Buccaneers Coach Dirk Koetter: 'Jameis Has Done Everything We've Asked of Him'

Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media during his day-after-game press conference about quarterback Jameis Winston.

(On the play of offensive lineman Michael Liedtke)

Yeah, I think hes really handled it well. Mikes always been a guy thats prided himself on versatility and a guy whos bounced around a couple teams and I know that Mike has told me before that hes appreciated his opportunity here because he got to learn the system. One of the things, because you get to learn what youre doing and whats expected of you at your position or your positions, in his case, but versatility definitely counts. I know across the league, O-linemen are going down and so when you get down to just having seven guys up, active on a real game day, guys that can play multiple spots is important and youre correct when you say that he wasnt, to start off, when we were 100 percent healthy, Mike wasnt even in the first eight tackles and last night he started at left tackle for us. I mean, that just says a lot about him.

(On how he would evaluate the preseason of quarterback Jameis Winston)

I think performance-wise you would have to give Jameis an A for the preseason. I dont think anybody in their right mind would say that wasnt an A performance on his part. I think he handled it well, I think he performed very well and I think he did a really good job of working on things he needed to work on. Obviously, weve beat it enough, the situation is what it is. Wish it wasnt that way but it is and were going to miss him when hes gone and well be glad when he gets back.

(On how Winston handled playing and practicing with the different offensive units throughout camp)

I think Jameis has always been good about helping guys learn, the fact that hell stay out there and work with anybody. Hes just now how hes also taken it one step further to being forced to work with them in practice. I think thats definitely been good for those guys but I also think part of its also good for Jameis.

(On what he saw with the missed extra point attempt by kicker Chandler Catanzaro on Friday night)

Yeah, it was a low snap and Bryan Anger was trying to get it down and it was just bang-bang. When Chandler was there to kick it, the ball wasnt quite down so he hit it kind of funny. Of course, any time youre having that, thats a concern and thats something were going to have to address.

(On the play of the cornerbacks as a whole)

Well, we didnt have Brent Grimes and we didnt have M.J. [Stewart] out there so I still dont think whats going to be our best unit including the top backups, that we havent probably seen in a game, nor will we, all preseason. But, and the two guys that you mentioned Vernon [Hargreaves] and Carlton [Davis], it was great to see them out there and they both made some really good plays. Carlton had a little hiccup on the one long pass. We made a check, he didnt get the check and he stayed on his man. We checked to a zone coverage and eventually that guy that got deep behind the secondary, to set up their first field goal, that shouldve been him. But they both also made plays, so good to get them back and were excited about both those guys.

(On if he expects Hargreaves to line up on the outside and then move inside when the team is in nickel)

Possibly. Thats a possibility, for sure. I mean, he can definitely do it, hes proven that he can do it. Youre just in nickel so much more than you are base anymore. You know, he probably hasnt gotten quite as much work outside as we wouldve liked but it is what it is.

(On the significance of communication when playing at New Orleans)

Well, communication is always important and its always a worry when youre playing on the road and youre playing at a place like New Orleans. Its not as bad on the defense as it is on the offense, its just hard to hear in there in general. Im sure well have some growing pains in that area, thats to be expected. Well just try to speed it up as much as we can. I mean, were going to have to game plan whatever we think we have to do to give ourselves a chance to beat the Saints. But it is an issue, to some extent, but well just have to work through it.

(On safety Chris Conte, his touchdown-saving tackle on Friday night, and what he would say to fans critical of Contes play)

Hes better than you think he is, thats what Ill say. Thats an example right there where most fans watching that from the sideline would think that was his play just because he ended up being the deepest guy. When you look at the tape and then you know what happened, really what it was was Chris Conte saved us four points right there. His hustle saved us four points. He also had, I think, eight tackles last night. I think Chris Contes playing the best football in the four years that Ive been associated with him. You cant do anything theres plenty of examples of what people think and then what reality is and we cant do anything about that. But, Chris is a better football player than a lot of people think he is.

