“That's definitely not how we wanted to start our football season. I thought we were ready to go, had good practices, but you need to get to the first game to see exactly where you are. We are not there yet. It’s obvious. You have to give Tennessee a lot of the credit. They had a good game plan against us and of course they executed it well. I thought we had some opportunities early before we let it get out of hand. Defensively, of course we couldn't stop them. Didn't get takeaways when it really counted. Offensively, we didn't get off to the start that we wanted to. Whether it be turnovers or just were not able to move the football is all. Great job by them, disappointing, of course, for us. We have to keep this in perspective. We're very disappointed, we're embarrassed and all of that about today's performance, but it is one game. That's the only thing we can lay our hat on right now.”
(On whether he was more surprised about the performance of the defense or the performance of quarterback Jameis Winston)
"Both. We have to improve in both of those areas. First off you have to be able to stop them. You know it's as simple as that. You have to be able to stop them. You know our formula for winning, of course you've gotta play good defense in order for that to happen. On the other side of the ball, you've gotta protect the football. So none of the things we were stressing we were able to do today.”
(On the red zone defense)
"Red zone defense. I mean, I guess you can start there, you can go all over. We didn't play good defense, period. So red zone, couldn't stop them. Gave up the first touchdown, you shouldn't give up the big play in a coverage that's designed not to. Nothing was good tonight. So as far as me talking about it, it wasn't good enough."
(On how he would respond to people saying that Tampa Bay should have selected Marcus Mariota first overall instead of Jameis Winston)
"I say that their quarterback played better today. Their football team played better today. Their coach did a better job of coaching their football team than I did today. But it's today. This is one game, let's not overreact to a bad performance. We're going to feel bad about this one and give them all their due credit. But it's no more than that. We have the guy that's perfect for us going forward."
(On why Winston couldn't get comfortable)
"Why were we not able to get comfortable today? You know I thought I had the team ready to go, we had good practices throughout. So as far as why, I can't give you a lot of reasons why right now, or we would have stopped it before this onslaught happened."
(On whether or not the play action was sucking in the linebackers)
"It's a combination of that. We had all the hit plays and all different coverages, but, yeah, our play action game gave us trouble today. You know, it's one thing stopping the run but you've got to be able to make some plays on the play action pass. Good throws on their part, you just can’t say how we played today, there were good passes on their part too."
(On why he didn't challenge the Vincent Jackson touchdown that was ruled out of bounds)
"Because we saw his foot being out, that's why. On every play that I don't challenge, we have a picture that says that I shouldn't. That's why we didn't."
(On the pressure on Winston tonight)
"I think there is pressure in your first game to perform well, period. Pressure on us to get our first home win. There's a lot of things like that, but my point to the football team is that we're disappointed in this game. This one game. There's a lot of football left to go. We're a week away from feeling a lot better. In the meantime, we will feel bad. But we’re going to do something about it."
(On if he was surprised by the team’s performance tonight)
"Am I surprised that we were that bad? Yes. I'm surprised that we were that bad. I thought we were ready to go. So yes, it's definitely a surprise to all of us. But we'll bounce back. We've been in situations like this before. Sometimes you feel like you're ready, you're just not. A lot of times that happens the first game of the year. You really don't know until you get to that first game. The biggest improvement you see from Week 1 to Week 2, and that's how it’ll happen for us."
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins celebrating after a touchdown and whether Smith has a problem with that)
"I don't have a problem with him scoring a touchdown in that situation."
(On the penalties and false starts)
"Guys, for everything we did wrong, we're going to go back, watch the video, and start correcting. Simple as that. So the question you asked, I mean, it's the same answer for all of them. We didn't play well, so we're going to do a better job. Better concentration, wait for the snap count, we're going to tackle better. Those little dunk-dink passes over the middle, we have to play all of that a lot better. I'm not trying to go around your questions, but that's the answer to 99% of them."
(On explanation for why the ball was moved back and re-measured)
"For all of those, they say that they got a good look back in New York for it. I think it’s just hard to move the ball a little bit on a play like that, of course I disagree with it, but they felt like they got a good look and that's why they did it. Big play in the game."
