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
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On how wide receiver Adam Humphries could add to the run game)
"Every game there's usually some kind of a play in there. You look at the rushing at the end of the game – whatever Peyton [Barber] had then there's usually one carry, DeSean [Jackson] on a reverse. By your formation or your group tendency, sometimes you're just to do something different. We always do – on that particular play we were in what we call '01' personnel: No backs, four wides, one tight end. Primarily you're always going to throw out of that and we slipped in a run."
(On defensive tackle Vita Vea's progression)
"I think Vita's best football is in front of him for sure. He just hasn't had much production. He's given good effort. He has to get off blocks better and end up getting in on plays. It's not about effort or anything like that, it's just he's having a hard time getting off blocks. He's getting some penetration, but he's having a hard time getting of blocks. Everybody progresses at their own rate and we'd like to see him come faster, but that's what it is right now."
(On the positive he sees from Vea)
"Well, you see his athleticism. You can see him chase and run and stuff like that. You can see all the things that we saw on his college tape, but we're all judged on production eventually."
(On how much the heat can be an advantage over the Redskins)
"That's hard to say on the advantage. I always just look at it – now that we have the indoor – of like yesterday I was thinking about going in, the breeze picked up a little bit. On Wednesday, Thursday practices we run approximately 40 plays on each side – 40 on offense, 40 on defense. You've got a handful of guys based on who's not practicing that day that are double dipping, that are working on both sides. It's mainly for some of those guys – for some of the practice squad-type players – they might be playing like a real game both Wednesday and Thursday as far as numbers. We just have to be able to finish practice and be as productive as we can. On game day, I don't think it will bother us. We played – that Philly game was 106 or whatever it was heat index on the field. For a team that comes down here, that's hard to judge."
(On facing two good running backs in Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson)
"[Thompson] is actually playing well, he's just been injured a lot. It's hard to focus on a guy that really hasn't played the last couple of weeks and didn't practice again yesterday. Adrian Peterson – it's right there on tape – you know exactly what you're getting. Most teams have a change of pace back, so it's not like we haven't seen that from other teams. [Thompson] is having a good year and we'll just have to see if he plays. That one stat that jumps out at you is their 5-0 when Peterson rushes for 90 yards or more and they're 0-3 when he doesn't. That tells you who better concentrate on stopping."
(On his confidence in wide receiver Mike Evans having a better game against the Redskins)
"Mike was out yesterday, so today was Mike's first day practicing and one thing I would say that I'm really confident in Mike is his ability to bounce back. I've seen him do it multiple times. I thought his comments – number one Mike always owns it. Whatever happens he always owns it and then second, he gave his opponent credit, the guy played a good against him. Mike's going to have another good matchup. Mike sees the other team's best cover guy most weeks and he's been pretty successful doing it. I think Mike will be fine. I don't really have a good reason for what happened other than [James] Bradberry had a good game against him last week."
(On what the expectation is for the offense and not giving up sacks)
"Our goal is one a game which would be 16 for the season – tough to get. That's just one of those things. The more you throw or the more you're behind, the harder that is going to be to get."
(On going for two when down 14 and scoring, as opposed to kicking an extra point)
"You're down 14 and you score – now you're down eight. None because you're trying to keep all your options for as far back in the game as you can. I would think most people would say if you're going to go for win at the end, you'd kick the extra point, be down seven then if you scored at the end to be down one, that's when you'd go for two instead of putting more pressure on yourself to have to get the two-point [conversion] just to tie it."
(On the mathematics suggesting a two-point conversion is a 50/50 proposition)
"You must've gone to a better math school that me. Maybe the league average is at 50 percent this year. Over time in the league, it's been in the low 40s – it's been around 43 percent so it's really not 50/50. I just think most coaches in the league would say wait 'til the very end. You've got to remember when you say – use your math – it's 50/50, that's over a season. We're just talking about one game. The first time you do that and don't get it in one game, then what questions will I be answering up here?"
(On if the team has been attacked on the perimeter on defense)
"I would just say people – pretty common in the NFL – are trying to force your corners to tackle. That's a pretty common theme in the NFL that you're going to crack block on their safeties, illegal crack on their safeties and make their corners crack replace. That's definitely what we're getting."
(On if linebacker Kwon Alexander's absence on the field has an effect on the lack of fumbles forced)
"Lavonte [David] is one of the best percentage-wise in the league, but I would say losing a player like Kwon hurts your defense period, across the board. Other teams have injury situations too but losing a player like Kwon hurts you in all phases. Trying to get more turnovers – like today in practice for instance, I think we talked about this earlier this week – two passes got tipped for interceptions, so that's one way it can happen. I mentioned yesterday the sack-fumble. There's a lot of ways they can happen, but it just hasn't happened.
