guys in the first half. We lost Gerald McCoy. We lost Noah [Spence] and we lost Brandon Myers. Not sure exactly the extent. I just know the body part that they have injured, but the extent of it I won’t know until tomorrow. I know [Gerald] has a calf injury. I know Brandon has a hip injury. I know Noah has a shoulder injury. They couldn’t come back.’’
 
(On if the Broncos were ready for the Buccaneers to run a screen to wide receiver Adam Humphries)
“Yeah, that’s why we hit the double move to Mike. We ran the fake screen and hit Mike up the sideline. That was a play that comes off of that. They jumped a couple of our screens and then we went to the little screen-and-go. That’s what you should do when you’re getting that kind of defense.”
 
(On if running back Jacquizz Rodgers is worthy of more carries)
“Yeah, maybe he is. He’s ready [to grasp the offense]. Sure he is.’’
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On if protecting the football was the biggest reason the team fell behind tonight)
“Absolutely.”
 
(On his two interceptions)
“The first one was just a bad throw. The second one was just a great play.”
 
(On if he’s trying to do too much without running back Doug Martin in the lineup)
“At times, I do try to do too much and that’s a part of the problem. I’ve just got to do my job and let the players play.”
 
(On if he was calling for the ball from running back Charles Sims on Sims’ fumble)
“Just thought the play was over, actually. It wasn’t.”
 
(On if he agreed with the team’s decision to punt on fourth down with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter)
“I agree with whatever coach does.”
 
(On if he had a discussion with Coach Koetter about staying in the game at the end)
“Not at all. Never.”
 
(On if there is a reason he wants to be in the game at the end)
“The game is never over, until the clock hits triple zero. Never.”
 
(On if he’s in a similar position to last year when he willed himself out of turnovers)
“Yeah, I’ve just got to bounce back. You can’t turn the ball over in the first half. Big reason why the defense gave up those points. Every turnover this year, really, has been on our side of the field.”
 
(On if he feels like the team is stuck in a situation where it can’t make the right play at the right time)
“Not at all, no. Not at all. Sometimes stuff doesn’t bounce our way, but it starts with the offense. We’ve got to protect the football. Three turnovers against a good team like that won’t do it.”
 
(On his message to the rest of the team)
“Just keep fighting. It’s never over. It’s early in the year. A couple teams started off hot last year and didn’t even make the playoffs. [We are] 1-3, we’ve got Carolina, so we’ve got to bounce back. I’m never going to stop fighting. I have the most confidence in this team and I’m always going to have confidence in this team, but I have to take the responsibility myself just to protect the football.”
 
(On if there’s any type of learning lesson he can take from a game like this)
“Protect the football. Don’t give them the ball on your side of the field. That’s the easiest thing.”
 
(On how difficult it is when the Broncos “take away your screen game with Adam [Humphries]”)
“I mean, just protect the football. I can’t really talk on that.”
 
(On if he was more aware of Denver cornerbacks Aqib Talib or Chris Harris, Jr. on the field)
“Well you know, we give respect where respect is due but we’re still out there just playing football. It’s our guys against their guys. They put us in a lot of one-on-one matchups – we did good at times and at other times when we [didn’t] do good. We just can’t give them the football.”
 
(On if he needs to protect himself more in certain situations)
“I need to protect the football. That’s what I need to be worried about protecting right now.”
 
LINEBACKER KWON ALEXANDER
 
(On how he’s feeling after the loss to Denver)
“I’m feeling hurt. We’ve got to do better, we’ve got to pick it up. I know you all get tired of hearing the same thing over and over, but we’ve got to do better. We’ve just got to go in – you’ve got to do extra, we’re not doing enough, we’ve got to do extra. The leaders have to step up.”
 
(On how the team can do extra)
“We’ve got find something, we’ve got find a spark. [Whether it’s] the preparation, staying after instead of going home, staying there with the teammates, bonding, or being with each other, something. We need to find that one little piece and when we find that, we can be where we want to be.”

(On the team’s injuries)
“It hurts, I hate to see people go down. I don’t like injuries, period and especially with my teammates. It hurts, I’m going to pray for all of my teammates and even on the other side too.”
 
(On offense)
“Our offense can be great. I’ve got their back 100 percent. I don’t care what happens. I’ve got their back.’’
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Jameis is a great guy, a great leader. Me and him talk about a lot of stuff and like I said, I’ve got his back, regardless of whatever situation it is. I love him to death and I love that offense to death, too.”
 
