Tampa Bay Buccaneers

BUCCANEERS QUOTES 10-29-20

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TODD BOWLES

(On S Mike Edwards making plays in the limited snaps he has received this season)

"Mike has still been great for us. Mike is a ballhawk, we understand that, and we try to get him in every chance we get. It says a lot about [Antoine] Winfield [Jr.], but their relationship is very strong, they talk to each other all the time and make each other better. That says a lot about Mike's maturity from year one to year two."

(On ILB Lavonte David's play this season and his ability to work well with ILB Devin White)

"Lavonte is solid every week. He makes us go [and] he's our leader. He's our emotional leader, he's our field leader [and] he's our general. He just makes plays all over the field, but he plays the right way. He understands run blocking, he understands pass concepts, he understands where he needs to be on the field [and] he understands angles. He's just a good football player."

(On OLB Jason Pierre-Paul's performance this season and what he has accomplished in his career following the injury to his hand)

"I don't even look at it as he's compromised his right hand because he's played like nothing is wrong. He's just that type of guy. He's a freakish athlete, you love him on Sundays. He has come to work every day [and] he's a guy you want to be in the foxhole with. I can't say enough about him – he's just a heck of a guy to be around. He brings a lot of energy, he brings a lot of heart and he brings a lot of toughness. I think that helps us immensely."

(On if Monday's game may have additional meaning for OLB Jason Pierre-Paul after beginning his career with the Giants)

"I don't know if it means a lot to him or not, but I know as a player [that] any time you play your old team, you want to play well."

(On why the defense utilizing a dime package has worked)

"It all depends on the gameplan, who we're playing that week, how our matchups go and how the gameplan installation goes. Mike [Edwards] is playing a lot more, obviously. We love Jordan [Whitehead] and we love [Antoine] Winfield [Jr.], as well. You try to combine those three every chance we get, [but] the problem is we've got a front seven that plays well, also. It's hard to take somebody off the field and put somebody else in. We keep tinkering with it, keep tweaking it and try to find the right combinations. Hopefully it works every week."

(On OLB Cam Gill's progress this season)

"We really like Cam. His toughness and his intelligence – he's a relentless pass rusher. As he learns from Shaq [Barrett], JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and [Anthony] Nelson, he [can't] do anything but get better. We really like what he's bringing to the table right now and he has a bright future."

(On S Mike Edwards' interception that was called back due to a penalty and if Bowles coached him on his positioning for that play)

"He made a great play. We do have some things that we talk about and go through back there. He understands what we talk about during the week [and] I think Coach Rapone did a heck of a job with him understanding what we were looking at and trying to see. He made a great play."

(On CB Sean Murphy-Bunting)

"We like Sean and he's been playing [well]. We put him in a lot of positions – he's playing more positions than anybody other than [Antoine] Winfield [Jr.]. We do a lot of things with him like we do with Winfield. It's slowed down for him and we'll try to slow some things down for him, keep him in one spot and let him go from there. He'll be fine."

(On if OLB Shaquil Barrett's lower sack total for this season was inevitable after having 19.5 last season)
"He's been getting some great rushes [and] the ball has been coming out some. Last year – luck of the draw – they'd been holding on to it. We knew it wasn't going to be the same from a 19[.5]-sacks standpoint, but his pressures, his running game [and] his pass drops have been excellent. We're happy where he is right now."

(On his first reaction to watching ILB Lavonte David on tape before he joined the Buccaneers)

"I didn't know how good of an all-around linebacker he was because I rarely got to see him play. I'd seen him take pass drops and I thought he was just a Cover-2 guy. But, he can do everything and that was impressive to see. He can cover, he can blitz, he tackles well [and] he's very intelligent. Getting to know him – he prepares very well every week. You can't say enough about the guy."

(On having ILB Lavonte David playing next to ILB Devin White and the trust he has in both players on the field)

"It means everything. Trust is everything. They trust us [and] we trust them. For him to help Devin come along and be the player he is and help everybody on defense – while still being a great player – is phenomenal."

(On Giants QB Daniel Jones' 80-yard rush against the Philadelphia Eagles and how Jones' running ability has caught his attention)

"It gets your attention. Any time a quarterback runs for 80 yards – or you break an 80-yard run, period – it's got to get your attention right there. He's been doing it every week against everybody, so we've got to be prepared."

