Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter
On if he thinks the game will be a high-scoring shootout or a low-scoring defensive game: "That's a great question. I'm not sure about that. Certainly, Carolina is capable of doing either. They're capable of scoring a lot of points on offense and they're certainly capable of holding it down to a low-scoring game on defense. So I'm really not sure about that."
On how frustrating Tampa Bay's season has been so far:"Any time you're not achieving to the level that you think your talent is, it's frustrating. That's the nature of competitive sports. When you're not getting the outcomes that you think you're capable of, it's frustrating, very frustrating. That's the beauty of sports. You have to figure out a way to fight your way out of it. That's coaching. That's playing. That's competitiveness. That's why we're all in this business."
On quarterback Jameis Winston:"I think he's improved his knowledge of the game, in the way NFL game is played. I think he's definitely improved his movement in the pocket and his ability to create plays when something's not there and to keep the play alive. Definitely improved in his understanding of the quarterback's role in NFL football."
On preparing for the Panthers without knowing who their starting quarterback will be:"That's one of the real difficulties our defense has to face this week. Obviously, Cam is the reigning MVP of the league. You don't need to say too much of his value and the things he brings to the table. With Derek [Anderson], my history with Derek goes clear back to his college days at Oregon State. Derek brings a totally different aspect and Carolina has proven multiple times that they can win with Derek as the quarterback. They're not going to do the quarterback-run package with Derek in there. He's very capable of sitting back there and picking you apart from a pocket-presence standpoint."
On quarterback Derek Anderson:"He's not a runner. Derek's not a runner. He's a pocket passer. He's going to use his athleticism different than Cam. He's going to stay in the pocket and move around and throw it down the field more. They're not going to run quarterback power, quarterback counter, quarterback draw, read-option – that type of thing. You still have to prepare for all of that. That puts your defense in assignment football. When Derek's in there, they're going to be a much more conventional NFL offense."
On Anderson's productivity with tight end Greg Olsen:"I wasn't here in 2014 so I don't know much about that game, but I know from following Olsen's career, he's one of the best tight ends in the league. Regardless of who the quarterback is, we're extremely concerned about him. He does everything for them. I mean he's part wide-out, all-pro tight end, part running back going in the backfield and does all the protections for them. The guy's a coach on the field and a terrific player at the same time."
On reducing Jameis Winston's turnovers without changing his style of play:"You're right. There's a fine line. We went through a very similar thing last year early in the season. It kind of culminated with the first game against you guys where we turned it over four or five times in that game. Then Jameis went on a run for six or seven games where we didn't hardly turn the ball over at all. You're right, there's a fine line there but it doesn't take rocket science to figure out what's hurting our team right now. We're not taking the ball away, okay that's one thing, but then when your offense is turning it over – I think we're minus-nine on the season – we're just not giving ourselves a chance. We're putting our defense early in games in horrible field position and short fields and we're giving a way possessions. Jameis understands that. We just have to execute it."
On running back Doug Martin's absence due to injury:"Again, with your own team, when you have your top running back out in both cases in both Stewart and Doug Martin – you take top players out at any position and your team almost always suffers. That's definitely the case with Doug. Pro Bowl running back last year, number two in the league in rushing and those guys aren't easy to replace."
On the similarities between Carolina's and Denver's defenses:"They're similar in that they both have excellent players and they're both very well-coached. They're different in that Denver bases more out of a 3-4 personnel. They play more under where Carolina is more of a prototypical 4-3 with four down and three linebackers. Both excellent, excellent. Carolina has so much power at defensive tackle, and depth. Then as a three linebacker trio, I can't believe there are many in the league better, if any. They're really strong at defensive end, as well. We've been going against Charles Johnson a long time, I have a lot of respect for him. Ealy and Addison on the other side, they do an excellent job."
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston
On if he is expecting to pass for 500 yards like the Falcons did last week versus the Panthers:"I'm just expecting to come to the stadium and look for a good game. You know, Atlanta has a great offense and we have to still know, in the back of our minds, that these are still the defending conference champions and NFC champions and they are definitely not a joke."
On if the Panthers allowing 500 passing yards last week gives him confidence:"I have confidence no matter what. But I know they have a great defense lead by the guy in the middle, number 59 (Luke Kuechly). You can never count these guys out. This is a great defense and have been a great defense for a long time so we definitely have to be on top of our game."
On the importance of this game for both teams:"It is very important and that's just how I look at it every week. Every game is important because you never know until you actually get to that game where you say, 'Okay, this game is really important.'"
His thoughts on Coach Koetter's comments on needing to take care of the football:"You respond like a champion. I have to take care of the football and we know that has been a problem early. You know, you move forward and you own it. You do your best to get better every week."
His thoughts on Martin's absence:"It's been difficult because we love Doug and Doug is a great asset to our team. But at the end of the day, we have challenges that we face every day. Our job as a team is to overcome those challenges and do whatever we can as an overall team to be better."
On the difference between preparing for the Broncos and the Panthers:"There's not much of a difference. What the Broncos might have as far as pass rushers, the Panthers have Kuechly and those linebackers. The front seven, the Panthers are very powerful depending on those inside guys who are amazing, and a veteran on the outside, 95 (Charles Johnson), he is just an all-time player, a great player. But scheme-wise, we are just looking to play a good clean game and not turn the football over. You know, we are playing against two great defenses but we fear no one but we have to protect the football and do our job."
On how wide receiver Mike Evans has played this season:"Mike is a superstar. He's been having an all-around great year. I just have to give him the football. When I do give him the football, you see what he can do with it."