-Yesterday, Head Coach Dirk Koetter announced that veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick would start this weekend at Carolina. The decision came after Fitzpatrick entered this past Sunday's game in relief of quarterback Jameis Winston late in the third quarter, following Winston's fourth interception of the afternoon.
"We're going to start Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) at quarterback this week," Koetter informed the media on Monday. "That's what we feel like we need to do this week to give ourselves the best chance."
It comes at a time that Tampa Bay is struggling in turnovers – both committing them and creating them. The Bucs are -13 in turnover margin through eight weeks of the season, meaning they've committed 13 more turnovers than they've created. Turnover margin isn't necessarily the sole indication of whether or not a team is playing well, the Cleveland Browns have the best turnover margin in the league, but it certainly helps and if it's not in your favor, can be hard to overcome.
As for quarterback Jameis Winston, Koetter isn't committing to anything long-term but it helps that Fitzpatrick is one of the most viable backups in the league, if not the most. Fitzpatrick has the league's best passer rating and helped set the foundation for the Bucs' top-ranked passing offense this season. If you want to read a little more about the switch, see what Scott Smith has to say here.
-Rookie cornerback Carlton Davis III was a guest on Bucs Total Access with Casey Phillips yesterday. He was asked about his favorite moment through the first half of the season and without hesitating he said during Week Seven, the goal line stand the defense put up against the Browns, then the ensuing celebration of rowing the boat. He said it was his favorite because it was all of them celebrating together. I have to say, it was extremely well coordinated and clearly the guys are having fun with it as the defense continues to improve.
Davis also wasn't shy about what his immediate goal was for himself continuing into the season: an interception. He neeeeds one and you could hear it in his voice. He even called it 'mandatory' and something that he thinks about all the time. He knows that if you have good coverage it's only a matter of time and he's (not so patiently) waiting. He also noted that as a defense, he thinks the Bucs can do better about forcing turnovers whether they be interceptions, forced fumbles and strip sacks. He also mentioned that there weren't too many major changes to the defense. The only change he noted was a simplification, which allows them as a whole to play faster. Davis is no stranger to change, either. A change in defensive coordinator is something he went through in college at Auburn. He had two coordinators and three defensive backs coaches throughout his career, in fact.
Davis also revealed his obsession with the TV show The Office. He said that he's always looking for office t-shirts so people can know how much he loves the show. He also mentioned that if he sees a fan wearing an Office t-shirt, he may even be more likely to walk over and give an autograph, so keep that in mind if you ever see him around.
-Bucs players will be reverse trick-or-treating, bringing candy to patients at the Moffitt Cancer Center today on their day off. Tuesdays are players' day off but a lot of them use the time to get out in the community during the season. Defensive end Will Gholston will also be hosting a pizza party with video games for at-risk youth this evening. More on those events in our community impact article that comes out every other Monday.
View exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos of the Buccaneers Week 8 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium from Team Photographer Kyle Zedaker.