(On whether or not the Mariota fumble was a big play)
"There are very few big plays in the game, but on days like today, the ball wasn't bouncing our way. Simple as that. But what we can’t do is let this one game beat us next week. That's going to be our focus. We'll take the shots right now and we should, but we'll bounce back from this."
(On Winston’s performance, specifically the interceptions)
"Jameis didn't play well. I mean, that's what he'll tell you. You know, that early turnover hurt us. And he, like all of us – when you have an effort, a performance like this, you know we all, as I talk to the football team, this is the time where you're going to hear the word ‘me’ quite a bit, and ‘I.’ Instead of ‘we,’ ‘I.’ This is what I didn't do. That's what we're all doing. None of us did our job this week."
(On how to get the fans back after a performance like this)
"Well, it was a great job by our fans coming for a home game that we didn't show up. We didn't play our best performance. But what we're going to do in the meantime is we're going to go away. And starting off with New Orleans, I just think that we can go on the road and play better. Then the next time we come here, show up the way we're supposed to, our fans will come back. It's on us now. We're going to take a little break from Raymond James, and get better, and we'll come back and our fans will."
(On Kwon Alexander’s first regular-season game as the starting middle linebacker)
"No one played well tonight from what I know right now. And that's why when you have a performance like this, you don't just name one particular area or one person to cause most of the trouble. It was a collective effort by us. So Kwon was a part of that. But as a rookie, he, Jameis and all the other rookies will get better. It's a big learning experience of course that they'll never forget."
(On how Winston’s ankle impacted the play calling)
"He's OK. We had a few guys limping around out there. It's a hard-fought game, when you haven't gone for 60 minutes like that. We'll have a lot of guys who will be limping around, but we didn't have a lot of serious injuries. Everybody should be good to go. Hopefully we can get a couple of guys back."
(On the lack of pressure up front was the biggest cause of defensive issues)
"A combination of pressure up front and coverage. So again, a night like tonight, yes, it was that. Just about everything else you bring up we didn't do well. So it was that.”
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
(On his feeling at this point)
“I just feel like I’ve got to get better. You know, I can’t put us behind the eight ball like that. Just something to learn from.”
(On his thoughts of having a first game like today)
“Well you know, it’s about this team. It is about us going out there and trying to do the best we can to get a win. You know he [Marcus Mariota] played an amazing game. He’s a great quarterback, but as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer we have to find a way to go out there and get better.”
(On feeling confident during the game)
“Yeah, I was confident the whole time. You know, just the first drive was a dumb decision, but you have to bounce back. You have to keep playing. It’s just one game.”
(On pressure to come up with big plays after the team started slow)
“No pressure at all, it’s just seven to nothing. Obviously, I threw that pick that made it 14 to nothing, so we didn’t start off fast. On the first drive, three plays and you throw a pick that’s an interception, it’s a big negative so that’s where it hurt us.”
(On if he didn’t see the defender on the first interception)
“It was just a bad decision.”
(On the second interception)
“Yeah, he just made a great play. I need to get the ball higher.”
(On his performance)
“Oh I feel like I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to definitely see the film.”
(On his connection with Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“Well Austin is a great player. You know, we have a lot of weapons. Obviously, I’ve got to take advantage of those weapons. But Austin played a great game and that’s something, like you said, that’s a positive thing. Obviously, people are [going to] start prepping for him, because they see that he’s a big target.”
(On what he has learned about playing quarterback in the NFL after one game)
“Well, you can’t start off bad. When Coach Lovie [Smith] says start fast, start fast, you know he really means it. You can’t get behind. You can’t do that to your defense.”
(On if he saw any surprise defensive formations from Tennessee)
“No, we watched it. We watched film. That first drive just killed us. That first drive killed us but you know, the thing is we’re going to bounce back. It’s one game and something to learn from. They didn’t pressure us like we expected them to pressure us – they played a lot of zone, a lot of two-high – but we’re going to bounce back, that’s the main thing.”
