Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Buccaneers: Head Coach Lovie Smith

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Opening remarks:

Smith: "You keep practicing, keep fighting hard and we've seen progress from our team for a while, but you want to see it on Sunday. Most things came together today. Just an outstanding job by the group. Offensively, whenever you can run the football like that [RB] Doug Martin. Outstanding offensive line. [QB] Jameis Winston, when you can have a game like that. I think it was five touchdowns or something like that, protected the football. With what we did offensively, we're going to be tough to beat. Throw the defense in there. [LB] Lavonte David, an outstanding player. You just kind of keep making tackles until you have a game like he had today. Defensively, they are a tough offense to defend, but after that first drive, we were able to settle down quite a bit. We didn't have a lot of injuries today. A lot of fun on the sidelines watching the guys come together like that. I'll take your questions."    

On the composure of the team after the Eagles scored first:

Smith:"It was that. They put us on our heels a little bit. I'm still trying to figure out that first call – not getting that. I'm anxious to hear it and see that. But after that, they kind of caught us in man coverage a couple of times. We didn't play well defensively that first series, but after that though, our guys have come back from adversity throughout the year. We figured out how to keep a 24-point lead too, so we're making progress with that also. But the first one they had us on our heels a little bit, but after that we settled down."

On re-committing to the running game this week and the success the team had with it:

Smith:"I think it's hard to have that type of success in the league. Like I always talk about how hard it is to win in the league and to be able to run the football like that – on the road I might add.  But our line has done a great job throughout. We had a starter missing today and we have another starter waiting in the wings. But the guys we have just keep plugging away."

On how close to a complete game this performance was today:

Smith:"Well close. I think we couldn't have played much better today. It wasn't a perfect game by any means, but whenever you can go on the road and beat a good football team like we beat today. Philadelphia is a good football team. Of course it's the best we've played in a while. This week we talked a lot about back-to-back wins. I know that's small to everybody else, but to us, it's something we haven't done in a long time. The guys really believed it, to get to .500. We've talked a lot about being relevant again. We're relevant again." 

On the success of Winston in his rookie season:

Smith:"It's not like he's surprising us a lot though because every step along the way, we've liked what we've seen from him. Playing through adversity, handling success, being a leader, being a great teammate, vocal leader. He's growing, but after this many games, that rookie part has kind of vanished a little bit."  

On the progress the offense has made:

Smith:"Great job by [offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter and the offensive staff. We're committed to having a balanced attack. I think the games where we need to lean on the pass even early, I think Jameis and our crew can do that. [WR] Mike Evans I could have talked a lot about today too, played well. [WR] Vincent Jackson coming back. We're missing our tight end still, but our tight ends we have, all three, are playing well. So we're mixing it up well. Do have great balance right now. Again, like what we see from our offense."   

On Winston being a leader on the team:

Smith:"To be a leader, first off, you have to be a good football player for people to want to – what you're saying and what you're doing – buy into [it]. So you buy into Jameis Winston. What I'm talking about is just that. He's playing good ball, making all the right decisions, no one works harder than him. Whatever you're looking for, for the guy that's out in front he's doing and he's doing it well."

On whether this game is representative of the 'results on Sunday' he has been talking about:

Smith:"Yes this is what I was talking about and I talked a lot about we're making progress. First game, you want to play your best ball and everyone would like for their favorite team to peak the first week of the season. Normally that doesn't happen. We play a lot of young players. Guys are moving into their roles. It takes a while. We're not there yet. We're excited about how we played today. There's a lot of things we still need to clean up, but it's tough going on the road and winning, especially in an environment like this."

On whether he was aware of the records Martin was breaking or close to breaking today:

Smith:"No, I just knew that things were happening, but records? I still don't know any of the records that he had. But I just know that Doug Martin has been outstanding from training camp on. He's been trending that way and he's running with a purpose and when an offensive line sees that they want to get him an opportunity. It's just not like big holes. He's breaking tackles. He's everything you would want from a franchise running back."  

On whether he wouldn't have sent Martin back out on the last drive if he had known that he could have broken Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith's record for most yards against the Eagles:

Smith:"That's a new one for me. Then it's a compliment to be compared, even if it's just for one game, against two great players like that. And once in a while you have a game like this, where everything is working and no one deserves it more than him."

On the momentum the team has and whether the future is bright for the team:

Smith:"There's no doubt we believe that. I think anybody that knows football can see that with the bright future and all that we have great young players. But it's not about that for us right now. We feel like we're a good football team right now. There's a lot of football left to go. All of our goals we set at the start of the season are there for us. That is one game at a time. This week, of course we hadn't won two games in a row, hadn't won three [in a row] in a long time. Three in a row is what we're trying to get done this week."     

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