HEAD COACH TODD BOWLES
(On TE Cameron Brate's condition)
"He has a sprained neck. He has all his extremities moving well and he's resting. That's been the extent of it. Everything else came out negative."
(On if Brate suffered any neurological effects)
(On if things turned out well for Brate all things considered)
"It turned out great for him."
(On if it helped ease players' minds that Brate flew back on the team plane)
"It was good to see him. It was good for the guys to see him. It relieved a lot of people's minds."
(On if he's dissatisfied with the offensive play-calling)
"I'm dissatisfied with a lot of things, you know. Winning is number one. It's not about the play-calling, it's all-inclusive. Players have to execute what the coaches call and coaches have to make sure that the players are in the right position to call them. We don't throw blame anywhere; it's all-inclusive. It's offense, defense and special teams when we have a bad game. It's not even about play-calling, it's about team."
(On if he is considering changes to the offensive line)
"Well, we've got the guys we've got and we're happy with them. We just have to be better play-wise. We've got to execute better. It's always a guy here and a guy there – whether it's Luke [Goedeke] or somebody else on the offensive line, or a ball outside and we miss a block here and there, or somebody swims us and gets by and makes it look worse than it is. It's a different guy every play. We've got to be more detailed as coaches. We've got to be better execution-wise as players. It's a group effort. If we've got to change some things from an offensive scheme standpoint, we'll do that. If we have to do something from a player standpoint, we'll take a look at that, as well. We're trying to find the best solution, how we can get better in those areas."
(On G Luke Goedeke facing Pro Bowl competition every week and how he has progressed)
"We look at that every week with everybody, not just Luke. He's not going to face any less competition; there's going to be Pro Bowlers every week. It's not just going to be four weeks, it's going to be 16 weeks and he understands that. The things he's getting better at, we see the improvement. Can he get a lot better? Yes, he can get a lot better. But we're happy with the things that he's doing. He's given up a few plays here and there but I wouldn't single him out to be replaced, so to speak. There are other guys that we know can play and do certain things, and we look at that every week, where we find people to put in the game plan on all sides of the ball. We'll try to keep looking at that and we'll try to monitor that and plug in where needed, but we've got to help him a little bit."
(On if he can pinpoint what went wrong on the four long third downs the Steelers converted in the second half)
"Yeah, I can. It was a different guy each play. It was a different guy each play – that's the best I can tell you."
(On if that makes it better or worse)
"It makes it worse, because we didn't stop them period. Nothing makes it better when they get them all."
(On how CB Dee Delaney played and the secondary lineup)
"We'll try to tweak it here and there. I thought he played fine. [There were] some small things, minor detail of plays that he came across for the first time that he needed to see. But from a competition standpoint he played fine. From a mental standpoint, he was into the game. He had a tackle for loss, he had a few tackles here and there. Some things he's got to learn. Our secondary, depending on health and who we play, will probably look different each week – depending on how we use guys, depending on if they fit what we're doing."
(On if he knows whether defensive backs Logan Ryan, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Mike Edwards are in play to return this week)
"Not at this time, I don't."
(On the team struggling in situational football like third down and red zone)
"I think we take them one at a time. It's an excellent question. Red zone, we get down there – and we had the ball down there several times – and either we get a false start or we get a penalty that pushes us back, or we miss a route here and there, we miss a block here and there. Like I said, it's a different guy. It's the freakiest thing because that's all we do in practice. It doesn't matter if it doesn't carry over to Sunday. Short yardage is another topic we've got to get better at, offensively especially. We've got to find a way to get one yard. We've got to understand what we're doing to get one yard; then it becomes a toughness thing down there to get the yard. Defensively, third-and-longs have got to stop, because we know where the ball's going, we understand what's coming and we did not make a play to get off the field, to give the offense a chance to get the ball back to win the ballgame. These are things we practice every day. We'll continue to practice, we harp on them, we stress them. We actually did well during the week – we did not do well during the game. It's got to transfer over. Things we need to change as coaches we need to change and not be big-headed enough to change, defensively, offensively or special teams. And player-wise, they have to understand that and they have to get better at executing."
(On if he is spending more time with the offense in terms of play-calling)
"Well, I always offer my opinion from a defensive standpoint, but I'm not an offensive coordinator to sit in there. We understand who needs to play better and what we need to coach better from that standpoint. So, we talk about that stuff all the time. That's my job, to make sure they know that. But I'm a defensive guy; I'll be in the defensive side of the ball."
(On if players are not keying in during meetings, practices and walk-throughs)
"They're keyed in. Like I said, we have great practices, we have great execution. It's got to carry over to the game."
(On if WR Mike Evans needs to be more targeted more often)
"We definitely talked about that. We've got to find a way to get our stars the ball. Move them around, get them off picks, double [teams] – we have to find a way to get them the ball more. Obviously teams are going to try to double him and take him away more; we have to do a better job of getting him the ball."
(On if he is pleased with the team's advanced scouting)
"Scouting does a great job. They keep us up to date on injuries, what's coming, what to look for during the games. We're very happy with that."
(On if there are tells in Tampa Bay's offensive play-calling)
"Overall, I don't think so, but being a defensive coach there's always one or two things you find that you can hang your hat on. Then offensively or defensively you try to change it up and show a look but show something else each week. As you go on forward, and self-scouting, you can see that more. But when you're good at certain things you try to find a way to run it and different ways of how to run it. We can expand on play-calling on both sides of the ball and get better from there."
(On if QB Tom Brady is fully healthy)
"Yes, as far as I know he's totally healthy. He's completely healthy."
(On if any health issues are affecting Brady's throwing)
(On Brady being perceived as getting special treatment)
"He works as hard as anybody. Special treatment – there have been a few guys that have missed some meetings and some practices for some special things. It just doesn't get publicized because they're not him. It kind of comes with the territory. We don't worry about it too much."
(On if Brady is as locked-in as he has been in the past)
(On if there is a timeline for Brate potentially returning to the field)
"I don't have an idea right now."
(On if players missing time for special reasons happens a lot more than people realize)
"A lot more than you realize."
(On if T Josh Wells and RB Giovani Bernard, who are on injured reserve, could return to practice)
"Hopefully Josh can start practicing. I don't think Gio's at that point."
(On how DT Akiem Hicks is progressing from his foot injury)
"He's getting better. We've just got to see where he is. Until I see him run on the field, I don't have that answer for you."
(On if his comment about the time for talk being over means he thinks the Buccaneers talk too much)
"No, I don't. Just talking around, just talking to each other about how we can get better. There's a time, from what I see, that you can just talk about getting better and there's a time we just have to get better."
(On how peer-to-peer accountability will play a role in the team improving)
"Accountability is what we go by regardless, whether we were 3-3, 0-6 or 6-0. To a man, to a coach, to a player, we hold each other accountable and that's the only way we're going to get out of this thing."
(On his assessment of QB Tom Brady's play)
"I think we can all get better, as a team, as players and as coaches. I think everybody's been equally the same, which is not good enough."
(On how the team gave up a long kickoff return to start the second half)
"Yeah, a few guys went underneath all at the same time when they weren't supposed to. I think it's important for those guys to learn who they're playing next to – whether it's a speed guy, a power guy, a finesse guy – to understand what they can and can't do and play off each other more."
(On what his comments about guys 'living off the Super Bowl' meant)
"It's just more of a comment. You know, when you win the last two years you get nothing but compliments. And compliments to young guys are pretty telling, so my thing was, you've got to work for everything you want to get in this league. Sometimes even that's not good enough on certain days, but if you put in the work daily and keep your head, you'll have more pluses than minuses, and that's all I was trying to refer to."