Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today's earlier media availability. Full video of press conferences can be found on Buccaneers.com.
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
"I know I said I'd talk about the quarterback thing today, but I have not had a chance to talk to those guys individually. Even though I know what we're going to do at quarterback I'm not going to be able to say today just because I would never tell the media before I told the quarterbacks themselves. I hope to get that done here this afternoon – just hasn't worked out so far."
(On how much quarterback Jameis Winston improved against the Giants)
"He played better – yeah. You're asking me to put a statistical number on it. I mean, he played better."
(On what Winston did well against the Giants)
"Yeah, he got us in the end zone four straight times."
(On what Winston improved to get to the end zone four times)
"For the most part, he made good decisions with the football."
(On the performance of the safeties against the Giants)
"We were down multiple safeties and multiple linebackers. I think that was part of the Giants game plan – to try to run their zone schemes and make our DBs tackle. I thought both Jordan [Whitehead] and Isaiah [Johnson] showed up. Again, it wasn't perfect, but for the most part, they tackled."
(On defensive tackle Vita Vea's progression)
"He's in shape. His production isn't matching up to that right now. We're just not getting much production out of Vita, but it's not anything to do with his conditioning or anything like that. He's just got to get off blocks better. He's penetrating and he's just not getting off blocks consistently enough."
(On defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul's performance this season)
"Jason's been our most productive and our most consistent player on defense. He plays extremely hard. He's fought through multiple injuries and continues to do that to play. He's set the standard very high for everybody else on defense – for everybody on our football team really, from an effort and fighting through injuries standpoint. JPP's individually having a good season."
(On if going back and forth between quarterbacks is disruptive to the team and the quarterbacks)
"For sure for those players in particular – of course. Of course, both of those guys would rather play the whole time. How much it's been disruptive to everyone else? That's difficult to say. Our quarterback play in general has been spectacular at times and not good enough at times. That's just the story of where we're at on offense right now. Almost every game we get some beautiful, beautiful play at quarterback – some tremendous throws, some great decision-making, some beautiful adjustments – but at other times we've gotten some bad decision making which have resulted in turnovers and that's hurting our team."
(On if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's last interception to wide receiver DeSean Jackson was a 50/50 ball)
"That wasn't a 50/50 ball. That was a bad decision. A 50/50 ball is a ball that's thrown deep against the proper coverage and that's not what that was. You know, I'm sorry if I have to disagree with that, but that's just not – I'm not going to lie about that. That wasn't an opportunity ball, that was a poor decision."
(On if Winston's fifth-year option is a factor in whether or not to play him)
"No one has talked to me about that. I don't really know much about that. If I was ever talked to about that, then I would have an opinion on it, but I don't. I don't even really know much about it."
(On if he's every been directed by ownership to start or sit Winston)
(On why the secondary hasn't been able to deflect passes or make interceptions)
"Ok, a couple things on that. One, I don't really think when you look at passes attempted to pressure – I think our pressure is fine. We've got 25 sacks on the season which is – what'd we have last year, 17 all year? One thing is because we're playing from behind a lot, the opponent's offense is in control of when they want to run and when they want to throw. Obviously if we had great pressure every single pass attempt, but the way that game started yesterday – the Giants came out, tried to run the ball at us then of course the play actions soon to follow. Mainly – we've been saying it here for two or three weeks – to get more passes defended you have to tighter coverage. Whether it's zone or man, you have to be closer to your man. That doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out. Saying it and doing it are two different things."
(On if he is 'mind boggled' by the low number of turnovers on the season so far)
"It's boggled on both ends that we have that few takeaways and that many giveaways. It's a ridiculous number to have the disparity be that much. What's even crazier is we play a team coming up this week that has one fewer takeaway than we do which seems impossible, but it is a fact. Now, they don't have as many turnovers as we do. This is working hand-and-hand. It's a two-way-street. You've got to – the whole turnover margin thing those numbers are proven over time. If you win the turnover margin, if you're at least even in the turnover margin, your winning percentage is going to go up. If you're plus in the turnover margin, your winning percentage is going to go up. We've had a long, long streak of games here where we're in the minus column in turnover ratio, and it's not like it's just minus one. It's just a significant stat and it's the number one things that's hurting our team. Obviously, I'm not doing a good enough job of emphasizing it, coaching it or whatever, but that's where we're at."
