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26 October 2014


(Opening statement)
“Eventually, we have to win a game here at home. It’s kind of hard to win though, just talking offensively, when you wait that long to get anything going. I think we went about five series of three-and-outs, that’s hard to get any type of rhythm. Part of it was them, but most of it was us. Defensively we played better at times, but at the end, when you have a lead, you have got to be able to close it out, especially at home. Offensively, third downs really killed us. Again, stopped drives. Turnovers, I think they had two, of course the last one – great play by their player to get the ball out. So just a tough game for us. We an opportunity to gain some ground in our division today before we started and just didn’t get it worked out that way.”
(On the dropped interception by cornerback Johnthan Banks that could have sealed a victory)
“It was just a huge play. A game like that when it’s that tight, every play, every conversion on third down and when you get a chance to take the ball away like that – end the game really – you have to make that play. It’s about making plays when you get in position. Of course, we did a lot of things before that, but late in the game we needed someone to step up.”
(On if this win would have been a fresh start)
“Ideally, that’s not how we wanted to start it and it’s as simple as that. Yeah a fresh start, it said home game, home win, and we let one slip away. But after the disappointment, you still analyze where we are and looking at our division, I’m told a couple of teams also lost in our division with one more [game] to go. So, we’re still in it, but we just have to eventually get over. It’s about us getting a win and we’ve had winnable games and we talk about finishing strong and we have to be able to figure that out soon.”
(On the offense starting off slow)
“We did [start slow]. We ran the ball okay, but when you don’t convert on third downs, it’s hard – when you’re three-and-out and three-and-out – it’s hard to get anything going. Passing game-wise, they were able to lock us down a little bit early on, but it was just a combination of things. When we passed the ball, [there was] too much pressure, I think they had five sacks or something like that. We knew going in that they had been able to rush the passer well, but we’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback better than that and give ourselves a chance. Once we were able to throw some passes, we were able to have a little bit of success late.”
(On wide receiver Vincent Jackson only having one catch)
“Again, when it’s three-and-out, it’s hard to specifically hit one player. When you have three plays, who do you throw to? Instead of looking at it individually what we weren’t able to do, it’s just overall whether we’re giving it to Vince or someone else, we just needed to be able to get some type of momentum going. But you have to give them a lot of that credit.”
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins catching a touchdown and having the game-ending fumble)
“You just have to get down in that situation, we had a positive play. In an overtime situation, when you know if you score a touchdown down there you’ve got to protect the ball, number one. If you take the ball right away, then you have to protect it and you can’t have a takeaway on that end of the field, but again ball security. That’s Football 101 and we have to correct it.”
(On trying to establish the running game early)
“It’s like that with us each week, I say most teams want to get [the running game established] – that helps a lot when you can run the football and when you can’t, you become one dimensional and that’s pretty hard. Especially in a situation where they can tee off with their pass rush.”
(On his confidence level and what he says to the team)
“What I say to the guys is that we’re disappointed in this game and you have to look at the big picture. Today, it’s not like we’re going to throw a party after today when you lose a game like that. If you look at the big picture, right now we’re in the same position we were before we started the game and as a football team, the last time we played we were blown out. We were competitive this week, but now we have to be able to finish. As a young team, we’re seeing small improvements, but we need to be able to get over that hump. What we told the team is that, ‘Hey guys, keep improving, look at yourself and we’re going to go back to work Monday and start fixing it.’”
(On the slow start on offense)
“We’re still searching for the answers. It [has been] a lot of games in a row where we’ve come out slow [and then] picked things up in the second half. So we’re still looking for that answer because it has been a problem of ours all season long.”
(On the Buccaneers’ lead with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter)
“I wouldn’t say we had the game –- there was still two minutes left and it’s the NFL; it’s really never over until it’s over. They have a great kicker and you have to give Teddy Bridgewater credit. He did a great job getting them down the field and then getting that field goal for them. It felt great to get the lead and we needed that touchdown to get ahead, but at the same time I knew it wasn’t over at that point.”
(On Josh McCown’s presence during the game)
“He does a great job. He knows what to say and knows what to look for. He’s been someone that I can lean on both on game day and throughout the course of the week. He’s great to have and he has a lot of thoughts that he shares with us. He’s really a smart and talented quarterback that I’m able to learn from.”
(On eliminating mental mistakes)
“I think that is something we’ll have to see on film. That’s usually when you find out if you’ve made any mental mistakes. Off of the top of my head it doesn’t seem like there were too many. I think we did a good job of knowing our assignments. Again, we just have to execute better in the first half.”
