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Quotes from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Week 14

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoke to the media following their week 14 game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Dec. 9


(On the play of the Saints' defense in the second half)

"Well, they were better than us in the second half. There's no question. We couldn't get anything going on offense, and 14 points isn't going to do it against the Saints."

(On momentum change caused by the blocked punt)

"Yeah, that was a momentum change. We had other chances, but that was definitely a big play."

(On the effect of the Buccaneers offense's inability to stay on the field in the second half had on the defense)

"No doubt. Our defense was on the field way too much in the second half. I think we had sixteen, almost seventeen minutes of time of possession in the first half, and like twelve in the second half. Again, that's just not going to work against the Saints. They totally shut us down in the second half. We couldn't score points, fourteen is not enough, and our defense was on the field too much."

(On two missed field goals)

"Well, there are several plays in the game – the blocked punt. We had a golden opportunity right there the first drive of the second half. That was a beautiful strip-sack when the ball came out. We had a chance to get seven or three and we got zero."

(On if he had an opportunity to talk to quarterback Jameis Winston and center Ryan Jensen)

"No, I didn't."

(On penalties plaguing team)

"Today, definitely. We had way too many holding penalties. That killed us. We went through a stretch there where we had a bunch of penalties right in a row. We got dominated in the second half. They shut us down. We haven't been shut down like that for a long time."

(On if he felt they were letting Saints stay in the game)

"No, no. We scored right before the half to get the lead. You can't miss opportunities like we did that first drive of the third quarter. But, you know it was going to be a hard-fought game."

(On play of wide receiver Chris Godwin)

"We missed him a couple times, and he had to leave his feet for a couple catches. But, they played tight coverage on all of our guys all day. They had their guys right up on us, and we anticipated – that's how they play. That's how they play. They are an aggressive defense, and that's why they're ranked where they are on defense. We've played fine against that type of coverage in the past, but we couldn't shake them today. We didn't protect good enough and we didn't complete enough balls. We were less than 50 percent completions. So, a combination of all that stuff is just not good enough on offense."

(On if missed field goals were due to field conditions)

"Just missed them. The field was the same for everybody."

(On quarterback Jameis Winston)

"I didn't think Jameis [Winston] was as sharp as he's been the last two weeks. But, he also didn't turn the ball over [before the final offensive play]. We were [plus-one] in turnovers, as far as offense [and] defense. But, [the] blocked punt is a huge one. Jameis was under duress all day; Jameis got hit too many times today. You can't have your quarterback getting hit that many times, whether it's scrambling, running, four sacks. We can't get him hit that much."

(On if Saints brought more defensive pressure in second half)

"No, they played the way they've been playing, which is good. They've got a good defense."

(On defense's effort in the first half)

"Our defense was fantastic in the first half, and we just had them on the field too much in the second half. Again, they served us up a golden opportunity there to start the second half."

(On offense's ability to run the ball)

"Well, we struggled on offense – period. I mean, we've never struggled like that in our passing game. We had over 100 yards rushing, but we struggled in the passing game. We're one of the best passing teams in the league, but we weren't today."

(On if Saints changed their defense's coverage after the 36-yard completion to wide receiver Mike Evans on opening drive)

"They mixed up their coverages today. But, the same coverage that they played on that long one to Mike [Evans], that's their base coverage."


(On what went wrong in the second half for the offense)

"We just have to finish, it's simple as that. We've got to execute better and just finish."

(On if New Orleans changed their defensive looks in the second half)

"Not really. We just have to execute."

(On if he felt like he was under siege by New Orleans' pass rush all day)

"No, I've got to get the ball out of my hands for the most part. It is really about just making the simple plays and executing, that's all."

(On the sideline conversation with center Ryan Jensen)

"Brothers have disagreements, so it wasn't that much. We just have got to get everyone tuned back in and go out there and make sure that we are all for each other."

(On if it felt like New Orleans' defense took some of their downfield options away)

"You know, when it's tight coverage you've got to be precise with the football. You've got to create separation and we did that for the most part, but it's about executing."

(On if he felt as sharp as he's played the last few weeks)

"Yeah. I feel like I can get better every single game."

(On Tampa Bay's defense playing a strong game but having it slip away in the second half)

"Just complementary football. We have to play better complementary football. Defense did a good job of holding one of the best offenses in the league for a long period of time and we've got to help them out."

(On if he feels the Buccaneers gave the game away more than the Saints won it)

"I feel like as a team, if we had played better football it probably would have been a different outcome, but they got the win. So, you really can't go if, ands or buts about that."

(On only connecting once with wide receiver Chris Godwin today)

"We've just got to get a better connection. Again, they [New Orleans] did a great job of pressing us up and kind of minimizing the separation. I've just got to be more accurate with the football when throwing to Chris."

(On failing to score in the first possession of the third quarter following the defensive takeaway)

"Every possession is critical, not just one possession really matters – every possession matters – so bottom line, we've got to find a way to make the most of every time we get the football and we didn't do that enough in this game."

(On what looked like his leg being rolled up on at the end of the first half)

"No, I am fine."

(On if he needs better pass protection)

"I've just got to get the ball out of my hands and, like I said, simple execution. Can't put them in that situation. Sometimes I can make some good plays for them, other times I've got to get the ball out and just complete the football."

(On how frustrating the team's offensive penalties were)

"We all know that we can't hold ourselves back. As you see when we are on a roll, teams have trouble defending us, but we can't beat ourselves."

(On if the Saints disguised their coverage better than previous weeks)

"They had a couple of unscouted looks, as far as our approach to the game. I mean, bottom line – when a guy gets open I've got to get him the rock. That's all and that's really it."


