HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
(On the changes he's making to the team schedule for this week to prepare for Monday Night Football)
"We've got to try something because we've had really, really poor starts in night ballgames. We're going to try practicing at that game time [on] Friday and Saturday night [and] do some more stuff, actually, Monday morning than we've been doing. We've got to try something, so luckily we have an indoor facility and we can work at night. We're going to do that and hopefully get a better result to start a ballgame at night."
(On what he saw in RB Ronald Jones II that made him confident in Jones' ability)
"He's so young. When he got here he was so, so young and didn't really have that much background, but he had tremendous talent. His ability to cut, make people miss [and] break tackles was outstanding. It was just a matter of maturing as a back, slowing down [and] letting the game come to you instead of forcing everything. I was really, really proud of him because when he had the miscue in New York, it really put him in the tank because he thought he let the team down. We talked a lot about that – 'One play doesn't change games.' When he came to the sideline it was all encouragement and I really liked the way he bounced back and had a hell of a ballgame."
(On if the team signed C A.Q. Shipley to fill a role similar to what he provided on Sunday)
"Exactly what we brought him in for – to have a veteran guy that the quarterback would be comfortable with calling out the fronts, calling out the MIKE linebacker and identifications. [It was good] having Ryan [Jensen] on the left side to make sure too. To have two veteran guys in there – I thought our communication was outstanding on the offensive line in that ballgame."
(On if Shipley will only play until G Ali Marpet is active or if he could earn a permanent starting role)
"It's just until Ali gets back because he's been playing fantastic. We do not want to hurry him back – I want to make sure he's well."
(On if Marpet will be available to play this week)
"He's still in the protocol. Some minor stuff, but he'll have individual workouts with the trainers while the rest of the guys are taking off. We'll see if we can get through this and get him through the protocol."
(On what he has seen from the Rams' defense that causes concern)
"The players. The players haven't changed much [but] the scheme is totally different. You've still got [Michael] Brockers, Aaron Donald and all those guys. [Leonard] Floyd is playing [well] for them [and] Jalen [Ramsey] is a big addition to the secondary. They're pretty much a zone-coverage team with Jalen playing some man-to-man in zone principles. He gives them flexibility to do a lot of different things defensively. They have a lot of five-man pressures and they're very tough to block."
(On why he believes the team has not played its best in primetime games this season)
"The week of practices was great. What we're trying to do now is practice at night so that we know when to rev it up. We'll do some Monday morning stuff to hopefully get ready before the ballgame and just focus on getting to a better start. We haven't started well in any of those ballgames."
(On if there were specific issues he noticed that the team did not do well in primetime games)
"It's just bad football. Bad football [and] not being ready to play."
(On if he will take the team to the airport to eat pizza before Monday's game, similar to what it experienced during its delayed flight to Carolina on Saturday)
"Maybe. Just go over there and sit on an airplane. Just sit there about four hours before the game and see what it does."
(On if he believes the offense can compete against any defense when QB Tom Brady is protected in the pocket)
"Yeah, and I think a huge part of that is the running game. When we establish the run – and it doesn't have to be a 200-yard running game – the establishment of the run and the play-action keeps him clean in the pocket. Any defensive lineman when he has two things to think about is not going to tee off like he does when it's just putting your ears back on third down or pass rush the entire time. When his uniform is clean we have a great shot."
(On if the involvement of multiple players in the offense on Sunday is proof that Tampa Bay can spread the ball to all of its offensive weapons)
"There's no doubt. It's all about their egos. If you check your ego at the door and it's all about winning, it's not hard at all."
(On if Carolina's defensive scheme allowed Tampa Bay to target WR Mike Evans more frequently than it had been)
"When he was out wide there was a lot of single coverage and we were able to get him one-on-one. [I] would have liked to see him catch a couple more balls, actually. He was not double-covered the whole time. Then, when he was inside, he got open [and] we got him the ball a few times. Tom [Brady] just spread it around beautifully in this ballgame. Again, you're going to have more targets when you have 80 snaps on offense. When you get 80 snaps, everybody should have a shot at getting the ball in their hands."
(On who saw Carolina would likely attempt a fake punt on Sunday)
"I thought Keith [Armstrong] did a great job preparing the guys all week. He went back in the archives and brought up every fake known to man and we ran it against our guys. They did a great job anticipating it. Other than the kickoff return, I thought we won the special teams battle hands down. We missed [a] tackle and didn't fit it – we should've had an easy tackle on the 17-20[-yard line] on that return."
(On DL Patrick O'Connor playing every special teams snap and if that happens often)
"Those core guys – we have three or four guys we consider core special teamers. They're on every phase. Pat, he's probably one of the few that can play on field goal protection, so he gets them all."
