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08 November 2015

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes - Sunday, November 8, 2015

HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“I thought we were there. [I] thought we were ready to get over the hump, but we’re not quite there yet. [We] did some good things, guys played hard, [played] 60 minutes throughout, [we] had individual guys that really kind of upped their game, had new players that kind of stepped up that hadn’t gotten an opportunity to play a lot. In the end, drop balls, untimely penalties in terrible situations, the fumbles didn’t help us any. We just did some things that kept us from winning the football game. [It’s] kind of simple as that. We had a lot of guys that played hard. The Giants can be a pretty good football team, but this is one that we hung in there [and] felt we had a chance to win. We didn’t quite get it done.”
 
(On the defense playing 11 quarters without forcing the opposing offense to punt)
“That’s misleading a little bit, because when you take the ball away – you have to throw those in there also. I think we’ve played good enough defense today. Guys did some good things, so that’s a little bit misleading when you say that. You put the turnovers in there, you don’t get an opportunity for it then. There were a few times that we would like to of kept them out, but we are making progress.”
 
(On opposing receivers getting open often)
“I disagree with that. Sometimes they do. They are on scholarship too. Our guys played their butts off. As far as them getting open from time to time, they have some good players. That’s going to happen, so don’t try to group everything together.”
 
(On Tampa Bay’s red zone offense)
“When you get field goals instead of [touchdowns] – we need to get touchdowns while we’re down there, kind of simple as that. You have some big plays to get down into that area, you need to get some touchdowns. They did. It’s one thing to move the ball down there, but you have to finish it with a touchdown. When a game ends up the way this one did things like that really kind of stand out a little bit.”
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans)
“Mike made a couple good catches, but you can’t drop that many balls. It’s as simple as that. We all kind of know what the story was with that. We had opportunities. When you talk about finishing in the red zone and things like that, you have to make some of those plays. Mike normally does. Today we missed too many, not only him.”
 
(On losing a game due to fundamental mistakes)
“[It’s] tough. You can imagine how it feels when you lose a game in general, but when you have an opportunity to win them and you lose it based on things that you did – correctable things – it’s just disappointing, but I still see signs and we’re going to tee it up again next week and eventually we’ll won’t talk about these things after [a game].”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston being a bright spot)
“I think you can pick out the guys that did some good things. Jameis was one. I thought he had the ball there – you factor in the drops that we had [and] it’s a pretty good day for him. [A] player like Sterling Moore, Jude [Adjei-Barimah], Alterraun Verner – some guys that we have been counting on to step up – they did that today. There were some bright moments. It’s just some of the things we did, especially at the end of the game just kind of leave a black eye a little bit.”
 
(On where he would like to see the defense improve)
“In all areas. It’s kind of simple as that, in all areas. They had how many points today? Yeah, 26 [offensive]. That’s not just a terrible day when on the other side you have an opportunity to keep some of the drives going. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings. [He’s] pretty good. I thought we did some good things with some of the young players there. Again, we are not quite there right now and we lost the game, so all areas.” 
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On his touchdown run)
“Just sheer want to. We wanted to score so bad, but at the end we just want to score every drive. But we just want to. Pure want to.”
 
(On reading New York’s defense during the touchdown run)
“Well they covered it [well]. They covered it well and the offensive line was protecting great, so I just took off. It’s third down and we were zero-for converting on third downs in the red zone, besides that one, the touchdown. You know, just wanted to and you did it and scored.”
 
(On wide receiver Mike Evans’ dropped passes)
“I mean, no one is perfect. The guy is playing his tail off so we have to think about the positives. Dropped balls, you can fix those. M.E.’s [mental errors] and stuff like that, you can’t fix those, and we didn’t have any of those. He is one of our best receivers, he’s playing his tail off and when it started raining all eyes are on him. It’s a lot of pressure but nine times out of 10 he’s going to come through. We have to score in the red zone, I’ve got to lead us in the red zone.”
 
(On if the rain changed their offensive strategy)
“No, not at all. Not at all, I tried just to stick to our game plan. Coach [Dirk] Koetter had another great game plan, but we’ve got to work for him, we have to.”
 
(On if today felt like a big missed opportunity, offensively)
“Absolutely, absolutely. We must take advantage of our opportunities, especially in the red zone. That’s [one] of the goals that Coach Koetter put up for us, scoring in the red zone. It’s my fault every single time, but the thing you’ve got to focus on is how hard are we playing. We’re playing our tail off, it’s two back-to-back games where we’re just out there giving it our all. Eventually, we are going to break through. Eventually, it’s going to happen and we are going to break through.”
 
