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 Jameis Winston
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On if running back Peyton Barber was participating in practice)
(On having a successful offense is a testament to the player and the scheme)
"Yards and stats are nice to look back on later at some point, but right now you've got to get one more point than the other team. Yards have to transfer to points, points have to transfer to win. That's really the only way you can look at it right now."
(On if it's harder to evaluate an opposing team that inconsistent)
"I don't think it's necessarily harder to evaluate them, I just think they've had some injury issues. They've got really talented players on offense at the skill positions. When [Andy] Dalton's hot, he's as hot as anybody and he's got good players to throw it to. Some of those players have changed especially at tight end and backup receiver. Their running backs, they've had a real nice one-two punch. Those guys have been banged up a little bit. I wouldn't say it's harder to evaluate, I just think they've played really good teams some teams that are probably a little better than them and some teams they're probably better than."
(On if any other players have stepped into the role of bringing energy like linebacker Kwon Alexander)
"For sure it's different because Kwon's one of a kind. He's a fire plug. His passion for playing football is really refreshing because it's like when I was a high school coach. Like how high school guys play, Kwon bring that kind of energy every time he goes on the field and [at] practice. I don't think, whether it's Kwon or anybody else, but that's who we're talking about. I don't think you replace that guy. I think other guys – you can't ask guys to be something they're not. I don't think Lavonte [David] is going to turn into that guy. I think Lavonte's going to just play his same outstanding, solid, consistent football. I just think energy-wise, they're going to have to absorb that as a group."
(On how it goes playing a close friend that's the opposing head coach)
"It doesn't. It doesn't go. We'll talk before the game. We'll have some common people there before the game that we'll take pictures with on pregame – that's it. Other than that, you're trying to beat each other. It's just a normal week in that respect."
(On if him and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will check in with each other after the game to discuss each other's strategies)
"Probably not. If there was something specific, – 'Why'd you do this against us or why'd we do this against you?' – there'd be no reason to be afraid to ask. Nothing like that has happened in the past."
(On if Coach Lewis is someone he can relate to when it comes to being a head coach)
"I don't even know how to answer that. Marvin and I are good friends. We will be good friends. We'll be friends today, we'll be friends after, we'll be friends until we're old, old men. One game's not going to change it. This week it's not him against me, me against him, Bucs and Bengals, that's it."
(On if he has sat with general manager Jason Licht to discuss possible trades)
"Jason and his staff are working on that. Jason has talked to me about a couple guys, but I personally am not involved in that right now other than to listen to whatever they want to tell me because we're busy doing our other thing. I can assure you that Jason's looking into all avenues and it's his job to make decisions that are best for the Bucs. I trust him to make those decisions because he's good at that."
(On maximizing wide receiver DeSean Jackson's touches)
"Every game is different depending on the defense. If you remember in the very first drive, the very first time we had him open and Jameis [Winston] overthrew him. Then going this other way later in the game it was a pretty good throw, DeSean had is hands on it – [Denzel] Ward actually made a heck of a play on that. That's why Ward was drafted where he was drafted. He made a nice play. DeSean had a touchdown, had a big play at the end, probably could've had two other touchdowns if we execute a little bit better. The other team's getting paid as well. We played 95 snaps on offense, so we've got to rotate those guys and as much as DeSean's running deep routes, probably somewhere 40ish is probably a good number for him. We have packages. We have stuff where we think this ball is going to go to Mike [Evans], we think this ball is going to go to DeSean, think it's going to go to Chris [Godwin], think it's going to O.J. [Howard], but ultimately we don't get to pick. The defense can take a guy out by rolling it, doubling it, etcetera. We try to even it out, it's never going to be perfect."
(On if players with previous experience – like newly signed linebacker Kevin Minter – are able to pick up the playbook more quickly)
"I think so yes. Usually our experience with guys like that – he's got 44 starts – they get it real wick. They say, 'Oh yeah, that's the same as this, that's the same as this.' He's got Brenston Buckner here who was with him in Arizona to do some translating for him. He and Kwon played together at LSU, so obviously he had a friend right off the bat when he walked in. You can tell this guy has played. He'll get up to speed quickly. We'll see how it works out for this week, but I don't think it'll take too long for him to help us out."
(On if the weather condition in Cincinnati will be a factor for kicker Chandler Catanzaro)
"He spent [a year] in New York, so I'm sure he's used to the conditions. It is going to be definitely different from a weather standpoint, so he'll be out there a couple hours before the game along with Bryan [Anger]. Those guys will go out there and test it. They'll give me a little report on what the wind is doing, what they think their range is. Nate [Kaczor] will be watching them. We'll have to take that into account. The 59-yarder the other day was good conditions and a little breeze behind us."
