Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was pleased with his team’s play on Sunday as the Buccaneers came back after falling behind 14-0 early, to beat the 49ers 34-17 and even their record to 3-3. Below is the transcript from Koetter’s post game press conference.
“Alright, good guys win.”
Obviously you had a lot of confidence in your rushing attack again to win this one. Tell me what you thought you could exploit there and how you’re feeling about it.
“We had a lot of confidence in whoever is out there playing. We had a lot of confidence in our O-line, a lot of confidence in our tight ends, so the running game is not just the back. There are a lot of people involved and it was no secret. You guys all pointed out over the course of the week the [San Francisco] 49ers have been giving up a lot of yards rushing. We’d be foolish if we didn’t try to run the ball.”
Talk about what some of the other guys did, the tight ends and some of the receivers.
“That’s the kind of stuff that shows up in the film. It’s hard to see that during the game but obviously to rush it like we did today, those guys are doing a good job because you don’t rush for 250 or whatever it was if you’re not blocking somebody.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers is showing you something that obviously not too many people have seen in him.
“He’s durable, he’s nifty, he can break tackles, but I was very fired up for [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB] Peyton [Barber] and for [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB] Antone [Smith], got in there and made a couple plays on a little screen. It’d be great when we get [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB] Doug [Martin] and Chuck [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims] back, but those guys are doing a nice job holding down the fort right now.”
In the offseason you said they put a lot of work in between Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans. Is that sort of synergy on plays that are extended really around the red zone?
“Yeah, I thought Mike Evans was huge today coming back to the ball and catching the ball at the highest point, going for the ball in the air. I think Mike has just really improved his work habits in practice. Mike is like he’s on a mission out there. Sometimes Jameis can try and go to Mike too much when he has multiple reads. I think that happened a couple of times today when we got caught on that. Jameis is not known as a scrambler, but he’s a better scrambler than he’s given credit for.”
Take me back to win you guys picked up RB Jacquizz Rodgers. How long have you know he’s been this good? He seems like a guy that should have been on the scrap back in week two.
“You go tell him about the scrap. You should probably use those words too, and then duck real fast before he punches you right in the teeth [laughter].”
He said that last week.
“He did? Well I like the guy and I’m not sure how long he was. We get those transactions every day from the league and I noticed sometime before that, that he was out there. Jacquizz is just a really solid player and a really solid guy. He’s never had a chance to be a feature guy. He’s just behind really good guys. He’s been behind [former Atlanta Falcons RB] Michael Turner for a while behind [former NFL RB] Steven Jackson, we have good backs here so he’s never been a complimentary player. He’s just getting a chance. Google up Oregon State vs. USC from 1947 or whatever year it was, you’ll see. He’s a good between the tackles runner. That power that he broke that’s probably the longest run. Go Quizz go! Man, he got off. That was awesome. Man, that was awesome for him. He’s doing a great job.”
You gave up a score on the San Francisco 49ers first drive and then after that pretty sturdy on defense.
“We couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. We said during the week one of the hardest things about a [San Francisco 49ers Head Coach] Chip Kelly offense is getting used to that tempo. They went through us like Swiss cheese in that first drive. We were inconsistent keeping [San Francisco 49ers QB Colin] Kaepernick in the pocket. We were trying to keep him in the pocket. We were inconsistent doing that and we had other chances to get him down. The D-line kept saying, ‘Coach, he’s fast!’ No kidding. Yeah, he’s fast. He’s just not your typical quarterback. The guy can run and we didn’t tackle as well as we should have but we thought if we could keep him in the pocket and make him throw the ball we could make some plays on it. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers S] Bradley McDougald, of course had the nice interception, almost had another one. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB] Brent Grimes had two balls that he poked out there that were nice plays. The sack fumble by [Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB] Jude [Adjei-Barimah] coming off the slot, that was a big play. I was a little nervous there in the first quarter after they scored and we threw that pick. There we go, our offense putting our defense in a bad situation. Then that ended up as our only turnover, so I think we were plus two on the day. I think we got another one off of special teams. I go back to our punt team. Those gunners, our gunners, [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell] Shepard, not only on special teams but on offense, he had an awesome day on offense. Our gunners do such a good job forcing fair catches even when our cover guys are right on top of them.”
What do you have to say about a guy like Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell Shepard who’s primarily a special teams guy, that’s how he’s made this team for forever, for him to go out and have five catches or whatever he had.
