Tampa Bay Buccaneers


(On why the Tampa Bay offense has struggled against stronger defensive opponents this season)

"I think in this one – second half, especially – we got ourselves out of manageable third downs. [In the] first half we were able to stay in good, manageable down-and-distances and completed a lot of third-down balls to keep the chains moving. In the second half, we did not. When we took shots, we missed them. I think they did a good job of staying in manageable third downs or we got them off the field – we didn't. I think two things – we got a big turnover [and] kicked a field goal, [but] they got a turnover and scored a touchdown. Big, big plays. The play before the half on the screen – those three points. In those type of games, those are the type of plays that are going to beat you."

(On if QB Tom Brady is lacking confidence and if he would let Brady call his own plays to be more comfortable)

"We have Tom calling a lot of his own – we're picking his own on the sidelines from the gameplan. I don't think it's a confidence problem whatsoever. It's not lack of trust, it's just lack of continuity within the offense of the whole picture."

(On how WR Antonio Brown has been used and why he has not made more big plays since joining the Buccaneers)

"Well, he was open. We had one go off his fingertips [and] I'm used to seeing him make that catch. We missed him last week on a ball, so it's just a matter of hitting him. He's doing a great job of running after the catch and within his role, I think he's doing a really good job. It's just when he's going deep, we're not hitting him."

(On the depth at cornerback if Jamel Dean is unavailable on Sunday)

"I'm comfortable with Ross [Cockrell] – he does a good job. He's a very, very bright guy [and] a very dependable guy. Our secondary – for the first time – I thought we tackled as poorly as we've ever tackled in that ballgame. Especially in the first half, we gave up like 70 yards run-after-catch on five-yard routes twice. That's un-Buc-like for us. I'm not used to seeing that. We've got to get back. [In the] second half we did a much better job of it. We've got to play like that the whole time, especially against this team."

(On if RB LeSean McCoy is an option as a pass-catching running back moving forward)

"We look at every option every week. Leonard [Fournette] has never had any problem dropping the ball – he's got excellent hands and he's a little bit better of a protector. We'll see how that goes."

(On if the running backs were responsible for their dropped passes in Monday's game)

"The one to RoJo (Ronald Jones II) was not – that screen hadn't even developed yet. We turned the guy loose on the right side with a mental error and threw the screen way too fast. Leonard [Fournette] – he can catch two of those three. Tom [Brady] can throw a better ball, too, so it's combination of both."

(On how he balances not putting too much pressure on the team while stressing the importance of its upcoming games)

"I think it's just a matter of preaching every week that every game is a must win at this point in time. We put ourselves in a really good position to make the playoffs and each and every week now, they just get ramped up more and more."

(On the lack of success completing deep passes offensively and if there has been discussion of not attempting them as frequently)

"Yes and no. We've had the guys open – we've just missed them. There are times when coverage dictates you go to that guy. I think we can do a better job of utilizing the deep ball in our game plan [both] more of or less of. Each and every week is so different, but when they're there, we need to hit them. We can't have them going off our fingertips and we can't overthrow them."

(On the frustration of allowing two receivers to total over 100 receiving yards on Monday)

"It's really frustrating because you just have to tackle them and then don't bust a coverage in the fourth quarter when they only send two guys out. We should've had both of them double-teamed – that ball should never have been completed."

(On if he has noticed a decrease in accuracy from QB Tom Brady)

"Other than the deep ball, I think he's getting confused a few times with coverage that might be causing some inaccurate balls. I don't see it at all in practice. We're not missing the deep ball at all in practice – that's for sure. It's just a matter on Sundays of hitting them."

(On what he says to former players who believe the Tampa Bay offense does not fit what Brady does well)
"Whatever they want. He can do anything, so it's not like he can't do it. I see him do it all the time. He was doing it in September, so it hasn't changed."

(On if he was surprised the Rams attempted to target T Tristan Wirfs with DT Aaron Donald and how the entire offensive line performed in the game)

"I don't think he had a tackle, so I think they did a pretty good job. Tristan's been playing really well all year. [Donald has] played end, he's played three technique, one technique – he's played all over, so we were anticipating it. I thought he might've been over the center more, but I thought our guys were very well aware of where he was. We just didn't block a couple other guys too [well] a couple other times."

(On if WR Antonio Brown did not return punts because of the hit he took when calling for a fair catch against Carolina)

"No. He was returning punts last week because we didn't have anybody else. Everybody else was on the list of ineligible players. He can return them, but I don't really want him back there. Kenjon Barner has had a great history of returning punts and kickoffs, so he'll handle that job."

(On the belief that the Tampa Bay offense has too many weapons)

"I don't think there's such a thing. It's better to have them all spring and all summer than to throw them all together in the middle of the season. [When] you don't have a spring at all or a real training camp, it's hard on a quarterback, especially when you've done something [the same way] for 20 years and then throw all these guys at him. I don't think you can have too many good players, no. Looking at the team coming in here this week, I don't think they have a problem with having too many really good players."

(On if the number of offensive weapons negatively impacts the continuity of personnel)

"Yeah, I think the lack of practice time and learning everything from spring to camp – it's still showing up. Having Scotty [Miller] in there versus A.B. (Antonio Brown) – I don't think there's a big difference as far as what we're doing. It's just Tom [Brady] seeing different coverages every week – different defenses every week – and managing a gameplan that's so much easier when you have all that practice time. When you have 300 [to] 400 reps with a guy, it's a big difference than having 20 [to] 30 in practice."

(On the offensive game plan moving forward)

"I think each and every week is different. Right now, it's just a matter of trying to win a ballgame. It's about what's best to beat this next team and it's not about, 'Hey Byron [Leftwich], have the whole offensive playbook in.' Just say, 'Take this gameplan [and] try to win this week.' We'll worry about all that next year."