Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Quotes - Thursday, December 12, 2019

Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich

(On how QB Jameis Winston is doing)

"He's getting there. He's doing what he can and doing what the doctors are telling him to do. He's working and doing what he can to get himself prepared."

(On the challenge of taking only mental reps)

"Well he knows what he's doing. It's nothing new. He knows everything that he's doing. Like you said, he's a fifth-year guy, so he's been through this situation before. Just about every quarterback at some point gets to this position at some point, where you can't get the guy onto the practice field until Friday. Nothing different. We're just making sure he's doing everything that he needs to do to try to prepare, to make sure it's as normal as possible. That's all you can really do and he's doing a heck of a job of that."

(On if Leftwich has ever dealt with an injury that limited his practice availability)

"I think everybody that's play quarterback of some sort has had that."

(On what taking reps with a tennis ball does)

"I never threw a tennis ball before. I really can't answer that question, but it allows him to follow through. It allows him to do things as normal as possible. But I don't know, I'll be honest with you."

(On the wide receiver depth)

"It's kind of what I've been saying all year. We trust these guys. We see these guys play these plays all the time, so when it doesn't happen one week, you [still] know that it's there. Like I tell you guys, the ball might not go that way because Mike [Evans] may have had 196-yard day. Chris may have one of those big days that [he's] had throughout the year. When you have those type of days from a single guy, it's hard to really spread it around because you're not throwing for six or seven hundred yards in a game. Now the ball naturally spreads itself around. I always tell you guys this: we want it to happen organically. We want to go through our progressions and get the ball in the right spot and Jameis [Winston] did a good job of that."

(On Leftwich's previous thumb injury compared to Winston)

"Well it's all relative. I can't really tell you how his injury is compared to mine. I don't even remember mine, I just know I did it. That's how much thought has gone into it because if he can grip the ball and hold it well, he'll play. I don't think he's in that much pain, but he's just working through it trying to get there."

(On how much a thumb injury impacts accuracy)

"I can't compare his to mine. Mine was a long time ago."

(On QB Ryan Griffin)

"I mean it's excellent. It was excellent for our team to be honest with you. To think about a guy comes in, in that type of situation, we converted a third down. And just for everybody – J-Wat (Justin Watson) came in, we had to move BP (Breshad Perriman) around certain places. We lost Donovan [Smith] for a couple snaps. This is what you talk about when you build a team. You build a team and you speak of next man up mentality all the time, so when the next man gets the opportunity, me as a coach I felt confident about everybody in the game because I watch how these guys work. I trust in what they're going to do out there on the field. It was fun for us when we got back in here to watch the tape to see as many different people in the huddle, see different people got the opportunity to play. And still get the job done the way we got the job done. You don't want to get those guys reps because of injuries, but it's good for these guys when they're working as hard as these guys work, to get an opportunity to play on Sundays. It was good to see the way they performed."

(On calling the game differently if Ryan Griffin plays)

"[Not] much. I just know him. Like I said, you just call plays for the guy. Quite sure there will be some differences because they are two different people. They see it differently sometimes. We'll just call it the way Griff calls it, but it won't be too different."

(On what he wants to improve on offensively)

"Yeah, well I'll wait until the end of the year to think about next year. That's way to far down the line to thinking about right now. We [have] games and we got to finish up this year. We'll just do what we can this week to put us in the best position to try to win a football game."

(On Winston throwing interceptions early in the game)

"None of the interceptions have really been down the field. None of them have been past 10 or 12 yards to be honest with you. They just made plays. We've got to be smarter with the ball. We'll be better with the football going forward and hopefully we're not in that situation again."

(On continually telling the team they need to protect the football)

"We believe in what we're saying. We're not saying [anything] that's false. We believe in what we're saying and he (Jameis Winston) understands that, trust me. He understands that more than anybody in the room, trust me. He's going to keep working at it. We'll get it fixed. We'll keep working to get it fixed and we'll see what happens. We've got an opportunity Sunday to go out and play and try to play turnover-free football, and we'll see."