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BYRON LEFTWICH

(On WR Antonio Brown joining the team and how he would feel as a young receiver like Scotty Miller who could receive fewer reps due to Brown joining the team)

"I was in Pittsburgh when we first brought A.B. (Antonio Brown) in. I actually trained with him before we drafted him there. I knew of him [and] I used to call him '110' because he had 110 catches out of the MAC way before he got drafted. It's good to see that he's at where he's at. Me and him have always been good. He and Emmanuel [Sanders] were my wide receivers in the huddle in Pittsburgh, so it was a lot of work put in with him and Emmanuel back in the day. It's good to see him here [and] it's good to see his smile. He's always in shape [and] he's always loved the game of football. That's what I know about him. Scotty [Miller] and those guys – we've got an unselfish team. We've got a really, really unselfish team [and] we've got a lot of guys that can get the ball in their hands and do something with it. I don't see it being any different. We'll just try to continue – like I always say – we'll put the guys in position to make plays according to their skillset. We'll just continue doing that."

(On the key to the offensive line's performance in the last two weeks)

"I think we've been great, really, all year. I think we had that Thursday night [that] was more of a hiccup and it wasn't the whole game. I really think we protected well for the most part that game really. Things came up throughout that game that made it look that way. We've learned a lot from that game [and] we learned a lot from the mistakes we made that Thursday night. We try to do our best to make sure we don't continue those mistakes."

(On his involvement in QB Tom Brady's decision to change his stance in the shotgun formation)

"That's something that we've always worked on, really, from the time he got here. It's just little things [and] technique things that allow us to do certain things better. That's all that is – trying to make sure he's always in position to get the ball to the right spot. That's really all about it."

(On if there are advantages to Brady switching his stance in shotgun formation)
"Yes, but we'll keep them in house."

(On what gives the organization the confidence that issues with WR Antonio Brown earlier in his career will not continue in Tampa Bay)

"What gives me confidence is really [that] I know him. I've known him since he was a kid. I just have confidence that he loves the game of football and I just know what type of player he is. I know how much he loves the game of football. Obviously, you can't control anything else but the football aspect of it. I love what we have here as a team. I love our locker room. I think our locker room will be great for him. I think he'll fit right into our locker room. I think we've got the right type of guys on this team all across the board that will help him, and whoever along the way, to have our mind focused on doing what we need to do to just win football games."

(On the importance of numerous players and coaches previously having relationships with WR Antonio Brown)

"That's all I've ever been with him from day one. We've been extremely honest with each other from the second I met him and that's always been our relationship. I'm quite sure it's that way with Tom [Brady] and B.A. (Bruce Arians), also. Like I said, I met him [in] 2010 [or] 2009 – I forget when that was – one of those years. Me and him were really good because, like I said, he and Emmanuel [Sanders] were my receivers. All we did was work before practice [and] after practice. [We] talked about routes [and] talked about what we need to do to get open. It shouldn't be any different because of the relationship we have."

(On what he has seen from WR Antonio Brown that makes him dominant on the field and what he can bring to the Tampa Bay offense)

"I remember first meeting him, and before he even got drafted [I told] him he can have the opportunity to be the best in the world. He laughed at me just because of who we were working out with. I was throwing to a bunch of different wide receivers that were already Pro Bowlers [and] that were established in this league. Here, this little kid comes in working out three times a day [and] running fast and catching everything. The things that he can do from a skillset standpoint was unique, and I remember telling him that a long, long time ago. He laughed at me and he thought I was crazy. He just has that sort of skillset – he really does have that sort of skillset. I think it's going to match well with what we've got here, the guys we've got here [and] the special guys that we already have here. I think it should match well."

(On if there is a player whose skillset compares to WR Antonio Brown)
"Not really. It's unique [and] it's different because he's not a tall guy, but he can make big-man plays. I think Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] – I see these guys every day and it's hard to get better than what these guys do on a daily basis. We've got some guys that can really make plays [and] we've got guys that are really good and work at it. All three of these guys really work at it. It's going to be some of our hardest workers with Mike, Chris, A.B. (Antonio Brown), Scotty [Miller], Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). We all work hard, and we'll continue to just keep doing that."

(On his thoughts on utilizing play action)

"We're trying to call plays to be successful, really. We're just trying to have success. We'll have more some weeks than others. We're trying to have positive plays [and] do things that help us win football games. That's really out view of it. Everything that we do conceptually – we do it from a standpoint of trying to have positive plays and trying to win the down."

(On if adding WR Antonio Brown will allow the offense to use more four-receiver sets)

"We'll see. I wouldn't say more [because] we do some anyway. We already do some, so we'll do whatever we feel as though is best to put our guys in position to win that down – whatever that is."

ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/RUN GAME COORDINATOR HAROLD GOODWIN

(On how pleased he is with the offensive line's performance this season)

"Pretty good – I'm pretty happy with the way they've been protecting the quarterback. Schematically, there's nothing changed from this year to last year. It's just I think a lot of guys have a better understanding. Obviously, the quarterback makes a little bit of a difference, but Byron [Leftwich] is calling the same plays he called last year. We just happen to get the ball out and everybody has a year in the offense now, so everybody knows how to operate [and] execute from that standard. Other than that, I'm happy. Run game could've been a little bit better last week, but it is what it is."

