Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter took to the podium after his team’s 19-17 upset of the Chiefs on the road Sunday. Below is a full transcript of the press conference.
Can you discuss Alterraun Verner coming in, he made some plays? “We felt like all season corner was a position that we had good depth at and Alterraun’s had to kind of wait his turn. He has a lot of experience in this league and when he went in I fully expected him to play well and he did. He did a nice job, gave up the one deep one but other than that he played well. I don’t think Brent Grimes is too serious of an injury but it’s great when it happens that early, it happened on like the third play of the game, to have a guy that can go in there and play like Alterraun did.”
This is a tough place to play it’s a good team, what does this victory say about your team? “That’s for you guys to say, but today we were a really good football team. Today we played well in all phases, defense minus a few plays, played really strong. Offense we had good mix, special teams held up their end. This is a very tough, a team that’s won 17 of I think their last 19 games and shoot I’m proud of these guys for the way we came in here, awesome atmosphere, always an awesome place to play here at Arrowhead and we played good football today.”
Two games in a row now that Chris Conte has made an interception like that, I hope your head is okay. I don’t think he head butted you again, but what does it say about him the fact that he’s been able to make plays like that? “Great for him, we just got a nice hug this time. That was a big play because that would have been, they were in automatic field goal range and then the decision to bring it out and take that thing as far as he did, that was probably the biggest single play of the game.”
Can you talk about Roberto’s [Aguayo] ability to kick in elements that aren’t conducive to field goal kick? “It’s not like we were in Siberia today, it wasn’t terrible out there but Roberto had a good day, he had his best day as a pro and Roberto was clutch today. You could probably ask kickers in a lot of other cities that have kicked in far worse weather than that. For Roberto that might have been bad, but for Kansas City at Thanksgiving time, this was a beautiful day.”
How hard was it to execute on third down the way you did today with Jameis [Winston]? “That number, when Nelson [Luis] told me the number I didn’t believe it. I thought that was a misprint. First of all Jameis [Winston] was out of sight today. That’s as good of quarterback play of however many years I’ve been in the league now, Jameis he was awesome all day. Jameis played a great game, we gave him the game ball already so we don’t have to wait until the next time I see you, Jameis got the game ball. There was other plays to be made but from the first play all the way through Jameis was outstanding.”
You thought Roberto Aguayo was turning a corner in practice but wanted to see it in a game. Was this that game? “I hope so. Yeah. That’s what he should be saying. We couldn’t punch it in. These guys are really tough in the red zone. They’re tough to score on. It’s not like we were doing anything wrong, no one is scoring points on these guys. We had a couple things we thought we could take advantage of, but they shut us down. We needed all those field goals.”
Talk about the play of Alan Cross. You put him in at fullback a few times and he did well. “That’s actually the same play we scored on in the Rams game. It’s a two-man game and the most popular goal line pass play in the NFL. It’s just a little motion on there to dress it up a little. Luke Stocker was doubtful and didn’t practice much this week so we played [Brandon] Myers and Alan Cross more in this game. Alan Cross is a good football player. He’s one of those guys that is always overlooked but then when you go back and watch the tape you say, ‘That guy is doing what he’s supposed to do.’ We’ve been trying to get him a little more involved.”
Your team just beat the best team in the AFC record-wise, on the road and in a place they don’t lose very much. What does that say about the Buccaneers and what they’re doing right now? “That’s for you guys to say. Today we played good football in all three phases. I’m proud of our guys and proud of our coaches. What it says in the big picture, I don’t know.”
This team has come together in a lot of areas. Is this a team that can win a lot of games like this? “We got a good football team coming to Tampa Bay next week. We’ve got a whole new set of problems. We’ll start worrying about that later. We’re going to enjoy this one for now.”
Cecil Shorts has been playing pretty good football the last couple of weeks. What did he do today that allowed him to be successful at the line of scrimmage? “I thought all of our receivers: Mike [Evans] six catches for 105 yards, Cecil [Shorts] five for 62 yards, Adam [Humphries] four for 47 yards, [Russell] Shepard three for 54 yards — our receivers came up big. When they got their chances to make plays, they made them and that’s all you can ask of anybody.”
Your quarterback on Wednesday I think it was, he printed out a letter for the players and read it – how unusual is that and what it meant? “Yeah, Jameis [Winston] came to me last Saturday night – a week ago Saturday night before the Chicago game and had his letter written on a notepad, and asked me. I thought he was talking about doing it for the Chicago game, and he said, ‘No, Coach. After we beat Chicago, I want to do it on Wednesday of Kansas City week.’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course. That’s fantastic.’ It was a fantastic letter. He read it to the guys on Wednesday after practice. He just reminded them about it in there. Jameis is a special guy. We would never, ever question his leadership or his toughness, but the way he controlled the game today, other than a very brief stint at the start of the third quarter, he was as accurate as I’d seen him, made great decisions and took care of the football. He played really good today.”
