Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Quotes - Thursday, November 7, 2019

Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich

(On how much the offense is looking forward to playing at home this week)

"We're excited to be in front of our fans for a change. It's been a long road. We're just happy to be home. We're happy to be home, hear our fans cheer for us [and] hear our fans put the opposing team in tough situations like we've been in in the past couple weeks. We're just excited to not have to get on the plane this weekend [and] excited to play football at home."

(On what WR Chris Godwin has done that has led to his production)

"He just works. That's all I really know of the guy. Ever since we've been here, he's just worked. He's a third-year guy who's coming into his own, who's figuring things out and he's winning matchups. He's winning his one-on-one matchups, he's making plays for us [and] he's putting us in position to try to help us win football games. He's such a big guy – he's bigger than people think [which allows him] to make the plays that he makes. We're just happy that he works the way that he works and he helps us every way he can – run game, passing game, everything."

(On what RB Ronald Jones II has done to earn the starting role)

"He just started coming into his own. He started growing and understanding what it's like to be a professional. He started really getting rid of the silly mistakes [and] the young mistakes. He started focusing more on his craft and getting better. You saw it as he had success within practice, you see him push himself more and that's what normally happens with a young guy. They've got to have a little success here, then they push, a little success there, then they push. I think he's a kid that believes now. He's a kid that believes he's an exceptional talent. He's an explosive guy, a very explosive guy, and he's just working on his game, working on his craft, trying to become a better football player every day. You see it every day when you go out to work."

(On if he would like to see Jones be able to help close games like he did at Los Angeles in Week 4)

"Yeah, and unfortunately for him, the two big runs got called back there. Imagine if those had [stood]. It just goes to show what he can do when given the opportunity and we're going to try to give him some opportunities to make those types of plays consistently."

(On the dialogue between him and Head Coach Bruce Arians in the fourth quarter of last week's game at Seattle)

"That was me and him being me and him."

(On if the dialogue was similar to when he was backing up Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Arians was the offensive coordinator)

"A little different. [It was] me and him being me and him."

(On what he took away from the offensive performance in Seattle)

"It's unfortunate that our record is really 2-6, but this is the team that I knew. The team that played Sunday – this is the team that I know. But, what we've got to understand – to win football games, it takes a little bit more. We've got to always understand that. We've got a good football team out there that it's unfortunate that we're 2-6. These guys work as if they're good [and] they compete as if they're a good football team, which they are. The record may not say that right now and we'll take what comes with the record. You are what you are. We're a 2-6 football team, but I think we all feel as though we're better than what that number may say, and we'll see what we can try to do the second half of this year, but we feel confident in our football team that we have here."

(On how to get through a losing season despite having talented players on the roster)

"It's work. You've got to work. I think we're on the right path [and] I think the guys are focused the way they need to focus. I think everything is coming together as it should, but like I said, it's unfortunate for us – we're 2-6 right now. Like I said, [if] a couple of those things go a different way, you guys are asking different kinds of questions, but it's not. So, we are a 2-6 football team. We'll continue to work to try to better that record week in and week out."

(On how to prevent QB Jameis Winston from getting hit as much as he has been)

"I think we'll all get better at that from a communication standpoint up front, Jameis getting rid of the ball when he should get rid of the ball, guys doing what they're supposed to outside when they're supposed to – that's part of the development of a new offense. Like I told you guys last week, when this thing is all done at the end of the year, we'll count up everything and we'll pay attention to the numbers. But, until then, we've just got to continue to work and I think as we get better [and] get our guys in certain situations in this offense, we'll begin to handle them better and those type of numbers and sacks will all begin to go down. You'll see improvement – that's how I see it, that's how I know it to happen in this league and how it goes, and hopefully we can get that going sooner than later."

(On how important it is for him and Bruce Arians to have an open dialogue)

"That's all I know [and] that's all I'll ever be. I have no reason to not have that with anybody that's a part of this organization or anybody that's outside of this organization. That's how I tend to carry myself on and off the field, so that's actually the easy part, especially for me and him. That's extremely easy for us two."

