Head Coach Tom Coughlin
November 4, 2015
Good morning. Looking forward to getting outside on this beautiful day and working in preparation for a good Tampa Bay football team. They are 3-4, as you know, theyíre 2-1 in their last three games. But for a one-point decision at Washington, they would have won their last three. Theyíre 11th overall on offense, the fourth-ranked rushing team in the league. Jameis Winston, the young quarterback, has done an outstanding job of directing his team. A very strong arm, a strong runner when he pulls the ball down. Doug Martin, the fourth-leading rusher in the league. Donovan Smith, the rookie left tackle. Charles Sims, the backup running back who does an outstanding job in the passing game. And Logan Mankins, who really does run the show up front for that offensive line.
Defensively, itís a Lovie Smith defense, for sure. They run very well, theyíre very quick, theyíre penetrators, the linebacker level is very fast, they do an outstanding job of pressuring the quarterback even with four defenders. They are 15th in the league overall, their 13 takeaways makes them sixth in the league and their nine fumble recoveries makes them first in the league in that category.
Their special teams are outstanding. Theyíre fourth in the league in punt return, second in the league in kickoff return, fifth in the league allowing only 4.7 yards per punt return, opponent punt return. Their outstanding punt returner and kickoff returner is Bobby Rainey. They have speed and quickness in their special teams unit.
I think a couple of things indicative about this teamófour games ago against Carolina, they suffered a defeat, didnít give up a lot of yards, but were minus-four in the turnover margin. Four weeks later against Atlanta in overtime, they were plus-four and they were able to win the game. So theyíve been resilient. They gave up a 24-0 lead to lose to Washington. They were up 20 points against Atlanta. Atlanta came back, tied the game, they went into overtime and, of course, they won the game in overtime. Itís a good team, itís an improving team, and weíve got to prepare ourselves to go to Tampa this upcoming Sunday.
Q: What is it about Jameis Winston that youíve seen with his progression?
A: One of the things I just mentioned, the minus-four was directly attributed to him against Carolina. Heís taking good care of the ball right now. Because of the strength of their running game, their play action is very good and he has the opportunity to isolate one-on-one with (Mike) Evans or whoever on the outside. He throws the go ball, the deep ball, the post ball, all the deep over routes, the nakeds, the nudes, all of those types of routes he does very well. And if you signify by opening the middle of the field up for him, then heíll run. Heís gotten a grasp of what they would like to do. He does have a strong arm, so if theyíre just spotting up in their routes against zone coverages, he delivers the ball in a rapid-fire fashion to the open receiver.
Q: You left the door open on Jason Pierre-Paul this week. Whatís the plan for him today?
A: Practice, heís going to practice. Heíll practice today, heíll practice tomorrow. Heíll get a good amount of reps and weíll take it from there.
Q: Heíll be with the defense?
A: Heíll be with our defense, heíll also get some scout team reps.
Q: Whereís Will Beatty in his progression here?
A: Heís going to work this week and then the decision is forthcoming.
Q: Heís going to work with the offense or the scout team?
A: Heíll work a little bit with both.
Q: The decision is forthcoming after this weekís game you mean?
A: I think it is right after this game, yeah.
Q: Does any of JPPís acceleration in workload have anything to do with the problems youíve been having on defense?
A: No. It has to do with him and whether heís ready or not. If heís ready, weíll play him. If heís not ready, then weíll take more time.
Q: This clearance that heís getting, is this a little surprising to you that heís been here a week and all of a sudden heís on the field? A lot of times players take a little time to get acclimated.
A: Check (Greg) Hardy. I think it was the same thing with that, wasnít it? They had a bye week and he came back. I donít care about anybody else, itís the individual. Heís in outstanding physical condition, we knew that. We tried that right away. We had him in pads on Saturday morning, we had him in pads on Monday, so weíre feeling good about accelerating him along. Thereís nothing unusual about it when a guy who is in his position is in the condition that heís in and prepares himself to playóthatís what heís done.
Q: Is it about his condition or is the issue his handóhow much his hand can handle at this point?
A: I think itís probably both. All thatís been told to me and all the preparation has gone on to make sure he has a glove that helps him in that regard.
Q: How much reinforcement can you get from Prince Amukamara, Jon Beason or J.T. Thomas? Any of those guys close to coming back?
A: Prince is going to work, but heís going to work individual and then have a couple of snaps as a scout team corner just to get his footwork going again. But Jonís not going to practice today.
Q: With Prince, when he does return, is this something heís going to have to deal with or is the hope that he can be 100 percent?
A: Thatís a good question. Iím not a doctor soóhe wouldnít be cleared to play if he couldnít handle it. He may have to wear some kind of strap or something. If thatís the case, Iím sure youíll ask me that again when he steps on the field.
Q: Is there any indication that Victor Cruz will practice at all this week?
A: None that I know of. You know what Iím going to do, Iím going to have somebody come in here and answer all the medical. Seriously. Iím going to have somebody do that because Iím not going to do this every time I come in front you now. Tomorrow, donít ask me this stuff. If you want it today, Iíll give it to you today, but thatís it.
Q: Larry Donnell?
A: Heís not going to practice.
Q: Whatís the outlook on him?
A: Week to week, Iím sure. Day to day, week to week, I donít know.
Q: Rueben Randle?
A: He wonít practice today, but we feel like heíll move along.
Q: Their ability to make big plays, how important will it be to wrap them up and limit the number of tackles Martin breaks?
A: Thatís huge anytime. When you study a guy like Martin, you see that heís very good at that. He takes a shot, then all of a sudden he regroups and gets you another three. Thatís critical anytime, so itís just as important as it was last week.
Q: Your team obviously didnít make any moves at the trading deadline, I know theyíre hard to make in the NFL. Is not doing something an indication that you and the organization believe that you have enough here to make a run in the playoffs?
A: I wouldnít comment on the transaction/non-transaction. Iím sure that there were phone calls made, there always are. Obviously, they didnít work out, but I donít think anybody is satisfied just sitting there. Are we trying to play as well as we can to get in the playoffs? Certainly we are, naturally we are.
Q: Do you believe that thereís enough here to make that run?
A: This is our team and weíre going to do the very best we can with our team. Right now weíre currently in first place, so letís stay there.
Q: You have some pretty big names on the sidelines with Jon Beason, Prince, Victor Cruz, Will Beatty, Jason Pierre-Paul. Can you get where you want to go or do you needó
A: Weíve got to get players on the field, certainly they do. Certainly you need them on the field, thatís why theyíre here. But at this point in time, many of them are not ready to go, so we do the best we can with what we have.
Q: Do you have any timetable on Cruz at all yet?
Q: If youíre without Donnell, whatís your comfort level with Will Tye?
A: Heís done a nice job. Heís played well when heís gotten the opportunity. Obviously, he got a lot of plays last week in New Orleans, so we feel like heís got to be the guy. You know what? Heís come along and he improves every week, thatís what weíre counting on.
Q: Whatís your confidence level in the defense bouncing back?
A: I think they will bounce back, I think they will. I think what exactly that means, obviously each opponent is a different opponent. I think that the frame of mind will be the right way. I think weíll bounce back.
Q: Do you make significant changes on that side?
A: No, not significant that youíre going to see.