(On the message to defensive tackle Akeem Spence after his late-game personal foul)
“Just keep your head. When you are out there in the heat of the moment, I’m not out there so I never judge a player for anything. But the main thing is just keep your head, do your job. That’s what I have to focus on better is doing my job and getting prepared for the red zone and leading us to touchdowns.”
 
(On why the offense isn’t working in the red zone)
“It’s working, guys are getting open, I just have to make the throw. It’s quicker, it’s faster, it’s tighter down there. I have to come through in the clutch when it’s time to come through. There’s different ways – you can pass, you can run, we just have to find a way. When you are searching for that way sometimes plays like sheer want to and the will to just get the ball in the end zone, that happens.”
 
(On if he felt like Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on his touchdown dive)
“I’m always going to feel like myself. Cam Newton is a beast, so running-wise I will never be able to compare myself to him. But, pure want to, one thing that Cam has is heart and I believe that I have a lot of heart and I can battle with anybody when it comes to heart.”
 
(On having zero turnovers in the past four weeks)
“Our running game, man – the offensive line is protecting well, no sacks this game. We are protecting real good. You look at all the good things that the offense is doing, the only negative, and I don’t like to throw out negatives, but I’m just not coming through in the red zone. I focus on taking care of the football and I’m going to continue to focus on that and I am definitely going to continue to focus on scoring in the red zone so I can help this team out.”
 
(On if not having wide receivers Louis Murphy and Vincent Jackson has stunted the passing game)
“I don’t believe it’s stunting it at all because those guys are stepping up and they are playing their tails off. I just believe that we have to get better, we have to get better. These are new guys that we are working with. Me personally, I’m very experienced with working with them. In the OTA’s and the camp those are my guys. Adam [Humphries] and Donteea [Dye] and [Russell] Shepard, Shep it’s his third year but Donteea and Adam, they came in with me so we’ve been working together this whole time. Adam had a big game, I have to get Donteea some more touches.”
 
(On his overthrow of Dye in the fourth quarter)
“Everyone isn’t perfect. I’ve got to make those throws. You see plays like that that you can just pick out and count it as a negative, those are the plays that a quarterback has to make in this league for us to win games.”
 
(On if he is blaming himself for not scoring in the red zone)
“I just have to take more of an initiative. Make it matter. It has to matter more to me, scoring in the red zone, so I will never say it's anyone’s fault. The fault is not getting [touchdowns] in the red zone and I take that onto me to get us [touchdowns] in the red zone. I am the quarterback.”
 
(On his advice to teammates as they overcome this loss and prepare to start a new week)
“It’s like fighting, it’s like fighting. When you are in a fight, and I don’t know how many of you all have been in a fight, but you’ve got your brother and when you go out to fight you are going to have your brother with you, and you are always going to have your brother’s back. And that’s how it is, that’s how this team is. And I don’t think people from the outside can really see how much we really love each other and how hard we work and how bad we want to win and how bad our head coach and our coaches are just basically putting it on us to get over that hump. And the more we focus on that brotherhood and the more we come together, we are going to get over that hump together. One person can’t do it; one person can’t make the change. Together, when you are together and you are making changes and you are fighting for your brother, that’s how you win football games.”
 
CORNERBACK ALTERRAUN VERNER
 
(On his interception)
“I saw 13 (Odell Beckham Jr.) on my side so I had a good feeling he was going to be getting the ball. The pressure got there and made [Eli Manning] have to throw the ball and I was fortunate enough to go ahead and make the play for the team.”
 
(On battling Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants offense)
“I think everyone did a good job, we made it tough on them to make catches. When they did make catches, we tried to get them down. He didn’t have too many yards after the catch, I feel like. I think we competed. I think we showed that we’re a tough unit and I think we showed that we’re not pushovers; we’re going to battle and compete.”
 
(On what advice he can provide to younger players, as a veteran, following the loss)
“As the veterans, we got to say we have to put this behind us. We have to take the good things that we did do in this game, and we have to correct the bad things that we did. It was a hard-fought game so not too many people should be putting their heads down. We fought hard, they just made the plays at the end to win the game. We’re not too far off and I think that’s the message that we have to send people. We’re not too far off as a team and I think you see the potential that we have as a unit, from defense, offense, and everything. It’s not too hard to say that we are very, very close and we just got to keep on grinding and practicing hard and make these corrections.”
 
