Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top 10 Quotes of the Week, Oct. 3

How can the Buccaneers improve their run defense? What would a second straight division win mean? Those topics and more in our top quotes from One Buc Place this week.

Between the end of last weekend's game in Houston and kickoff this coming Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had time to break down their Week Three game tape, devise a game plan for the Carolina Panthers and hone their plays on the practice field. They also found plenty of time to discuss the week's most pressing topics, from the play of the Bucs' offensive line to the need to keep Cam Newton from running wild.

Here are the top 10 things we heard from Buccaneers players and coaches in Week Four of the 2015 season:

  1. "No, I'm not pleased at all with – you're right, 19 points isn't bad, but defensively our number-one goal is to score, is to get three takeaways a game, is to be under 30 percent on third downs. We haven't accomplished any of that. Our goal isn't to give up 186 yards. But you have to look at the big picture of how were you in the football game, and that's where we were. At the same time, I've seen a lot worse defensive games being played than what we've done the last couple weeks. A lot of room for improvement still, and we'll make that, but we're not going to junk what we're doing right now, is my point. We're on track to eventually break out of this and have an excellent defensive, offensive and special teams game into one. Hopefully it's this week against Carolina."
    - Head Coach Lovie Smith on if he is satisfied with his defense giving up just 19 points in each of the last two games

  1. "That's the main thing: [If] you want to be a dominant defense, nobody can run the football. We see a lot of things that we could have done better. It's small things, it's real funny when you see it. Once we get that situated, it's a real easy fix – very easy fix. It's going to be fixed right away. That's the thing that you look forward to, that's what makes everybody more confident. We shouldn't have let that run game get on us like that. We've got to do a better job with that."
    -LB Lavonte David on a big rushing performance by the Texans and preventing a repeat against Carolina

  1. "First of all, let's talk about the positives. Jameis did a great job of getting the ball out on time in this game. A great job. We had zero sacks against one of the best rush teams in the NFL, with two elite – two elite – pass rushers. Very few teams have that. And what's strange about the game is, on first and second down, Jameis was as accurate as could be. He threw some beautiful balls. Unfortunately, on third down, he wasn't as accurate as he needs to be. Two of them that just come to my mind right off the bat, he didn't set his feet good enough. He got his base a little bit too wide. Get your base wide and the ball tends to sail on you. So we had two of those. But Jameis threw some great balls in that game. That just shows what he can do. We have to remember that it's his third game. I think plenty of people out there were wondering if a team did shut down our running game and force us to throw, could we do it? It wasn't good enough, but we made progress."
    - Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter on the performance of rookie QB Jameis Winston in Houston

  1. "It has to be a confidence booster. Ali Marpet and Donovan [Smith], and Logan Mankins he's leading those guys. He's guiding those guys. He's the veteran on that line and those guys are the young guys. You think about Joe [Hawley], his second week being in a Bucs uniform, he's out there producing and [Gosder Cherilus], he's a veteran as well. It's a big confidence booster for those guys. They deserve that. They deserve to feel that way, because that's how good they are. People may criticize them all the time, but we have a good offensive line and now people can finally see that, because against the best defensive line probably in the NFL, they produced – no sacks. It has a lot to do with me as well. People look at sack situations – it's not all about them missing a block. It's about how long I hold the ball and people getting open. All the sacks I blame on me, but it's definitely a confidence booster for them."
    - QB Jameis Winston on the play of the offensive line, which held Houston without a sack

  1. "This team needs better from me and I will get better. But it's in the past; the game's behind us. We should have definitely won if I make one or two more plays. I'll work hard in practice this week and hopefully I'll make those plays come Sunday. "We could be dangerous. Jameis played great, the O-line played great, everybody played great except for myself. If I pick that up we could be dangerous. I don't know what it was. I just didn't feel as comfortable as I have been in the past, but I guess that comes with more reps."
    - WR Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 101 yards in Houston, on not taking advantage of other opportunities in that game

  1. "They're a whole different defense with him out there. He's very smart, he gets them in the right looks. He's good at checking defenses to what he sees. You can tell he watches a lot of film. He's just a step quicker than most linebackers. He gets to the ball quicker. We need to make sure we know where he's at the whole time [if he plays]."
    - C Joe Hawley on Panthers Pro Bowl LB Luke Kuechly, who has missed the last two games due to a concussion

  1. "It presents some problems for any middle linebacker. They do a lot of different things. They're not just a drop-back team, they run the option, they run the ball very effectively, but they do a great job of getting the ball to the right people in the passing game. They give you a lot of different looks and it does stress your [middle] linebacker. We are going to do all we can to help him as much as we can with what we are doing, but he'll be challenged this weekend for sure. [They have] different personnel groups as well."
    - Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier on the Buccaneers' rookie middle linebacker, Kwon Alexander, facing Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense

  1. "It's huge. The division is where the playoff game begins. Obviously we have one up right now in our pocket, but we've got to continue to fight – get one at home. Protecting home field throughout the rest of the season is going to be very big for us. Any time you have a division opponent, I'm not saying it's any more important than any other game we have, but we know it's going to count more as far as that playoff picture."
    - WR Vincent Jackson on the opportunity to go to 2-0 in the division with a win on Sunday

  1. "It's best for a defense if you can keep him in the pocket. When he is able to move with his feet and kind of get going downfield, he'll kill you. That's really what makes him so good. We have to do a great job of filling the rush lanes and trying to get somebody up the middle in his face and then you have to set the edge because he, in my opinion, is the best escape artist we have in the league. If you don't get him bottled up he'll kill you."
    - DT Gerald McCoy on trying to keep Panthers QB Cam Newton from doing too much damage with his running

  1. "They say it's a big game at Raymond James this week, we see it that way. Another opportunity to play at home; haven't played our best ball here. [We] get another opportunity at that. Carolina is a good football team, defending champs, all of that. We know what's at stake. [We] had an excellent week of practice. I feel like we are ready to go. We've been close a lot. It's time for us to get over the hump."
    - Head Coach Lovie Smith on the importance of Sunday's game
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