(On if he was surprised that Arians gave him the responsibility of calling plays before the season)

"No, I'm not surprised. Me and B.A. (Bruce Arians) have been doing this together for a long time now. You guys just get an opportunity to see me do it. It's always been a lot of behind the scenes stuff that nobody knew of. So, not really. I expected it [and] that's all I knew from the time we talked when this thing first was going down."

(On if the offense feels that there is less room for error with the defense allowing 31.5 points per game)

"No – we'll be fine. We'll be fine as a team. We're just coming together as a team. We've got a young team and people don't understand that. We'll get in these situations and we'll win these football games where we're supposed to win them. We're going through the process where we're fighting and learning how to do that, and in that process sometimes, you come up a little short. But, I think we're a couple wins away from being in those situations and winning those games, and it's truly building a certain type of confidence with this team. There's one thing I know about this team – when they go out and play on Sunday's, it's going to be a tough out for whoever we're playing just by the competitiveness of the guys, the way these guys practice [and] the way these guys compete. You've got to enjoy that as a coach and have so much respect for that and just try to put them in the best situation week in and week out. But these guys love the fight – they're going to fight."

(On WR Breshad Perriman catching four passes on eight targets in Seattle after catching a lower percentage of his targets in previous games)

"I don't really know what that number really means because you'll have to see the details of why the number is [what] that number [is]. It's tough to really answer that, but at the same time, we lost B.P. (Breshad Perriman) for a couple of weeks and people don't realize [that] in the middle of the season, that's tough. That's tough in the middle of the season anytime you lose a guy because it's not like it's OTA's and training camp because you don't have that extra time to get everything back to where it was before it left. It's kind of like where Scotty [Miller] was in training camp, where he was having a heck of a training camp. You miss two and a half weeks of football on this level, in training camp – we didn't get an opportunity. When he came back and was healthy enough, it was really the regular season and you really didn't have as much time – now you're more focused on the opponent. Sometimes, he slowly gets himself back going, but I like the way the two guys – they're looking great in practice. I like the way they look day in and day out and we'll get everything going. Like I told you guys, these guys work at everything. They work at the things we need to work at and that gives you confidence as a coach."

(On if he likes having the insight into an opponent like he does with the Arizona Cardinals, who he spent three seasons on the coaching staff with)

"Not really – some of those guys change. Some of those numbers are different. Some of these guys, I don't know, but I do know some of the guys. I've got a lot of respect for a lot of guys on their football team – a lot of respect for the Patrick Peterson's, the [Larry] Fitzgerald's, the Budda [Baker's], the David Johnson's, the A.Q. Shipley's. I've been to battle with these guys and I've got a lot of respect for those guys – I really do. I like the way those guys go about the game of football. They've got guys on their team that are going to compete [and] that are going to fight. We understand that and we accept the challenge on Sunday of seeing these guys."

(On if QB Jameis Winston's performance in Seattle is overshadowed by the loss and his fumble in the fourth quarter)

"We didn't win – I don't know if that overshadows anything. We go out every Sunday and try to win football games. We're not going to pick plays and pick this play and say … That's for you guys to do and you guys can continue to do that. We're just going to try to go out every week and play good football and try to find ways to win football games, because even when you win games, you're going to have plays like that, so you can't go back and forth that way as coaches and players – as guys that are really in it. We'll allow you guys to do that."

(On where he's seen the most growth from RB Ronald Jones II)

"Just with opportunity. With more opportunities and the little successes he's had, I've seen him really work on his game. I think we talked probably a month and a half ago, but we were having this conversation and he was working on his game. He was trying to get better at everything and like B.A. (Bruce Arians) said, he's earned the right to get these opportunities. [It was] nothing that Peyton [Barber] did, but we're going to put him out there and see how he plays. He's been playing well for us, he's an explosive player [and] a young player who's always working on his game. Those game situations are good for him too because a lot of these are new to him too, because he didn't play a lot last year, so this is really his first time being out there consistently and you can see the improvement day in and day out."

