Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Quotes - Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Head Coach Bruce Arians                               

(Opening statement)

"Not practicing – Beau Allen, Demar Dotson, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tanner Hudson, Donovan Smith and Jordan Whitehead. Obviously, within 48 hours of the game where they were going full speed, so it was a walkthrough getting used to seeing what Houston does offensively and defensively. Getting some guys ready to play who haven't played much."

(On having to bring new players in this week)

"Too many, that's the problem. Way too many guys show up on a Tuesday and have a role on [Saturday]. It's not anything you'd liked to have, but you embrace it and get them ready."

(On the best player Arians has signed mid-week)

"The best one was Red Bryant. We called him 'thanksgiving'. He was hunting – he got on a plane, showed up Friday, played 27 snaps on Sunday. That's the best one I've had so far."

(On what WR Cyril Grayson can bring to the team)

"Well, he has top-end speed. We had him in here for a workout early. He was somebody that we were interested in. He's been practicing with Dallas, so he's in shape and ready to go. It's just a matter of learning – he can't learn it all. Just get him role, somethings that he can do, and get him ready to play."

(On QB Jameis Winston)

"With a total walkthrough practice he got to do everything today because there was no throwing. I doubt he'll throw tomorrow. Hopefully we'll tee it up again Thursday."

(On Texans CB Vernon Hargraves III)

"He's their nickel and he's solid."

(On Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles' aggressive style)

"Our personalities match a lot in that way. That's what we want. We want to be a pressure team. We want to put pressure on them offensively and defensively. He's one of the smartest players I've ever coached and as an NFL player who is a really bright guy – ran the defense for the Washington Redskins and knew he'd be an outstanding coach. I thought I'd be working for him to tell you the truth."

(On what Tom Moore means to the team)

"Tom's brings such an expertise on all levels. In just the coaching profession itself, the young guys just gravitate to him. He's a sounding board for me. He's seen enough practices in his life to know a good one from a bad one, a young player who might be ready, might not be ready. I get to bounce a lot of ideas off of him. He's very, very helpful for Byron [Leftwich] because Byron trusts him, was with him in Arizona. Tom has game plan every week and there's a lot of good things in it."

(On the development of the young secondary)

"I think the studying of film helps. The technique has gotten better, but they're more anticipatory. They see things coming. There's a lot more confidence. With Carlton [Davis II], like Jamel [Dean], Carlton reminds so much of Albert Lewis, who was one of the all-time great corners in this league but didn't have very many interceptions because he couldn't catch. PBUs was his thing. Kevin Ross was on the other side and he would knock everybody out. Those two guys remind me – Jamel a little bit – but Carlton really of Albert."

(On corners having to cover bigger receivers)

"You got to have length now. With what used to be the small forwards playing football in high school and college are all playing receiver. Some of the best athletes ever that don't make it in basketball anymore, so the corners have to adapt. You used to have the 5'9", 5'10" physical guy, they just eat off his head now. It's a different game."

(On developing players with different sport backgrounds)

"I love getting my hands on athletes and molding them into a position. Jonathan Franklin is a guy who was quarterback, played some receiver, is a corner, has 4.3 speed is finding his spot. [Codey] McElroy, same thing – big, tall, active guy down the field and has shown us he can really run and catch. Those are guys I'd love to get and be able to groom them. They don't have bad habits, so you teach them good habits."

(On whether finishing 9-7 is a successful season or encouraging one)

"I'll be pissed the season's over, [but it's] encouraging because you look back at two plays and you'd be 11-5."

(On an 11-5 record not being good enough for playoffs this year)

"I think 11-5 would get us in with the fumble in Tennessee and the kick [against] New York. That's still in the rearview mirror. There's too much football left to be looking in the rearview mirror."

(On Houston's urgency helping fuel the team for next season)

"Yes, for us it is a big December game. It's a good measuring stick even without whoever is not playing. It doesn't matter. It's still going to be a team going to the playoffs. We've beaten one team that was almost in the playoffs. We went to overtime with a number one seed in their place. [Those are] the things I think you judge on when you look back, when you get to that rearview mirror, and you start evaluating where we're at next year." 

(On Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins)

"For a fast guy, he's probably one of the more physical guys in the league. Physicality, he's like a Muhsin Muhammad, but he's faster. He's a combination of Mohammed and Steve Smith. He'll beat you up and just take the ball. It's his ball, he's going to take it. And Deshaun is going to throw it to him because he knows he's going to catch it."

(On Hopkins never dropping the ball)

"That video of him hanging upside down catching balls is something amazing. He's a tremendous player."

(On Deshaun Watson being drafted 12th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft)

"Would have been drafted in the next pick [laughs]. I think sometimes guys get labeled. Now with Lamar's [Jackson] success, [Watson's] success, people are looking for that guy now. Same with Pat Mahomes – different style athlete. That quarterback class is special."

(On different quarterbacks coming out of college)

"On the little I've seen Joe Burrow, more of a classical quarterback who is an athlete. Jeff Driskel, who didn't play last week, was that type of guy at Florida. There are so many 7-on-7 leagues now, it's kind of taking over high school football. There should never be a lack of quarterback play anymore, as much as everybody is throwing the ball." 

(On starting over with a younger quarterback)

"We've won a lot of games with young quarterbacks. Fifteen of them with Ben [Roethlisberger] in Pittsburgh, so they don't scare me. It depends on who it is. I didn't mind taking Andrew Luck and we went to the playoffs with seven other rookies. It depends on the guy."