(On what message he could give to the fans)
“Well you know, it’s just one game. This is not last year, this is a whole new team, this is the new Bucs. Obviously, we can’t give our fans that on the home opener. I can’t perform like that on the home opener, but we will get better. I will perform better and at the end of the day it’s about us and the fans are a part of us so just stay with us, stay with us.”
(On his confidence moving forward)
“Confidence has never been a thing for me. I love being confident. I’m always going to be confident. This is just one game, I always can bounce back. This is not the end of the world, but we have to get better, we have to keep improving – that’s the main thing. Obviously, the first game is the game that you see how you were in the preseason, what type of team are you, and we were not that type of team. But I believe if I didn’t throw that pick we would of showed a different thing.”
(On his response to people saying Tampa Bay drafted the wrong quarterback)
“Well when somebody plays as great as he [Marcus Mariota] did, of course you are going to say that. But, it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. That’s one thing we do here in Tampa Bay, is about how we finish. Obviously improving over the years, during the season it’s going to be a big thing for us. We’ve got our first divisional game next week so we’re definitely looking forward to that and that’s what really matters to get to the playoffs to give us an opportunity to get what we want.”
(On what gave him the most problems today and what was different from the preseason)
“Nothing really gave us problems, we just didn’t move the ball. We had some three-and-outs we’ve got to convert. They didn’t do anything that really just made us look too bad, we’ve just got to do our job. We’ve got to play Bucs football. You know, we are not playing Bucs football. We beat ourselves.”
(On the team’s offensive penalties)
“Obviously, it is part of football. Hopefully, I mean, when Doug Martin breaks a 20-yard run, we get it called back twice, that hurts. But, it’s a part of football and we’ve got to obviously work on it. We’ve got a lot of things to work on here at Tampa Bay.”
(On the team’s energy and effort during the game)
“Yeah, we never gave up. We never gave up. I mean, they played the best game they possibly could have played, and we played the worst game we possibly could play. But the good thing is we got that out [of] the way. And if they keep playing like that it’s going to be amazing. You know, so we got our worst game out the way and we can’t look back now.”
(On teammates supporting him throughout the game)
“I was still on the sidelines moving, telling the guys, ‘Hey guys, we still got a chance.’ I will never get down, because like Coach [Dirk] Koetter always says, bad body language will hurt us. So the guys, we were always in it. The one thing I’ve got to congratulate [them on] – we didn’t give up, we just got beat and that happens in the NFL. You win some and you lose some. Obviously, we wanted to win here for our fans and we didn’t, but we have some wins coming.”
(On handling these type of losses)
“You put it behind you. You can’t really think about that. This is my first one against the Tennessee Titans. You just put it behind.”
(On walking out of the tunnel for his first game)
“It was amazing. It was a blessing just to be out there and play. It was good but like I said, things didn’t happen like we wanted to happen. Things didn’t happen like I wanted it to happen but you don’t get down on yourself, you don’t start saying ‘boo-hoo’ and feel sorry for yourself. [There isn’t] nobody really [that’s] going to feel sorry for you. All you’ve got is yourself so you’ve got to bounce back and continue to play. And I believe in our team, I believe that we have some good fans out there that’s gonna stick with us, and I believe we’re going to bounce back. That’s what we do.”
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
(On if he feels like he got into a rhythm with the running game)
“A loss is a loss. During that drive, I was just trying to get something going. We started slow and had a few penalties, but we have to go back to practice and work on it.”
(On what Head Coach Lovie Smith told the team after a loss like this)
“Right now, we’re [zero] and one. It’s not the best, it’s not what we wanted to start the season out. What we have to do is look in the mirror and just ask ourselves what we could have done better, and just focus on next week.”
(On if he said anything to quarterback Jameis Winston to encourage him throughout the game)
“During the game I think everybody’s encouraging each other. Jameis is encouraging us, we’re encouraging him, so we’re brothers out there and that’s what we did. So yeah, just focus on next week.”
(On if the Buccaneers still keep their season expectations high)
“Oh yeah. We have very high expectations. Very high. This is one game out of 16 games and you know, [zero] and one right now. We’ve just got to focus on this week.”
