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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Postgame Quotes

Postgame quotes from Head Coach Lovie Smith and Buccaneers players after a 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.


(Opening statement)** "That was a tough one to lose. Just kind of recapping the game a little bit, anytime you have a blocked punt, blocked field goal in the red zone, getting ready to put points on the board, and you throw an interception, and then just not being able to get enough pressure – I think we had one takeaway today, so it was good to at least get on the board – you're not going to win many games. I thought we ran ball fairly well at times, to keep ourselves in it, but those mistakes really threw us off. We got ourselves back in position at the end, and it's unfortunate we didn't handle the situation as well as we needed to there at the end. You don't lose a football game on one play, I feel like, at the end. We had so many opportunities that we didn't capitalize on. We're ze-ro and two. We don't have a whole lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves with Atlanta coming up quickly. Injury-wise, we had a few. Of course, [defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy going down doesn't help our case any, and [linebacker] Mason Foster – losing your MIKE [linebacker] and your three-technique puts the defense in a hole a little bit, but nobody wants to hear about all that. We don't know the extent of the injuries; neither could finish the football game. Hopefully we can get them back before long."(On if wide receiver Mike Evans was trying to get off the field on the final play of the game)"I think so, hope so. He took a blow, I don't know exactly how bad. We didn't get off [the field], in the end. We need to, if at all possible, but again, that's one play in the game."(On if the turnovers affected the Buccaneer's play calling) "No, I can't say [that]. It hurt us at the time, it stopped momentum. I liked the way the offense started off. Getting the ball, going down and getting a touchdown right away, that's the way you want to start the game. We need to make the field goal in that situation, and we need to block and not let them block the punt and get three points on the punt, so those things contributed more than anything else."(On if he second-guessed the playcalling on offense)

"We put ourselves in position to put points on the board. In a game like that, we take those points, we win the football game. If we get those points, we win the football game. So no, not necessarily."(On if the hit on Evans could have been a penalty)
"Possibly. It happened pretty quick, there were a lot of things going on, possibly that. For us, as much as anything, no timeouts, clock's running down, we need to get off to give ourselves a chance. I thought we would have had time to spike the ball, so we didn't handle that situation as well as we needed to."(On not using any timeouts before the end of the first half)"I think we were in decent position, based on what happened. At the end, we had some timeouts where we got one big play before, but just wanted to go in at halftime and not go in the hole an-ymore."(On how they can handle situations similar to the last play of the game)
"The only thing you can try to do is get off the field, and Mike [Evans] took a big hit. Have anoth-er timeout. Again, when you're in the game that way, you have to look at ways to possibly get one more play in, and that's what I'm talking about."(On if saying he didn't want to get into a hole at the end of the half meant he didn't have faith in quarterback Josh McCown throwing the football)
"No. Right before the half I didn't want [St. Louis] to put more points on the board. The only thing that could happen was something bad, then. That didn't have anything – I don't know your ques-tion or what you really asked, but at the end of the [half] I felt like we needed to go in then with-out anything else happening. That's the decision I made, it didn't have anything to do with faith in anybody else. Head Coach's decision that I made."(On how disappointing McCown's three interceptions have been)
"I think you have to leave those last two with that last game. This one was a big one to hurt us early. That's in the first half; we had a lot more football left to go. I'm going to go again about how he played at the end of the game. This is kind of simple; we can talk and question every-thing we've done. You lose games when you have a field goal that's blocked when you're going to put three points on the board. When you have a punt that's blocked and they score, that's when you lose. And then you have a turnover down there. There's nothing else. Besides that, it's just football that's being played."(On the cause of the blocked field goal)
"Without me seeing an instant reply of it, you have to think first, it's protection. And then maybe we'll look at the video and we'll see that the ball was low, too. We as a football team didn't exe-cute that play well enough. We need to be able to get points there."(On if Evans knew about the 10-second clock run-off at the end of the game)
"I don't know for sure. I, as the head football coach, didn't do as good of a job, if Mike was able to get off. And there's a lot of 'if's.' Really right now, I haven't gone to Mike, 'Hey, Mike, could you have gotten off? Were you dizzy at the time?' I'm just going to say we didn't handle the sit-uation. I wished we could have handled the situation better."(On the defense not stopping the St. Louis offense at the end of the game)
"We need to make a play. They got a big third down conversion. When you can't get pressure with your four-man rush, you have to blitz a little bit more than you probably wanted to, to gen-erate some [pressure]. Then you put guys in a man-situation and we didn't really match up as well as we needed to there at the end."(On not having five defensive starters due to injury)
"We can't use it [as an excuse]. Everybody has injuries right now. Even with all of that, we had our opportunities on those earlier things that I talked about before. That's what we can't do. Until we clean those things up and not make those major mistakes, we're not going to win many games."(On if the coaches talked about the play call on third-and-seven)
"I mean, that's what we called at the time. It didn't work, right? It didn't work. We'd like to have that over, we've like to have that play over. That's on us as coaches. We can call a better play in that situation. The third-and-two? No, we'd do that over again just like we did it. Believe me, there was a lot more. Our guys were playing their butts off. We as a staff need to do a better job, which we will. Our guys fought, banged up, so again we're going to handle some situations a little better next time and eventually we'll start winning some football games."**QUARTERBACK JOSH MCCOWN