(On if he thinks they'll come to a point in the season where there is an established quarterback)
"I never go into it thinking it's a week-to-week thing. I think continuity is a cop out. I mean, we've got capable quarterbacks. There's no reason why they can't play consistent football – I've seen them do it. I know they can do it."
(On if he will choose quarterbacks week-to-week for the rest of the season)
"You're asking me to predict the future and unfortunately I can't do that."
(On tight end Cameron Brate not having as much production this season)
"Just because the ball has been going to other guys. I mean, you guys do this every week. Whoever is getting catches – we talk about the guys who aren't getting catches. It's a fact, we have at least six really high-quality receivers – four wideouts and two tight ends. We try to have stuff in the game plan for all of those guys. Cam hasn't gotten very many opportunities just like in earlier games when I stood up here and said Peyton [Barber] didn't get very many opportunities as a runner. All those guys – if they get opportunities – they're all good enough to make plays. All we talk about is the guys who aren't getting opportunities. Yesterday, other guys got opportunities and they made plays. We had 13 explosives. Cam just only got – I think he only had two catches and I think he only got three targets."
(On if he would consider having quarterback Ryan Griffin as the number two quarterback)
"Yeah, I would of course. I've said many times that I have a ton of confidence in Ryan Griffin. He doesn't have game experience, but of course I would."
(On running back Peyton Barber playing well against the Giants)
"Really good game, yeah."
(On if he thinks Barber will be able to have more carries moving forward)
"I think so, I think that number could go up. As you said, we've fallen into this pattern where we start slow, we get behind. I thought Monk did a great job yesterday of staying with the running game even when we were down two scores. We made some nice plays in the running game and in the RPO game – we also had a pick-six in the RPO game. Peyton – with 18 carries and a couple of throws – I think Peyton had three explosives. Peyton's ability to make yards after contact, to break tackles, to get some of those explosives. I think we only had two negative runs all day yesterday. Sure, if we were playing with a lead, I think Peyton could tack on another five to seven carries."
(On tight end O.J. Howard's knee)
"O.J. is still being evaluated. They had to get some further tests. That information's going to have to be sent for a second opinion and we're probably not going to know that maybe until late tomorrow or Wednesday. We've got some good news today, but he does have an injury – that's for sure."
(On if Kendell Beckwith will return to the active roster)
"We're not going to be able to activate Kendell. Kendell's not going to be ready. He's going to [remain on Reserve/NFI]. I think the deadline is Wednesday at four o'clock – I believe is what they told me. Kendell made progress and he worked his tail off to get back. I don't think people can appreciate how serious of a surgery he had. It was an uphill battle. He worked hard to get back, but he's just not going to get back to a point where he feels comfortable playing at the level that he knows he can play at. [He's] going to [remain on Reserve/NFI]. Bad break for Kendell with this whole car accident thing. Just wish him the best for continued improvement."
(On if Beckwith's injure might affect his career)
"I don't know the answer to that. I don't know. I just know that he's not going to be 100 percent to go right now."
(On if the Winston and Fitzpatrick are players that have a penchant for turnovers)
"I could see how you could make that case – that doesn't make it ok."
(On the quarterback protecting the football)
"To win games you have to protect the football and we're not doing a good enough job of that. Regardless of who they are, that's just the bottom line. We have to protect the football."
(On if there is only so much you can correct with quarterbacks that are turnover prone)
"I don't know that that's how Eli Manning is known. I don't know if that would be the best comparison. We're not here to compare to other guys anyway. You can continue to coach it. I'm not trying to put this 100 percent on them. The quarterback's going to get too much blame when things go wrong and too much credit when things go right. Some of these turnovers are 100 percent on the quarterback – other times it's not. Some of this is the fact that we're down in games and maybe we try to do too much at times, but it's a bottom-line business."