“Proud of him. Shep’s a hard guy not to like. He’s got an infectious personality. He’s a fun guy to be around. He’s a fun guy in meetings, he can laugh at himself. I like guys like that. I think I just like being around guys like that. He gave a passionate speech. You know he was cut by Philly [Philadelphia Eagles] earlier and he gave a passionate speech in the locker-room before the game. We said with Vincent [Jackson] out, we needed some guys to step up and even though we rotated three guys, four guys in that spot, Shep’s the guy that made plays. That touchdown, right before the half on that little double move, we’ve been working on that thing for two years. It was awesome to see. They were in the perfect coverage. I was hoping Jameis saw and I was like ‘there it is, there it is, there it is,’ and Jameis threw that thing so early. He just threw it up to the spot and Shep made, you know I think that was the Russell Shepard drive. He had three or four catches in that drive.”
You’re back to 3-3. How do you feel about where your team is playing right now?
“Hell, I want to be 6-0 but we’re not. Back-to-back wins, back-to-back wins on the road. We’ve got to learn how to win some games at home. We need to, let’s keep those [Oakland] Raiders jerseys out of the lower bowl. Let’s get some Bucs jerseys in there. Let’s rock that place next week. I think we’ve got three in a row at home. We’ve got to do our part. We’ve got to learn how to win at home. We’ve proved we can win on the road. I’m proud of these guys. That’s two weeks in a row. We’ve talked a lot about complimentary football and we’ve done it for the last two games.”
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]
Keep it up coach. We can turn this season around. Rodgers deserves the game ball. Maybe he can share it with Evans and Winston. Watching Winston and Evans grow up together in the NFL is going to be a thing of beauty.
Are we seeing the signs of a culture change in our team? Have we turned the corner on negative attitudes as a team? (“We secretly expect to lose so we give up when we are down.”)
In the last two games our Buccaneers have not rolled over and quit when things looked really bad. Result … wins!
Now we need to see a change of attitudes in our fans. We will see what kind of support the Buc fans give as the “12th man” in our next game at home against the Raiders.
I’ve seen the same thing Wintergreen. Perhaps this is the “culture change” that has been needed since the Sapp, Brooks and Lynch years.
There will no doubt be a hoard of Raider fans since many our our season pass members so often sell their tickets. This is a good Raiders team so the good guys will have to get “all hands on deck” to defeat them. Let’s hope Ayers, McDonald, Murphy and maybe Martin get well this week.
Not sure what’s going on in Tampa. When I went to the Cards-Bucs game in Glendale, I was surprised to see maybe 20% Bucs fans. We were all over the place. I thought maybe the mood had changed in Tampa. Raymond James Stadium is a terrific stadium to watch games with great scenery. Sunshine, football, hotties, palm trees, and a pirate ship, why aren’t folks out at the game?
Because Tampa has some of the worst most front running ignorant fans in the league, arizonajoe.
I’ve been a season ticket holder for 36 years so I think I can say that.
Not only that, but because the wage scale is low in Tampa, thanks in part to a legislature and Governor who continually brag about the low wages in Florida to bring in high paying jobs from companies like WAWA, there isn’t as much discretionary income here for fans to attend games.
Russell Shepherd should definitely get a game ball after this game. Stepped up big.
Hope the team doesn’t get a big head after this win in fact I heard Kotter say in his post game speech, “Stay humble in victory.”
The 49ers are hardly the juggernaut of an NFL team. Still, it showed great resiliency and character to come back from a 14 point deficit.
The memory of how this team acted after the Falcons wins should still be fresh in everyone’s mind including the players. Now isn’t the time to pat yourselves on the back. It’s time to allow that victory to let you focus more clearly on the tasks in front of you.
Too bad to hear that drdneast. I knew Tampa took a hit when housing went down. But I figured they would’ve recovered by now. I hope Tampa can get more fans into the games. It truly is a great place to watch NFL games. If I lived there I would be a season ticket holder for sure. Maybe I should retire to Tampa in 10 years or so….
Drd-wasn’t there also some animosity over the years as a result of the blackouts?
All I know is I have tickets to the Chiefs Bucs game Nov 20th. I cant wait to see my Bucs live.
Heading down from Chicago for the Raiders game!!
As our Bucs were@.500 much later in the season last year, I will temper my enthusiasm as to the ‘culture change’ for now…But it starts w/ winning at home for the Bucs Faithful-
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