(On working towards a fast start)
“I think if we had the answer for it we would be better at it. The coaches spent a lot of time during the bye week trying to figure that out. As players –- we tried to focus on some things and again today we had a slow start. I mean –- our defense did a great job today though. It was more of the offense again that had a slow start. Again, we will continue to find that solution and be better coming out of the gates.”
(On making adjustments early in the game to prevent the slow start on offense)
“I don’t know. We were moving the ball well on the first drive and I just made a bad interception. So who knows what that drive would have turned into. That was a case where I should have just ran and gotten a couple of yards rather than just trying to throw it up. That one was on me, but for the rest of the half I don’t have an answer for you.”
(On the slow start)
“They were just playing better than us. Their front was doing a good job, and everybody was doing good on the back end.”
(On the change in momentum in the fourth quarter)
“We just did a great job of executing. We’ve had a lot of close games this year, and we knew what we were in for. So we rally around each other and make plays. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.”
(On tough losses)
“We could be 5-2 right now, but we’re not. It’s tough. Hopefully we’ll come back next week ready to work and get the win against Cleveland.”
(On the team’s morale)
“Guys are sticking together. We’ll always stick together, no matter what. Guys aren’t going to turn on each other. We run out of time and we’re way too close in all these games to be losing them like this. We’ve got to pull these tight ones out.”
(On the final drive of regulation)
“He (Vikings QB, Teddy Bridgewater) made some good throws; taking what we were giving him. He did good with clock management, got it down in the last second and kicked it. It’s the NFL so it's always tough to stop guys like that when you only need a field goal. We’ve got to stand up, if you want to win, you’ve got to make plays.”
(On the team’s performance in the second half)
“We got a good group of guys. We are always going to be fighting, trying to pull it out. It’s just terrible to keep losing these close games. So [we will] go watch some film and try to get better.”
(On if Minnesota did anything differently on the final drive of regulation)
“Not really. I feel like we played hard, we [kept] bouncing back. They were making plays, we were making plays. We were right in it. It’s the NFL, you’ve got to figure out ways to win close games or you're going to be 1-6.”
(On his emotions regarding today’s game)
“It’s a lot of ups and downs, a rollercoaster. A lot of highs and lows. It’s not how you want to see a game end, and we just got to do a better job of finishing.”
(On not being able to put the game away late in the fourth quarter)
“It sucks when you have to go into overtime knowing you had a whole field to stop them. Our rush and coverage combo has to be better. We need to start working as a unit. It has to be better.”
(On what the team told tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“Keep your head up. He had one touchdown. This stuff happens [and] this is what goes on being in the NFL. Everybody makes mistakes, just so happens his was a little magnified more than most. There were mistakes on offense all day, there were mistakes on defense all day. Just keep your head up. That’s this league, but you just have to move on to the next one.”
(On how he felt about the defense being in a position to win the game late)
“I was sure we were going to put that one away, and we have to. We have to get on the tape to see what did happen, but I’ll take this situation again. I’ll take it every game if that’s what it has to be. I love those situations, we just have to capitalize on it.”
(On if the team made progress today)
“Yeah, in different facets of the game. Not as a whole but in different facets of the game, yes. There were times when we played extremely well and there were times when you were wondering what was going on. In different facets of the game, yes, we did make strides.”
(On the loss)
“Can’t lose like that. It’s a horrible way to lose. That’s similar to how we lost to the Rams. It’s just freak stuff these ways to lose games. I was like, ‘Did we really just lose like that?’ We did, but we had opportunities. It’s not that one play.”
(On fumbling in overtime)
“No excuse. I’ve got to hold onto the ball better than that. Regardless of where [the ball] was I need to protect it better.”
(On his feelings after the loss)
“I fumbled the ball [and] they scored a touchdown so it's not good, we lost the game. [I was] the last one to touch the ball on [the] team so obviously it's upsetting that [I] had control over it.
(On his touchdown catch in the fourth quarter)
“Mike threw a great ball, I made a play on it, scored a touchdown. It was a good job.”
(On the team’s performance)
“It's really unfortunate because we were playing really hard. They were doing a great job and I unfortunately fumbled the ball. I’ve got to have better ball security.”
(On Bucs’ defense in the 4th quarter)
“We were trying to put pressure on them. We wanted to have tight coverage and make them fit in tight windows, and that’s what they did. They made plays to get them down there.”
(On battling back in games but losing)
“It’s the story of our life right now. In the Panthers game we battled back and ended up losing. With the Rams, we battled back and ended up losing. We have to learn from these games and find a way to win like we did during the Steelers game.”
(On Lovie’s postgame talk)
“We’ve got to put this one behind us. We have to worry about next week. We still have nine games — it’s not like we’re just going to call it quits. It’s not the end of the season. We’ve got to put something good out there and start building on it.”

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