Head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media following Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and was frustrated with the end result. Schiano talked about leaving points on the field, scoring just six points off of turnovers and the inability to slow down the Falcons' passing game.
Tampa Bay missed several opportunities to take the lead in the wild card playoff race, but more importantly – getting their seventh win of the season. Below is a full transcript of Schiano's post-game press conference.
Does this one come down to just maybe leaving a few too many points on the field?
“Yes, it was a hard-fought football game by both teams. A very physical football game, but I do think missed opportunities is a big part of it. There were some chances both offensively and defensively and on the kicking game. We have not been making all of them, but we had been making a lot of them and today we only made some of them.”Did you think if you held them to 24 points maybe you had a chance of winning?
“Like someone asked earlier in the week ‘do you plan on it being a shootout’? I don’t think you can ever plan on it being anything. Every game has a personality and a life of its own. This one certainly did. I think we had three possessions in the first half. It felt like you couldn’t get the ball. We couldn’t run plays. We had 19 plays at the end of the first half. This personality of this game was not [what we would have] predicted. It usually happens that way.”Can you talk about the play of your secondary they gave up a lot of yards in the passing game again and does it come down to that in any way?
“Well, you know 80 of it is in one play. You don’t give up the big play like that monster play. It is against a very good quarterback you hang in there, but we did give it up. Therein lies the issue, right? That has been a little bit of our Achilles heel and we will get it corrected. We are going to keep getting better at it, but it just didn’t happen today.”
The way you play your safeties so close to the line to stop the run is that going to be a problem you are always going to face or is there a way to do both?
“Well, in reality the safeties play deep considerably more than they play close to the line. What happens is when they are close to the line, you notice it. If you look at two high safeties and a lot of times we will disguise and rock back and things, but when you go single high you are going to have to be able to cover one and one at the corner position against the wide outs. You have a post safety. You have a guy out in the middle of the field, but outside along the boundary that’s what it amounts too.”Was there any thought to try to pin them down instead of trying a 56-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter?
“There were a lot of thoughts. There were thoughts of pinning them down. There were thoughts of going for it on fourth. There were thoughts of we have made a field goal from longer than that at that exact spot on the field and the wind was coming from the ship. The reason we did it is we felt my confidence in Connor (Barth) is that he is going to make that. I still have confidence in him. If we had to do it another time I believe he is going to make it. That’s the kind of kicker I think we have. And that’s not unfounded – at least my time with him. He has proven that to be the case. Just again, one of those missed opportunities. Not easy. It is not like every day I say go hit that 56-yarder and we will call it a day. That is a tall order, but I think we have one of the best kickers in the National Football League. I am confident in him.”Can you talk about Josh Freeman and how he played today?
“I thought he played well. Like everyone else he is going to say ‘I wish I could have done this a little differently.’ He hung in there in the pocket. He took some hits and made some big-time throws. There are probably a handful he would like to have back, but overall I thought he played well.”At the end there it comes down to if they make the first down they are going to hold on to the ball and run off the clock is that just a tough situation to be in?
“Yes, it certainly went into the consideration. When you have them on second down you think you stop them then after the two-minute warning use a time out. Then get them third down [and] stop them and you have plenty of time to go run a two-minute drill with one timeout left. I have confidence in Josh and our people who do that. We didn’t stop the third down play. That’s what kind of put a little muck in the works.”Only scoring six points on two turnovers, is that a spot that you say if only we could have that back?
“I think that falls into the missed opportunities column. We have been very good at scoring touchdowns off of takeaways. When you come up with field goals, it’s hard to win games by threes. Sevens add up considerably quicker.”Close doesn’t matter at this point does it?
“No, never has.”The trick play from Mike Williams to Vincent Jackson, is that something you all have been working on all year?
“We have had it around.”
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