Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Quotes - Thursday, October 31, 2019

Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich

(On if he has an answer as to why Head Coach Bruce Arians said that his message isn't getting to the players)

"Not really – you just keep coaching them. We're getting better. Our record may not say that, but we're getting better. We've just got to make sure we keep coaching. We're not out of this thing – that's our approach to it. We're going to keep coaching these guys [and] they're going to keep continuing getting better. We had a hell of a practice today. Guys are still into it and we're just going to keep coaching them and keep trying to get better."

(On what areas he sees improvement in)

"As a whole, from the time we got here, from what we see right now – I see it as a whole. Maybe the numbers don't say that right now. We'll add the numbers up at the end of the year and we'll count them up and we'll see, but it's way too early for that. But, I see this crew getting better every day."

(On what caused the miscommunications between QB Jameis Winston and the wide receivers in Week 8)

"The newness of everything. It was uncharacteristic of the two guys. The situations that [it] was in, it was very unusual for that to happen. It happened in a game. Usually, those things tend to happen in a practice [and] you get it corrected, but it didn't. It happened in a game, we'll learn from it, we'll move on [and] we'll go on to the Seattle Seahawks."

(On if the offense is telegraphing plays)


(On opponents are defending the run any differently than they did at the beginning of the season)

"It all depends on what game. Our last two games before this game, we didn't have an opportunity to have a lot of rushing attempts if you watched those games. That's where the numbers can be skewed a little bit. It all depends on how you're looking at it – if you understand the scenarios in the game, you'll understand why it's been down. We'll get better at it all."

(On if he still feels that QB Jameis Winston can be the team's quarterback in future seasons)

"I feel that way. We're just not doing enough to win football games. This league is so – it's four or five plays here and there that you've just got to really change and really get out of our system just as a team. That comes down to winning the football games. If you win some of those games that you lost, it's all different – the narrative is all different. But we didn't, so we've got to understand that, try to fix those plays and try to hopefully, when we have those opportunities in the future, that we make those plays to win football games."

(On if the simple plays are what's beating them)

"Yeah, and that's what we've got to be aware of. We've got to be aware of those things and unfortunately, they've showed up in games where they haven't shown up in practice. We've just got to correct it. We've just got to stay on it and have an understanding that those plays can't happen on a Sunday, because those type of plays that I'm talking about throughout a game – you're wasting plays, let alone the turnovers that may come from those type of plays or the negative plays that may come from those type of plays. You've got to find a way to get those plays out of our game – we will. I really believe that we'll get those type of plays out of our system and we'll start trying to find ways to win these football games."

(On what challenges the Seahawks present defensively and with the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field)

"They've always been a very good defense every time I've had an opportunity to go up there – actually every year I've coached. It's a very fun place to play. It's a very loud place to play. The guys won't need a lot to get juiced up. It's an exciting place – one of my favorite places to play. I love the atmosphere there. It smells, it looks like, everything about is says 'Football.' It's just a good place to play. It's always a good atmosphere. It's always tough for the opponent that comes in there because of how loud it really is. You can't simulate it until you actually get there, so we're going to prepare for it, make sure our communication is right, and we're going to try to go up there and see if we can play well."

(On if the players are relieved that this will be the final road game of a six-week stretch away from home)

"I don't know if they're thinking about it. I know I don't have time to think about it. You have the opponent, so you think [about] the opponent. You don't really care about where the game is at – you're looking at the opponent [and] you let the tape tell you. When you're worried about the opponent so much, the location really doesn't matter. You try to get these guys prepared for the guys that have never been there [and] never played there to have an understanding of what the atmosphere is going to be like."

(On some of the mistakes made in Week 8 coming from veteran players)

"Veterans make mistakes too, every Sunday. Every Sunday, they're making mistakes and you've got to correct them – and that's around the league. We'll clean this stuff up. We'll clean those type of plays [and] get those plays out of our system, and when we do, I believe we'll play well."

(On if the level of anger following the Week 8 loss has carried over into this week)

"They feel close. It's tough winning and losing in this league week in and week out. It's hard to explain – if you don't give it all during the week and give everything you've got on Sunday, and you lose the game, that's tough on everybody. People have no understanding of what that's really like to give it your all every week – and you win the game, the joy that comes from winning that game, regardless of how you win it. You lose the game – the defeat that stays on you when you lose that game. I don't think a lot of people have an understanding of what guys put themselves through from a mental and physical standpoint week in and week out, so that's what makes it difficult. So, you try to do the things throughout the week to make sure [that] when the game's over – at least for 24 hours – you can have that good feeling of winning a football game."

(On if a quarterback should want to throw the ball on fourth-and-one late in the game)

"I'll say this – I've done both."

(On whether he would prefer to throw it or hand it off in that situation as a quarterback)

"Whichever one got what we needed. I've done a lot of throwing that ball and didn't hit the guy, and you get the same feeling. So, it's about execution – whatever play is called, finding a way to get the job done. That's what it's really about when you play quarterback. You just want to find a way to get the job done – we didn't. Hopefully, if we get that opportunity again, we'll find a way to get the job done."

(On why the offense hasn't gotten much contribution from the receivers outside of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin)

"I don't really see it that way. When you have guys going off the way that these guys [have been] going off, it's difficult. I think it's four or five games [in which] we had a guy almost have 200 yards between Chris and Mike. When you have that, sometimes the ball doesn't get that way because it may go to a guy more than usual. We've got a lot of guys out there that are getting in position to make plays. I always tell you guys that sometimes the ball just doesn't get in certain guys' hands because of the way teams are playing us. Progressions in plays, [there] may be leakage in the protection where guys are open and you can't get the ball to them – it's a lot. It's the game of football. It's just football. We'll try to continue getting our guys going – not just our third and fourth wide receivers, but really everybody."

