The Bucs are the darlings of the league after they upset New Orleans in the Big Easy on Sunday.
From Ryan Fitzpatrick lighting the field on fire, to the fact that Tampa Bay scored more points in this game than they did in any game last season, there was a lot to be happy about.
Head coach Dirk Koetter wants the players to enjoy the victory and have a good time, but his mind is already on their next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images
“It’s a week to week league” Koetter said. “Im very happy for the guys, those guys deserve it, but literally a few minutes after that game I was thinking about Philly. That’s just how it has to be for me personally, the players, I hope they lived it up or however they celebrate, but you gotta move on” Koetter said.
Despite all the Eagles focus, Koetter did address questions about Sunday’s 48-40 win over the Saints.
Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson dominated on Sunday, combining for 293 yards and three touchdowns. For the head coach, it was all about them winning their battles, which they did early and often.
“They won a lot, it’s very unusual for that to be that high of a number. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a game where it was that,” Koetter said. “I mean it’s not unusually high number of attempts, but to hit them all, all 12 of those times is pretty unusual. I thought DeSean and Mike both have really practiced hard leading up to this point and worked on things we knew was going to come up in this game, I thought that really helped.”
Koetter praised their work ethic.
“I think these guys have done a good job practicing harder, longer,” Koetter said. “We practice hard enough in pads, but I just think harder, longer. Especially during training camp, those can be monotonous for players at time, especially the not new guys. One player he gave praise to for his game was Center Ryan Jensen, saying he was a man possessed out there.
Scoring 48 points is great, but giving up 40 is a quick reminder that there are still things that need to be fixed. It was big learning experience for the rookies in the secondary, especially Carlton Davis, who had a rough go of it out there. Koetter talked about their play.
CB Carlton Davis – Photo by: Getty Images
“Well, if you’re a rookie cornerback and your first NFL game is in the SuperDome against a Hall of Fame quarterback, I would say they did about how most rookies would do in that same situation.” Koetter said. “I thought they both got better as the game went on, and I think they both learned lessons that they will carry with them as we move forward.”
Lastly, Koetter finally acknowledged something that we all knew, but he wouldn’t confirm himself. That would be Todd Monken calling the plays for the regular season.
Koetter thought Monken did a great job, but pointed it out that it’s the Buccaneers game plan. Not just one guy calling it. The execution made the difference.
“Monk did a great job calling the plays yesterday, but the Buccaneers did a great job of executing plays yesterday,” Koetter said. “And that was a great example of execution. Monk did a terrific job. We had good rhythm, we’ve had good rhythm all preseason, but that was a game of execution.”
– Mark Cook and Matt Matera contributed to this report