(On the Giants’ third-down conversions)
“That’s something that we need to do a better job on. We did better in the second half when they did drive and we made them kick field goals. We gave up those two touchdowns on those drives and that ended up being, to me, a real big difference in this game, where their defense kept us to field goals. That’s where games are won and lost sometimes, in the red zone and two-minute [situations]. We got to improve on that, we got to get better. We had them a lot of times in third-and-long situations, third-and-nine, third-and-eight, and somehow they were picking those up. Those are times we got to get off the field to get our offense the ball.”
 
(On what it’s going to take to get over the hump)
“We just got to keep on pressing on. We don’t know when that moment is going to be, but we got to be ready when opportunity comes. There’s not too much you can do other than just go to work every day and keep on improving on things you need to improve on. That day is going to come, and we’re very close as a unit. I think you’re seeing that week-in and week-out, as it’s progressing. We’re finding our identity, we’re finding out what we can do, what we can’t do, but it’s bittersweet, especially when you come out and you fight so hard and don’t get the win.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
  
(On the multiple dropped passes)
“I don’t know what it is. I have to work on wet ball drills or something. The Giants’ receivers were catching balls in the rain and I wasn’t. And I live here, so that’s unacceptable. I’ll be better next game.”
 
(On his own missed opportunities during the game)
“They doubled me a couple of times, but other than that I had my opportunities. I could have had a huge day and I could have helped us get a win, but I didn’t do that. Even though it was raining and it was slick, I got to be better.”
 
(On if he’s disappointed despite recording 150 receiving yards)
“Yeah, I don’t care about that. I just want to win, and I cost my team big time.”
 
(On switching his gloves multiple times)
“It was wet, but it was humid, and I kept sweating through my gloves. I put the rain gloves on and I dropped the third-down conversion. I had to keep changing them because the ball was too slick. But that’s no excuse; I’ve got to catch those. Other guys are catching them, I’ve got to catch them.”
 
(On settling for field goals in the red zone)
“We’ve got to convert. If we convert some of those, we probably get the W. We’ve got to be better in the red zone.”
 
(On if he thought they were going to win the game after Jameis Winston’s touchdown)
“Absolutely. I thought we were going to get the two-point conversion, our defense was going to get a stop, and we were going to win, but it didn’t happen that way. Credit the Giants though, they played very well.”
 
(On leaving a few plays out there)
“My teammates played great. It’s on me. I mean obviously you watched the game, you saw it was on me. I got to be better.”
 
TACKLE DONOVAN SMITH
 
(On if he felt they were one big play away from a win)
“That’s just the game of football, it’s always one play. It was tough, we fought to the end and came up short.”
 
(On settling for field goals in the red zone)
“You have to tip your hat to the Giants defense. Their play call, their players, it was just tough. That is something that we have to get back on Monday and look at and go from there.”
 
(On if quarterback Jameis Winston’s touchdown provided a spark)
“Definitely. He knows how to make plays. Being able to lay out and sacrifice his body for the touchdown was huge. We went out there and tried to sustain it and do what we needed to do. He (Winston) capped it off. It definitely did work in our favor in terms of momentum and picking it up in the offense.”
 
GUARD LOGAN MANKINS
 
(On settling for field goals while New York scored touchdowns)
“They’re going to get their points. Seven points compared to three is so big, especially when you are down there so many times. He had to kick five field goals today, so just turn three of those into touchdowns and it’s a different story.”
 
(On the performance of the running game)
“We just didn’t do enough good things all the way around. We just didn’t play good enough offensively.”
 
(On why the offense wasn’t able to get into the end zone)
“We made a lot of plays going down the field and then we would get down there and we just sputtered. We didn’t do a good job down there until that one where Jameis just took off and ran it in.”
 
LINEBACKER KWON ALEXANDER
 
(On not being able to get a takeaway late in the game after starting the game with an interception)
“It was hard not getting them. You don’t get three picks or two picks every game, that’s just not going to happen like that. It was good to get one pick on the first play but our defense has to keep playing hard. Those plays are going to come. You can’t rush those big plays. You saw we got another big play in the second half so they are coming, we just can’t rush big plays like that.”
 
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