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09 November 2014


(Opening statement)
“Losses, of course, piling up – too many. Now offensively, we did some good things; I thought Josh [McCown] gave us a spark, able to move [and] get the passing game going – looked pretty good at times. Mike Evans, of course, is putting together – becoming a really good football player, a guy that you can go to for big plays. I think we were pretty good on third downs. There’s a lot of things we did, but critical situations, of course, we didn’t come through. Defensively, not enough pressure on them, no takeaways. Losing the turnover ratio as a football team, of course, that hurts you quite a bit. Penalties really probably hurt us as much as anything throughout the game – especially defensively, some of the big third downs where you’re off the field and you get a couple of ticky-tack calls. But we have to get ourselves out of those situations and try to find a way. We realize what our record is. It’s a broken record, really, with me talking to you and telling you how much better we’re getting and we’re making progress – got to find a way to get a win.”
(On how disappointing it was to not get pressure on Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan despite Atlanta’s injuries on the offensive line)
“Disappointing. Of course, everything we did was. But I was more disappointed we weren’t able to get any takeaways as much as anything to try to get them in a couple of bad situations. But no, that wasn’t good enough. Pass rush was not good enough.”
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his fourth quarter touchdown)
“Whether he did or not, he used the ball as a prop. Have we gone over the rules on celebrations – you can’t use the ball as a prop? Yes. Heat of the battle for a rookie – rookie mistake that we can’t have. I think they got the ball at about the 35 though, so it’s not like that play – we’re slapping him on the wrist; I don’t like that play. They got great field position. Defensively, after that, we had a chance to stop them.”
(On if he would expect the defense at this point in the season to be able to hold the lead when leading in the fourth quarter)
“If I had a choice, yes. When you say no matter the personnel, yeah, we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the football field. With the lead? Yes, we’re supposed to win at home. Simple as that. You’re supposed to win on the road when you have the lead in the fourth quarter. We haven’t. We’ll keep searching to try to find reasons why to correct that. We’re not there yet.”
(On if McCown’s performance today stabilized his spot as the starting quarterback)
“When you say stabilized – I liked our quarterback position as a whole with, of course, Mike [Glennon] and Mike [Kafka] and, of course, Josh. Our starter was hurt, he came back, we put him back in, he played pretty good football today. So that’s where we are. Lot of other positions that I’m really concerned about. Quarterback, especially after today, not right at the top of the list.”
(On if the lack of running plays was due to the performance of the offensive line or if Atlanta took the run away from them)
“I think if that’s the case, it’s normally a combination of both. Without going into detail watching the video, if you don’t have production from your running game, you’re going to start with the offensive line first and everybody involved in that. From there, though, as a running back, when you get a couple of holes, you need to make someone miss and be able to get yards that way.”
(On what the official told him after the play was stopped to review an Atlanta interception in the end zone near the end of the fourth quarter)
“I’m for sure – well, I shouldn’t say for sure they stopped it – but I thought for sure we had gotten the snap off. They said that the communication from above came before the ball was snapped – that’s not the case. In the end, I guess you can’t put yourselves in those positions, and that’s what we did. We put ourselves in a position where some calls can go against us in the fourth quarter and you can’t do that.”
(On if struggling teams making mistakes is part of the growing process of the team)
“Yeah, I would say most teams that struggle is how I would describe it – [they] do some things like that to lose football games. Yeah, I think that – I think you’d say that that’s normally the case. It’s definitely the case with us. We have opportunities. If you’re looking at glass half-full, we’ve had a lot of opportunities to – this team really embarrassed us the first time around and we feel like we had an opportunity [to win] this one. But you’ve got to be able to close; seal the deal and make some plays at the end. Make the plays at the end means not making stupid or bad penalties and everything else that goes along with it, and then just someone being in position making a play at the end also. Of course, we as coaches have to do a better job. It starts with us – that goes without saying.”
(On the performance of offensive lineman Oniel Cousins and his penalty near the end of the fourth quarter)
“Oniel played pretty good last week, hung in there this week, but you’re right – you said that and you mentioned that play. When every second counts, every yard counts, you just can’t make a play like that – a stupid penalty like that late in the game. Simple as that.”
(On if the kickoff near the end of the first half to Atlanta wide receiver/returner Devin Hester was executed properly)
“No. The plan was to not let Devin be involved as much as possible. We didn’t hit it as well as we needed to on that. We thought with the wind we could really get it out there. The plan wasn’t for him to return it – believe me.”