(On the last play of the game)* "When we got the ball, I said 'You know guys, every time you see me throw it, you [have] got to start running towards the ball. You've got to get up there.' So we got the completion to Bobby [Rainey]. He did a great job the whole time getting up there. Then we got the next one clocked and got it to Mike [Evans] and unfortunately he just took a hard hit. Brandon [Myers] was trying to get him up and keep him on the field. Mike was just trying to find his bearings, I think, and so the refs blew [the whistle] I guess. I didn't really understand what was going on when the refs blew it and the trainers took him off. That was it and its unfortunate because I felt like we were getting to a spot where we could let Pat [Murray] take a swing at it. It was a great job by the of-fense getting us down the field. They blocked great. Bobby made a great catch and then Mike."(On the play after the turnover at third-and-7) "It came in as a run and I'm a little surprised, but you know you have to trust the call and we had gotten a big chunk of yards on that run before. The way that they were playing, to overload one side, you don't really think on third-and-6 to run it, but we just saw things on tape where we felt like we could rip around the back side and we had done it a couple of other times in the game. Those were coaches' decisions and we trust that they are doing the best for us."(On the interception in the red zone) "[It was a] bad decision. I just got outside and saw Vince [Jackson] and thought he was coming underneath the guy. So I tried to get him the ball coming across and I think he said he collided with the guy and just didn't get there. So I just have to throw that one away and make a better play another day."(On running late on third-and-7 before kicking the go-ahead field goal) "I don't know; that's hard for me to get into because if that's the case then we ran the ball the rest of the game. We were throwing it up until that point, so I don't think so I think it was more because we're down numbers on defense. To try to continue and move the clock, especially on third-and-2 or third-and-1, its understandable for a run to be called there."*

(On steps toward improving)** "Improving – I know you guys hear me say it every week, but we're a young program that's try-ing to build and find out who we are. We're in a process of doing that every week and things will happen just like today and we will look at this tape and say, 'Man, that was great. This is a gain for us and that is something we improved in.' There are other things that we are going to need to clean up and fix, especially as veterans, we need to come together and focus on the things that we can do to get better and that starts with me just eliminating all turnovers. We can't have that one. That's what I will focus on and every guy will have his thing to focus on. We'll continue to improve ourselves."(On Bobby Rainey and the spark he provided to the offense) "Bobby was awesome. I wasn't here last year, but they told me about Bobby and how when he filled in he carried the ball well and he certainly was that today. You know he was a great spark and that's another reason why I think with the way he's carrying the ball on third and two you go for it and you give him the ball because Bobby is making plays in the running game. He was fantastic and it's no surprise."(On going into halftime with three timeouts) "Everybody's thoughts are different, but if you can get the ball down there and try to get a field goal – that's great. Again, there was a bigger picture that we were looking at there and Coach made a decision. We tried to throw a screen to Bobby [Rainey] and get something going, but it didn't get going. With the clock being down it just seemed like the best thing was to run it."(On uncertainty in the team after starting the season 0-2) "No, there isn't any uncertainty. Lovie [Smith] is our head coach and he will give us a vision and he will continue to lead us and we will rally behind that. There is no uncertainty. There are dif-ferent emotions that you are processing right now. Everyone is definitely going to be heartbro-ken about this one and hurting, but at the same time we have a quick turnaround and have to go to Atlanta. We have a game plan and have to get ourselves ready to play and play good foot-ball. We have to sort through whatever injuries we may have and have to go out on the field and compete. No, I don't think there is that [uncertainty]. It's just a matter of us continuing to show resolve. It's a tough thing. You don't ever find out your resolute until you're into bad spots. You're kind of a front-runner until you do something bad and you come out of it. That's where we are right now. Again, Lovie and our leadership will guide us through this and the veterans will pull us out. I said this earlier, we have the right guys and it's going to come. You don't want it to come this early in the season, but adversity is coming and you just have to process it and deal with it and move forward."(On taking a shot at third-and-7 in the red zone)
"We looked at the play they wanted to run and we ran it. I don't know if all of those things are being considered since there is a 40-second play clock. I don't know if all of that is being con-sidered, but maybe it is. It's hard for me to answer that question. All I know is that for us as players - you execute the plays that are called and you execute them at a high level. Regardless of that play there are other plays that we didn't execute as well as we could have an

They're really really coming together."(On tweaking of the offense during the weather delay)
"I mean just a little. You go through things and we felt like we were rolling pretty good and we had two long drives and so we liked our stuff. It was really more of going back through and [say-ing] what do we want to do again and what do we want to move on from and different things like that. There's the normal stuff that you always do. The coaches get together and they come talk to us and we kind of go over it and that's standard procedure."**SAFETY DASHON GOLDSON

