Tampa Bay Buccaneers

BUCCANEERS TRANSCRIPT: HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS 9-28-20

(On WR Chris Godwin and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting's injuries)

"They're both getting MRIs today and we'll know more after we get the film back on the MRIs and see how it goes."

(On if he believes the shortened preseason has caused muscle injuries this season)

"I think that had a big part of it. The whole league [has experienced] soft-tissue injuries and major injuries. The lack of spring practice and the lack of training camp – I think you're starting to see that now. Just continue to work and do as much. Our sports science people are excellent and try to make sure they don't happen again."

(On if the team has taken steps forward in special teams since Week 1)

"No doubt. You take that one play out on the [blocked] extra point and I thought it was a major win for special teams. Not only the blocked punt, but we had a punt return inside that set up a score. One bad penalty or we'd have run that punt after the safety all the way up to midfield. I think Mick (WR Jaydon Mickens) did a good job with his punt returns – handling the ball – and I thought Bradley Pinion had a hell of a game with the touchbacks [and] the three punts inside the 20[-yard line]. We pinned them back there all day. I thought our special teams really, really won the battle."

(On what is allowing the defense to successfully sack opposing quarterbacks this season)

"Coverage, the front and it's a bunch of different guys. I think Todd [Bowles] is doing a great job of putting players in position to get good matchups. Will Gholston's got sacks, Vita [Vea] got sacks, [Ndamukong] Suh's got sacks, both outside 'backers, inside 'backers and safeties [have sacks]. It's a matter of pick your poison [and] who you want to try to block, because somebody's coming from somewhere."

(On if he has noticed opposing offenses lining up differently against them Tampa this season)

"Not really. Shaq [Barrett] was getting some extra attention early, then JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) came and the interior guys were getting some. We had so much interior pressure, they tried to single block Shaq a few times and he made them pay for it. He caught them on the bootleg and then Devin [White] got a great push up the middle and Shaq followed him for the safety."

(On ILB Devin White's effort and recovery after initially falling down during a play on Sunday)

"He better get up and catch him because he'd never live that down in the film room. We're in an all-out blitz and he tripped and his guy got out. He has such great speed [that] he ran him down. He looked like he was running in mud. That's a play that Devin can make. He made that great play in Seattle last year where he chased the guy down and caused a fumble. His speed is always going to show up."

(On if TE Rob Gronkowski will use Sunday's performance as the beginning of a 'snowball' the rest of the season)
"I think it's just individual games. This was a 'Double Team Mike Evans Game' again and the middle of the field – those guys worked it over pretty good. I think part of it is getting in game rhythm, but it was more the way they tried to play us that the tight ends got so involved."

(On the team withstanding responses from opponents throughout the game)

"I think we're a very, very hungry team. We have relaxed a little bit, but then we have the ability to notch it back up. The coaching staff does a great job on the sidelines of keeping it motivated, keeping it full speed [and keeping] attention to detail so those things don't happen. Having been a part of it in the past a couple times, we don't accept that anymore."

(On how K Ryan Succop has performed this season and his ability to consistently convert 'gimme' kicks)

"That was always his forte. He had that long streak of [field goals inside 40 yards]. We expect it from him every time. Again, he's getting more pop in his leg the more his practices and the more he works out. We're really excited about knowing that we have three points."

(On where the team can improve moving forward)

"We've got a lot of areas we can improve on. Eliminating some penalties offensively and just continuing to grow offensively. Defensively, just that lapse before the half where we gave [up] that touchdown after that third-and-20 play – not allowing those things to happen so teams can't get back in ballgames. We have room to improve in all three phases."

(On currently sitting in first place in the NFC South)

"Once you get there, you want to stay there. We got two in a row – let's get three in a row."

(On having fans at Raymond James Stadium for the upcoming game)

"It's going to be great. The ones that can get in – I know how excited our fans are. You see it all around town. To hopefully get more and more each week, keeping them safe and knowing how to keep them safe. Hopefully, the ones that come in are smart enough to keep themselves safe so we continue to add more and more fans in the stadium."

(On what about S Antoine Winfield Jr. reminds him of S Tyrann Mathieu and S Budda Baker)

"They both played the same position – they both were very, very mature, heady football players. They came in and you couldn't overload them. They studied and were overly prepared. [It's] the same thing with Antoine – you see the same type of player, the same type of makeup, the same preparation that he puts in. I think that's a very easy comparison for us having drafted those guys and drafting him."

(On how the secondary performed after changing personnel due to Murphy-Bunting's injury)

"I'm very, very comfortable with that. Hopefully we don't get another injury where we start getting thinner and thinner. But, Mike [Edwards] did [have] a great interception. I knew he'd play well – he's been waiting for his shot. [Antoine] is an excellent nickel, so we don't miss too much. Obviously, we lose a really good player in Sean, but we have capable backups there."

(On utilizing play-action offensively and if that was something they wanted to use this season)

"Definitely. Tom [Brady] has been a great play-action guy for the last few years. Play action is only good if you're running the ball. I think we've been running it adequately – better than we have in the past, so it should set up more and more play action."

(On if he had the opportunity to see former NFL QB Peyton Manning before Sunday's game)

"We had a good huddle [pregame] – Tom Moore, Clyde [Christensen], Tom Brady, myself, Griff (QB Ryan Griffin), Peyton [Manning] and the kids. It was great to see him. His post-life career has turned out pretty good. He might be a better comedian than he was a quarterback. He's a great guy and [I] love seeing him."

(On what percentage of snaps Winfield Jr. played at nickel cornerback during training camp and on Winfield Jr.'s versatility defensively)

"They're a very rare breed. The guys I compared him to were All-Pro players and that's what he's capable of doing. It was about 50 percent of the snaps. He ran second nickel with all the twos the entire training camp."

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