Tampa Bay Buccaneers


(On how the Buccaneers have progressed since playing New Orleans in Week 1)

"I think probably lightyears, offensively for sure. Special teams and the kicking game – we're a lot better. Defensively should be the same or better because of the way we're playing. I think [in] two phases – having no preseason games and going into the first week making some mistakes we shouldn't make on offense, turning the ball over and a couple fiascos in the kicking game – I think we're a different ballclub now."

(On if the team struggles to find energy at the beginning of games when there are no fans in the stands)
"I think when you're on primetime especially, you expect to come to the stadium and have a ton of energy in the stadium from the fans and everything else. This year's so different. To sit around, get there and it's like, 'Is the stadium really even open?' The lights are on, but [there isn't] anybody there. You've got to bring your own energy and we did not do a good job in either [primetime] game of handling [the opponent's energy]. Both those teams came out with tempo and the communication was not good handling that tempo in either one of those ballgames to start the game."

(On if all good teams experience games where they do not play their best but manage to win)

"Like I've always said, you learn a hell of a lot more by almost losing than you do by losing. We learned a lot in Chicago by losing, but I think we found a few things about ourselves now that we've won a ballgame like that and it wasn't our best execution."

(On the adjustments Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles made in the second half of Monday's game)

"Just do your job [and] execute with better energy. I thought our guys played with a little better pad level in the second half against the run and our pass rush dialed up some stuff and got them going. We still didn't make a couple plays that we normally make. We drop a big interception there in that last drive that should have never gotten to the touchdown."

(On where WR Antonio Brown will be able to help the most)

"Just being an explosive player with the ball in his hands. He'll have a role and we'll see how much we can get him taught. The first practice will be a walkthrough because we've got a short week coming off Monday night. We basically miss a practice this week on Wednesday because of the short week, so it will be a walkthrough practice and basically all learning."

(On what he believes Brown needs from the Buccaneers to get on track on and off the field)

"He has to handle his own business off the field. On the field, you find your role, accept it, embrace it, make sure you're making the right plays and we'll get you the ball."

(On CB Jamel Dean playing in the base package instead of CB Sean Murphy-Bunting in Monday's game)

"I thought Sean, obviously, the interception was huge. He played his normal nickel role. We expected them to be a little more three wideouts, but instead they played us like some other teams with a lot of tight ends. Jamel's been playing very well, so we put him in the base package. It was a good matchup for us against these guys. Sean stayed in nickel, but we're very blessed to have three good corners. There's nothing [indicating] Sean lost his job – we went with Jamel in the base package."

(On his plan for the offensive skill positions in terms of how many players will be active at each position on gameday)

"I think each and every week – is it four tight ends? Is it six receivers? Is it four running backs [or] three backs? That's a chess match every week when we put it all together and we see from there. Whether they've got special teams [and] if there's roles for guys there – that always trumps everything."

(On his expectation for WR Antonio Brown's role in Sunday's game)

"It really depends on how the game goes. If we're successful with the package that we put him in, we'll probably run it more. He'll have his role – it could be 10 plays [or] it could be 35 plays. I wouldn't anticipate 60 plays, for sure, but we'll just see how it goes."

(On WR Mike Evans' health and if he is close to 100 percent healthy)

"There's no doubt. I saw it last Thursday in practice. He made a couple cuts on that ankle that he hasn't [made]. He's kind of been limping on that one [but] he's made real hard cuts on it. I think Mike's really, really close to 100 [percent healthy] now."

(On K Ryan Succop's consistency this season)

"Don't jinx him, brother. He has [been consistent]. We're putting him in positions where he's very, very comfortable, too, inside that 45[-yard] range."

(On if he feels the offense's third-down conversion rate needs to improve)

"I think so. Each game is so different. I think our explosive plays lead to more touchdowns, but our third-down conversions in this ballgame, obviously, were not very good. We had some potential guys open, we just didn't make the plays. I think it's been really solid. We've been in the 50 percent [conversion] range for three or four weeks until last night."

(On if not having WR Chris Godwin contributed to some of the offensive struggles in the first half)
"I think there were two coverage sacks, but there were guys open. We've just got to do a better job deciphering what we're seeing and getting the ball to the guys. I thought Jaydon [Mickens] played really, really well for us, but it's not having Chris in there when you're used to it. Tom [Brady] practices a lot with Jaydon, so that didn't surprise me. Our third-down conversion rate was not what we're anticipating."

(On how proud he is that the team has been more disciplined in the last few weeks)

"I think the players took it upon themselves after the Chicago game that they were going to quit beating themselves, basically, [behind them] and make other teams try to beat us. It's rewarding, but we've got a long way to go and we've got to stay that way. I think knowing what to do [and] how to do it is a big part of it. Practicing at a high level, not seeing penalties in practice [and] not seeing balls potentially turned over in practice – that's a big part of it."

(On WR Mike Evans' selflessness throughout this season)
"I think that's always been Mike. I've praised him for it all the time. That whole receiver room – it's about we, not me. You never know – adding A.B. (Antonio Brown) could open up a lot of things for Mike because he's been getting double covered a ton. Last night we put him inside a lot and he did a really good job – could've had a few more targets. Getting Chris [Godwin] healthy [and] bringing Antonio in could really help Mike."

(On if QB Tom Brady offered to have WR Antonio Brown live with him temporarily)

"I can't speak for him, but I think he's publicly talked about trying to help a teammate [and] doing whatever it takes to get him comfortable so they can focus on football. That's Tom – he's the ultimate teammate."

(On Saints RB Alvin Kamara's ability to catch passes out of the backfield and how good Kamara is as a receiver)

"I coached Marshall Faulk – this guy's scarier. He's got great speed, he's got great hands, he's got wide receiver skills – but he's a hell of a running back. He's a tough tackle. I thought in the first ballgame we did a good job, but he's expanded his role. Drew [Brees] is really doing a nice job of finding him in the passing game and Sean [Payton] is putting him in position to be successful. We've got our hands full – hopefully we can do as good of a job this time."

(On what the Buccaneers can do to disrupt Saints QB Drew Brees)

"Knock him down a few times. That always helps. None of them – especially the older guys – like getting knocked down. We've got to pressure him, get him off his spot and have really good, tight coverage."