(On if he attributes Chris Contes improvement to confidence)

I think confidence is a good word for it. Im sure being in the same system, now going into three years, also helps, but I think confidence is probable the biggest thing. I think Chris, as hes gotten older and more experienced as a player, I think from my vantage point, I think hes matured some as a player.

(On how the defensive line fared against Detroit)

Some good, some not so good. Were missing players at multiple positions. I though Will Gholston had a really good night. Hes showing his versatility by playing inside some so I thought he did a nice job. I thought Vinny Currey did a nice job last night. Gerald [McCoy], as always. Those were probably the three guys that stood out the most. [Jerel] Worthy, I thought for a guy who has only been here for a few days, he played [37] plays. For a guy thats been out for a little while, I thought he showed up and made some plays. I thought the entire defense we made a decision because of the rain delay and then the wet conditions and everything, we made a decision not to bring out our starters in the second half. Detroit left their starters in. So I thought right up until about halfway through the third quarter, we played pretty good on defense and then it was a big drop-off after that.

(On how quarterback Jameis Winston has been protecting the football)

Hes done a nice job of it. I dont think of our top three quarterbacks we have any interceptions in the preseason. I think you can just tell, in Jameis case, how you can really see him moving in the pocket keeping two hands on the ball. When does either step up or break contain to run, hes just doing a good job of protecting it. Even on that wilder play there in Tennessee when he got spun around, he still at least had two hands on the ball. That easily could have come out because the [defender] did take a swipe at it. As I mentioned earlier, I just think Jameis had done everything that has been asked of him under the situation as we are facing it right now.

(On the battle for linebacker roster spots)

I would say that thats probably, position-wise, probably as good a competition going into the final week of preseason as we have. We have those first three guys, and of course Kendall Beckwith is not practicing yet, so between [Devante] Bond being injured and then there is a group of four or five guys right there that are really battling depending on how this Beckwith thing sorts out [for] the number of spots that are going to be there.

(On if any of the backup linebackers have jumped out to him)

All at one time or another, but then none consistent enough to say theyve made it for sure. Jason [Licht] would obviously have a lot of say in that, but as we talk, those guys all play multiple positions, they all have to play on special teams, so there is a lot riding on it who the fourth, fifth, sixth, depending on how far that goes, linebackers are.

(On what he likes about rookie linebacker Jack Cichy, who is coming off an ACL injury last year)

Position versatility. We like the way he competes. Hes a smart guy. He learns it, he hustles. But, again, its hard to say exactly where hes at coming off that injury compared to the player he might be able to be when hes his best. Well just have see. This week will be important for that group of linebackers.

(On if he got an explanation for why his challenge in the second quarter of a Detroit player not being down prior to fumbling was not successful)

They have that rule where its a knee or a body part, but a hand doesnt count. Sometimes its an elbow. What they told me was that it was very, very close. That was one of those ones where they called it down on the field I think if they would have called it a fumble on the field then it might have stayed. They said that it was so close they thought the top of the guys helmet might have hit the ground as or before the ball came out. It was close on the field. On our tape, its still the way the angle is and everything you cant really tell. It was close and because they were in the red zone and it was a [potential] turnover, it was definitely worth the challenge.

(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoys get-off and if thats one of the first things that defensive linemen lose as they get older)

I dont know if thats one of the first things that would go. I dont know that. His get-off is one of the two or three best that Ive seen in my time in the league. The play it probably showed up on the most was in the series where they were down inside our five [-yard line] and Gerald came off and they had to cut the ball back. Somebody else made the tackle, but just the fact that he was in the backfield so quick one thing about Gerald, when hes out there, he goes full-out. I think Gerald is still playing at an extremely high level.

(On if McCoys get-off is due to anticipation of the snap count or something else)

Youd have to ask him. We always try to get him. Our offensive players all think he knows the snap count and cheats it, but every time we go hard count, he doesnt jump. I think weve gotten him one time in two years. I just think hes got secrets, youve got to see if hell tell you.

