Dirk Koetter Confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Start Week 10

Head coach Dirk Koetter also discusses the Bucs turnovers and poor tackling against the Panthers in week 9

RE: Team’s pattern of falling behind

We tried to take the ball first, (not) to try to defer and they got it anyway. We put our defense in two holes with the interception and the fake punt, but you’re exactly right – we’re in this pattern, that we go out, we get behind, we get killed in the second quarter, then we rally like hell in the third quarter and then everybody thinks we’re back in it and then we fade off at the end. That’s definitely the pattern that we’re in. If I knew one thing to fix it I’d do it right now, but I don’t know what that is.

RE: Carolina’s offense today

They had a couple of really nice double reverse plays and got us on two 30‐yard runs, but our tackling was very poor in the first half. We did much better in the second half, but that first half we just looked like a bad tackling football team in that first half.

RE: Decision to go for fake punt

We felt like since we hadn’t been getting any turnovers that we needed to try and steal the possession, the way Carolina’s playing and you know it was there. We had a breakdown in protection and that’s the risk you take when you try a fake punt like that. You’re either going to look real smart or you’re going to look dumb if it doesn’t work. So that’s on me.

RE: Five games with no defensive takeaways

It’s hard. If you’re not getting any help, you better not be turning it over on offense.

RE: Whether Ryan Fitzpatrick start next week

Yeah, Ryan will be our starter next week. Ryan has one there in the first half – the overthrow on the interception – that he’d like to have back and then he did a good job getting us back in it. That second interception he was trying to get a big play to DeSean (Jackson), but Ryan did some good things today. We’ve got to play better across the board.

RE: Adam Humphries contributions today

Hump’s a good football player. He’s kind of down the line in the pecking order for us as far as a guy that gets targets. They did a good job on Mike (Evans) today. It was more about Hump was the guy. They were doubling Mike some. They were pressing Mike a lot. Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) found him and Hump made a couple of nice run after the catches on his own.

RE: Carlton Davis, III taunting penalty and the young secondary

I didn’t actually see the taunting. When he made the tackle over on the other side of the field, I was headed to the other end. Obviously, it must have been. That penalty really didn’t hurt us because we went down and scored on the next drive, but we knew we were going to have growing pains when we’re playing some young guys. I think Carlton Davis is going to be a real good player. He didn’t have a great overall day tackling today, but on the play he got the taunting that was a nice open field tackle.

RE: Team is 3‐5 again

I don’t think the past equals the future. We’ve got to play better football, more consistent football. We have to get off to better starts. We’ve got to be in the hunt in turnover battle. We’ve got to be stalemate or better and we’re just not doing that right now, so obviously I’m not getting my point across.

RE: How did you prepare for Carolina offense

We know because they play option football you have to play assignment football. You’re worried about Cam (Newton) and what he can do with it. You’re worried about (Christian) McCaffrey. They don’t send you a text message and let you know they’re going to run a reverse on the next one. So that’s just another added dimension and they’re doing a good job with that. We couldn’t get it defended today.

RE: Poor production today

We were down four scores. You get behind so fast you just run out of posessions. We’ve been able to run it a little more efficiently on these guys in the past, but today we just couldn’t get it going.

RE: What do you say to team at 1‐3 in the division

We’re actually 1‐2 in our division. I say we’ve got 3 left and we’re going to need to win them all.

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