(On what was said in the locker room during the lightning delay)
“To be honest, I didn’t say a word. I was just focused, just trying to get back out there and make a play for our offense to get some points on the board, at least. We really didn’t say [anything], everybody was just thinking and being focused. It never feels over to me. I never give up on anything.”
 
TACKLE DEMAR DOTSON
 
(On the team’s offensive struggles against Denver)
“It was a combination of everybody. Offensive line, tight ends, running backs, everybody can do a better job. I don’t think it’s a one-person point, but it’s definitely a unit that’s not getting it done.”
 
(On where the team goes from here)
“We’ve just got to keep working. I think there’s no magic solution, you’ve just got to keep coming back to work. It’s almost like the same thing we’ve been saying year after year – just coming back next week and keep working. The only thing that’s going to solve this is hard work and attention to details and more guys getting concentrated on their individual job.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On why the offense was not successful after its first-quarter touchdown)
“They were just better than us. We just couldn’t do anything against them. They’re a simple defense and we were getting the looks we thought we were going to get, we just couldn’t beat them.”
 
(On if the lack of success was a result of Denver’s pass rush and secondary)
“Yeah, their secondary did a great job and their front seven did a great job.”
 
(On if there is a sense of guilt when the offense does not produce when the defense is playing well)
“For me it is. Our defense played great. They’ve been playing great this whole year. As far as an offense, we have to pick it up, myself included, especially.”
 
(On if the team is in a danger zone at 1-3)
“I don’t think so. There is a lot of football left and we’re just trying to get back on track with a win against Carolina on Monday night.”
 
SAFETY BRADLEY MCDOUGALD
 
(On the offense’s early turnovers)
“Sudden change. It’s something we coach, it’s something we harp on. We can’t control what the offense does. It happens, it’s football. The football got turned over, it’s our job as defenders to get on the field and prevent a touchdown. If they’re already in favorable field position, we need to hold them to a field goal and that’s our mindset and we need to do a better job of that.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston staying in until the end of the game)
“He’s a fighter. He’s going to stick it in until the end with us. He was just as much a part of it as anybody else was, so I wouldn’t expect him, nor Lavonte [David], nor Gerald [McCoy], or anybody walk off the field. We’re in this together for four quarters whether it’s going good or for four quarters whether it’s going bad, we’re in this [together].”
 
(On the team’s injuries)
“It’s tough, but this is the NFL. Next man up, that’s always the [thinking]. There’s a lot of unfortunate situations in football, as you can see. Guys get injured, penalties, football placement, it doesn’t matter, it’s football and we just have to do a better job of overcoming these situations. We prepared for them, we talk about them, we practice them, so you can sit back and feel bad for yourself, but that’s not going to help you get a win and you’ve just got to say, ‘Next man up,’ overcome it and keep getting better.”
 
(On if losing Gerald McCoy sucked the life out of the team)
“I wouldn’t say it sucked the life out of us. To me, when I see Gerald go out, it makes me want to play harder because now I know one of my brothers is down, one of my brothers is out of the game. He can’t do anything but cheer from the sidelines so now I have to do even more, just because I want to do even more to let him know we’re going to be good without him. I pray and I wish he was out there, but when he left the game, we just had to go harder for him.”
 
(On if he thought they had an opportunity to turn the game when Paxton Lynch replaced Trevor Siemian)
“We would have liked to get the ball off of him, take some opportunities to pressure him, disrupt him a little bit more, but whoever is in the game, we’re going to play them. Just because you’re a second-stringer in the NFL doesn’t mean you’re not capable of winning.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE AKEEM SPENCE
 
(On the defense’s performance against Denver)
“Definitely we went out and played a good first half of defense, we’ve just to get turnovers, get stops. Down in the red zone, we know we’ve got to hold them to three, but they’re a good football team, they made some good plays out there, some good football plays. We just [have] to do better, get turnovers and give the offense the ball back, give them more opportunities.”
 
(On the defensive holding penalty on Denver’s third down at the end of the first half)
“That’s just a tough call, that’s just a guy playing hard. If he called it, he called it, but it’s tough, but we definitely [have] to bounce back. They got four more downs and we have to stop them, that’s why we play defense, that’s why we get paid to play defense.”
 
(On the team losing three consecutive games)
“It’s tough, but you’ve just got to keep plugging, keep fighting. Guys just have to keep doing their jobs and we’ve just got to keep attacking as a defense and just stick together, that’s the most important thing as a defense, sticking together. We’ll get our outcome sooner or later.”
 
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