Can you give us an update on Adrian Clayborn?
“I can. Unfortunately it’s not a good one. Adrian is going to have surgery, so he’s done for the season. [It will] probably be a couple weeks before it happens, that he has it [surgery], certainly unfortunate for [him] and for the team.”
What it is?
“It’s a knee. I don’t know exactly what it is. Some of those three-letter deals. Exactly what it is, I think it is – it may be more than one, I got to see. They’re not sure yet.”
What do you do there with Adrian gone, what’s the game plan?
“Well, right now we’re working on that. We’ve lost two guys at the position since August, so – whenever he got hurt – so we’ll look at everything. We’ll look internally, we’ll look if there’s anything outside that’s better, we’ll look at schematically – you know, maybe we’ll have to play some more three down fronts and do some different things to stretch the personnel a little bit. Nothing’s out of the realm, but that’s what you do, you adapt and that’s what we’ll do.”
Have you thought about moving Michael Bennett to the right side?
“Anything’s fair game right now. I mean, I don’t know where it will end up. We’re spending a lot of time talking about it and we’ll make what we think is the best decision.”
What are your impressions about George Johnson at that spot?
“George has done well. He’s been inactive the last two weeks, but that’s more of a numbers thing. Daniel (Te’o-Nesheim) [has] done well when we played him so we have some internal choices; we just have to work through it right now.”
Just as this pass rush is starting to click it seems, you lose another guy – this whole position has been snake bitten for months.
“I look around the league and a lot of people have issues, right? So, the team we’re playing this week [has] similar issues on the front. Look, it’s part of life in the NFL - it’s a bad part and unfortunately it’s people’s lives you’re talking about – you know the guys that get injured, but it’s something you know going in and you have to have plans in place and that’s what we have to do. “
Does Josh Freeman have the ability to get out of plays?
“Depending on the play, he often times has a great deal of freedom, a great deal of latitude, and other times it’s a call it and run it. But most of the time, like I told you earlier in the week, it’s an identification and then getting us in and out, into a good play and out of a bad play. A couple times we were in the right call and didn’t execute it the way were supposed to. A couple times we were in the wrong call, whether we put him in the wrong call with a no change or we didn’t change. When you have as tough a day as we did on offense, there’s not one reason, there’s not one person, not one call, there’s just a bunch of things. But having said all that, when you go back and watch the tape. It’s like what is normally the case. You’re never as good as you think you were or as bad as you think you were. We were a couple of small things away from popping some of those runs. The corner falls down one time on a double move, but we don’t have time to get it to him because we made a mistake, so we just never really got in sync and why that happens after, I wouldn’t say two great offensive outings but two solid offensive outings, why does that happen in the third one, that’s what we’re trying to peel away and figure out so it doesn’t happen again.”
How would you assess Josh’s play so far?
“I have a great trust level with him. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s going to do great this year and beyond. The only thing right now is, as I said, we had two pretty good outings and then one not so good and why is that. There are so many reasons, coaching, playing, techniques and we just have to clean it up. We’re going to see another multiple front team this week, so it will be a challenge and we get another shot at it.”
What happened on the third-and-9 play with the transmitter?
“Make a long story short, we have signals that if we want to do something like cut the play off. I was unaware, you don’t always know if he’s getting it or not and I was unaware he didn’t get it so when I looked up the run play was not what I heard go in the headset. But that’s not to say that Josh did the wrong thing. When the clock is ticking, we could have called timeout or, it’s not the worst thing in the world with the coverages they were playing not to run the ball. Not that that is the time you want to do it but I can see why his mindset was, let’s run this, maybe we can pop it, we’re going for it on fourth down anyway.”
Would you have rather he called a timeout there?
“I’d rather I’d known that he didn’t (get the play) and I call the time out for him. It’s easier that way, so you never call it when you don’t want to. So we just have to make sure that we’re better communicating if you don’t get the call, because that happens, especially in domed stadiums, for whatever reason, that’s happened to us in the past, that’s happened to the Bucs in the past, and especially toward the end of the game. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know if they’re firing up different electronics at the end of the game for all the postgame stuff. I’m not sure of that. But it’s happened in the past. And we need to make sure we’re prepared for it. Again when things like that happen, that falls on me, because, for whatever reason, and as a head coach, that’s your job. You’re the situation coach. You have to make sure that no matter what arises you have contingencies and you’re ready to go.”
What have you learned about your team through three games?
“It’s a team that plays very hard. We practice hard, we play hard. We need to practice more focused and we’re going to play more focused and we’re not going to lose that effort, how hard we play, regardless of the situation. We’re going to play until they tell us to get out of there, and that’s something, when you have that, you have something very special, and so now we have to clean it up, make the mistakes go away and continue to play with the same kind of effort and we’ll be fine.”
Do you have concerns the offense is too predictable?
“We definitely self scout, both now, during the week, Monday night is a big self-scout night, but also during the game. So we’re aware of where we were. As you look back, would you like to change a few, Mike and I, sure we would. Sometimes, when I say we were out of sync, we were all out of sync and we were trying to get it calmed down and going and it just never really got it, they did a good job. When that happens you look internally and say we didn’t, we never got it flowing. But then as a head coach you have to look at the other side and say they had something to do with that. And we have to be able to, when they’re playing at a really high level, have some answers for these guys that we can, because it usually doesn’t take but one or two plays and now the guys start cooking again, and I didn’t do that for them. I have to have a better set of plans to calm it down and get ‘em going.”
Is it unfair to say it was too conservative?
“It’s a 16-10 ballgame and if we block the punt and the ifs and buts game, right. If they don’t blow it dead and we scoop and score then we’re sitting there saying this is Bucs football, man. Great defense, time of possession, win the kicking game and you win. When it turns out you lose, then it’s too conservative. And when you win, to some maybe it’s still too conservative, but to others you say, boy, that’s good football. Do I think Josh is capable of doing more things down the field, I do. They did a good job of taking some of the down the field stuff away. The stuff that we hit against the Giants the week before we didn’t quite do it as well this week. We threw some but we didn’t win the battle.”
After the game you said you’d have to go back and look at the film to see what happened with the receivers and separation – now that you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts?
“Bad timing. When we had some separation we didn’t have as good a protection and when we didn’t have the separation, we kind of had better protection. Does that kind of go hand in hand with the defensive call? You would say yes, but not as much as you thought. Sunday, again, I know it sounds cliché, but we were just out of sync. You can’t afford to do it very much, but sometimes you go out and you just don’t have your good stuff. And the thing I’ve learned being a head coach for 12 years is, on days you don’t have your best stuff, you still have to find a way to win. That’s when a head coach and a staff have to find a way to win that game, even though you don’t have your best stuff, and I didn’t do that. So I put it here, but this team has got something to it and we just have to get back to work and in six days we get another shot. Thanks guys.”