BUCCANEERS QUOTES 9-18-20
HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
"Congrats to [Lighting Head Coach Jon] Cooper and the Lightning. Great job – good luck in the Cup and [congratulations to Rays Manager Kevin] Cash and the Rays for clinching. That's an awesome job for both of them and I'm really excited for both those teams."
(On WR Chris Godwin's status and him participating in a portion of Friday's practice with his helmet on)
"He's still going through the [concussion] protocol. That was part of the protocol and we'll do some more stuff tomorrow. He's still doubtful, but he did get through this part."
(On if RB Leonard Fournette's role in the offense will increase as he gets more familiar with the offense)
"He's only been here about 10 or 12 days, so I thought he did OK with what he had. He's learning every single word. If it increases, it increases. If it doesn't, it doesn't. He's working hard to get some more snaps."
(On TE Anthony Auclair being limited in practice and if the team would bring TE Tanner Hudson up from the practice squad if Auclair was unavailable on Sunday)
"That's one of the decisions we'll have to make in the next 48 hours. Who we might bring up – it will be for special teams and Hud (Tanner Hudson) does do some stuff on special teams, too. It could be him or it could be a couple other guys."
(On his confidence in the defense following Week 1)
"Just catch the interceptions. Get the interceptions that are thrown to us and create some turnovers. Knock the ball out – that's not always easy – but the played fantastic, I thought. Just create some turnovers so that we can win that battle."
(On the defense playing well in the last handful of games dating back to the 2019 season)
"I thought we did a good job stopping the run for the majority of the game [against New Orleans]. The screens were a big part of that game – it's going to be a big part of this game, also. We have to do a little bit better job against screen passes."
(On if putting together a gameplan for this week is easier now that they have more information on the offense's capabilities)
"Not really. We had one game [of film] on these guys and a bunch of college film. There's probably more unknown this week. We knew what the Saints were going to do. What we would do – nothing really has changed in the gameplan as far as how we put it together. It's pretty much the same."
(On what QB Tom Brady sees that allows him to bounce back following a loss as Byron Leftwich mentioned)
"I'm not quite sure what he was speaking of, but his record of bounce backs is fantastic. The way he practiced all week was excellent. When he sees the game, he's seeing it through a lens of 20 years of experience. That's a lot different than most quarterbacks."
(On areas the team focused on more this week)
"I think when you look back and you correct mistakes – you correct them now on Tuesdays, it used to be Mondays – and then you get ready for the next game and making sure those things don't show up on the practice field. Everything got corrected. There's been great communication all week and again, [with] no crowd noise, communication shouldn't be a problem this week as we grow together and keep working and learning each other."
(On if he is inclined to change verbiage and checks at the line of scrimmage due to the lack of crowd noise during the game)
"No. We go back and listen to a TV copy every – a coach is assigned to that. What words were said and what words were heard that you could put on the tape and put together. If those happened, we would change them, but nothing really happened in our ballgame. What you're watching on TV isn't anywhere near what's going on in the stadium. There was noise in one of the games I watched and when I talked to the people there, [they said] there was absolutely no noise. That's on television."
(On if the team is relying on T Donovan Smith's to perform at a high level)
"Yeah, and I think he will. In the running game, he has a tendency to try and go knock the crap out of people and lose his technique. He tries to maul them. Sometimes he ends up on the ground that way and he misses his second-level block because he's trying to kill the down guy. It's just keeping him focused like that. His pass set – every now and then – he'll kick a little bit slow. But, he's working his tail off and I've got all the confidence in the world in him."
(On OLB Shaquil Barrett rushing off the left side of the defensive line after spending most of his time on the right side last season)
"Each and every game it could be series-to-series. Those guys are very interchangeable, so it's just whoever Todd [Bowles] wants to match them up against, that's what they're going to do."
(On if expects to see a lot of improvement on Sunday now that the team has played a regular season game)
"I hope so. I really hope so. We've got one under our belt now with not just the game speed, but the lack of noise and energy that the crowd brings, and being able to keep our sideline fired up amongst ourselves and just play the game faster."
TIGHT END O.J. HOWARD
(On how TE Rob Gronkowski played in his first game back)
"I think he felt good. When we talked about it, obviously it was the first time he had played in a whole year live. We didn't have any preseason or anything like that, so there wasn't a chance to warm up into it – it was live bullets right away. I think he did a great job. He's out there blocking some great pass rushers, big guys in the run game like Cam Jordan. He did a great job holding his own and creating some holes for us to make some plays."
(On QB Tom Brady's demeanor throughout last week's game)
"It was more so on the sideline [than in the huddle]. He was telling guys, 'Hey man, we're still in it. Let's not get our heads down – we've got a lot of ball to play. We're going to go out here, we're going to get a drive going [and] we're going to make some plays.' We started off the first drive, we went down and scored. That let us know right then what we could do. Tom was just telling everyone, 'Hey, let's not worry about the drive after that. Let's get it going. We've done it once, let's do it again.' Constantly hearing him say that and letting us know that we're still in the game and we competed hard until the clock hit zeroes. He never had a doubt in his mind that we could've come back."
(On presenting the Buccaneers Girls in Flag Football Scholarship to one of the recipients)
"I had the opportunity to present [the award] to Lorraine [Angelakos]. She's going to Brown University. She was a very outstanding student [even] without playing football. In the classroom she did a really good job. It was cool to be able to surprise her with it. I think she told me she had been through two or three interviews and she was ready to finally just get it over with. Basically, it got to the point where she was like, 'Just tell me if I'm not getting it so I can move on to the next one.' I was like, 'Well, I'm here to tell you that you won.' That was cool for her and she's a sweet girl. A little bit about her – she started her own foundation back in high school. She actually wrote a letter to The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) for him [to come and] speak at their high school graduation and he responded to her. Unfortunately, he couldn't come because of the coronavirus and whatnot. But, he's done something really cool with the seven dollars that he started with his company (Seven Bucks Productions). Every year she's in college and every [week] she goes through class, he puts seven dollars in her account that he set up for her. That's just a cool little background story on her. It was a whole cool thing that the Bucs did for us and respecting women in sports. They deserve all the attention that they're getting."