Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Quotes - Thursday, November 14, 2019

Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich

(On what the offense has to do to get WR Mike Evans involved after he was held without a catch in the last matchup against the Saints)

"We'll put him in different places. We'll move him around. We'll go to him when he's in his one-on-one matchups. When a guy's that special [and] a guy's that good, for the most part, the ball will find his way more than not. It didn't that game. We don't want to go too far with trying to just move him around and put him in different situations. We'll do what we think we need to do for us to have the most success really as an offense, not just really for Mike. For the most part, that guy doesn't really need a lot of help. He gets in position and makes plays for us, so we don't want to do too much. We're going to be us. We're going to go be us and hopefully he'll have more catches this game."

(On if being held without a catch in the last matchup against the Saints gives Evans extra motivation)

"When you're as good as he is, I'm quite sure he's motivated by a lot of things. Mike's a true superstar. The way he plays, the plays that he makes [and] the things that he does for us as a team [are] unique. Very few people can make the plays that Mike can make. I don't know his thinking of it, but I'm quite sure he'll be ready to play this Sunday as if he's ready to play every Sunday, and that's all I know of the guy. He'll come ready to play – I've got to do a better job of getting him the ball."

(On what it would mean for Evans to join Randy Moss as the only receivers in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons)

"I actually know Randy. I remember being a little kid at Marshall, throwing to Randy, and they're very similar. They're very similar in what they can do. It's very unique to see guys that tall [and] that long be able to make the plays that they make. That's the first thing I told Mike when I first met Mike. Not to compare Mike to Randy – you're talking about a Hall of Fame guy [and] you're talking about a guy in his sixth year. Having the opportunity to throw to Randy when I was a young football player in college [and] seeing Mike, seeing how they both move, how they're both able to put their body in position to make certain plays – for them to be tall, they do unique things to be tall wide receivers."

(On Evans rarely missing games)

"That's just how good he is as a player. He's a tough guy, he's played a lot of football games, he's always there, so as a coach you appreciate that because you can depend on him week in and week out."

(On if Randy Moss would go back to Marshall when Leftwich was playing there)

"Yeah. In the summer times, he would come to work out. I never actually played in a game with him. I wish I would've. I always joke with Chad [Pennington] and say he threw 54 touchdowns to Randy Moss in his college career. That's unreal to throw 50-something touchdowns to one player. That's cheating [laughs]."

(On how often he gets to work with DL Vita Vea after he lined up in a goal-to-go situation on Sunday)

"I guess the world knows how good [of] an athlete he is now. It's something that we always knew. Vita's a super athlete. Vita's a big guy that can really move. I guess the world has seen that highlight tape now that we knew about, that we knew of – I guess the world's seen it. But, it just goes to show you – you watch the plays that he made in the three plays that he was in. That's a football-aware guy. He's not even on the outside of the ball and [to] have the wherewithal [with] what he did on that touchdown run is part of the reason why we have him in that situation. At the same time, it just says a lot about the guy [and] the player, how athletic most of these guys in this league are and what they're able to do and are capable of doing."

(On if there is a chance that Vea will run a route in a similar situation)

"We'll see."

(On if there was anything that he wants QB Jameis Winston to apply from the last matchup against the Saints)

"Not really because it's a week in, week out game. We learned from that game, we came in here the next day, tried to learn what we can do better knowing that they're a divisional team and we'll play these guys again. You try to take the good stuff from the game, try to correct the things that were not [executed] so well and just try to put yourself in better position to have more positive plays and try to find a way to win the football game."

(On what the interactions between Head Coach Bruce Arians and the officials are like)

"Unique – you all have got to mic him up one day and just really listen to the whole game. You'd be amazed. But, it's just B.A. He's on the officials hard just like he's on everybody else hard. He wants it done the right way – that's all he's really looking for. He's really looking for it to be done the right way. I've been around him long enough and I've heard it all come from him. You guys should mic him up one day and hear that – it's unique."

(On if the players like how Arians defends them when talking to the officials)

"As a player, if you're in the game, you don't really notice it. You're just in the game [and] you don't really hear it. The guys on the sideline get an opportunity to hear it all. It's been this way since I've played for him. Since I've played for him, he's always been this way. He's always been energetic, I should say, towards those guys. I really don't know anything different. I know him to be that way ever since I met him [and] ever since I had an opportunity to play for him."

(On if he trusts RB Ronald Jones II in the passing game)

"I have no issues with his hands. I'm just trying to put these guys in position. Did I know he can come out with eight catches? No. I know he would come out with some. Sometimes, like I tell you guys, sometimes the defense may dictate where the ball goes because of progressions [and] because of reads. We just like to put him in position, in one-on-one positions, to put him in position that if he gets that play – as you can see, he can do a lot of special things with the ball in his hands and we don't just want to always make it about turning around and handing him the ball. When you've got a guy as talented as him, you just try to get the ball in his hands and let his gift take over."

(On how Jones needs to progress to become a three-down running back)

"Everything – he's doing everything right. I don't know what world we got into where we draft guys and in six games, we're judging that guy. That's crazy. It's crazy, the speed that we're judging these guys at such a young [age]. I remember in the league, when I first got in, it wasn't that way. I don't know what's really going on or why it's that way, but we judge these young players so early in the process. We give them labels right out [of] the gate. We tend, as a coaching staff, not to do that. RoJo (Ronald Jones II) is on pace to go where he needs to go as a player. He's becoming a professional. We like where he's at. We're going to stay on him to make sure he's always pushing to try to become a better player day in and day out. But, we like where RoJo is at with his development. We like the way he's attacking the game of football. He's really into this thing. He's really into it and we're just happy to have a bunch of guys – not just RoJo – a group of guys that come to work every day, put their hand in the pile and try to do what they can to help us win football games."

