Bucs Strategy vs. Redskins Offense

The Bucs defense might be ranked 5th over in terms of yards given up, but don't be fooled, they aren't that good!

Lovie Smith:

(On having a top five defense but still struggling in certain categories such as points allowed)
“Your stats, your record, that’s who you are. You have to go on that. What else can you go by? For us, it is a little bit bigger than that. We haven’t played our best defense here. It’s as simple as that. If you look at total yards and some of those things – how everybody else judges the league a little bit – you can feel good about some of the things we’ve done and we do that, but the things we need to do better, yes, I’m going to go to the points, I’m going to go to takeaways, to third-down conversions. Those are the things that will really help us win football games. We have to get better at that and we will. We’re pointed in this direction and that’s what we would like to see. Right now, we’re just jockeying for position. We have a long ways to go and I think every defensive guy will tell you that.”

(On issues with the secondary)
“Our football team hasn’t played as well as we need to at times. I’m just not going to single out [the secondary]. I was asked some questions about the secondary and that last game we didn’t play as well as we need to, but we feel good about our group as we go forward. Every group needs to make improvement; it’s as simple as that. [The] defensive line can help them to keep pressure on and when we get opportunities to make the plays back there, we will. So, again, just like the rest of the group, as far as what we’re able to see, you see the same things you see after every game. You identify the mistakes and start correcting them and we feel like we’ve done that.”

(On the team’s pass rush)
‘We’re okay with it right now. After you’ve played five games into the season, how much can you – you can’t really be pleased with an awful lot. That’s saying that you peaked. We’re not there right now. We’ve had our moments. We think we’re going to be a good rushing team and we’re finding out things each week. We’ve had players we didn’t know a lot about step up. We had [Jacquies Smith] last year, but Howard Jones last times and Akeem Spence is getting close, so we’ll keep adding and we’re going to need all of those guys.”

Reskins Head Coach Jay Gruden

(On what keeps Gruden confident in his support of quarterback Kirk Cousins as the starter)
“I think just the total work. You see a couple bad throws here and there and everybody questions the decision, as obviously they should. We have three quarterbacks who have played in the NFL and had some success, so if you’re the guy playing and you don’t have success, then obviously people will want the other ones in there. But I just think the total package of what he’s done since OTAs, training camp, and obviously this year. He’s had some rough times as we knew could happen, but he’s also done some good things and we’re going to try to build off the positive and see if he can play himself out of this rut that he’s in right now and see what happens. But we have high hopes for him still, and this offense.”

(On running back Matt Jones)
“We saw that he was a big, tough, physical runner in college. He’s a Tampa guy, I know that very well. We’re excited about him. He’s put a couple balls on the ground, but he runs hard and he’s a physical runner and he’s a great complement to Alfred [Morris]. When we’re at our best, those two guys are getting their touches, and when we’re not, those guys aren’t getting enough touches. That’s important for us to establish a run game. Alfred is still the lead dog, but bringing in a fresh Matt Jones, as big as he is, as physical as he is, to run with power and speed on the outside – he’s a great weapon for us and hopefully he’ll be healthy come Sunday.”

Redskins Quarterback Kirk Cousins

(On turning the ball over and focusing on ball security)
“I think you said it well, there are a lot of different reasons so for the sake of time I won’t go back to every single one and explain what took place, but there are certainly enough that have been on me that I want to get it fixed and corrected. I think it is a point of emphasis. It’s important to protect the football and when you do that it gives your offense a chance, it gives your defense a chance, it gives you team a chance to stay in games. When you start to turn the ball over it makes it an uphill battle to come out with wins. It is a point of emphasis. It is something to continue to grow in and see where we are as we go.”

(On what it has meant to have head Coach Jay Gruden stick with him as the starting quarterback)
“He’s got to do what he feels is best for the team. I’m going to do all I can and keep preparing and working. I understand this business is competitive and there is always somebody coming at you. Even if you don’t feel like there is, there is always somebody coming after you. You’re trying to perform week-in and week-out and like you said it’s, ‘what have you done for me lately.’ So it’s a short memory, you just have to keep going, keep working and stay the course and then see where you end up.”

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