(On McCown’s performance and if he forced the issue too much on the team’s final two drives)
“At the end, yeah, we were definitely trying to force the action. Time was against us a little bit, we needed to get a couple scores in, we thought we had a pretty good play and we thought we had a pretty good matchup on the outside. Josh pushed the action all day though. I can’t say an awful lot. You’re trying to make a play there at the end of the game – great play by their guy to make that play. But I thought that Josh throughout the day kept drives going with his feet and put us in position to have a successful outcome.”
(On if he believes the team is beating themselves with blown fourth quarter leads)
“It’s all about the same as I see it. As you talk about the amount of times we’ve had fourth quarter leads, that’s saying we’re a pretty good football team – that’s saying we have an opportunity to be a lot better football team than where we are right now. But it doesn’t matter how you do it. Right now, the fourth quarter should be a strength of ours and right now, it’s a weakness.”
(On the performance of punter Michael Koenen)
“Kickoff, you’re always trying to place the ball. That’s part of being a kicker or a punter in the NFL. You’re trying to place the ball as best you can but also do some more. [Michael] will be the first guy to tell you he didn’t punt well, didn’t place the ball where he needed to.”
(On his feelings about another loss)
“One-and-eight, one-and-eight and one-and-eight. You know you want to give your teammates, and your coaches, and your fans and everybody here better than that. It just hurts. It hurts.”
(On his feelings about his performance)
“I don’t know. I’ve got to look at the tape. It doesn’t matter. We lost. We lost. As the quarterback it starts with me and I’ve got to be better. It’s just disappointing.”
(On the most painful part of this loss)
“Just that. You go and prepare with guys every week and your coaches and they grind it. Everybody puts their time in and you work so hard. You lay it out there for each other and when you walk off [the field] and you come up short week in and week out –- it hurts. That’s what really hurts. You realize that fans come to the game –- and whatever is going on in their life –- they want to come be in this stadium to watch us win football games to bring them joy. So all of that encompassing –- to not be able to do that, to not be able to give that to ourselves, our teammates, our coaches, our fans –- it just hurts. It just hurts, man.”
(On what he thinks he could have done better today)
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say right now. I’ve got to look at the tape. I don’t know. I have to see what happened on the ball to Vince [Jackson]. He had man coverage and that was where we wanted to go with the ball. [The] guy must have made a good play. I didn’t see how he got his hand on it. Vince and I talked about if we get man, we’ll have a shot at this corner route. I’ve got to give him a better ball, but again I don’t remember seeing the context so I have to look at it. So those are the things that I will focus on –- what I could have done to help us.”
(On trying to force a play on the interceptions)
“No, not the last one necessarily; It was man coverage. The second to last one is where we said we wanted to throw the ball. Vince [Jackson] and I talked about it – man to man – saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got this corner route and I will beat him and if he plays over the top, be ready to back shoulder.’ I tried to give him the ball high on his back side to try and make a play. That guy must have made a play on it and gotten his hand on it and the guy came off and picked it. Obviously, you know at the end of the game how things go; you’re fourth-and-forever. I was trying to throw it past the sticks. They brought a wheel and a corner off of Vince’s side, which is not typical in that situation, leaving Vince singled. I tried to get him the ball as quick as I could, but the two guys had gotten there by that time. It is unfortunate.”
(On Mike Evans and his maturation process)
“The sky is the limit for Mike [Evans]. What you guys don’t see and why I’m so proud of Mike is his professionalism and the way he comes to work every day. He has grown in that area much more than what you’re seeing on the field. That’s encouraging and it’s encouraging for Buccaneers fans. I believe Mike Evans is going to be a good one for a long time.”
(On the improvements in the offense since his last start)
“I think Marcus [Arroyo] has just gotten better as a play caller every week. You have to understand his situation –- to come into this league and then to be handed that job. He’s just like a young quarterback. You know, every week you get better and he has done that. Marcus has gotten better every week and is calling games really well and moving the ball around and finding different spots for the ball to go in the passing game. I think that is the biggest thing. He just has a lot more of confidence as a play caller and it’s really neat to see.”
(On what he can do as a leader)
“It’s hard to put anything into words. You stand in moments like this in your life where things don’t go the way you said you wanted them to go. That’s the reality of where we are. You have two choices: you can curl up in a ball and hide and hope that it goes away and is over or you can do something about it. You can stand in the face of it. I believe that the men in our locker room and the leadership that we have. It starts with Lovie [Smith] and we’ll do that. It’s a hard thing to do, but we’ll do that with our actions and the way that we work. That will be the measure of us. I believe that the leadership on this team will continue to respond and will do that on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on those work days. That’s the most important thing. It’s not what we say right now, but it’s with our actions and the way that we respond.”