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries)
"Adam's a good football player and sometimes he's open you don't get him the ball and other times it just kind of presents itself. It worked out well for Adam. Since I've been here, he's been a really good football player. It'd be hard to say where he's improved because I think from the first day I got here, he'd already been here a year. He's been a good player for us."
(On tight end O.J. Howards growth and his touchdown passes against Carolina)
"Like most players, I mean they're going to continue to progress like he has. Again, it just presented itself. Sometimes opportunities for skill guys come their way and sometimes they don't – just worked out this week. He's doing a much better job I think with his pad level and his releases and he's going to continue to grow as a blocker."
(On if it's more important to have longer sustaining drives than controlling the clock)
"You would think so. You would think that all that fits to not turning it over and finding ways to control the game and not allow a number of possessions, but sometimes that doesn't present itself. Sometimes you get explosive plays because you get caught there a little bit. It's hard to score when you don't get explosive plays. When you don't and so that's that tough part is finding a way to score. We want to be explosive and not turn it over."
(On the biggest challenge going against the Reskins)
"Well, they've got really good player upfront – it starts with that. They've built it that way. They're big, powerful starting with their linebackers and outside linebackers and interior guys. They've got back-to-back first round picks I think from Alabama. They're good up front. They make it hard on you to get movement and then back end they've got – banged up at corner a little bit – but obviously [Josh] Norman has been a really good player for a number of years. [D.J.] Swearinger's playing – I mean, he's playing really well. I was not here when he was here, but he's active, making a lot of plays in the run game and the pass game. They make it hard on you with a number of really good players and schematically they do a really good job."
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
(On what he sees from O.J. Howard in the red zone)
"We saw it in the offseason. We talked about it. I thought he made a huge jump and in training camp you really started to see it and it's carried over into the season. He's just been a really consistent player for us. He's always going to be a matchup issue. Whether it's a linebacker, safety or a corner, he does a great job. I think confidence-wise too, just making some more plays and getting confident, that plays a big role in some of these young guys just in terms of playing as big as he is out there. I've got a lot of confidence in throwing him the ball."
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries and the rest of the receiver corps)
"Adam stepped up and played well. He's always the guy – when given the opportunity – makes plays. That the nice part about where we are on offense right now in terms of everybody being healthy and having a number of different playmakers, depending on what the coverage is and where it dictates to go with the ball. We've had a lot of guys step up all year long."
(On what Humphries does well)
"First, as a quarterback, you trust him. You know he's going to be in the right spot, you know he's going to do the right thing, you know that you're going to be on the same page. He works his tail off in practice every single day and he's got a lot of quickness to him – that good, subtle burst that he has. You saw it on both touchdowns that he scored with the nifty route on the short one and what he's able to do after the catch on the second one. He's been a consistent playmaker for us all year long and will just look to continue that and continue to get better at it."
(On Redskins quarterback Alex Smith's career and being in the same draft class)
"Yeah, me and my buddy Alex [Smith]. He was 249 picks before I was, but we're both still here. I still really enjoy playing the game. I know he does too and it's been fun to watch his career as it's developed. Being the number one overall pick, it hasn't always been perfect in every spot he's been, but he's really done a great job throughout his career staying the same and dealing with adversity. I've definitely admired from afar the way he's handled himself throughout the 14 years."
(On Redskins quarterback Josh Norman and the Redskins secondary)
"He's obviously a great player. He does a good job. I think they're playing really well on the back end. The addition of [Ha Ha] Clinton-Dix and I've played with D.J. Swearinger – played with him in Houston, played against him a few times when he was in Arizona. He's playing at a really high level. His ball skills and his instincts – you can tell he really relies on that and has done a great job all year. They're playing well on the back end and really the strength of their defense too. Those front seven and especially those front three, four, five guys that are creating a lot of havoc. They've done a really nice job defensively."
Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul
(On what stands out to him about Redskins quarterback Alex Smith)
"He's a very good quarterback. I played against him a couple of times and [he's] actually a very good quarterback. That really all I can say about him. You never know what you'll expect from him. I know he keeps the ball alive to get his players in position to make a play. We've just got to contain him and go out there and play our best ball, like I said. He's a good quarterback."
(On the defensive line)
"It has to start up front. I think it's going to be up to the D-line and Coach Buck (Buckner) always says, it's up to the D-line that we're going to have to take it over from here, and I believe so. It always started with the D-line with the great wins in the Super Bowls and the playoff runs – we had the D-line going. I think for future reference you're going to see us getting after it. We run to the ball in practice and just trying to do the extra stuff to get guys going. I'll say, man, I'm always out there on Sunday, and whatever comes, comes."