(On what makes Rams Head Coach Sean McVay special)
"I think, first of all, he's a very bright guy. He's inventive offensively, but he has a great rapport with his players. He's a heck of a teacher for a young guy. A lot of players are going to say, 'This guy doesn't know [anything].' But, he's got a great way of teaching, he's got a great moxie about him, he's got some swagger to him and I think the guys really identify with that. It all starts with a great mind."
(On if he has seen McVay's photographic memory come into play in his head coaching career)
"I think you see it during ballgames [and with his] adjustments. I think he adjusts very well."
(On what he admires about McVay's offensive system)
"I think it's the collective. They have a lot of eye candy – they try to disrupt guys' eyes on defense and break down their discipline with all the different motions and things they do formationally [with] quick snaps to just try to break down your discipline defensively. All that motion, when they run the football, that offense is something special. If we can shut down the run like we did out there last year and get them in a 50-pass game, I like our chances."
(On TE O.J. Howard and DL Vita Vea's rehabilitation and if either could return for the playoffs)
"I doubt it very seriously. O.J. for sure could not. They're both doing really, really well. I see them a lot. Even Vita, I doubt very seriously -- even all the way to the end [of the season] -- that he would be ready. I think it's a six-month recovery."
(On if there are tendencies from teams that play in primetime games that help them be successful)
"I think the teams that are in primetime year in and year out [are successful]. We haven't been one of those teams, so we're learning about that. We have a couple players who were – A.B. (Antonio Brown), Tom [Brady] and a few other guys have been in a ton of primetime games. The rest of the ballclub – you have to learn how to play then because it does ratchet up a little bit. The speed of the game – it's a playoff atmosphere, really. I think that's part of it. But, I don't see anybody doing [anything] differently [on] offense, defense [or] special teams than they would in a normal ballgame."
TIGHT END CAMERON BRATE
(On the importance of the offense having a big game on Sunday)
"That was huge. Really couldn't have gotten much worse than the Sunday night game [against New Orleans] – that was rock bottom. Nothing worked [and] everyone played terribly. During the week [there was] definitely a sense of urgency. It was awesome that a great week of practice carried over into the game. Minus a couple of goal-to-go situations that didn't work out, really everything was working yesterday. Big day for the offense."
(On if his higher volume of snaps against Carolina was part of the gameplan entering the game)
"Kind of the way the game went on Sunday night against the Saints, we weren't able to run the ball and that puts a lot of pressure on the offensive line. The negative game script definitely hurt, so it was definitely our priority coming into the week to be able to run the football. We thought that was going to be able to open things up in the passing game. Definitely was our gameplan to be a little bit more smashmouth with heavier personnel in the game, so that was exciting to play more. [I] always enjoy that. [On] the touchdown, they went to a man coverage look and I knew [Tom Brady] was going to come to either me or Mike [Evans], so I just had to create enough separation there. Great pass by Tom and I was luckily able to make a big play for us there."
(On the key to the offense successfully converting on third down)
"I think the key is being in third-and-short [and] avoid the third-and-longs because those aren't going to convert too often. I think we did a better job staying ahead of the script [and] making sure that we were in third-and-manageable because, like I said, there's a huge difference between even third-and-5 and third-and-9. Being able to run the ball definitely helped in that aspect. Execution wise, [on] third down you're going to get a ton of man coverage. Across the league that's primarily what teams do – sometimes they'll pressure. I thought the receivers did a great job yesterday of creating separation and I thought Tom [Brady] was pretty on point with his passes as well."
TACKLE TRISTAN WIRFS
(On the changes that led to the offensive line performing better on Sunday than it had in Week 9 against New Orleans)
"Up front for us, everything starts with the offensive line so we [had] to be better. You can't win a ballgame with a showing like that from us. I think that was the focus – everything starts up front. It kind of sucked [because] we only ran the ball four times last week, but that's the situation we put ourselves in. Coming back this week and getting to run the ball like we did, that felt very nice."
(On what the offensive line can take from Sunday's win when preparing for its upcoming game against the Los Angeles Rams)
"I think it's a big thing – establishing the line of scrimmage. It shows what we can do if we do establish the line of scrimmage. Just coming out and getting off to a hot start up front is going to be big."
(On C A.Q. Shipley and what he has brought to the offensive line this season)
"A.Q. is pretty awesome. This is a little story I thought it was kind of funny. He came in in the middle of camp and just grinded through the practice. It didn't look like he was tired at all. I'm like, 'It's 100 degrees out here and A.Q. is just chugging along.' I asked him about it the other day and he said he was gassed. It's just his mentality and the way he goes about stuff – he just gets his work done. A.Q. is pretty awesome."