Between the end of last weekend's game against Carolina and kickoff this coming Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had time to break down their Week Four game tape, devise a game plan for the Jacksonville Jaguars and hone their plays on the practice field. They also found plenty of time to discuss the week's most pressing topics, from taking advantage of turnover opportunities to facing Jaguars QB Blake Bortles.
Here are the top 10 things we heard from Buccaneers players and coaches in Week Five of the 2015 season:
- "Our M.O. on defense is to take the ball away. When you have the opportunity, you've got to get it. We didn't get it as much as we wanted [Sunday] and it cost us big-time. We've just got to do a better job on that aspect and own it. That's just something I expect from myself. From the first time I got the opportunity to play in this league, I expected myself to make as many plays as I can, do whatever I can to make this team better, just do what I do, go out there and have fun and just love the game of football."
- LB Lavonte David on the need for the Buccaneers' defense to take advantage of turnover opportunities
*9. "No, I did not. I did not think it would have this type of impact. I thought moving back to the 15 [yard line] is still a fairly short field goal to make. A little bit longer extra point, but I didn't. Now it's really being discussed and we're talking an awful lot about the kickers, putting more pressure on them each week. I didn't at the time. Now, of course, we, unfortunately, really have to deal with it and we'll find a way to deal with it a little bit more. We can deal with the extra point a little bit better. We can go for two more, but eventually you have to be able to make some field goals and we'll find someone to do that. *- Head Coach Lovie Smith on if he thought the new extra point rule would have as big of an impact as it has, and the Bucs' own placekicking issues
- "I think it's pretty normal for a kicker. It's very rare these days that you're going to stick with one team. So you've got to look at as a business. I'm kind of a consultant. What, there's 32 jobs? It's just a blessing to be able to play wherever, no matter what it is. To be able to be one of the 32 guys again is pretty cool."
- K Connor Barth on the unusual path that has brought him back to his position as the Buccaneers' kicker, a job he held from 2009-12
- "It really is that simple. You just have to take the simple play. Give it to your back, let him make a big play. You can't put everything on yourself. Sometimes [defenders] they make good plays. Thomas Davis made a great play on that interception. There are so many ways you can sum up an interception, but at the end of the day you just got to try to limit those. There are opportunities to make that play and try to protect it a little bit more."
- QB Jameis Winston on the need to settle for safer passes in some situations
- "Exactly how he practices. He comes to work every day, he works hard, he finishes plays, he knows his assignments, runs really hard breaking tackles. He got involved a little bit in the passing game. [He] made a nice little play on the screen the other day. They actually blitzed into it. He bluffed his guys, made a heads up, savvy, veteran play on that screen. Doug is one of the guys that's playing winning football for us right now."
- Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter on the consistently good play of RB Doug Martin in 2015
- "I think so. He did a good job. Some of the things he did were things we had seen him practice. He's played with a great deal of intensity throughout. [He] had a great training camp for us and he's been coming all along. He got in that game and he was a disrupter at the defensive end position. There wasn't a tight end that got any movement on him at the line of scrimmage and he was able to get a couple of pressures too on the quarterback. I think he justified our decision to start him in that ball game."
- Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier on if DE William Gholston took advantage of his first shot at the starting lineup this year
- "Donteea has just been a grinder. Donteea is a hard-working kid. He's smart. He's picked up our playbook. Anything we've asked him to do, he's been able to do. He's going to be a great utility guy for us – be able to come in and give a different look. Teams don't know much about him. We're going to bounce him around, move him in different positions. He's just a hard-working football player. He has great talent, great ability and he's earned his position and an opportunity. He brings some burst, some juice. Obviously he's not the biggest guy, but everybody should have one of those little, dynamic guys that maybe can catch a reverse or do something like that. It's nice to have him suiting up with us and maybe giving a different aspect to our offense."
- WR Vincent Jackson on rookie WR Donteea Dye, who was promoted to the active roster early in the week
- "It's a mesh of age and youth. I really like the young guys. They are coming along. They're both athletic guys and strong guys and, most importantly, smart guys. They get what we want to do and they don't make many mistakes so that's great. They're willing to listen and learn and follow what you think is the right way to do it. That's been the best part about this line. We don't want to have hills and valleys. We want to keep going on an upward momentum. It hasn't been pretty, but we are getting better and hopefully as the year goes, we'll continue to improve."
- G Logan Mankins, who is questionable for Sunday's game with a groin injury, on the Bucs' offensive line
- "He's grown up a lot. He definitely is comfortable. He's one of those 'run-pass option' guys. He would rather throw first, but I think last week, he had like 47 [rushing] yards, something like that. And that was with a hurt ankle. We've got to keep him in the pocket. He's a big guy, not easy to bring down. If we rush him the right way, I think we can have a big day. You always want to get a quarterback off the spot. You never want them to get comfortable. With him being a young guy still, he's still trying to learn, so you can throw a little bit at him, get him thinking a little bit, that helps. But really, our four-man rush has to come alive. I think that should be enough."
- DT Gerald McCoy on the need to get pressure on rising young QB Blake Bortles of the Jaguars
- "We're still developing. To be able to see us success against the pass against a pretty good front and to be able to run the football, that's showing us what we can be. Now it's about being consistent with that effort and that's for our entire football team right now. We see signs. In every area we see signs of what we can be, but the good teams are able to maintain that and you expect to have that type of effort every time and you start to get it. That's where we want to be."
- Head Coach Lovie Smith on the need for the entire team to start showing the consistency he's starting to see in the play of the offensive line