Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head Coach Bruce Arians Media Availability - Monday, December 2, 2019

*Head Coach Bruce Arians                              *

(Opening statement)

"After watching the film, I think defensively, we're finally understanding situational football a lot better. Guys' communication, short-yardage, red zone, third down is becoming really fun to watch and watching the growth. Obviously, [we've been] rushing the passer extremely well for the last few weeks, but again on the back end, we're holding our guys [and] we're covering our guys. The quarterback's not having the quick throws. And then, when we are sacking them, we're knocking the ball out of their hands and I think Larry Foote does a great of job teaching those guys when they turn the corner to find the ball and [force a] strip-fumble. That part of it, I think, was the best thing I watched on film. Offensively, it was a great job of taking turnovers and turning them into points again. [In] the second half, having two, three [or] four first downs and not getting any points [was an issue]. We were sitting right there at the 36 [yard line], [facing] into the wind. I still think Matt [Gay] could've made that field goal and we go for it on fourth down. It's a situation just for Jameis [Winston] – [if] the curls are covered, throw it to the back. Just throw it out to the back, let's see if he can make the first down [but] don't take that sack. Again, [that is] the growth process, but we protected the ball pretty much all day except for when we missed the blitz pickup and he gets hit and fumbles. I thought our kicking game was extremely solid other than the one ball down the middle that got run back on us. That was just a great hit ball, but just a poorly placed ball."

(On which is more impressive between OLB Shaquil Barrett's sacks and forced fumbles)

"Probably the forced fumbles because usually, that's a linebacker that's hitting people like Lavonte [who] has the [franchise] record. For a guy that gets sacks and then strips the ball, that's a very rare guy. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) has that knack also. But, yeah, I think probably the strips."

(On what has allowed Barrett to get back to the production he had early in the season)

"Yeah, the addition of Jason Pierre-Paul and the way Vita [Vea] is playing and the way [Ndamukong] Suh is playing in the middle, having Carl [Nassib] inside – just having those guys around him, he's not getting all the attention – the tight end and the chip – so I think that's helped him tremendously. And, the back end is doing a hell of a lot better – coverage is a lot better."

(On Barrett being two sacks away from tying Warren Sapp's franchise single-season record)

"I don't think it's stopping anytime soon. I think he's a hungry young fella that even after he gets paid, it's going to continue. He's just continued to work on his craft, getting slipperier and slipperier. I'm going to be shocked if he doesn't break it."

(On if the ability to strip-sack a quarterback can be developed or if it is a mentality)

"It's coached. We work on it constantly – turning the corner [and thinking], 'Where's the ball? Is it up here, is it down there?' – and finding the ball, but don't miss the tackle. We have slipped off a few times going for sack fumbles when we should've just got the sack. If you're not seeing the ball, then you should be just tackling the guy. It's something that's both – you have to have the skill level to do it, but it's also coached."

(On the young talent on defense)

"That first and second-year bunch on defense – that's going to be fun for a long time. It's just going to get better and better. Just add a piece or two or just keep them together. I think the veterans that are over there are not old. Lavonte [David] looks like he's a four-year guy [with] the way he flies around, and [Ndamukong] Suh's playing at a high level. So, yeah, just keeping them all together and just continue to grow."

(On how important it was to challenge a 13-yard completion to WR Breshad Perriman in the first quarter that was originally ruled incomplete)

"That was huge. Larry [Rose and] the guys upstairs do a great job of giving me good information and they saw that one pretty quick. He did a great job of just sliding his toe like he's taught, and a lot of times that's missed."

(On how Jaguars QB Gardiner Minshew was able to spark their offense in the third quarter)

"That wasn't the first time he's been out there and he played well when he was playing. The reason he played well [was because] he scrambled all over the place. It was all mostly broken plays, and he extends plays and makes plays. We talked a lot at halftime [about] if they make the switch, we have to have a little more [of a] contained conscious. He still slipped out of there a few times because he looks to get out, but we did a good job of handling it. I thought Sean [Murphy-Bunting's] interception kind of put the whole fire out and was a great play."

(On how much confidence it gives a young defensive player to get their first turnover)

"It's huge. Once you do it, you know you can. Devin [White's] sacks last week, the interception this week [and] the touchdown will be huge for him and his growth. Sean [Murphy-Bunting] – a second time for him now. All those kids are getting more and more – I see Mike Edwards playing faster and faster. I hope to get Anthony Nelson healthy soon [and] let him get back out there. Somebody just asked me what rookie probably has had the most impact. Of course, I started naming all of them and I forgot about Matt Gay. He's probably had the most impact of all of them. So, yeah, it's been a great group."

(On P Bradley Pinion's 63-yard punt from the Buccaneers' 2-yard line in the fourth quarter)

"I can't say enough. It was a great kick, great coverage. They hit us right in the back, so I can't say enough. Bradley's been outstanding all year, but that was a huge field swap."

(On how much ILB Devin White's leadership has helped the rookies)

"With his injury, it really hurt him [and] set him back probably six weeks before he could do that. He still was with them, talking to the rookies, but when you're not playing at that level, you can't talk that level. Now, he can back it up and he's bringing it not only to rookies now – it's everybody."

(On CB Jamel Dean and G Alex Cappa's statuses)

"We'll know more probably this afternoon. Jamel looked pretty sore. I don't know what Cap's is yet, but again, he probably played a quarter with it, didn't say anything and I wish he'd have said something because he was struggling a little bit."

(On how important it was to have OLB Carl Nassib back in the rotation)

"It's huge – I think that's the other thing – if those guys are fresh all the time, plus Carl can go inside and do damage against guards. Just his versatility and being able to have a great rotation – we've got a good rotation of inside guys and now outside guys. And, Sam [Acho] jumped in there and got a sack-fumble."

(On the decision to go for the two-point conversion after the Jaguars were offsides on an extra point attempt in the first quarter)

"Yeah, for me, if it's on the one, we're going – we're not kicking. Very seldom has it happened for us but if you jumped [offsides], we're definitely going straight to two points."

(On RB Ronald Jones II missing a blitz pickup assignment)

"Yeah, and that was the fumble. We had the game in hand. It was something that had been switched – the way we were going to block something because of their blitzes – and he went to block the guy he used to block, and that wasn't the plan. He works his ass off and he's going to get better at it, because we need him running the football. But, you can't run the football if you can't protect the quarterback."