Tampa Bay Buccaneers

BUCCANEERS TRANSCRIPT: HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS 9-21-20

(On if RB Leonard Fournette could become the primary running back or if the team plans on using a rotation)

"I love the way it's at right now. RoJo (Ronald Jones II) had a great run for a touchdown – saw that good blitz pickup. We did screw up the handoff on the draw, but that's easily correctable. To have Leonard come in with fresh legs in the fourth quarter and pound it like that – very few teams have that combination. Shady (LeSean McCoy) did a good job on third down. I know he had the one catch he'd like to have back that he dropped, but I thought our backs played really, really well other than the handoff fumble."

(On if the offense is moving more toward QB Tom Brady's style of play or if Brady is adapting to Tampa Bay's system)

"It's going to take time. It's both – it's our offense, [but] it's letting him have his say like we always do with all our quarterbacks and build a game plan for the best way to beat the defense and put every guy in a position to be successful."

(On stopping Carolina's fake punt attempt)

"That was 'punt safe' and we go over that every week. It was a time in the game you thought there probably would be a fake because we were up. Jordan [Whitehead] did a great job of stuffing that thing and our two interior guys did a great job also."

(On how well the interior defensive linemen are playing through two games this season)

"There's a lot of attention on JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Shaq [Barrett], but those inside guys have been disruptive in both ballgames. Tackles for losses, pressure on the quarterback – we had two or three sacks by those guys this week. [Ndamukong] Suh had a heck of a ballgame – great hustle plays chasing down screens 15, 20 yards away. They're playing at a high level right now."

(On the decision to run the flea flicker and on how many trick plays he has in the game plan each week)

"We usually have four or five. Their safeties were very, very aggressive and it was one of those situations [where] you would have liked to have been able to grab a hold of that ball a little better because that was an easy touchdown. Tom [Brady] got it down there [and] Justin [Watson] made a nice play on it. It was a good, big chunk for us. We hope to get one or two of those a ballgame."

(On if he is surprised with TE Rob Gronkowski's lack of production in the passing game)

"Not really. He got a nice pass interference call for us [and we] missed him on the over route. We're not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends – that's what we have receivers for [and] that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets."

(On what teams are doing to prevent Gronkowski from being involved in the passing attack)

"I don't think they're paying that much attention to him. Tom [Brady] has the ball [and] he decides where it's going, so he's reading the defenses and he's taking whatever they're giving him. We don't force passes to anybody."

(On if he would consider moving Fournette into the starting running back role)

"Not right now. I think everybody's role is good right now. There's no need for that. He's still doesn't know enough of this offense yet to be the starter."

(On if there were as many drops on the offense as he thought after watching the tape)

"Oh gosh – we dropped, probably, about 125 yards worth. About seven drops [and] two touchdowns. Maybe three touchdowns, really. You put the ball right there and we don't catch it – I don't think I've ever seen Scotty [Miller] drop that ball. I know LeSean [McCoy] is going to catch it nine times out of ten. The wind did get Cyril [Grayson] a little bit – that ball moved a little bit – it hit him in the head. But, the guy's got great hands and that's an easy touchdown. That should have been three touchdowns. Tom [Brady] should have had a 400-yard day if we just catch it."

(On what he tells players on the offense to prevent the drops from becoming an issue moving forward)
"Don't drop the damn ball or you won't get another one. It's easy. He [isn't] going to throw it to you."

(On ILB Devin White's performance on Sunday and his expectations for White moving forward)

"He should have had 20 [tackles]. He had a lot of pass coverage in that fourth quarter – he got a little gassed. He played a heck of a ballgame and that's what we expect out of him every single time. He's going to be a double-digit tackler every game. He's the leader – he's calling it [and] he's checking it. He had to run the deep middle too many times and he got gassed a little bit in that fourth quarter."

(On White's effectiveness on inside blitz plays)

"He's a load coming up the middle – I promise you."

(On who was responsible for the fumbled handoff between Brady and Jones II)

"RoJo [is responsible]. It's patience [and] it's a draw play. He saw a big ole hole, he took off before Tom was ready to hand it and his elbow was down. It's just all patience and it's all on Ronald."

(On if there is an update on WR Chris Godwin's status and if the team missed him on Sunday)

"Chris passed protocol [and] he's ready to go. The one thing [is] we know how sure handed he is. He's not going to drop too many, if any. Looking forward to having him back this week."

(On if Godwin is available for the upcoming game against Denver)

"Yes."

(On DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches playing more snaps behind DL Vita Vea and if that was because he is more valuable when the opponent is playing from behind)

"No – they rotate. They both had about 36, 37 plays a piece. Nacho had a heck of a camp [and] Vita had a heck of a camp. [Ndamukong] Suh wasn't coming out because he was having too good of a game. It's a good rotation in there right now."

(On T Donovan Smith's performance on Sunday)

"He hurt his knee and he kept on going. I thought he had a heck of a ballgame [and] was really solid. Run game was outstanding – I don't think he gave up any hits. Continue to get consistently good because he has all that talent. Donovan works really, really hard."

(On if dropped passes are expected and if that throws off the trust and chemistry between Brady and the skill position players)

"They're never expected and they're never accepted. You're a professional football player – if you play receiver, you're expected to catch the ball. Like any quarterback, [if] you drop a couple more, you're not getting it anymore. He [isn't] going to throw it to you. Same thing in practice. If you drop the ball in practice, it's probably not coming to you on Sunday. It's not something you overreact to [and] luckily we won the ballgame, but we left a lot of offense out there."

(On how WR Tyler Johnson could be utilized in the future after missing part of training camp)

"He's getting better and better. He's been on the scout team for a while now and he's healthy, getting in shape. Took him a while to get him in shape. It will depend strictly on how these other guys play. Justin Watson had such a great camp, Scotty [Miller] has had a great camp. Missing that much time, it's going to be hard for him to break in there. We have a lot of confidence [in him]. He flashes it – we know what we have in him, that's for sure."

-BUCCANEERS-

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