Dirk Koetter on Andrew Adam's Three Interceptions

Dirk Koetter Postgame Press Conference Bucs vs. Panthers

Head Coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media following the Bucs' game against the Carolina Panthers

(Opening statement)

“I don’t know how many of you guys are aware, but we have six representatives of the 1984 Highland [High School] Rams’ state championship football team here today and they’re all 52 years old, man. How old does that make me? That is so awesome that those guys could be here today. I haven’t seen most of those guys for over 30 years, so it’s very cool they could be here today and bring us good luck.”

(On what offense he ran on high school team)

“The same ones we ran today on the ones that worked.”

(On the play of the defense)

“The d[efense] was fantastic today [with] four turnovers – four interceptions and four sacks. The offense, we just couldn’t get that last score to put that game away in the second half, so the defense just had to keep going out there and keep getting it. Our d[efensive] line played so hard. I think when [safety] Justin Evans went out at halftime, we’re basically playing with none of our starting five defensive backs to start the season. For all those guys that came in and were role players today, and stars today. Shoot, [safety Andrew Adams] with three picks today, [cornerback Javien] Elliott with a pick, [cornerback De’vante] Harris with two nice pass break-ups. That was pretty cool for those guys. It was awesome to have [linebacker] Lavonte [David] back, he lead us with 12 tackles and the one sack. So, today was a day for the d[efense], and they did a great job.”

(On his initial thoughts of safety Andrew Adams when he joined the team)

“Everyone that we checked with, when he came here, said that [he] was a good special teams player, good backup safety. But, it just jumped out. His personality, if you’ve talked to him, you’d know his personality jumps out at you. This guy likes ball, he’s bright-eyed, and he likes to work. He likes to play. [Defensive Coordinator Mark] Duff[ner] and the staff have carved out a nice, little niche’ for him in a dime package, playing as an inside linebacker, part of that out of necessity with [linebacker] Kwon [Alexander] and Lavonte [David] going down and he’s made the most of it. With our safety situation, he was playing a lot of safety in the second half as well.”

(On significance of quarterback Jameis Winston becoming team’s all-time leader in touchdown passes)

“[I’m] happy of course for Jameis [Winston]. Jameis’ production when we don’t turn the ball over [and], when he doesn’t turn the ball over, his production is always going to be there. Jameis is a fantastic player, and sometimes that gets negated by turnovers. But, you can see the last two weeks, when we don’t turn the ball over, we’re a lot harder to beat.”

(On if Jameis Winston’s decision making has improved over the last two weeks)

“Absolutely.”

(On the effect of the defense being able to hit Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton)

“The four sacks were one thing, but the last two interceptions, he was hit on the throw. Those balls were fluttering [and] Cam [Newton], he’s got a rifle. Those balls hung up in the air. Our d[efensive] line was relentless, led by [defensive end Jason Piere-Pau]. But, [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy], [defensive tackle] Vita [Vea], [defensive end] Carl [Nassib], and [defensive end] Vinny [Curry], all of the d[efensive] line. [Defensive end] Will[iam Gholston], those guys. [Defensive tackle] Beau [Allen]. They played their tails off today.”

(On the perseverance of his players)

“It just shows what kind of kind of guys we have, and hats off to [general manager] Jason [Licht] for the guys he’s brought in. They’ve hung together. You can’t play ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’. You’ve got to take them as they come. It was great to get the win today, I’m proud of the guys for hanging in there.”

(On the play of the offense despite the lack production running the football)

“[Quarterback] Jameis [Winston] was our run game today, he was our leading rusher. I thought Jameis’ best play of the day was the touchdown to [wide receiver Chris] Godwin. That was actually [Winston]’s fourth option on that play, and he scrambled up and found him in the back of the end zone. I thought that was his best play, but I thought Jameis really was in control all day, and for the most part, took what they gave him. We just couldn’t get in a very good rhythm there in the second half. In the first half, we moved it, I thought, really well. Obviously, that fumble on the one [-yard line], that hurt us. It would have been nice to have that score, We ended up getting a score sometime later after the turnover. But, we just couldn’t get into a very good rhythm in the second half. I don’t think that was anything to do with Jameis, we just couldn’t get our run game going. They were pressuring us a lot. They were giving us a couple looks that we hadn’t seen before, but Jameis played well.”

(On interception by cornerback Javien Elliott in the first half)

“That was – whew, keeping his feet. I thought he was going to go down right on the catch. I told him at halftime that was a hell of a job just staying up. Then, if he would have had any speed, he would have scored. But, that was a heck of a play. If you know anything about Javien, go back to [Hurricane Michael]. Javien’s family was right in the eye of the storm up there, and he was worried about his family. We actually had to let Javien go for a day. That just shows you, Javien was off of our team for a day. We had to cut him. Not because of the hurricane, but because we needed the spot. We brought him back, he was on the practice squad, and by the end of that week, he was back on the 53 [-man roster]. Here he is getting an interception today, that’s perseverance by him.”

(On having several players on team with stories of perseverance)

“It’s a good way to make a living, don’t get me wrong. There’s a million guys waiting to take their spot if they don’t want it. But, part of being in that position, is being the right kind of guy to be able to handle the ups and downs. We start every week saying, ‘if you’re in the room, you might be playing on Sunday.’ [Cornerback] David Rivers started off the week on the practice squad and [wide receiver] Bobo Wilson started off the week on the practice squad and they were both out there today.”

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