(On if Jones is close to more big runs)

"It doesn't matter if we're close, but we want to get them and we'll see."

(On if Winston throwing the ball away to avoid negative plays in Seattle is a sign of him having better control of the offense)

"Like I said, it's a new system for everyone, so now when you have an idea of where guys are at more and more, you can do that more and more. That's part of my job, to always put him in position to have those opportunities to make those plays. I see it every day though, so I see the improvements every day. You guys may see it on a Sunday to Sunday basis, but I'm with him all day, every day, so I see the improvements that he's making day in and day out. It showed Sunday, you guys get to see it and get to talk about it, but I see those things every day. It's not anything new. Jameis is a real smart football player and he understands the game. It's just tough playing quarterback in this league. [There are] a lot of different variables that control the success of the quarterback position in this league, so he understands that and he's just working on his game, but I see the improvements day in and day out from the kid."

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

(On how CB Jamel Dean's increased playing time vs. Seattle will benefit him)

"I think it will benefit him a lot mentally because when he [did] the right thing, he did it well. As the game went on and they got faster in the fourth quarter, he had some things that he'd like to have back that he can learn from, from an experience standpoint, that we've been working with him [on]. I think that game will carry him the rest of his career and probably fuel his career."

(On facing Cardinals QB Kyler Murray)

"First, it's tough because they have a good run game so it's not just pass, pass, pass. They offset. His speed can't be matched, obviously. We've just got to continue to get after him. If we can get him to throw the ball then we've got to try to be in our pass-rush lanes, but at the same time not be tentative. We've got to make sure we take our shots and if one misses, the other has got to follow up. It's got to be a group effort. [He is] a very talented guy, with his arm and with his legs. He matches their offense really well, so it will be a tough task."

(On how much having only two healthy pass rushers for the majority of the game limited the defense against Seattle)

"Well you don't think about it at the time because you're in game mode – next man up [mentality]. You've got to move some things around, but at the same time, we had enough guys and we had enough packages that we could survive the game and win the ballgame. We just didn't play them all smartly at times."

(On how tough it is to balance getting pressure while not leaving the secondary vulnerable)

"It's give and take. You play to win at the end of the day, but at the same time, it's give and take. You understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, and you try to understand what theirs are. You try to find a good balance."

(On ILB Devin White taking over the defense at some point)

"It will progress to that over time. I think experience carries a MIKE [there] over time. It's still not going to defer anything from Lavonte [David], JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Carl [Nassib] being leaders, but as you get more comfortable at the MIKE position – the more vocal you get and the more you understand the defense – it kind of naturally takes itself over. He is in the middle of that now, but like you said, he is getting better every day."

(On facing Cardinals RB David Johnson)

"David and [Kenyan] Drake – obviously, they've got two of them. David can catch the ball like a receiver. He runs receiver routes, as well as Kenyan Drake does. In the run game they can play inside and outside as far as running the ball. Outside they can kill you like a wide receiver, so they create mismatch problems in that regard."

(On if Head Coach Bruce Arians has changed at all since his time in Arizona)

"No, he's the same. He brings the young guys along. He is hard but he is fair for everybody – coaches and players. He is a guy you want to win for and bust your butt for, so he hasn't changed at all as far as I'm concerned."

(On what he thinks the secondary has struggled with)

"[We haven't been] consistent – obviously inconsistent. We can play well for spurts of the game then there will be a spurt where we go haywire and then they make plays on us. We've got to be more experienced from that regard and we've got to play the last quarter like we play the first three quarters."

