Mike Evans and Alan Cross – Photo by: Getty Images
A relieved Dirk Koetter spoke with the media following the Bucs last-second win over the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, giving Tampa Bay a 2-3 record heading into their bye week. Below is a transcript from his post game press conference.
Was this as much of a team win as you’ve had, with the defense getting the turnovers and the late drive?
“Our defense was awesome all night. Four turnovers off the defense, one off special teams, holding Carolina to one-for-eight on third downs, our D played a heck of a game. First half we did an awesome job stopping the run, we fell off a little bit there in the second half but a lot of guys came up big tonight and it started obviously with our defense. In the first half, the fact that we could run the ball, Jacquizz (Rodgers) did a heck of a job tonight as well.”
Did you feel Jacquizz (Rodgers) was capable of that kind of workload?
“I think I mentioned to you guys that I saw Jacquizz (Rodgers) carry it about 50 times in one game in Oregon State against USC a few years back so I knew he could do it.”
How close enough did you need to get on that last drive to feel comfortable about the game winning field goal.
“I wasn’t comfortable. We couldn’t have got close enough.”
The last drive.
“That was a difficult situation because Carolina had all of their timeouts left and we were kind of backed up a little bit, so I felt like we should go conservative until we made a first down just because I think a three-and-out would have been very dangerous right there because they would have had a chance to come down and get the field goal. We went with our jumbo package, we had a lot of big guys in, we tried to run it and they stuffed us a couple of times on the run. That third down, that was a crazy series there where the refs kept coming in and stopping the play for all of those various reasons. There was just a lot of stuff going on. On Jacquizz’s run on second down, I’ll be interested to see the tape. Even though he went out of bounds, he went out of bounds sideways. I thought they should have wound the clock right there. They stopped it, so then we threw it out of 13 jumbo, that was a huge play, to get that first down. That was the key to that whole drive, was getting that first first-down. Then we went into our two minute offense and Jameis (Winston) did a really nice job of making good decisions, checking it down at the right time. From there, I’ve said many times, I am real confident in what we can do in our two minute. Our guys did a nice job and then once we got to the 40, I thought if we ran the ball, for Roberto (Aguayo), I don’t think it matters that much inside the 35, I don’t think distance really matters that much.”
How much does the game winning kick calm the concern?
“I don’t know about that. I am happy that he made it and that is awesome that he made it but we can’t miss those field goals. What do you want me to say? We can’t miss those. That could have lost us the game, I’m happy that he made the other one.”
Producing a game winning drive
“That was a great team win. To beat Carolina here, I think its seven straight times they’ve beat the Bucs and we’re 2-0 in the division both road wins, we did some nice stuff tonight. We did some really good stuff. I‘m really proud of the guys. Three of our four starting defensive linemen out, starting our third running back, a ton of guys stepped up big time.”
Number one priority getting into the bye week
“Getting healthy. That wasn’t a hard question right there, getting healthy.”
You ran it 10 times on the first drive, six in a row, was that the mentality, ‘we’re going to run this football tonight?’
“I think if you look back, last year, we ran it like that. When we are making efficient runs, we keep running it. We did that a lot like last year with Doug (Martin). I think we had a good run game plan. George Warhop, our run game coordinator, did a nice job and Jacquizz was making yards. When you are on the road and the way we’ve been turning the ball over we just felt like they’re playing their backup quarterback, it was take the crowd out of it, slow the game down a little bit, that was the best strategy tonight.”
How big was it just to stop the bleeding after losing three in a row?
“Man, we just won on Monday Night Football. No one thought that we could, you kidding me.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Great questions and really good responses.
Now everyone knows what Koetter was thinking in the final two minute drive and it sounded like good reasoning to me.
But of course after listening to his explanation of why he didn’t call a TO against the Rams, that seemed pretty rational to me as well while all the other so called “experts” fault him for it.
I doubt if they ever even listened to the reason why they just blamed him for not calling a TO. Are you listening Ron and JP. Morons.
I’ve never like J.P. Peterson either. Ron is OK because his name is Ron. I kinda like that name.
Yes, they gutted out a win where nobody thought they could. I loved running Rodgers down their throats. Lets get healed and win!
We did the typical things that bad teams do on the road to get themselves beat (ie: FGs instead of TDs in the red zone, bad penalties in the red zone, etc..) but a win is a win and I’ll damn sure take it! Hopefully we’re fully healthy and ready to go in SF on the 23rd. Go Buc!
Off topic but I just checked out the new ESPN NFL power rankings for this week. How does the 1-4 Panthers coming off a loss to us move up 2 spots from 15 to 13?
The Bengals with a 3-2 record lose and move up 2 spots, Green Bay with a 3-1 record win and drop 3 spots behind the Bengals, Raiders are 4-1 with a win this week and falls 3 spots, and Washington is 3-2 on a 3 game winning streak and drops 3 spots. It doesn’t make any sense.
It’s ESPN. Everything they do is related to maximizing traffic and eyeballs on the games for the NFL. A power ranking that makes sense doesn’t get people looking at it.
You are absolutely correct your lordship. ESPN and all the media will focus on the major markets like New York, Chicago, and L.A. And don’t even get me started with the NFL Network, which should be renamed the Dallas Cowboys Network. They always cover them. They get major coverage even when they go 2 – 14. They have only been to the playoffs 8 times in 20 years and only won twice!
I’m happy we got the win! Players stepped up and played well. Go Bucs!
Saw a nit of a replay on the game and forgot that Grimes made a TD saving tackle on the Panthers RB right before he got his INT against Carolina. Great plays.
Also the bracket coverage on Olson on the final pay of the first half was a great call. too.
McConogh had a really good game as well an seemed to do the best at covering Olsen one on one. Olson may have caught the ball sometimes, but McDonough was always right there to make the tackle.
On to San Francisco.
I really thought this season was over. If we don’t get Martin,Ayers,and McCoy back it probably still is. Won’t beat good teams with no D line. Great job of those guys stepping up though. So glad to see. So used to being let down. Perhaps this is where it starts with a turn around.
Thank god bye week is coming then the crappy Niners. 3-3 would be in thick of it…..
Go Bucs! Hoping guys get healthy soon.
We are going to face their their disgraced QB.
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