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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers



(On WR Mike Evans' status)

"I think he's got a chance [to play] – he'll be a game-time decision, he and Carlton [Davis III]. The only person out is Jeremiah Ledbetter and then 'Shady' (LeSean McCoy) was just an illness."

(On the depth behind Evans at wide receiver)

"We've got Scotty [Miller], we've got Tyler [Johnson], [Jaydon] Mickens – we've got guys who have played all season. They're not Mike, but they'll be good enough."

(On OLB Jason Pierre-Paul's status)

"Yeah, he's fine. He practiced today, so he's good to go."

(On who would call plays if offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich were unavailable)

"I would do it, then the next person would be Clyde [Christensen]."

(On if averaging 40 points per game is possible for Tampa Bay's offense)

"I think that's going to be a reach. I'll take 37 – I don't think with our defense we're going to lose too many games if we can score 37. I'm really satisfied with 30. I think that would be a heck of a reach."

(On if scoring 37 points per game is possible)

"I think that's doable right now, but we'll see. In the playoffs, it's different."

(On what his biggest concern would be if WR Mike Evans were to play on Saturday)

"If he goes out there, he's healthy. We're not putting him out there to limp on one leg, so if he's playing, he's good to go."

(On if he has concerns about the team's safety following the events in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday)

"No, not at all. I think the league has done a great job with the security protocols."

(On what the week has been like for WR Mike Evans preparing for Saturday)
"He's lived in the training room and done a great job with it. Then, offensive meeting rooms, staying off his feet. Today's the first day we tried to do much active movement and it was OK. Hopefully, we'll see how sore he is tomorrow."

(On T Tristan Wirfs' rookie season)

"I thought he should've been in the Pro Bowl. He's a guy that's given up one sack all season as a rookie – it's unbelievable. When we run behind him, there's a lot of movement, so you couldn't ask anything more of a rookie offensive lineman for sure."

(On what he has seen from QB Tom Brady in practice this week that is different from the regular season)
"It's just even more attention to detail – some things he might've let go and talked [about] on the side, he addresses immediately. Same with me. I don't accept anything this week at all. If it's a little bit off, if it's two yards off your reception area, you better get in the right spot."

(On what he has learned about TE Rob Gronkowski this season)

"He practices his tail off. He prepares [and] he practices. I had to force him to start taking days off to make sure he was fresh on Sundays. I think he learned to like that and it was beneficial for him. He is one heck of a competitor and loves to play the game."

(On if Gronkowski has gotten his legs underneath him more in the second half of the season)

"I think, really, in the middle of October on it just got better and better. I think he was kind of shocked he didn't have any injuries – it's been a long time since he played 16 [games]. We did our best to make sure he got through this season ready to roll in the playoffs."

(On if he considers this season a success with the circumstances that have taken place throughout the offseason and regular season)

"We'll see how far this goes. It won't be [a success] if we don't win this one. Really, it's not going to be if we don't put rings on our fingers, because once you're in the tournament, that's what you're playing for. We did enough to get here and it will not be satisfying unless we finish it."

(On S Antoine Winfield Jr. being a factor on the defense in his rookie season)

"He's such a multi-faceted player. He can play in the box, he can play in the middle of the field, he can play in half the field, man [or] zone. He's a multi-dimensional player [and] we love that about our safeties. He's a heck of a blitzer. Everything that we're looking for in a safety for our defense, he fits it. He's obviously a very, very mature guy. He came in and it didn't take him long to take over that role."


(On what he has heard about playoff football)

"I heard everything is elevated. It's faster paced, everybody's mentality has changed [and] it's do or die, win or go home. Those are a few things that I've heard going into my first playoff game."

(On if he feels lucky about appearing in the playoffs in his first professional season)

"It's a blessing, especially hearing from guys like Lavonte [David] who have been on the team for nine years and this is his first playoffs. I'm definitely not taking anything for granted because it's hard to get here. Everybody's good in the NFL and so I'm just blessed that I have the opportunity to be in the playoffs my first year."

(On fellow rookie T Tristan Wirfs' play this season)

"Tristan's a great player. We both came in together, obviously, and the way he works – he's already like a veteran. He's a great player and I definitely thought he should've been in the Pro Bowl as well. Just seeing his stats and what he's been doing, it's just amazing."

(On if he has surprised himself with his level of play throughout his rookie season)

"No, I don't think I've surprised myself. I always knew it was going to happen and I figured that from practice. The things you do in practice, you do in games – it's nothing that stands out or that's outstanding. If you consistently do it in practice, it translates to the games, so the plays that I've made, I make them in practice first and then it goes to the game. I don't think I'm surprised by any of the [success in] games. it's just working hard and practicing good habits."


(On the challenge of facing Washington's defensive front)

"Yeah, they're a pretty good front four – or five, including Ryan Kerrigan – so we're going to have to come out and do our job. I don't think we're really treating it much different than any other week. We're preparing to go out there and protect Tom [Brady] and run the football. I think it's going to be a lot of good matchups along the front. It's going to be fun."

(On what he has been told about playing in the postseason)

"I think a lot of guys just said, 'Don't take it for granted.' Like Lavonte [David], he's been in the league for nine years and [has] never been to the playoffs, so being able to go to the playoffs your first year – just make the most of it. Go out there and don't hold [anything] back. There is no reason to. I think that's been the biggest thing – enjoy it, soak it all in and give it your all."

(On what stands out about Washington edge rusher Chase Young)

"I think just how athletic he is. I think they've got a good one-two punch with Chase and Montez Sweat. Montez Sweat – he's more of a power rusher. Chase – he throws a lot of moves at you and tries to bend that edge. I think that's another big thing too – if you bubble him when he's coming around the edge, he can dip down low and he does a good job keeping his toes pointed at the quarterback. They're both really good rushers, so it's going to be fun."

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