Dirk Koetter Announces Starting Quarterback Against Giants

Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media the day after the game against Washington about who will start at QB Sunday.

(On who will start at quarterback against the Giants)

"We're going to go with Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) this week. That's how it's going to stay."

(On how long Fitzpatrick will remain the starter)

"Until we change."

(On if Fitzpatrick would remain the starter for the rest of the season)

"I don't know. A guy could get hurt at any time. I don't know when."

(On the reasoning behind starting Fitzpatrick)

"I just think he still gives us the best opportunity right now."

(On if Fitzpatrick starting is due to keeping continuity)

"You could make a case for that. I wouldn't be worried about consistency if I didn't think it also gives us the best chance, but you could make a case for that."

(On why there were multiple errors in the red zone)

“As you said, we had two turnovers, we had a sack in the red zone, we had a holding penalty in the red zone, we had a shotgun snap slip out of the center’s hand for a big loss in the red zone, we had two dropped passes in the red zone. I don’t see the common denominator there. There’s a couple plays I’d like to have called different if I could call them again.”

(On if there would be four turnovers if he called different plays)

“Well sure because you’ve seen it the other way. You know, you don’t get that opportunity unfortunately. It doesn’t work that way. I don’t ever say – it’s one of those days – I always look at it as what will we have to do better or what we need to do better as a team, as a coaching staff and as the players.”

(On if he’s happy with the way the ball is being moved down the field)

“Oh yeah. We did a great job of that, but that doesn’t get you any points.”

(On if he found any solace in the players saying they have confidence in his as a coach)

“Solace? No. I have a ton of respect for our players and what they do, but it’s crushing when you lose and it’s crushing when you think you put your best foot forward. Even though we had some guys on the team play well and I think our defense played pretty well. I can’t say I don’t appreciate that, but this is a results business and we all know that that’s just how it is. These are business decisions made.”

(On the difference between Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston’s turnovers)

"Well, turnovers are killing us right now. We're minus-19, we're last in the league, 13 in the last four games, 13 turnovers and no takeaways. That's by far the number-one thing that's hurting our team. [We] have talked about it many times – every turnover has its own story. If there was one thing to it, it would be easy to fix. As a team, we're turning it over too much and not getting any takeaways on the other side."

(On if running back Shaun Wilson got enough depth on the pass targeted for him that resulted in an interception)

“Yeah he did. That was a play we just put in for that game – actually the first time we’ve run that play. It was a little bit of and overthrow. Throwing to a running back on a much deeper route than he normally runs. That’s a risk you take when you go for a play like that.”

(On what made him decide to call the plays against Washington)

“Well I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think Todd Monken has done a terrific job calling the plays that why he’s continued to do it. But in this game, I just felt like the type of game it was going to be based on Washington’s offense, I thought that we needed to try to control the clock a little bit more and try to give our defense a little bit of time – maybe less time on the field that maybe we need to try to run it a little more and use our RPOs a little bit more. That was the main reason behind it.”

(On if he has made a decision on who will call plays against the Giants)

“No, but I’ll let you know when we do.”

(On if the staff plans to put kickers through workouts this week and make a decision on if he will make a change)

“Yeah, Jason [Licht] and those guys will handle that. They actually worked out some kickers a couple weeks ago and like I said they’re in the process of following up with those guys.”

(On if injuries were a factor in why running back Peyton Barber didn’t get any touches in the last quarter)

“No. We had 17 runs or RPOs in the first half. We had the ball 11 plays in the third quarter and seven of those were runs or RPOs. Once we got down two scores with the type of offense Washington has, I didn’t think that was the way to go. When you’re down two and you’re probably only going to get two more possessions – now we ended up getting three more – but we got into hurry up mode and we didn’t just didn’t call anymore runs after that. I thought Peyton did a good job in the game.”

(On if there are things a play caller can do to limit turnovers or if it’s an execution issue)

“We definitely have to protect the ball better. The old adage that three things happen [when you pass] and two of them are bad, I don’t agree with that, but the way we’re turning it over right now I don’t have a lot of proof in it. We did a good job of controlling the ball in the first half – we just didn’t score. We just didn’t score when we had our chances. We did a good job of time of possession and controlling the clock. Our defense started fast – went three-and-out, held them to six points in the first half. Scoring three points in a game is not going to be enough.”

(On if he’s going to watch the Giants live tonight or on film)

“Probably a little bit of both. I mean, definitely the tape. It’s hard to justify spending that much time watching them when you’ve got the film from the whole year and you’re starting on that.”

(On if he feels the Buccaneers' season could turn if they could correct the one big issue of turnovers)

"Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. I don't even think it would be a question. But we have to do it. We haven't been able to do it in over a month."

(On if he was surprised about the missed opportunities in the red zone)

“Yeah, of course. We get down there five times and come out with three points – I mean, of course.”

(On what the defense can do to force turnovers)

“We’ve talked about that multiple times in here. I mean, more pressure on the quarterback and getting closer in coverage. The very first third down of the game, we popped a ball out on the slant – you know that ball just didn’t quite bounce the right way and then later in the game another ball got tipped and went right through one of our safety’s hands. We just haven’t been able to come up with them.”

(On if he would classify Andrew Adams as a linebacker or a safety)

“He was playing mostly as a linebacker and he is a safety and a special teams player. We played a lot of dime yesterday. Played the most dime we’ve played all year and he was the dime linebacker.”  

(On how he would answer the thought that the Buccaneers should be starting Winston to find out more about him before his fifth year)

"I understand that. I understand that, but we're right in there. It's just barely past the halfway point in the season and there's a lot of football to be played. Just as a follow-up to the question you just asked, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that we can turn this thing and get on a little bit of a win streak. We've got to play better football more consistently across the board. Our defense took a nice step in that direction yesterday. I still think if we can put it together on both sides of the ball we'll be alright."

(On if Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starter this week or the rest of the season)

“I don’t know what’s going to happen past Wednesday’s practice, so if I had my crystal ball, I’d whip it out. You asked me who’s going to be the started this week and Fitz is going to be the starter. If at some point he isn’t, then Jameis [Winston] will be back in there.”

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