(On if he has to reinforce to the players to buy into the offense with the team at 2-5)

"I see the improvements. Maybe you guys don't – I see the improvements. I see the work that these guys are putting in to win football games, because ultimately, we're trying to win football games. We're not trying to really be better statistically at this just so the world can say this – we're trying to leave a stadium with a win, and whatever that is that we've got to do, we've got to find ways to do that. That's our only mindset."

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

(On if the coaching staff has taught things differently than how they had in Arizona)

"We teach differently all the time. You teach it according to how the player can learn it, so it's constant communication back and forth. We haven't had the results we've wanted, but you've got to keep working at it. We're making strides and it's just here and there something that comes up and the breaks haven't gone our way. I think we're close, we've just got to keep churning."

(On what he saw from OLB Jason Pierre-Paul the past few weeks from a leadership standpoint)

"Well, he's great in the locker room. He's a great leader. He understands the game and he can bring guys along with him, and we have quite a few young guys over there that he can bring with him. He's still working out some kinks, having only practiced for about two weeks now. The energy he brings – when he gets to full tilt, you can see he is going to be a force. Right now, the energy he brings, the experience he brings and the way he approaches the game and attacks the game I think is energetic enough for a lot of guys in the locker room."

(On where he has seen DL Vita Vea take the biggest steps forward this season)

"Like I said, he understands what is coming at him. Physically he is a specimen – he can get off the ball and do a lot of things, but if you don't know how they're trying to block you, and you don't use fundamentals and technique, you are going to have a problem. I think his hands are a lot better this year. His knowledge of the game is growing every day. I think Coach [Kacy] Rodgers and Coach [Lori] Locust [do] a great job trying to detail a game plan for him, and he's bought in."

(On his assessment of DL Ndamukong Suh this season)

"I think he's played great. I think we've got more than what I thought coming in because I didn't know how intelligent he was from a mental standpoint. Physically he keeps himself in great shape, obviously taking on double-teams, understanding blocks and getting off the ball. Helping the outside guys make plays is one thing, but his intelligence of the game, how he approaches the game and the way he prepares professionally – that I didn't know about – has been a pleasant surprise for me. I'm happy to have him."

(On letting defensive backs be aggressive, while also remaining cautious about committing penalties)

"I mean you coach it the right way [and] you've got to play it the right way. If a penalty is called, you've got to get back on your horse. We don't want penalties. We don't teach penalties. We don't coach penalties. But, you don't take away from a guy's aggression, you just teach him to be smart and more fundamentally and technically sound."

(On what changed defensively that allowed the Titans to move the ball down the field in the second half)

"Penalties – we had two penalties on the same drive that went for about 30 yards and we busted a play or two here and there that went for the other ones. We've just got to make sure we play four quarters and finish the ballgame."

(On if finishing the ballgame is about the team keeping its foot on the gas)

"The foot is on the gas. It's not a matter of taking the foot off the gas – we've just got to make sure we are doing the right things all the time."

(On facing Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson)

"He's tough. He's one of the best in the game – he's right up there. [He is] extremely smart. His arm is just as good as his legs. He understands what they do very well. He is a winner – he has proven that time and time again and he constantly comes at you creating pressure for you on defense. It's going to be a challenge for us."

(On the defense not being properly lined up for Tennessee's go-ahead touchdown)

"I don't know if you are ever going to line up right completely, but we needed to be lined up right on that play. The communication was there, we just didn't execute it."

(On what broke down on that play)

"The communication was there – we didn't execute the play, but the communication was there. Everybody knew what they were supposed to do. We didn't execute it."

(On moving CB Vernon Hargreaves III's performance after moving to the slot-corner position)

"I think it went pretty good. I mean we have matchup things where we have two nickels on the field at the same time, so we kind of move people around. We toyed with that in the spring, so certain games you will see different people in different places. I thought for the most part it worked out pretty good."

(On how much faster CB Sean Murphy-Bunting is playing now compared to at the beginning of the season)

"He is playing a lot faster because the game has slowed down for him. I think as a rookie, when you learn nickel and corner, that is tough. That's a tough deal because you get them crossed quite a bit, but the game has slowed down for him a lot and he is more in his natural state, like he is playing in college. He's getting better every week and we're impressed with him."

(On what S Andrew Adams has brought to the secondary)

"He is a smart player. Obviously, he has been in the league for a while, so he has some years on Mike [Edwards] in that regard, but we have the same confidence with Edwards back there. We just had a bye week and we tried to concentrate and clean up on a few things that we've got to continue to do. There were still some things that we let out, but for the most part, a lot of the things we worked on got accomplished. We've just got to keep working on it."

(On the setback of not having CB Jamel Dean available at the start of the season)

"Well, it suffered a little setback – more on special teams than defense because he wasn't ready at the time for the defensive part of it, but he is coming on every day and he is a big part of what we are going to be doing going forward. I just like the way he is practicing right now. He's just got to wait his chance."

(On how important it is to have a defensive front that can produce pressure from multiple guys)

"It's always important as a DB, whether you are a rookie or a vet, to get pressure up front. They go hand in hand, so to have all those guys up contributing – and hopefully a lot more – that makes the ball come out a lot quicker, so hopefully you can be more aggressive as a secondary. Like I said, they are still young, they are still learning route combinations and everything else like that. But, I like the aggressiveness they're showing."