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Quotes from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Week 1

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoke to the media following the regular season opener on Sunday, Sept. 9

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday, September 9, 2018 - Mercedes-Benz Superdome - Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter

On if there was a way to forecast that Ryan Fitzpatrick would have that kind of game:
"He's got it in him. You saw it. His demeanor is always so laid back. You never know if he's up or down…It's just like practice during the game, even though he is aware of what is going on. I think that is one of the benefits of having a guy with his experience. Fitz is just a solid, solid guy. He is not going to let too much rattle him."

On how the Bucs took momentum when Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to hit so many receivers with passes over-the-top:
"It does a lot, especially when they (the Saints) come down and ram it right down the field on us. To go out and answer and get that first one (score) was big. That first drive was huge. I thought that Fitz did an awesome job of just giving guys a chance just to make plays. We had one in the third quarter where he overthrew Mike (Evans) when #23 (Marshon Lattimore) fell down. Other than that, all of our other balls down the field, he gave those guys a chance to make plays and they did. Two of them, (Chris) Godwin, the one over the middle and two to O.J. (Howard) (when) guys were hanging all over him. Those were both pretty plays. Those are the plays O.J. makes in practice."

On protection of the quarterback today:
"Everything starts with protection. Protection beats coverage. We talked about that all week. Protection beats coverage."

On Ryan Fitzpatrick making the right reads to receivers:
"He's got rules built in based upon what the coverage is. (The Saints) did a good job disguising because we had a couple of things on where if Fitz had to do it over again, he would've been on the other side. That's the game within the game. That is the beauty of the NFL with those hash-marks close together, disguise is a big part of it."

On Ryan Fitzpatrick's running ability:
"He is over 2,000 yards in his career. You notice when he is taking a knee on victory (formation), he isn't going backwards. He is very proud of that 2,000 (yards)."

On what changed defensively for the team to take control:
"The turnover touchdown (on Mike Gillislee's fumble). I think that was (a turning point). We were talking on the headphones. At one point, one of the coaches said, 'It looks like it's going to be a trap game.' We said on the phones right then, 'Ok, what happens in a trap game? Turnovers are what decide it.' That's about what happened."

On who called the play offensively:
"You guys were there. You guys were at the game We ran the Buc offense."

On what a win like this today does for the team:
"We've got a whole new set of problems starting here in a few hours. To win on the road against a division team, NFL team, in a place like this, against a team like that, against a quarterback like that, that is huge. That is a huge way to start your season. I do not think that anyone in here was picking us. So, are you kidding me? That's a huge plus. They're all tough. We've got to figure out a way to do it better, different some way. (We) need to find a way to do it again next week. Philly (Philadelphia) they don't care about that game (today)."

On DeSean Jackson's fast start today:
"First play he got the ball out there on the flat. Then, the two over-the-top. That is what Jason (Licht) brought him (in) for."

#13 Wide Receiver Mike Evans

On after such a frustrating season last year, what does it mean to come on the road against a division rival and play this well across the board:
"It means we're 1 and 0. We're going to enjoy this, watch some film, correct the things we need to correct. We have Philly the reigning super bowl champs coming in to our house next weekend so we need to prepare well for them."

On what the team showed and what they think they will do the rest of the season:
"There's a huge amount of talent on this team on both sides of the ball. When they're lined up 1 on 1 across the board, I like our odds. We've got the tight ends. We've got the backs. We've got the O-line. Everybody's making plays."

On Desean Jackson's play:
"Awesome. Like I said before I hope somebody hands him the pigskin. And he was running the ball. It was one of the most complete games I've seen."

On if he was surprised about the result today:
"Absolutely not. When I was speaking to the team, I said we had an awesome training camp and preseason. Now let's just carry it over and take it to the next level. We did that."

On if he was surprised about the score:
"I mean you don't usually see that often in NFL games but I wanted to hang 50. We should've had that. We'll work on that. We missed a couple of plays out there. We hit most of our plays. There were a couple of plays we could've had back."

On his matchup with Marshon Lattimore:
"It was a lot of 1 on 1 coverage. I like my odds. Like I said, against anybody, not just him. I worked hard this preseason and this week. Scout team gave a great look all week and I had a solid game."

#80 Tight End O.J. Howard

On the play-calling:
"We mixed it up. We know the Saints gameplan pretty well. So we can practice the trick plays, some stretch plays and trips right, our opportunities are going to come. And when they come, we can take advantage. We did a great job today."

On being 1-0, while everyone wants to talk about the first three games without Jameis Winston:
"Right. That's all that matters. Play one game at a time. It's hard to come on the road and win a game in the NFL. I'm so proud of our team for competing and to get a road win today."

On how this offense can play moving forward:
"We can be very special. You saw so many guys got involved today in the passing game. O-line played great. We run blocked. Everybody gave good effort. Our group is so special and I just think everyone has to keep doing the little things right and it's only up from here."

#14 Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick

Opening Statement:
"It was a lot of fun to score on virtually every possession. It had nothing to do with who we were going against. You could see the confidence we had going into the game. The ball was getting spread around early. It wasn't just the Mike Evans show out there or the DeSean Jackson show. It was everybody. Chris (Godwin) made some nice catches, O.J. (Howard), everybody. That's= fun when everybody's getting involved."

On their confidence right now:
"I think in general we have that confidence right now, regardless of what the play is. The talent level in that huddle of guys who can go up and make plays, it's a pretty special group. I'm glad that we showed it today, but now it's about consistency week in and week out."

#28 Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves

On his fumble recovery:
"I kind of got lucky trying to make a play and the ball popped out."

On the defense's performance:
"We're just trying to play hard as a defense and we're just trying to win games, it's that simple."

*On watching the offense score points like that: *"We're winning. When you're winning it's great seeing them score points like that and when they do you're going to win. We have to do a little bit better job on defense, but we'll be alright."

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