(On dealing with adversity)
“Obviously we were optimistic, but it’s generally inevitable at some point in your life. If I sat and talked with you, some of you would probably tell me some stories. In your life you’re going to face it. For us right now, for the 53 guys plus the practice squad guys and coaches in our locker room –- we’re in the thick of it. It gives you perspective and an opportunity to stretch your faith or whatever you believe in and to stretch yourself, your gut as a man and your resolve. At the end of the day you have to be able to respond. It hurts, but we will all grow and be better from it. At the end of the day nobody wants to go through this or go this way. We knew the adversity would come, but nobody wants that to this extent. When you find yourself in it, you’ve got to find a way to get out of it. You can’t fake this. You can’t march and say, “Hey, let’s pretend we’re 1-and-8 and really battle through it.” It doesn’t work like that. Only real life can do that to you and when you go through that in real life, you get resolve as a person and that is the main thing that we need to have. It will serve us, and our coaches, and everybody involved well past this game and beyond our careers. That’s the main thing. Hopefully, it will serve us as we continue to play and work for the Bucs.”
(On how this loss has affected him emotionally)
“We’re sick of having these press conferences and saying the same things. It just hurts. I know and I understand where I’m at in my career. As you get older the opportunities are less and less whether you’re a franchise quarterback or not. When you’re 35-years old, you know the clock is ticking and you don’t want to let these moments get away. I think that’s why it hurts because it got away.”
(On his catch that was called incomplete but was reversed)
“It was just toe tap work in practice. [Quarterback Josh McCown] He threw it up, I made the catch and the ref ruled me out for some reason. They checked it and overturned the call.”
(On his thoughts about playing with McCown and quarterback Mike Glennon)
“They’re their own guys. They’re two different style players, but Josh can get out of the pocket a little more. You know, make play with his legs. He did that today. He played a good game.”
(On role with the Buccaneers while being a rookie)
“I can’t say nothing but we’re losing.  We’re 1 and 8, it hurts. That’s all I can feel right now.”
(On his thought about being on the losing end of close games)
“We’re so close. Almost every game we’re so close. Unfortunately, we’re always on bottom. I don’t know what it is anymore. We just have to keep doing us. Have to keep making plays and stop beating ourselves.”
(On his thoughts about losing to Atlanta after losing to them earlier in the season)
“It just stings because we lost. No matter who the team is. We lost and it stings.”
(On what the Falcons did to try to slow him down)
“Even Matt Ryan told me that their game plan was to find wherever I was [lined up] at and they put two on me, regardless. If you noticed, I moved everywhere. I was over the nose [tackle], I tried to go right, I tried to go left and it didn’t matter. They switched protection. They said, ‘Neutralize him and we’ll go from there.’”
(On him being speechless after this loss)
“Usually I know what to say, but at this point, guys, I don’t know. I don’t know anymore. I know we’re going to keep going, but I don’t have an answer for you, I really don’t. I’m sorry.”
(On how the offense played with quarterback Josh McCown)
“That first drive we had 18 plays. That’s a lot of plays for a drive. Josh was on top of his game, throwing the ball perfect. We just can’t hurt ourselves. The only thing is we can’t hurt ourselves. When we don’t hurt ourselves, we move the ball and put up points. As long as we continue to not hurt ourselves we’re fine. But, that’s what we keep doing, we keep hurting ourselves.”
(On his thoughts about the week’s practice leading up to the game)
“Well, I don’t know. I just know we need to make plays. As long as everyone is doing their jobs and doing their jobs to the best of their ability. We’ll come out with the W. We put the work in, like I said, we’re just not getting the result that we want. It’s just a frustrating thing to also get a lose at home to the same team that just embarrassed us on national TV, that’s what makes it worse. We just have to find a way to win.”
(On if he thought he would play a smaller role because of running back Charles Sims being active)
“I don’t know. When my name is called, I’m ready. That’s something I can’t control. When my name is called, I do what I’m supposed to do.”
(On the game)
“Like I said, we’ll go back to how frustrating it is. We’ve seen this movie plenty of times. Somehow we’re not getting over the hump. We’re putting in the work. I promise you we are grinding and we’re putting in the work. We had a great week and not getting the results. I don’t know. All that I know is to keep pushing, that’s all that I know.”
(On if he can figure out why the team has been losing)
“It is what it is, it is what we are and we have to accept it, we can’t run away from it. All you can do is come out next week and try and win a game.”
(On if this loss hurts more because it was a rematch)
“Every loss is a loss, this hurts. No one likes losing. We’re 1-8 and I think we’re better than this. I think everyone can agree on that. It’s frustrating, not only for the fans, for you guys, but for the players and coaches because we put in a lot of work six days out of the week and to come out here and put [it] on the field, it’s unfortunate when you come off the field and you’ve come up short and you have eight losses.”

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