Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head Coach Bruce Arians Media Availability - Monday, November 18, 2019

Head Coach Bruce Arians

(Opening statement)

"There's no secret – it's turnovers. This team, we have a gift habit. We keep giving away points early in games and then try to fight our way back. It was a 10-point game, we had three or four possessions to get it within one [possession] and just couldn't get it done. [It was a] really good football team we were playing and when you make those kind of mistakes, you're not going to win against a really good team. But, it's been a habit and it's one that we have to break, no matter whose fault it is. It's been a habit of a gift early in the first quarter and then playing hard from there on out. I think as a team, it's frustrating as a coach because I see us practicing and preparing extremely hard. Guys are staying extra hours to prepare, but then it's not showing up on Sunday and for me as a coach, it's my job to figure out why. That's kind of where we're at right now."

(On if there was a miscommunication between QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans on the Saints' pick-six in the fourth quarter)

"It was just a high throw. That's when he sprained his ankle and he just threw it high."

(On how much Winston's ankle injury impacted his ability to step into his throws)

"It was huge on that one. He kind of shook it off after that, but that one cost him."

(On if Winston can determine whether he will close out a game)

"Yeah, if he's healthy, he's playing."

(On if the Saints did anything from a blitzing standpoint that he wasn't expecting)

"They do something different every week. They have a really good package every week. But, the ones that we saw – the one that got us [where] the guy starts dropping and then he blitzes – we didn't pick that one up and see it as a hot [read]. Overall, we protected it – we just didn't protect it well enough."

(On if that blitz came from Saints OLB Kiko Alonso)


(On why the Saints offense was able to get the ball to their key personnel in the first half)

"One was a busted assignment. We were playing two-man – you stay inside – Mike Edwards gets beat inside [and] gives up [a big play]. The two plays to Michael Thomas – one is a busted assignment on the drag route and it was Lavonte [David], not Devin [White]. The other, we walked through on Friday. Sean [Murphy-Bunting] was supposed to be up there, pressed, so he doesn't get picked. He backs up, he gets picked [and] it's a touchdown. So, was it them or was it us? I think it's us, really. They have a lot of weapons, that's one thing. You can only take away one, and when you have Alvin Kamara, he can do a lot of things for you. But, again, he catches the ball four yards – [if] we wrap him up, it's a four-yard gain – we don't make the tackle [and] it's 17."

(On if throwing the ball 51 times was too much to ask of QB Jameis Winston)

"Yeah, totally. You throw it 51 times – show me who wins. [Tom] Brady a couple of times – not always. But, if you're throwing it 51 times and running it eight, you're probably not winning the game."

(On if he is seeing improvement from WR Scotty Miller)

"He's improving. We knew they were going to double-double [Mike Evans and Chris Godwin], so Cam Brate gets 12 targets, Scotty gets a bunch of targets – so those inside guys had to win. We were losing our back in the protection scheme, so Scotty produced – I would just like to see him go one more yard, where he's supposed to be, for that first down."

(On if he has concerns that Winston's ankle will be an issue this week)

"No, he looks fine right now. He [has] a little limp, but he's OK."

(On DL William Gholston's status)

"We'll see."

(On what his approach is with six games left)

"Win them all. You can't win them all until you win one. [This week we have a] division [opponent] on the road and a team that's similar to us. They're playing really well right now and have kind of found their stride after their [Bye Week] and [have made] a lot of changes coaching staff-wise. They're playing with a lot of energy and it's showing on tape."

(On what changes the Falcons have made in their last two games)

"They simplified, it looks like. Defensively, they're playing really fast and they're not very complicated. The front four is teeing off and doing a heck of a job. Offensively, they're moving the ball [and] scoring points."

(On if the young defensive players having to play different positions can keep them from playing fast)

"Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt, but sometimes it's just basic fundamentals. You're playing two-man – you don't get beat inside. You don't take that fake – you force him out. That's Mike [Edwards'] natural position. We were going to play a lot of matchup zone [and] blitz him because he's a good blitzer. Other than two plays, he played pretty well. He misses one tackle and misses that play right there."

(On if he will give S Mike Edwards another look at nickelback)

"We'll see. I want Jamel Dean on the field, though."

(On if the run defense has been where he's seen the most improvement this year)

"We picked our poison with this one. I think the run defense has been pleasing all year. I think our run offense has been pleasing the majority of the time, when we can use it."

(On if they wanted to get RB Ronald Jones II more involved in the run game)

"He was in his normal screen game and everything else. Dare [Ogunbowale] is a better pass blocker and when we're in two-minute, he's in the game – which we were a bunch."

(On if Jones or RB Peyton Barber can handle a two-minute situation)

"It's not either one of their forte."

(On if OLB Carl Nassib could return from a groin injury this week)

"I hope – he tweaked it on Thursday. Knock on wood he's out there this week."

(On if the lack of turnovers created has been disappointing)

"Yeah – usually, they come in bunches. Hopefully, they'll come in bunches this week. It's coverage getting sacks, rush getting coverage – it all goes hand in hand. When we had good rushes, Drew [Brees] did a good job of just finding that check down, getting four or five – that's what he does best."

(On what is causing the players to have communication issues)

"I did not see to many communication issues in this ball game. We had poor technique, but the missed assignments were not communication errors other than the bad snap when [Jameis Winston] couldn't hear down on the goal line twice, and that's on the center. If you can't hear, tell the quarterback to use a silent count."

(On what the poor technique involves)

"[Players] losing their leverage, like Mike [Edwards] on that one [and] Sean [Murphy-Bunting] on the touchdown play – get up there where you can't get picked. Get an outside technique and force him into the safety. Don't back up [and] don't get beat inside when there's no help inside."

(On if the defensive backs are not trusting their reads)

"Yeah, I think that's part of it, but Todd [Bowles] kept them after practice Friday, walked through that exact play and we don't do it – it's called youth. I'm glad I don't have any hair [laughter]."

(On how well he thinks Falcons Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter knows QB Jameis Winston after spending four years as his head coach)

"I think he knows the guy and I would imagine he's saying it's the same old stuff, but I don't think right now they're changing what they're doing defensively, because they're playing really good and playing fast."

(On if he was expecting the Saints defense to play a lot of Cover 2)

"Yeah, that's what they do – they play two-man. But, when they were playing single high, we missed it. Mike [Evans] was open deep and we just didn't get it done."

(On how the players can regain their focus)

"I never believed in sports psychology before, but I'm starting to. There's something missing when you have talent and it doesn't show up on Sunday, or it's a focus issue."

(On if certain players are pressing to make plays)

"That's a big part of it too."