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'm sure you've seen the release. We've made a change at defensive coordinator earlier today. Mike Smith will be replaced by Mark Duffner as defensive coordinator. I want to thank Mike Smith for his effort and his passion and for everything he brought to the Bucs. He's a really good football coach and it's an unfortunate part of this. We're going to move forward and get ready for Cleveland starting right after this."
(On why the decision was made now instead of two weeks ago following the loss to Chicago)
"Well, because we were going into the Bye Week. We've had quite a few things injury-wise not work out the way we had originally planned. I thought it was important that both sides of the ball be able to go through the self-scouting process during the Bye Week and see if we could make some adjustments that would help us play better as a football team. I do think that we had a good plan on defense for Atlanta. We did a lot of things that we had planned to do. We did some things differently, but it just didn't work out that way. This is a production business and we have to play better on defense. We have to play better as a football team, but we have to play better on defense."
(On what he hopes Mark Duffner will bring as the new defensive coordinator)
"I don't really think today is the best day to talk about this. When you make a change on your coaching staff five games into the season, it's not like you're going through a whole bunch of options. I think the next D-Coordinator – first of all, I think everybody on the defensive staff, every coach that's in that room has to help pick up the slack because Mike Smith carried a big workload. Duff has been a coordinator in this league. He's the most experienced coach on our staff, period – at any position. I think he coaches in the middle of the defense – he coaches the linebackers, so his guys relate both to the backend players and the frontend players."
(On what has to change the most on defense)
"We have to cover better. We played man, we played zone, we played blitz zone. We have to cover better and part of covering better is getting pressure on the quarterback. We've seen the last two teams we've played have both gone to a lot of seven-man protection. I think we are getting some pressure with a four-man rush – four on seven. We did blitz more yesterday. We did pressure a lot more. We're just giving up too many chunk plays in the coverage in the backend."
(On what type of message he wants this to send to the players)
"I'll just keep that between me and the players. I'm not going to send messages to the players through the media."
(On what he can do to make the team's second half defensive performace in the Atlanta and Pittsburgh games the 'norm')
"If I know the answer to that, we'd already be doing it. We did play better in the second half. We came out and got two stops right off the bat. We didn't really stop them at all in the first half. We came out and got those two stops. Had the offense executed better in those first two drives, we could've been gone from 11 down to three up in the first two drives. 'Woulda-coulda-shoulda' doesn't get it done."
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy's injury)
"We'll be putting our report out here later in the week. Gerald has a calf injury and we'll see how the injury report shakes out here come Wednesday."
(On if McCoy's injury is as severe as defensive tackle Vita Vea's was)
"We'll let you know on Wednesday on the injury report."
(On if someone else will fill in as the linebackers coach)
"No, Duff will still coach the linebackers. We have plenty of help on the defensive staff. We have several different coaches that help out in different capacities that are all capable of filling in. I don't see the linebacker coach being the defensive coordinator any different than an offensive coordinator who also coaches the quarterbacks."
(On if letting go of Mike Smith is one of the toughest things he's had to do as a coach)
"Second most difficult, but it's difficult when you have to let a practice squad player go. Mike and I worked together in Jacksonville as coordinators and I worked for Mike in Atlanta. I didn't ever see this day coming, but it's here. We have to make decisions that we think give us the best chance for our football team moving forward. That's all you can do."
(On the decision to change defensive coordinators was his decision)
(On what coaching decision in his career was more difficult than this one)
"I had a player pass away at Boise State when I was a head coach."
(On if the last play of the game against Atlanta would've been illegal if wide receiver DeSean Jackson had caught the ball and made it to the end zone)
"To my knowledge, no. The way the play ended up isn't the way we practiced it, but a lot of plays don't end up that way. When we checked on it at the start of the year when we started practicing this play, if it's inside of two minutes or if it's a fourth down play it has to be a completed lateral [pass]. If it hits the ground, that's like the old fumble on purpose play."
(On if that is the case even if the pass is backwards)
"That's the ways they explained it to us at the start. It doesn't really matter at this point. That's not the way we were trying to do it. Any play where you've got one shot from the 20-yard line is extremely low percentage. We had two shots at it with no timeouts, and we weren't able to get it in the end zone."
(On if completing the ball outside on the last play would've been ideal)
"Correct. Yeah, correct. I mean, there's multiple options on that play and maybe we'll use it again sometime."
(On if completions inbounds to wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson that did not stop the clock on the final drive might have cost them time)
"These guys are playing in real speed and I think Mike's was probably a cleaner chance to get out of bounds than DeSean's was. I'm sure if Mike it had to do over again, he would've spun the other way and got outside, but he went inside and then he should take the ball right to the hash and either hand it to the official or set it on the hash mark, that definitely cost us a few seconds."
(On how well running back Petyon Barber played against Atlanta)
"Peyton did a nice job yesterday. I mean, he broke tackles, he was explosive, he looked quick. When he got opportunities in the passing game, he did a good job. Overall Peyton played well."
(On if it was his decision to let go of Mike Smith)
(On if he will do anything differently this week regarding practices or meetings to aid in the transition of defensive coordinators)
(On if he with general manger Jason Licht or ownership on the decision to replace Mike Smith)
"Of course, I consulted Jason. I mean, he's the general manager."
(On what Jason Licht had to say about the situation)
"That's not for public knowledge."
(On how he expects the team to react to the coaching change)
"I'm not sure. You know, I'm not sure. They just found out at the team meeting earlier today, so I'm not sure. They understand that it's a production business and there's guys in that room that I've cut before – that we've cut as a football team. Some that we've cut, some that we've brought back. I think everyone understands what kind of business this is."