Quarterback Jameis Winston

(On his thumb and throwing with a glove)

"I threw last week in practice with the glove on. I'm fine. It's going to be as good as it's going to get."

(On the impact of the glove on his thumb)

"It was just sore, tough to squeeze the ball."

(On working with new wide receivers)

"It's one guy. We have a new guy, Cyril [Grayson], that's the only guy that I have to really get reps with. Everyone else I've thrown with a lot and we have a connection, whether it's during practice or throwing after practice. We're just going to have to be ready for whatever."

(On what the other wide receivers can do with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out)

"They're competitive and they're prepared. They are also NFL players. We're blessed to have elite NFL players like Mike and Chris, but [the other players] got here for a reason too. And BP (Breshad Perriman) showed that last week with the performance that he had. All these other guys, they're ready to step up. They've been waiting for this moment their entire lives, so they're going to come out ready and excited and they're going to do a great job."

(On former teammate Vernon Hargreaves III)

"I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Vern – played against the guy in college. It's going to be a huge game for him coming back to 'Ray Jay'. This is his hometown, so I know he's excited. I know he's going to play really good football on [Saturday]."

(On Texans QB Deshaun Watson)

"I've met him twice – really respect his game. I think he's a phenomenal player. He has his own way. Plays with tremendous swag, can throw any pass on the field, and he's a great leader. We're going to all enjoy watching him for a very long time."

(On his comfort level with TEs O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate on the field)

"I talked to O.J. and Cam this week. I was like, 'Hey, y'all are going to get that rock,' and they're excited. But again, when you have guys like Chris [Godwin] and Mike [Evans] so much of the game plan revolves around them because they are elite. But you also have O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson – you've got guys that can go out there and get the job done. Now it gives us a chance to get them the ball."

(On the Texans defense)

"Well, I played against this defense my first year of my career in Houston. I know they're going to be very sound, play a lot of man. We're going to be ready for it."

(On the team's motivation headed into this week)

"I think we're just playing really good football right now and we want to continue doing that against a really good football team. We want to play in December. We want to be in the playoffs. Unfortunately, that can't happen this year. This is a team that's going to come in here with a lot at stake, so we know they're going to play their best football, so we have to be prepared to play our best football."

(On if throwing a turnover on the first possession helps him refocus and play better the rest of the game)

"No, we are going to eliminate that."

(On how much the team's running game can improve)

"I think all of us know this run game could be a lot better, and I think it will be. I think we're doing a great job of mixing RoJo (Ronald Jones) and Peyton [Barber] up, but those guys are going to start to get their feel. When we know we've got to lean on those guys to move the chains, to move the rock down the field for us and [to] lean on our offensive line more to dominate the line of scrimmage. We are going to find a way because it's really your will against another person. I think we've been playing really good football, but that's an area that we will get better at."

(On what Head Coach Bruce Arians said to him while he was walking off the field after his first interception)

"Keep throwing it. He said, 'Find your hot quicker and just keep throwing it.'

(On the performance of T Josh Wells in his start against Detroit)

"I think he did a great job. It showed great resilience by him for him to be prepared to step up into that role. He's been doing that all year, playing big tight end, playing right tackle [and] playing everywhere. But he did a great job and the guys around him did an excellent job of helping him too."

(On if he will prepare for the upcoming game against Houston in a similar way to how he did last week ahead of the Detroit game)

"Yeah, I've still got to try to get as healthy as I can, so whatever we discuss with today's practice, that's the plan that we will take."

(On preparing for a game without throwing the ball as much as usual)

"I'm always preparing and I'm getting reps – mental reps are really the main reps anyway. I know I can throw. I know the concepts. We've just got to see, read and react."

(On if throwing the ball less in practice last week allowed his arm to feel more fresh heading into the game Sunday)

"No, I think it felt the same. I was just more excited [on gameday] because I had less days to throw the football that week, so I was really excited to be able to throw the rock."

(On the progression of the secondary)

"I really believe that's all Coach [Todd] Bowles because he has put them in position to where their back has been against the wall and they had no other choice but to show up and show out. It shows the type of men they are, and high-character guys they are, to not lay down, but to really prevail. They've been doing a marvelous job of being snap and clear, coming back and making big plays for us. When you've got a coach that's going to continue to show confidence in them, like, 'Hey, we are going to call man coverage. If you lose, you lose. Get back out there the next play and get you a stop.' I think all of our coaches do a good job with the snap-and-clear mentality just as us as players do too."

(On seeing players have big games in places that mean something to them)

"I was talking to Will Gholston before the game – him being from Detroit – and he was like, 'I [have] never lost in this stadium and I don't plan on losing.' I said, 'Well, this time I get to be with you to get a win there.' It's always good to see people go back, whether it's their hometown or places that are kind of sacred for them, to go out there and have success. I am just happy we were able to help them out and get a win."

(On if he could tell early on that the young members of the secondary were going to find success down the road)

"Absolutely, you could see the talent that they have. It was just the application. It's just like me – I've got to come to work everyday and I've got to apply it. No matter if they are young – B.A. (Bruce Arians) says it all the time – young [doesn't] matter. It doesn't matter. You've got to go out there and execute and I think they've been doing a great job of doing that, and I think they will continue to do that."

*                                         -BUCCANEERS-*