Koetter: Offense Ran Ball Effectively vs Ravens, Will Work on Creating Plays

Head Coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media on Monday during Week 16.

(On linebacker Adarius Taylor’s wife’s pregnancy)

“Everything is ok. The way I understand it, everything’s okay. We had some different options available and Adarius had to make a tough decision and he made it.”

(On is Taylor’s wife had the baby)

“She didn’t have the baby yet.”

(On if it was difficult for Taylor to make the decision to stay with his wife)

“That’s a personal decision that any person has to make. Player, coach, media person has to make decisions like that in life and I’ve got three of my own kids born during football season. That’s a very personal decision. That’s something – Adarius had to make that decision.”

(On linebacker Riley Bullough)

“Yeah I thought Riley gave the best that he had. Riley’s a really good communicator – does a good job getting us lined up. We knew all week [there] was a possibility that was going to happen, so we’d worked it both ways. Just happened that her due date fell on game day. It was something that we were prepared for. The scariest thing is we only had four linebackers dressed.”

(On what stood out about defensive tackle Vita Vea)

“Just the continuation of what he’s done here in the last three weeks or so is Vita is really starting to play exactly like we watched on his college tape. He’s playing violent, he’s running to the football, getting off blocks so much better and making plays laterally as well as just knocking the line of scrimmage back. It’s too bad that Vita had to start the year off like he did missing those eight weeks, but he’s really starting to come into his own.”

(On his effort to get offensive lineman Alex Cappa more snaps)

“We had 50 plays. I think we had like 17 plays in the second half. Our intention was to get him in another series there in the second half – it didn’t work out that way.”

(On what he remembers from the last time the Buccaneers played Dallas)

“I think that was a Sunday night game – right? A Sunday night. The players were excited to play there. It’s a cool stadium to play in. We fell behind, made a furious comeback and got back in it. Couldn’t get back at the end. Had a chance in a two-minute offense. That’s basically what I remember.”

(On the team having the same intensity and motivation to finish the season)

“I do think that because I think your best players set the tone on that. I just believe hat everybody’s a pro and getting paid to do a job. They’ve done that to the best of their ability so far. I would be surprised if anyone doesn’t follow that here in these next two weeks. It would surprise me knowing the guys like I do. I’ve seen it go the other way.”

(On which Buccaneers players he thinks deserve to be in the Pro Bowl)

“We can’t vote for our own players, so I didn’t vote for anyone I’m not allowed to. That’s going to be up to the people that vote. I think Lavonte [David] has had another outstanding year. He’s playing a position that it’s going to be tough. Let’s face it, it’s going to be tough at his position. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) has had a nice year. Mike [Evans] set a career high with over 1,300 yards, but there’s good competition at that position. I think the wild card is always what happens with the O-line. Sometimes those interior linemen are more who’s made it before and popularity contests. That’s where between the coach’s vote and the player’s vote, it would be interesting. I’d love to see sometime what those totals were, but of course we never will.”

(On if he thinks guard Ali Marpet is playing at a Pro Bowl level)

“I think he’s pretty close – yeah. I do think he’s close. I’ll be honest, I don’t study every guard in the league either. That why I don’t know really who is qualified to be a Pro Bowl voter. Certainly, the players that play against them, but they don’t play against everybody. I know that the players aren’t watching tape of every other guy at their position and I’m certainly not watching tape on every guy in the NFC at every position.”

(On the pass interference call against Mike Evans)

“They said he deliberately ran into the defender and the guy there was contact with was the guy that was covering him in man coverage. Mike was in a stack formation – he was the inside player. He did take an inside release and Hump (Adam Humphries) was rubbing off his back side. Mike had an inside release flag route, corner route on that play. I’m not sure exactly what they wanted him to do different, but they called it. That was a big play.”

(On if Evans contacted the defender covering him, not the one covering Humphries)

“Correct. That’s what I was trying to point out to the official – that was the guy covering him. That was the guy covering him and his comment to me was that it was deliberate.”

(On letting the Ravens convert on third downs)

“Three in a row – yeah those three in a row. There was a third-and-seven, a third-and-six and a third-and-seven, four and two or something like that. The crazy thing is, I thought our defense played pretty good assignment football yesterday. On two of those three third downs we had somebody right there and we just didn’t make the play. At least two of those three that I’m talking about were in that 15-play drive that started in the third, used up over half the third quarter and bled into the fourth. We did a good job getting them to third down and then we just couldn’t make the play to get us over the top. That was kind of the story of the second half on defense. The very first series we did well on first and second down, then they hit that pass on third down that was probably his best throw of the game. Andrew Adams had pretty good coverage on the tight end. When they showed that on the replay, that was about as perfect a ball as you can throw. They ran it on those third downs in the second half and we weren’t able to make the play.”

(On if the team was prepared to have limited possessions)

“We knew were going to be fighting on possession, but we were also in a one-score game. The field goal we kicked right before the half – you’ve got to make a decision between going for it or taking the lead with a 1:42 to go. I made the decision to take the lead. In the one in the second half, it was third-and-five on the nine and again to keep it within a one-score game – we did get it back even though after that 15-play drive, then we threw an interception on the next play, our defense held on the sudden change. We still had that drive where it was still a one-score game and we get down there and we’ve got third-and-one. We can’t get the first on the play we thought we had for that.”

(On the team not converting on fourth down)

“We were in a four-down look, but when it got to third-and-one I sure wasn’t thinking we were going to need the fourth down. If we did, I thought it was going to be inches. I thought we were going to get it on third. We ran the ball fairly effectively yesterday. We didn’t get to run it enough times, but when we did get to run it. And that had nothing to do – on that play, it was strictly we had two bad mental errors there on a play we shouldn’t have had then.”

(On the offense and defense not being able to combine to start the game well)

“Our defense has gotten off to a lot better start the last two weeks. We’ve had the same song last two weeks is that our defense is on the field too much and we got wore down in the second half. Then the flip side of that in the complementary football world is we were fine in the first half and then on offense we haven’t been worth a dang in the second half on third down. We didn’t have the ball very much, then we were 0-for-3 on third down in the second half. I think we’re sitting here second in the league in third down conversions in the last two weeks in the second half we’ve been terrible. We haven’t been able to sustain any drives, which has led to our defense being on the field too much.”

(On not creating explosive plays)

“We went from first in the league to I think fourth in the league over the last two weeks in explosive plays. We only had four yesterday. We had one called back, we had a couple drops that would’ve been explosive plays. That very first pass of the game to Chris Godwin, I don’t know if you noticed, but not only did we drop it, but the safety fell down at the same time. That might have been out the gate. We have to be more explosive. We have explosive players and part of that is we’ve gone against good defenses the last two weeks. That’s why they’re good defenses, because they’re not giving up very many explosives. We have to make more than four a game. Our goal is eight and we’re well over eight average per game on the season. We haven’t be explosive enough the last two weeks.”

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