Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Transcript: Head Coach Bruce Arians - Monday, December 23, 2019

(Opening statement)

"Viewing the film – it was pretty much the same as we've been for four weeks, except we didn't hit the deep ball to win the game, turnovers continue, but our guys fight they're resilient and gave ourselves a chance to win the game. We had three deep balls for touchdowns that we've hit each week, we just didn't hit them this past week."

(On there being a common denominator with turnovers, especially on the first drive)

"No they're all different types of plays and all different types of passes. You just [have] to eliminate it."

(On if he has previously worked with a quarterback that turns over the ball on the first drive)


(On the deep passes being nearly completed)

"It's a game of inches. Breshad [Perriman] catch on the sideline, that was a big one but he's wide open on Vernon [Hargreaves] down the middle and you overthrow into the wind and overthrow with the wind – that type of thing. It's different than being in a dome than it is playing in the elements a little. It was windy enough to affect it. The double move to O.J. [Howard], that was a big one."

(On OLB Jason Pierre-Paul's three sack performance)

"I think he's in shape now. He's in football shape. He can really bend and when he bends he's got great power, which kind of separates guys with length like his. They don't have that kind of power. That's what makes him kind of unique."

(On if he expected QB Jameis Winston to throw as many interceptions as he has)

"No. It's baffling with the first series stuff."

(On the possibilities of Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich and Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles being interviewed for head coaching vacancies)

"I would hope so."

(On Leftwich being ready for a head coaching position)

"I think so. To me, for a young coach it's who you hire. Who are going to hire? Are you going to run the offense? I think with the right people and the right GM and ownership he's more than ready."

(On the outside linebackers being free agents next year and what he does to decide who to keep)

"All I can do is recommend to the people upstairs that we need them. The way we're playing defense right now, if we can stay together it's showing that we've turned the corner defensively."

(On DL Ndamukong Suh wanting to return)

"I'll meet with him individually when it's over. The way he practices and plays I don't think he's ready to quit."

(On the benefits of Suh being around younger players)

"It's huge. When you have veteran guy, who's been to the Super Bowl recently, and you put him a room and he really knows how to prepare, and he's really pro – not just mentally but physically – how to eat, how to stretch, how to do all the things he does to take care of himself – it really helps young players."

(On Suh's behavior)

"He's been a model citizen – wish I had 10 of him."

(On if there are any present or former practice squad players that have stood out to him)

"Johnathan Franklin did an unbelievable job being Deshaun Watson last week at quarterback. He gave our defense a tremendous look. [He] made me think about, 'Hmm, what do we want to do with him?' He's really a corner, but he's been a quarterback and he's been a receiver. He's a really good athlete – it's just finding a niche for him. Codey [McElroy] was impressing all the time. Ish [Hyman] – he's had a great year giving looks and had a great play in the ballgame. Schnelly (Spencer Schnell) did a great job on punt return. I don't believe in that some teams just have local guys to practice against. That's next man up. That's player development. We don't practice in pads very often, but after every Thursday practice up until six or seven weeks, we go out in pads with those guys to get them better for when they have to be called up."

(On QB Jameis Winston having 30 touchdowns and nearing 30 interceptions and how much of that is due to playing in a new offense)

"You don't learn anything by burying your head in the sand and hiding. I think back to Peyton [Manning]. I think he threw four picks back in New England and he really wanted to come out of the game. I said, 'Nope, we're going no-huddle. Just go learn something.' He went right down the field and scored us a touchdown, so it's just a matter of learning how to do it, continuing to do it [and] getting confidence in it. But you really have to learn how to protect the football."

(On how much of Winston's interceptions are him being him and how many are adjustments that can be made to correct the turnovers)

"I think it's about 50-50. The corrections have been made, but the results aren't happening."

(On how the inefficiency of the running game in the second half vs. Houston affected the team's offense)

"It was huge and the [failed] third-and-ones were a big part of it. We've got to win those and then we can continue to mix it."

(On RB Ronald Jones' year-to-year progress)

"Oh, he's made great progress from last year to this year. He is just still a developing player, but the game slows down sometimes for guys and I think it's starting to slow down for him."

(On how much it will help Winston to have an entire offseason to watch himself in the new offense)

"I think that's the best lesson you can have. You've been watching someone else. You've been watching Carson [Palmer] run the offense or whatever, but [now] you see yourself do it."

(On if there is anything to a high percentage of Winston's interceptions coming at home)

"The numbers say there [is], but I don't know what the hell it is, or I'd fix it [laughs]."

(On if it should be easier at home to limit interceptions without the noise)

"Yeah, but he's got 22 here. That's something we've got to keep diving into to find out."

(On the difference between 7-9 and 8-8)

"8-8 tastes a whole lot better all offseason. So yeah, we talked about it in the locker room right after the game. There [are] no losers in this locker room – let's make sure of it."

(On how frustrating it is to have had so many games with three-or-more turnovers)

"Yeah, I mean this was a playoff team (Houston Texans) and our defense held them to one of the lowest [total yards] they've ever been held to. So, if you don't turn the ball over and give them seven points – just the giving of seven – you win the game and you beat a playoff team. It is very frustrating because I think this team was capable of being at least 10-6 – at least."

(On the progression of CB Carlton Davis III in regard to limiting penalties)

"It was just a matter of better technique, better footwork [and] playing press man-to-man the way we want it played. He did an unbelievable job on DeAndre [Hopkins] – unbelievable."

(On the biggest takeaway from the second half of the season)
"Just that if we can keep this defense together, we can be really, really good defensively for a long time because it's a very young group and the older guys are young. They are guys that don't age. It would be huge for us to keep them together and build off the way we are finishing these last six or seven weeks, [with] the growth in the secondary especially."

(On how much it would help to have Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles return next season rather than taking a head coaching job somewhere else)

"It'd be big – very big."

(On if he always has a succession plan for coaches that could be promoted)

"Yeah, you try to have the next ones up and the young ones ready to take their place."