(On if there is anything he likes about have Coach Duffner on the sidelines as defensive coordinator)
"First off, having done it both ways myself as a coordinator, I think that guy's got to be comfortable whether he's more comfortable calling it upstairs or down. In Duff's case, because he is also the linebacker coach, it did make a lot of sense. He wanted to be down on the field so he could talk to the guys. I think he even called the entire defense up one time. I was really impressed with how Duff – as the linebacker coach, Duff is one of those guys that brings energy to the team. As the defensive coordinator, he has to keep little bit cooler head because he's making the calls every time. I think he did a really good job of that. Through the years, plenty of people have done it both ways – whatever they're comfortable with. I did like having him on the field, but if he said he wanted to go to the box, then that would be fine too."
(On how much Alexander being out affected the defense's slow start to the second half)
"Four solid quarters not just on defense, but as a football team. In professional football there really should be no excuse for coming out flat and obviously that falls on me first and foremost. I was just stating fact. That was a very emotional halftime because of the timing when Kwon came out of the training room at exactly almost the same time we were getting ready to go back out. I had not ever really seen anything quite like that in my time. The good side of it was, it showed how much our players care about Kwon – that was touching to use a word I guess I could use. At the same time, I don't think it did us any favors coming out of the locker room, but once again it's pro football."
(On if he will get the wet footballs out in practice if they are expecting rain in Cincinnati on Sunday)
"Probably not, I think we've got enough on that and Jameis has always thrown the wet ball good. We'll see how it goes. I've never done that before. I've always felt like the work we got in training camp was sufficient."
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
(On having one of the most productive passing offenses in league history yet not being as balanced offensively or scoring at the desired level)
"First of all, that's not ideal. That's not ideal to want to put yourself in that position. We do talk balance and that is about all of your skill players touching the ball. I think we've done a good job of that. I think a lot of our skill guys have touched the ball and have added to what we've done offensively, but we've got to be able to run the ball better and more often. We've got to be able to not turn it over and score touchdowns in the red zone. Some of those areas we're doing a fantastic job of and others we've got to do a better job of."
(On how running back Ronald Jones has progressed)
"He continues to get better. Again, he needs to practice and he's getting that – he's getting more and more reps. We're gaining more and more confidence with him. He's got to dial in some of the little things that come up when you're playing the best in the world and I think he's doing a better job of that. He's only going to get better because he does have talent.
(On offensive lineman Alex Cappa's progress)
"Doing fine. I think he's got a bright future. The transition's going to be a little steeper for him coming from where the level of football. He's tough, he's smart, really likes football, so those are all good qualities you want. The problem happens that at some point you start the season. The developmental stage in the offseason we don't have pads on, so you get to the preseason and he plays in the preseason, but then it's time to move on. Now it's time – our practice reps go to the guys who we expect to play in the game. He still gets reps, but there's still some of that part that's the unknown. A little like Caleb [Benenoch] was when he was his first year and a lot of those guys their first year. Some get thrown right in the fire because they have to and others it's just going to take a little longer."
(On if wide receiver Mike Evans getting over 100 yards per game is a sign of a player going to another level)
"Well, I think he had a great off season, a great off season, Skyler [Fulton's] done a great job with him. He's playing at a very high level – playing fast. Really is concentrating on yards after catch. He's doing a better job there – his releases. So, that part of it makes it easy. We try to move him around a little bit, but there's such comfort in him in the positions we put him. Having the weapons that we have on the outside, we never look at it like it's a mismatch for us. It's an advantage for us and it should be."
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On his experience being the quarterback of a successful offense)
"I say it every week – it's a blessing to have people that we have on this team. Especially, really every level of that offense starting with the offensive line and the backfield and the guys outside on the perimeter. That's a credit to the guys upstairs, Jason Licht, and the guy upstairs, God. It's a blessing to be a quarterback in this type of offense and to have those type of targets."
(On how much faith he has in running back Ronald Jones)
"I think as with a rookie, your goal is to get better every week and I think he's done that. So this would be a big time for him to step up and show what he's worth."
(On the Bengals' defense)
"Cincinnati has some great defensive personnel. They have a great front seven, so we have to just get the ball out on time, be in great rhythm and protect. They also have two great cornerbacks. They've got a good defense in all, so we've just got to beat their coverage."
(On what make the offensive scheme successful)
"I think we just have a good vertical passing game and that's what [Coach Koetter] does well. We mix it up with the play action and we also have guys like Mike Evans, Cam Brate and O.J. Howard. He's had Cam and Mike since he's been here. They're making plays. Dirk's offense has always been successful for the most part for what I know and my prior knowledge. We just have to go out there and continue to execute it."