(On the leadership of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul)

Hes a good teammate. We talk to our guys all the time about its hard to be a good teammate every day, because we all have lives. We all have stuff going on outside the building. Hes a good teammate. He works with the young guys. When weve had groups in at practice, hes a guy thats staying out there, whether its signing autographs or working with the Special Olympics or whatever group is here that day. He spends time, hes worked against all of the offensive linemen. Youll see him, in one-on-one, hell be going not only against Donovan Smith, but hell go against the third-team guard. Thats awesome for those guys to say they get to work against JPP in a pass-rush drill. Pleased overall. He hasnt asked for extra time off, hasnt asked for any special favors or anything. Hes gone out there and practiced hard. Just by doing that, hes made everybody else around him better.

(On if the team had a conversation with Pierre-Paul about being a leader)

No. You know, the one thing Ill say about JPP is when he didnt come to the offseason program, other than the mandatory part, he and I were in touch by phone. All he told me was, Ill be ready. When the time comes, Ill be ready and youll like it. Deep down, I was sort of thinking Eh, maybe not. But he was right.

(On if running back Sean Wilson helped his potential to make the team with his performance against Detroit)

I think youd have to say he helped himself, not only on kickoffs, but just the way he played in all facets of the game last night. He was definitely slowed around that Miami game that he missed, by his injury. Youre never sure exactly when theyre back to 100 percent, but he really showed up last night. He helped himself, for sure.

(On how many players the team might be able to get back from injury for the fourth preseason game)

I dont know that yet. We had injury check today and had some guys in. This week is the week where theres some guys youd really like to get back because theyre in a battle themselves, to make the team. Its hard to keep guys on your 53 [-man roster] if theyre not healthy. We had a couple more guys that got hurt last night. Were going to hopefully get a couple more guys back tomorrow or throughout the week. But well just have to see how it plays out in the next couple of days.

(On what he has seen from tackles Cole Boozer and Cole Gardner)

A lot more than now that they are hurt. This is a out-of-sight, out-of-mind league. Its one thing if youre a proven player and youve got time on tape, but when youre not a proven player, those guys were all competing and doing a good job. Theres nothing wrong you cant be mad at anybody for getting hurt. Thats not their fault that they got hurt. Theyve got to recover. But we are on a timeline here. Theres just no way around that.

(On the number of injuries to offensive linemen)

Its unusual, but it seems to always hit certain positions. This year thats where we are.

(On the injury to wide receiver Sergio Bailey II)

He actually had surgery this afternoon on his ankle. It was crazy. When we had the [weather] delay, the officials were talking to the league and talking to the TV network and the weather people and everything. They decided that we would be able to go on the field at 8:30. We were going to go straight through and have kickoff at 8:59. Normally we do a 23-minute warmup. We were out there for 29 minutes, including the coin toss and the national anthem. At the end of our normal warmup we do our drills, we stretch, we do the individual. We do four plays of seven-on-seven and four plays of team, one punt and one field goal. When we were in the team segment four plays and its just, the tempo of that is probably 60 percent tempo. On the second or third play first play, maybe, of team Serge planted and he got back on his heels. Its a wet field he looked to me like he slipped. I just thought he got his weight back and slipped, but the way he went down, he was immediately pointing at his foot. I thought maybe he was cramping. I guess when he planted, he either dislocated or broke his ankle.

(On if Bailey had changed cleats prior to his injury)

Had he changed? We didnt go back in, so what he had wore out, whatever he had wore out. We always tell our guys to go out in the early part before the team and check their shoes. So Im not sure what shoes he had on.

(On the drainage of the field)

That one corner down by our tunnel was a little bit sloppy. When we were doing warmups, you could see splashing down there, when it was still raining. I think it got better as the game went on. That one corner just tends to get it must drain that way a little bit. But in general, that field drains really well.

(On if that corner of the field was where Bailey was injured)

No.

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