(On his familiarity with WR Antonio Brown and what gives the coaching staff the confidence he will be able to be the type of player and teammate the organization needs both on and off the field)

"I just think he's a guy in a position that pretty much knows he's on his last chance. From us, from a football standpoint, it's a guy who's familiar with the offense. There's going to be a lot of stuff when he walked in the door that he was going to know right off the rip. I just think from the leadership in the locker room [and] I think from the people – myself, Byron [Leftwich], [Antwaan] Randle El, Larry Foote, B.A. (Bruce Arians), obviously [and] guys he knows – he knows we have his back as long as he takes care of business on and off the field. Obviously, he doesn't want to let anybody down. He's coming into a situation where he probably knows he's not the number one receiver and you're just trying to fit in where you can get in. Obviously, Tom [Brady has] done a great job of spreading the ball around, so I think at some point all the receivers are going to be happy at some point during the game."

(On the best way to explain the difference in Tampa Bay's running game this season compared to last year)

"I think RoJo (Ronald Jones II) is a little more seasoned. I think our guys are a little more seasoned up front – the tight ends and the O-Line – just from a technique standpoint and knowing what we want. To be honest with you, most of the plays are still the same. We just have a better understanding of what we're trying to get done. I think Ro has done a hell of a job this year of just getting it downhill, not being indecisive and just taking the hole when he sees it."

SAFETY MIKE EDWARDS

(On rookie S Antoine Winfield Jr. coming in as the starter at safety and what has allowed Edwards to be productive in the snaps he's received this season)

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough because everybody wants to be the starter [and] everybody wants to be out there having the most reps they can play. At the same time, I'm happy for him – he's performing really well. I think whenever I get my time, I'm going to go out there and shine – which I've been trying to do. I try to make the best of my plays and whenever I get in – if it's one snap or 50 snaps – I'm trying to make the best I can of each snap whenever I play."

(On how he has put himself in position to make plays when he is in the game)

"Coach Bowles calls a great scheme [and] calls great plays – great defense against offense. He puts me in the right spots, and I give him credit for that. Also, I just try to take pride in reading film, reading what guys like to do, honing my craft and playing the ball."

(On the defense utilizing a dime package and what he likes about it)

"I love that package. I think DBs love [the] dime package. We can do a lot of things [and] we get to play different roles. We have a safety playing linebacker, you've seen J-White (Jordan Whitehead) – he played D-Line for one play or whatever. We mix it all up and we can make a lot of plays out there. Like I said, we play different positions and it kind of confuses the offense [and] confuses the quarterback because you don't know what guys are doing. [They are] disguising a lot and playing different positions. [I] definitely make a lot of plays back there in that dime package."

TACKLE DONOVAN SMITH

(On the offensive line not allowing the sack in each of the past two games)

"I think you just need to commend all of the guys on doing their job. Coach obviously stressed the point about penalties and that we can't have pre-snap penalties, so after he said that, we kind of had to sit there and do our job. A lot of it is just being able to be on the same page communication-wise and whatnot. And then, we've got good guys out there playing, so everybody's out there doing their job."

(On QB Tom Brady's passion on the sideline balanced with him praising his teammates when they do well)

"I don't think I've really heard him go off, go off. It's a lot of positive yelling that he does. Like he says, 'No penalties. We can't have that type of stuff.' But it's great to be able to have somebody who has been to the top, been to the Super Bowl and knows how to get there. You just kind of sit there and you trust him – how he manages the game and communication and everything. Tom has been great with a lot of guys and we love him."

(On how important it is to the offensive line to continue playing at a high level each week without having any lapses)

"It's really important. I feel like with football – anywhere, all the way down to pee-wee and all the way up to the professional level – you're only going to go as far as your offensive line. We've got five guys out there and we've got to work as a unit. We take pride in that. We're going to continue to keep building, grow and keep doing what we've been doing. The thing we talk about is consistency. If we can consistently do that for the rest of the season, I don't see why not. That's the plan. I feel like it's all up to us."

(On lending advice to rookie T Tristan Wirfs)

"We talk a lot – a lot of tackle talk – just about guys, personnel, who we're playing, moves and stuff like that. Tristan, he's great. He's like a little brother to me. We have a lot of fun. He's doing a great job out there holding his own, doing his thing. That's what you kind of expect – that's the expectations of being a first-round pick, right? Actually everybody, but being a first-rounder you've got to hold your own. He's doing a great job with that and I'm excited to see him the rest of his career."

-BUCCANEERS-

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