(On what the team did well in the first half)

"I thought we were running the ball a little bit better. I thought Jameis [Winston] was making good decisions. Obviously, we had a couple big plays. Mike [Evans] had a big play down the sideline the first drive. Seemed like he had a little more time back there in the pocket. If we give him time, we know he's going to make plays. I thought he did a good job making some plays with his legs on third downs to keep drives alive. Just for whatever reason we couldn't continue doing that in the second half."

(On how much he credits New Orleans for a second-half comeback on the road)

"A ton. I mean, winning on the road in the NFL is hard. They're a really good team. Anytime you win ten games in a row, that's not luck. You've got to give credit to them. I thought defensively they really challenged us in the second half with some of the looks they were doing, some of the coverages they were giving us. They have some good guys on the D-Line who were able to give some pressure and we just didn't have an answer for it."

(On what they tell each other going forward with three games left)

"We get to play football for a living. We're blessed to be in that position. No matter what our record is, we're going to fight for each other, we're going to fight for the coaches, so we still have a lot to play for regardless of what our record is. Hopefully we can finish out the year strong."

(On how the Saints defended differently than in week one)

"I would say they probably played a little more conservative – always had a safety over the top. You've just got to give credit to them. They challenged us as receivers and tight ends – put us in a lot of one-on-one matchups. We just didn't make enough plays there to take advantage of what they were giving us."


(On where the team goes from here)

"Keep grinding, man, keep getting better. Can't hang our head on this one. We got three more games left to play – finish the season strong, go make the corrections from this game and move on to next week."

(On if it's reassuring to be able to cause turnovers even in a losing effort)

"Of course. That's the name of the game. You create turnovers, you get the offense in position to score touchdowns – the game usually turns out in our favor. Our guys do a great job of making an emphasis on that throughout practices and turn it over to a game and then showing it. Great interception play by Adarius [Taylor] being a football player. He made the paly and then Carl [Nassib] forced a fumble. It was good to see, hopefully we keep it up."

(On the biggest difference between the first and second half)

"They just put more points up than us (in the second half). We went into the half 14-3. It's a four-quarter game. We got to be able to come out, sustain that momentum. We didn't. The momentum shifted and they were able to capitalize off of it and we weren't able to get it back. That's probably the biggest thing that happened that I see."

(On the momentum changing after the blocked punt)

"It wasn't difficult at all. We're out there, defensively – I can only speak on defense. When we're out there, we have to stop them from scoring touchdowns. We didn't do that."


(On if the errors were mostly self-inflicted)

"Yeah, I feel I like we came out with a lot of confidence – moved the ball well, started the game really good and had some adversity there in the second half and just didn't bounce back from that the right way. Like you said, a lot of self-inflicted stuff. Just can't have that against a really good team."

(On if the momentum changed after the blocked punt)

"You know, it did. It did. As an offense, as a team, we have to bounce back better from that and just fight through that adversity and be better."

(On what New Orleans was doing differently in the second half, defensively)

"Nothing really different. They just – whatever they were doing was working. They did a good job all day of disguising some coverages and making it tough on us as receivers to recognize the different type of coverage they're running and to get open and create separation. Their secondary did a good job and hats off to them. They played well."

(On if New Orleans' defense didn't do anything different in the second half, did Tampa Bay's offense change something)

"We just didn't have it clicking like we did in the first half. I don't think we came out with the same confidence in the second half. Just didn't respond the way we should have."

(On if the New Orleans' defense did something differently compared their week one matchup)

"Some of those big shots we hit on – they weren't giving us that look that would make those shots be successful today. They were taking those away and we weren't able to hit on those, but we had a different game plan than we did week one when we played them. I thought that it started well, just didn't respond well in the second half."


(On what he and quarterback Jameis Winston said to each other during the game)

"…coming off a bad play. Families fight. Me and Jameis are highly competitive guys and we just had simple words. We talked about it. We got cooled down and talked about it and everything is good."

(On the importance of the chemistry between him and Winston and moving on from the argument)

"It's a game, right now. You have to put it behind you right now. We went and talked about it and cleared the air and we're good."

(On not being as efficient in the second half)

"I think we came out a little flat in the second half as an offense. We started off the game, obviously going down and going 75 (yards) and scoring on the first drive. We just stalled out in the second half."

(On penalties along the offensive line)

"It comes from discipline. Me, for example, I've hurt this team a couple different times this year with stupid, selfish penalties and I need to be more disciplined than that, in that aspect."

(On if it feels like they gave a way the win more than New Orleans taking it from them)

"The Saints are a really good football team. In the first half we were in it. We were winning and we came out in the second half flat and they took advantage. So, all credit to them."

(On if he feels like the offense left Tampa Bay's defense on the field too much)

"You know as an offense – I'm not sure how many drives we had in the second half. I know we didn't have very many sustained drives. Yeah, I mean you leave the defense out like that against a great offense like the Saints have, that can happen."

(On his interaction with Jameis Winston)

"It was just a little argument. We cleared the air right away. Nothing major. There was some frustration – everybody – we felt like we had an opportunity to go and really put the pedal down and go. We had my personal foul, we had another holding call, stuff like that. You can't win football games when you're committing penalties like that."

(On the team priding itself on playing for the man next to you and if they got away from that mantra today)

"No, I don't think we did. We're out there, fighting and competing our butts off and when that happens sometimes guys get hot. Like I said before, me and Jameis [Winston] cleared the air right away. He went his way, I went my way. We came back and talked in like two seconds and everything was good."

(On if the offensive line was the cause to some of the offense's woes)

"I mean, it's a team game, but yeah I think as an offensive line we could have played better."

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