(On the defense's forced turnover in the third quarter)* "We pride ourselves on that; we know what's expected of us. Just with that play, we came and scored a touchdown on that and put us up. It's just something that our offense capitalizes on and we just have to get more of those."(On losing defensive starters to injuries) "We're going to ask the young guys to step up. It isn't any secret that we have confidence in the guys and they practice with us, they push us at practice and they just have to step up. They're on our football team for a reason."(On what the team needs to do to win) "We have to get off the field on third downs. They converted some big plays and kept us on the field driving us and we have to get more turnovers and quit turning over the ball at the same time to help each other out."DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DA'QUAN BOWERS(On his performance today) "I don't think I played very well, not well enough to help us win. It's never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. We're going to critique it on the tape tomorrow and see what's what."(On facing a short game week ahead) "You definitely can't dwell on it. We're not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we didn't get it done. It's time to move on and we have to get going and prepare for Atlanta."*CORNERBACK ALTERRAUN VERNER

(On overall game)* "It's pretty simple. They made plays that we didn't. We had opportunities where we could have done something, and we didn't. We have to give the Rams credit. They came out, and they knew that it was going to be a tough game. Their No. 9 [Austin Davis] hadn't seen too much, and they rallied behind him — they made plays."(On single plays changing the game) "Oh, yeah. That's why you have to take advantage of every opportunity or look because it can just come down to one play. One play doesn't win or lose a game — it's multiple plays throughout a game. The field goals they made and the turnovers they got, that's why the score ended up going in their favor."(On overcoming injuries and inexperienced players) "There's no excuse. Whoever's out there we believe in wholeheartedly. Obviously, Gerald [McCoy] going down was a big blow and some of the other guys from previous weeks. I mean, that's the game. Everybody knows that this game is going to have injuries and people going down. People have to step up."DEFENSIVE TACKLE AKEEM SPENCE(On losing players to injury) "It's tough you know. We hate to lose a guy like Gerald McCoy. That guy is the best defensive tackle in the league. Clint [Clinton McDonald], Da'Quan [Bowers] and me are trying to come in and fill in for him. You know, pick the slack up. We might not be on the same level as G [Gerald McCoy], but we're not too far off. So we're just trying to come in and keep the defense going and keep everything rolling."(On emotional side of losing a leader like Gerald McCoy) "It might take a while, but we have to be able to bounce back. You know, right now we're 0-2, and we have a quick turnaround. We have to go to Atlanta, whether we have them or not. We don't have [Adrian] Clayborn, so hopefully we'll get Mike [Johnson] back."(On Head Coach Lovie Smith's postgame message) "We don't have time to sulk in our sorrows. It was a tough loss, but, you know, this is the NFL so we have a game in less than a week. We have to get our game plan in and get back to work. Simple as that."*WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS

(On knowing the 10-second runoff rule)* "Yeah, I know the rules. Like I said, it was a big hit and it kind of bothered me a little bit. I was trying to get up and get on the ball."(On the frustration of losing the game) "Absolutely. I know all the guys are going to say the game wasn't lost on one play, but, to me, I'm the guy that could have changed that. I could have put us in a position to win and kick the field goal and get the win, but it was just unfortunate."(On how to bounce back after the loss) "Just think about a win. Nobody likes losing. Just keep having that motivation to win. We have to game plan tomorrow and it's a short week. We just have to execute come Thursday."(On what he was thinking on the last play) "It struck me and then I was trying to get up. I knew we had to spike the ball. I knew time was running and we didn't have any timeouts. Brandon [Myers] was pulling me up and I was about to get up and the referees just blew the whistle, so it was unfortunate."RUNNING BACK BOBBY RAINEY(On the ending of the game, with the 10-second runoff penalty) "Well, that's one of the rules. It sucks, but it's one of the rules. We definitely did a good job of handling it, that's all. But that one play, like Coach said, that one play didn't decide a win or loss. It was tough that we didn't take care of – I know I didn't do a good job at times in the pass game or at protection, so I got to do a better job of that. I know that's one of the causes of us not put-ting ourselves in a position to win the game. Like I said, there wasn't just that one play at the end."*

(On the depth of the team being tested)** "That's just part of the game. We got to continue to fight and, like Coach said, just find a way to win. That's what we got to do. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and just find a way that we can help the team win."(On his performance today) "It doesn't matter when we lose. You can have all the yards that you want, you still have the team come up with a loss, it means nothing. At the end of the day, it's about the team."(On bouncing back from last week) "That's my goal: to get better each game and to make up for that mistake I had last game. Ap-parently, that wasn't enough, we still had the loss."(On the performance of the offensive line)
"Guys did a great job. Like I said, how many yards I have is because of those guys. It's not me just doing it. You got to have a hole in there. They're the ones creating the hole and I'm just do-ing my job as a running back seeing it and hitting it."

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