The Chris Conte interception – you guys were able to take the ball and then put it in? “That was a huge turnaround. Yeah, what is that – 10 point turnaround right there because they were going to at least get a field goal. As a single, individual play that was the play of the game.”
Is this as disciplined as your team has played in a while? “Again, you guys judge discipline – I don’t judge that. That’s for you guys to judge about that. Ira [Kaufman] asked me that the other day, if we were more disciplined on the road than we are at home, again, that’s for you to judge. We’re trying to be disciplined all the time, but I don’t know.”
Pretty good decisions overall, right? “Really good.”
On what was in the letter that Jameis Winston wrote to his team? “I’m not going to get into that. If he wants to, but that’s a personal thing with Jameis [Winston]. I would never get into that.”
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@example.com
I’ll tell you what, after watching Winston receive the game ball after the KC win, if I was ever foolish enough to go into a war or a fire fight with real bullets flying, that is one of the few men I would allow to lead me.
Drd, well said, I wish I was that mature at his age. He is definitely all growed up.
Yeah the letter he wrote to the team was an interesting thing as well. There’s a reason every player he’s ever played with would run through a brick wall for him. Well said Drd
As Winston develops, I think we are going to see that the Bucs have a chance to win any game. As the team begins to believe that more and more, winning will become more consistent.
Just imagine this team with real weapons outside of Mike at the receiver position. Koetters play calling and route developing is really helping a mediocre receiving core. Not trying to hate on our guys but let’s be real here. , mots of these guys are undrafted. Jameis truly does make those around him better.
He was money on Third downs yesterday. That third down throw he made to Evans late in the 4th quarter to seal the game was amazing. He also makes his teammates better. I am so glad he is the Bucs’ qb. Jameis, we are grateful to have you as the quarterback. Go Bucs!
Hands down this was Winston’s best game as a pro. The 1 TD stat line doesn’t tell the tale of the game. He moved the ball effortlessly vs a good/opportunistic KC defense. He was poised in the pocket (OL did a great job protecting) and found the open receiver. The clutch throws he made on 3rd down really seals the deal as to this being his best game. That throw on 3rd and 3, rivaled the one he made vs Carolina. Those are not easy throws and he ripped them right to Evans. One wonky pass in the end zone & the bad red zone production (although it’s been great all season) doesn’t negate a great game. All in all, Winston was spectacular yesterday.
The word terrific has been bandied about lately. Winston was TERRIFIC. Period.
But don’t forget the O Line. Also TERRIFIC.
Agreed and agreed. I said to my brother while watching the game how I couldn’t believe how well our line was holding up. I expected a very long day for Jameis. But man he was money, especially on 3rd down. You can tell he’s on when he’s dropping it 40 yards down the sideline into a bucket.
I was nervous with KC’s pass rush against our tackles but they held up and let Jameis work
LOL. I agree chetevette. I was lucky enough to get to work on time, but rarely sober at his age.
It feels good to not have to worry about the QB Position on this team. It feels like we can check that position off our need list. When was the last time we actually had a guy who had this much skill at that position ? Accuracy, poise, and stability ? He sees the whole field, and he finds the open guy. He makes things happen. Bucs scored on that pick.
i have been on our kicker all year and it feels even better to eat crow on that choice. I won’t heap on the praise yet. We still have 6 games and he still has to prove a few things yet. But 4 field goals and perfect on point after.
Best of all ? We are actually back in the hunt. We actually have a chance to make it to the play offs. Of the remaining 6 games, I think three of them are games we should win. Dallas and Seattle will be tough. Saints we should be able to split. We might get lucky and slip in with 9-7. But there is no room for mistakes. It’s going to depend on how the NFC east and NFC north play out. But two weeks ago I was looking at draft sites. That is always a bad sign at the mid point of the year. You never know.
Hey all- I am willing to fall on my sword and say that Winston was AWSOME against the Chiefs. He was decisive and accurate. He looked like the QB we all hoped he would be when we drafted him. I love this leadership and am not yet willing to declare victory. I am rooting for us and him, but am still concerned with his decision making and accuracy
Oh- not to be downer, but all of you thinking Bucs as a playoff team , forget it. I can’t happen no matter how much the local media say it is a possibility, it isn’t. Let’s talk draft!
No, the Bucs might not yet be on the verge of playoffs this season, but with Winston ” the future is so bright you need to wear shades” . We know you don’t view the world through rose colored glasses, but you don’t need to look away when positive signs are on the horizon. At least for one week we can shelve the Draft talk.
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