(On if QB Jameis Winston's success in two-minute situations is a good gauge of how he had developed in this offense)

"Yeah, and he's been doing this the whole time. I think he makes a lot of positive plays. More times than not, guys will like to pick out what he didn't do so well that game, but if you watch him week in and week out – I see it every day. I see this guy playing well every day. I believe he's going to play well every day in practice and in games. I have that much confidence in him and we'll see."

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

(On the development of the young secondary)

"They are getting better every week. They are working hard. They are learning some things on the field – a lot of things they know going into the game. As a player, you are going to learn something new every week when teams do something different. They are very intelligent, they work hard [and] they study hard, so I just look forward to getting them better."

(On what it meant to have CB Jamel Dean and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting to arrive early each day last week to spend extra time preparing for Sunday's game)

"It's always good, especially the way Dean started out. With the game he had against Seattle – to bounce back and come back and play a game like he played, it says a lot about the player, and it says a lot about the man from a confidence standpoint. [Murphy]-Bunting is very studious in his own right, as well, so they all watch a lot of tape back there – not just the younger guys, but the older guys too. They're helping them out, so it will be a group effort back there. [There are] 11 guys over there, so they know how to play DB. They came into the league as DBs, so they've got their chance."

(On how players learn how to prepare in the NFL)

"It falls on everybody – it's all of the above. Coaches always request you watch extra film, whether it be with other coaches, other players or by yourself. You always need to study and watch the game. Everybody is big, strong and fast – that doesn't give you an edge. If you can't anticipate plays and you don't know where you're going, it's going to be hard to make plays. As a rookie coming in, they all learn differently, so [Dean] understood that even more so after the Seattle ballgame."

(On if Dean needs to know what to key in on and what to watch for when it comes to their opponents on top of watch a lot of film)

"As much as you can as a rookie – you can't focus on everything. You learn some things. Sometimes you just get beat. And you play well, and the guy beats him because it was a better play. You've got to focus on little things that he can grasp. You learn as a coach how to teach certain players differently and how to watch film with those guys. You can't watch them all the same because they're all different and they learn differently. Dean has his own way of learning and we understand where he is. I know how he has to learn and we're getting it to him that way."

(On if he would say cornerback is the toughest defensive position when it comes to transitioning from college to the NFL)

"No, I think inside 'backer is just as tough because of the mental aspect of it and what he has to do in the run and pass game, as far as learning the defense, running the defense and seeing blocking schemes as well as pass schemes. That's right up there. I think they are 1A [and] 1B."

(On if he was consulted on the team's decision to waive CB Vernon Hargreaves III)

"Well, I don't make those decisions. We all have discussions that we talk about. In the end, they decided that was the best thing to do, so we go from there."

(On what changed from training camp to now in regard to the team's impressions of Hargreaves' ability)

"I don't know what's changed. In this league, things happen. Things happen in this league everyday – you can't control what happens in training camp to what happens during the season. After you get stuff on film as a player, all you can do is be the best you can be. I have a lot of respect for Vernon and I wish him well. It didn't work out here. Hopefully it works out somewhere else."

(On why the team parted ways with Hargreaves this week as opposed to later in the season)
"Those are head coach and general manager questions."

(On if this is the youngest secondary he has ever coached)

"They are pretty young. They rank right up there. Again, Vontae [Davis], Sean [Smith], [Chris] Clemons, Reshad Jones and Nolan Carroll were pretty young, as well. It's just about knowing what you have to do and just doing it. It's not about the age thing. They understand that."

(On if LB Lavonte David is still the on-field communicator for the defense)

"Well, Devin [White] makes some calls, as well. Lavonte has more experience, especially giving it to the other guys. It allows Devin to focus on what he needs to focus on, while still calling some of the signals. It just eases up some of the mental stuff."

(On if there is a big difference facing the Saints offense with QB Drew Brees as compared to Teddy Bridgewater or if it is just a matter of facing Head Coach Sean Payton's offense)

"You focus on everything. Obviously, Sean is an excellent play-caller. He does a great job with what they do and putting people in place to make plays from a schematics standpoint. Drew – it speaks for itself – he is one of the greatest to play the game, obviously with his longevity and everything else. He plays extremely smart. Teddy runs better, but Teddy was smart, and Teddy threw the ball and passed very well against us. As far as we're concerned, we've got to prepare for everything. It's not just Sean, or Drew or Teddy – we've got to prepare for the Saints."

(On which players in the secondary are cross trained to play the nickel corner position)

"We cross train them all because certain situations require a certain person's strengths, so we cross train them all. We'll try to pick and choose and see who it is going forward – what game we need what guy inside."

(On his experience with Head Coach Bruce Arians' relationships with the referees)

"With Bruce, I walk the other way. I'm on the defensive side, so I'm down on the other end of the field because I don't want to hear the yelling and the cussing. As a head coach, it's tough because you're in the heat of the moment, you're in battle. You see things on the field and some things go your way and some things don't, but you've got to make your expressions known and different coaches do it in different ways."

(On CB Mazzi Wilkins being promoted to the active roster)

"He worked. He came in everyday and worked, whether he was on scout team or whether we put him in to get reps, he worked. He made a lot of mistakes, but he learned from them, he got better, he listened, and he applied it. He won't take no for an answer. He is on a steady climb. He understands what he has to do to play. He is one of those guys who will succeed at any cost and do everything to try and succeed and that's a credit to him. He got up here because of his hard work, not because people went down or people were here or people were there. He worked his way in, he got the system down pretty good and he made everybody take notice of him."