Bucs Strategy vs. Jaguars Defense

The Jaguars defense has been very good against the run in 2015, but are the Bucs willing to let Jameis Winston be aggressive after a turnover happy game against the Panthers?

Lovie Smith:

(On if he is impressed with the consistency from Doug Martin)
“Yes, I am. As we talk about our football team, we haven’t been consistent. Doug Martin, though, has. It’s been pretty much the same type of play from him each week. In order for that to happen you have to say that we’ve done some good things up on the line to have holes for a running back to be able to run. His play has been consistent throughout. We will need that. We just need everyone to have consistent play like that. We’ve talked from offseason, training camp on, Doug has gotten himself in a position to play well each game and that’s what he is doing.”

(On how the team balances quarterback Jameis Winston making big plays and playing safe)
“I think absolutely. I think just not the quarterback position. I think you can look – I always talk about quarterback vs. quarterback, running back vs. running back, so you are trying to do that. I think as a competitor, yes, but at the same time, you have to get your hand burned in the fire. Then you start seeing. For us, it’s about the turnover ratio each week. As you look in the league – just not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – that’s what it’s about. You eventually get that.

Dirk Koetter:

(On where Winston is making progress)
“We had our best day on third down [on Sunday]; our first day over 50 percent on third down, our first day over 55 percent in the red zone, three-out-of-five touchdowns in the red zone. We are making progress. Unfortunately, turnovers wipe everything else out. If it would have been a no turnover 17-16 game, we’d be talking about other stuff, but turnovers changed the game – fumbled snap, a pick-six interception, we’re down 10-0 just like that and the whole game has changed. Unfortunately, that’s happened two out of four games. In between that, Jameis played two pretty good games – a win in New Orleans and he played pretty decent at Houston. What can we learn from that? Our quarterback is playing inconsistent. We have a rookie quarterback and he’s playing inconsistent. What’s the next news flash we are going to send? [laughter] That’s where we are at, when you draft a guy and you start playing him from Day 1. Is it acceptable? No. Does anyone have to tell Jameis? No. I’ve told you before, Jameis does see the field well. That’s one of his strengths. He does see the field well. We have to get off to a better start. I have to help get him off to a better start. I think things will be fine other than that. It was just unfortunate it went down that way on Sunday. We have to own it. That happened.”

(On the offensive line)
“I told you a few weeks ago, initially not only was everybody [in the media] worried about Jameis, but they were also worried about the offensive line. We said several weeks ago our O-line is going to be fine. Our two guards played good football here this last week. We’re working with our second center. Guys playing consistently together on the front. One of the interceptions was also a pressure. They ran a blitz, the running back missed his check, so we had a free runner in the quarterback’s face. We can stand up here and make excuses of why this happened or why that happened, but our offensive line is doing fine. They’re doing fine. We said that from Day 1. It takes all 11 guys. We have to play together. Doug [Martin] is running hard. We had a 100-yard rusher. Vincent [Jackson] played outstanding. We still need to get Mike [Evans] more involved. That’s also on the to-do list. Bottom line, we’re going to quit turning the ball over and giver ourselves a chance to win.”

(On how it helps to have a reliable running back)
“Just like the passing game, just like protection, everybody is involved in the run game: the line, the tight ends, our receivers have been blocking, our fullback. But it’s always great when that running back can make some yards on his own. Doug is doing it with power and breaking tackles. [Charles Sims] is doing it, too. He’s doing it more with making guys miss, but he’s just not getting as many touches, but he’s making some plays as well.”

(On Jacksonville’s run defense)
“They are excellent against the run. The reason is they always outnumber you by one. It’s the Seattle defense that Coach [Gus] Bradley brought from Seattle – single-high, eight guys in the box if you got two backs or two tight ends, seven guys in the box if you have one back and a tight end. They are always going to have you outnumbered by one. In coaching terms, you are always running up hill. You’re always looking how do we get a hat for a hat? How do we get leverage? They play with excellent leverage. They play very hard on defense. They are a good tackling defense. That’s why they are good against the run.”

(On if Jacksonville’s run defense changes his game plan to throwing the ball more)
“That’s the big question right now. That’s what we are going to start practicing today is how we can balance all that. Jacksonville, again, plays very hard on defense. They are impressive with their run defense.”

Jameis Winston:

(On the process he is going through with Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter to minimize turnovers)
“It’s just decision making. That’s one thing we pride [ourselves on] here is just making good decisions and winning the turnover ratio. Obviously last game wasn’t what we expected, but I just have to get better every week.”

(On attacking Jacksonville’s defense in a smart way in order to limit turnovers)
“It’s a great challenge. It’s a challenge for me, it’s a challenge for this team. We’ll accept that challenge and my job is definitely going to be harping on just taking care of the football. We got some great players around me on this team that can make plays, so I just have to protect the football.”

Doug Martin:

(On if he takes Jacksonville's strong rushing defense as a challenge)
"Every time. Every time I hear they're good at stopping the run I take it as a challenge. I just can't wait to get out there on the field."
(On how Tampa Bay could attack Jacksonville’s defense if they load up the box to stop the run)
"I can't give away everything that we're going to do, but everybody has to execute. Everybody has a job to do, and if everybody does their job and stays on their guys, we'll be successful. But I can't give you everything."

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