(On early interceptions being a result of receivers)

"No. We just have to be better with the football."

(On how satisfying it is to see wins come together)

"Well, we know how difficult it is to win in this league, right? Everybody wants you to win every week in every city that a NFL team in is, right? Everybody, media, everybody wants their team to win that week. Everybody is trying to win football games every Sunday. Everybody is doing everything they can to win football games every Sunday and when it doesn't happen it's difficult for everybody. All we can do is keep coaching, keep getting better. I like where we're at as a team. We wish we would of got some of those that we let get away early in the year, but that's part of growth. That's a part of growth as a team. That's a part of growth as this building learns to grow and win together. We understand all that as coaches. We've been through it. As a player I've been through it, as a coach I've been through situations, so all you can continue to do is keep coaching these guys. I love the way approach it. The way they approach it, the way they attack the game of football is what you want from your players as a coach. So as long as we can continuously get that from these guys, which I don't doubt at all, we'll get better in all the situational football like we've been getting. Hopefully we can just keep rolling with this thing and see how it goes."

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

(On if there is a common thread that runs through this year's rookie class)

"Work ethic I would say is number one with the way they absorb information and get better. They take it and they study it on their own – they want to be better and they want to be great. Those are the two things I've noticed right now."

(On ILB Lavonte David's leadership and his speeches to the team)

"Whether they go right or don't go right, he is our vocal leader. He is one of them – he speaks up all the time. It's not just when things aren't going right. He speaks up when they're going right. He comes to play every time, he holds everyone accountable and like I said, he is one of our leaders."

(On the importance of veteran leadership)

"I think you need the veteran leadership. Those guys aren't just great players, they're great leaders on and off the field. A lot of it you don't see off the field, but they do a heck of a job with the young guys bringing them along."

(On ILB Devin White carrying himself as a veteran)

"You're not a rookie when you're playing the whole year, but mentally he has some things to learn. But he plays fast and he gets better every day. As long as the mental aspect of the game comes for him – which is coming very fast – his ceiling, if he stays healthy, [is one where] he controls his own destiny. He is a very good player. He has a chance to be a great player if he stays healthy and everything goes well."

(On DL Ndamukong Suh)

"He has been unbelievable since he came in here. I didn't know how intelligent of a player he was, not [having been] around him, but between him and Beau [Allen] in that D-line room helping out the other D-linemen, I think it's been extraordinary from a help standpoint. Him understanding blocking schemes, taking up double teams and being able to move across the line of scrimmage has helped us a great deal. You can see a lot of guys that [have] been in the league for awhile that only do things one way. He learns, he works hard [and] he wants to be better every day. You challenge him mentally, he challenges you mentally and he makes you want to be a better coach because he wants to be a better player."

(On if there is a way to quantify Suh's impact on the younger players in the defensive line room, specifically DL Vita Vea)

"Like I said, I think it's been great because between him and Beau [Allen], the help [Vea] gets from a mental standpoint, a hand-placement standpoint and an understanding of the blocking schemes, Vita has been great this year."

(On the defense's abilities to make big stops and big plays in the red zone and in other crucial moments)

"It's those guys coming together, just practicing, trusting each other and working together. We've got to get a lot better at some things, but they're coming along pretty [well] and they're making some key stops. We've just got to make more of them."

(On the Detroit Lions offense)

"I think they have an underrated running game. I think [Bo] Scarbrough has come in and [given] them a jolt. I think they got behind a little bit here and there, but the quarterback (David Blough), I think, is very bright. He sees the whole field, he can move a bit like [Gardner] Minshew. He moves around in the pocket very well. They have obviously a great receiver in [Kenny] Golladay and they've got the other receivers. It's unfortunate [Marvin Jones] went down, but [Danny] Amendola has been doing it for a long time. Logan Thomas has been playing very well at tight end with Jesse James and their o-line is solid. They play across the board. Obviously, they'll bring up a player and probably they've got three more on the practice squad that we've got to be ready for. We understand if they bring them up, we've got to understand what they do."