(On what positives he can take from today)
“You know, we had a lot of guys play hard. We had a lot of guys that didn’t give up that could’ve easily [given up] and we had some explosives on offense as well, and we have something to work on and build upon and that’s what we’re going to do.”
(On how Winston handled himself in the huddle)
“He was good. Winston’s a fighter. He’s a fighter and he’s a competitor, he’s a winner. That’s the type of vibe he gives off and he gives everybody else energy, energy to keep going and fight on. That’s why we love him.”
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
(On the shock factor of quickly being down 21 points)
“I mean, it happened quick, but it’s the NFL. It’s a game of runs, all professional sports are really a game of runs, momentum shifts. Momentum just didn’t shift back. So when it happened, you don’t panic. You just keep playing.”
(On the sack of Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota that was called dead before the ball was fumbled in the end zone)
“It’s a fumble and a touchdown, but whatever. That’s a momentum shift. They took that from us man. When you get a sack-fumble, and then score a touchdown with it? That’s a momentum shift. They took that from us, but even if you had that play, we still didn’t do enough to win. But you never know what can happen with a big play like that.”
(On this week’s message as a leader of this team)
“Well, it’s Week 1. We’re going to watch the film and the whole feeling that we have right now can change next week if we go up to New Orleans and get a win. We just got to hit it hard this week.”
(On if he saw anything from Tennessee that he didn't see on tape)
“They got the ball out so fast. Anytime he dropped back and actually took a chance to look at the defense, we were all over him. But when you’re getting the ball out extremely fast, it’s hard to get after the quarterback. He just played a great game, Mariota that is. The whole team did, they just played well on offense, man. They just really did.”
(On the defense’s optimism before the game)
“I always say it’s pointless to play this game if you don’t expect to be the best or win. So, we’re expected to come out and dominate on defense. It just didn’t happen. But it’s Week 1, it can be fixed.”
TIGHT END AUSTIN SEFARIAN-JENKINS
(On his performance today)
“I feel like I’ve always been confident in what I can do, and Coach Koetter did a great job calling some great plays, and Jameis did a great job of throwing the ball to me. The O-Line held up great when it was my turn to get up and get the ball and make a play. I always feel confident about what I can do. I always felt this way, but I need to keep on working, we’ve got to keep on working. The most important thing is that we win and that we get better as a team. The most important thing is the team, not me.”
(On the need to step up with the absence of wide receiver Mike Evans)
“I just felt like I needed to come out and do what the coaches expect me to do. Obviously, when Mike’s not there, you just assume that everyone’s got to up their level because Mike’s a phenomenal player. So unfortunately we didn’t have him. We really wish we could’ve, but yeah, we have to step up our game as receivers when Mike’s not out there.”
(On his chemistry with Jameis Winston)
“I feel like I’ve always had good chemistry with Jameis. We’re going to keep getting better. I’m going to keep getting better, he’s going to keep getting better, everyone’s going to keep getting better, and we’re looking forward to New Orleans next week, and we’re focusing on that.”
(On the toughness of starting off the season with a loss)
“What’s done is done. We have an L. It’s 0-1, but what we do have control of is where we go from here and the work that we put in from here. It’s in the past and we’ve got to move past from it, and go towards next week. The most important thing is getting better. Expectations are things that are made by you guys. We have our own internal expectations. Obviously it was to win this game, but some things don't always work out the way you want to, but that doesn’t stop us or anyone else on the team - coaches included, staff, everybody. It doesn’t stop us from getting better and moving on to the next opponent. We’re going to watch this film, we’re going to get better from it, and we’re going to move on to the New Orleans Saints.”
(On comparing his performance to the disappointment of a loss)
“I want to win. I want the W. Personally, when my head hits the pillow, I’m thinking about how we’re going to get better for the New Orleans Saints. I’m not worried about my stats. What I did is great, but we all saw the scoreboard. We lost, and the most important thing is winning. Personal stats is not important, everyone on this team knows personal stats are not important. What’s most important is the team stats of winning the game. I could care less about what I do. I want to win, we all want to win.”