(On if there were any bad games from his career that stuck in his mind for a long time)

"I don't know if games stay with me, but in my career, a lot of bad plays stay with me. I remember a lot of bad plays, but my first game wasn't like that. I wasn't exactly thrown in there like that. I had time to mature and develop, so I can't recall that from that regard. But like I tell all of the rookies, 'After your first day, you're not a rookie anymore.' When you're thrown in there, you've got to be ready to play. You study and you hear everything – obviously it's different when you're playing a game in the atmosphere up there – I'm not going to make excuses for [Jamel Dean]. He will learn from it. He made some good plays. He had some plays he'd like to have back. Like I said, he will grow from it. He understands that and he is determined to be good, so that's the good part about it."

(On if he has seen the right attitude from the young players in the secondary)

"I think they have a great attitude. Just the experience of the game and learning how to play it mentally – the faster that catches up, the better they will be."

(On if the team's ability to shut down the run puts more pressure on the pass defense)

"We understand what we have to do to stop the run, but we could've had some plays in the secondary that we'd like to have back that we've given up – and they were strictly designed to stop the pass – so it's not a run versus pass thing. They go hand-in-hand. When you're good at one, you understand it sets up the other one. Again, it sets up the blitzes, but it sets up the coverages, as well. We've just got to carry them through."

(On the frustration of allowing 31.5 points per game given his previous success)

"It's frustrating losing. We've got to win no matter what – it's frustrating losing. It's not so much as being a top defensive coach. It's about getting these guys experience and getting them to play together more than anything. For me, it's as far as losing. If we are winning these ballgames, it's not a factor. We've got to make sure we cut down on the mental mistakes that are beating us. Getting beat physically is one thing – getting beat mentally and beating ourselves, that's what we've got to stop."

(On if the defense cutting down on points allowed is the key to Tampa Bay winning consistently)

"We've got to keep the score down one point lower than our offense scores, whether that's 10-9 or 31-30. You want to play great defense, you don't want them to get in the end zone, but when they get in the red zone we've got to [force] more field goals than touchdowns. I think that's where we've got to get better."

(On the thought process behind blitzing Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on a high number of snaps)

"Part of it was game plan [and] part of it was adjusting to certain injuries with people going in and doing what they do best. Then part of it was because of things we've seen, so it's all-inclusive. It's never one or the other. We can go the opposite way just as much, this game just happened to be higher."

(On if he was surprised by the lack of pressure despite so many blitzes)
"No, pressure is all cumulative. It's about whether the ball gets out quick or whether something happens on the play. I would have to go over film to see that, but I did not bother. I know the pressures we had up were set – some he ran away from, some he got the ball out, some they blocked. It's all cumulative."  

(On what OLB Sam Acho and OLB Kahzin Daniels bring to the team)
"Daniels has been on the practice squad. Obviously, he knows the system a little more. He is good off the edge, obviously. We'll have to see him in game situations and he's got to play special teams and do those types of things. He's learning from Shaq [Barrett], he's learning from JPP, Carl [Nassib] and [Anthony] Nelson, so hopefully the summer has paid off. I'll be excited to see him play because he's got a lot of energy. Sam, we had in Arizona. [We] hadn't seen him in a few years, but he is a very heady player, [a] very tough player [and] a very gritty player. He understands the game very well and I expect him to be where he needs to be."

(On what has caused the defense to struggle in the fourth quarter)

"It's a little bit of everything, we've just got to fix it. We've got to make plays – it's a play here or there. Sometimes we play well and one guy messes up, whether it's mental or physical, and then it costs us the ballgame. We've got to make plays and we've got to make sure we are focused the whole time. We play hard – there is no complaint there. They come with a lot of energy – there is no complaint there. We've just got to make plays. Football is about making plays – either you make them, or you don't."

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

"I had a young one in Miami, with Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Chris Clemons and Reshad [Jones] from Georgia. They were pretty young – and Nolan Carroll, as well – they were pretty young [in] Miami. I can't recall how young, but they were pretty young."

(On if he is surprised by the inconsistency of the secondary so far)

"I don't want to say surprised. You want to say, 'we've got to get better at it' as a coach. You don't want to say surprised at anything because they play well. You've seen them play well, so we've just got to continue to keep grinding and get better."

-BUCCANEERS-

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