Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers



(On what stands out about Atlanta Falcons S Jessie Bates III)

"He's always been a ballhawk, even when he was with Cincinnati – he was like that in college. He's a very tough player. People just take the toughness and don't see the intelligence but he's a smart football player. He knows the game inside-out. It looks like he really loves playing the game. He's very good tackling and he's very aware when the ball is in the air. You've got to be careful of him at all times."

(On what stands out about the Falcons offense)

"They're still effective running the football. They make their bread and butter that way. They have a three-headed monster as far as the running backs are concerned [and] with [Drake] London going into his second year, coming into his own and [Kyle] Pitts coming back – as well as adding [Mack] Hollins, obviously Scotty [Miller], as well, and [KhaDarel] Hodge. They've formed a very good football group getting Jonnu Smith over there. They have more weapons to go to, so now you can't just concentrate on the run or they'll kill you in the passing game. They make you play honest."

(On the Falcons having multiple threats at the tight end position and what challenges that presents)

"It's a big challenge because it's not just the tight ends – it's the wide receivers and the running backs as well. [Desmond] Ridder can also run with the football, as well as throw it, so we've got to play disciplined football. We've got to win our one-on-one matchups when opportunities arise because they don't have just two tight ends, they have a full arsenal where they can take advantage of you."

(On the challenges that Falcons QB Desmond Ridder presents)

"[He has a] strong arm, [is] very smart. He got the start at the end of last year. He started off on a good foot here. Obviously, they lost last week but he threw the ball very well and he can use his legs as well – he's a 4.5 [40-yard dash] guy, he's not just an average scrambling quarterback where you can run him down. It's going to be tough trying to catch somebody like that if they get out of the pocket. It creates a lot of challenges."

(On if he agrees with QB Baker Mayfield saying that the offense needs to get angrier)

"In certain instances, we should be pissed off every week. I think we are pissed off. I just think we have to play smart and we have to play more disciplined football, as far as understanding what we have to do and going out and everybody has to do their job. We have to coach it better and play it better – all of that includes and entails being pissed off."

(On how satisfied he is with the defensive performance thus far this season)

"We should be further along. We got everybody back, it's time for us to start coming together from a defensive standpoint. We're playing good defense at times. You can't play five minutes of bad defense – you lose ballgames that way. One or two plays you bust that cost you seven points are costly in ballgames. Defensively, you try and keep the scoring down less than what you're scoring – that's our goal every game. When you don't do that, obviously there [are] some things you have to work on. I think we're coming together, I think we're close, but I don't think we're there yet."

(On if the 'busted' plays hurt more considering three of the four players in the secondary have played multiple seasons together)

"All busts aren't in the secondary – that's just the problem. It's all the way across the board. Whether we don't blitz or we don't come off the edge, or whether we don't cut the guy coming across, it's all inclusive. We just have to be on the same page."

(On his impression of DL Calijah Kancey)

"I thought he was active. I thought he was very active. I like the things he's doing. Obviously, he's got to get the rust off with the hand placement. The more he plays, the more that'll come. I'm very excited having him out there. I think he'll become a problem. He's a good pressure player for us."

(On how important the growth of OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and DLs Calijah Kancey and Logan Hall is for this defense to be successful)

"It's not just the high picks – the free agents have got to play well, the practice squad guys have got to perform well. When we put you out there, we expect you to perform. As a group, they're coming together from a communication standpoint – [they are] still getting nuances as to how to play off each other. I think it's coming together. It's the first time we had them out there. Hopefully they can get better."

(On if there's a common issue in the team's rushing attack over the last two seasons)

"No, I don't think you can compare it to last year because we have a new system in itself. We'll get the system going. We've tweaked some things and we'll get better at that as it goes. I'm confident that'll get better. I'm not saying we're going to be No. 1 in the league, but we won't be as bad as we were."

(On if he believes the team has all the pieces to have a successful rushing attack)

"We've got to coach it better and we've got to play it better. Obviously, we don't have to be running the ball every play. If they're being hard-headed about taking away the run, we've got to throw it more, so just taking what they give us is really the important thing – if it's the run, it's the run, if it's the pass, it's the pass. We've got to take what they give us and we'll try to win games that way. Hopefully the running game will take us to some wins and the passing game will take us to some wins. We're going to have to win differently every week. I do think it'll come together."

(On if RB Chase Edmonds could return next week)

"If he's full speed – we've got to see where he is. We don't know where he is. He really just started running out there. We've got to see where he is with the trainers."

(On the missed connection between QB Baker Mayfield and WR Trey Palmer on Sunday and if that will be a point of emphasis in practice)

"It's not just that. A lot of things happen in practice that carry over to the game that you want to fix – that's just part of it. We have things offensively, defensively and special teams-wise that we need to fix. We work on all of that in practice. It's natural to overthrow a ball – that doesn't lose a ballgame. Can it be a big play? Yes. It's just an incomplete pass. You work on timing, you work on that all the time whether it's a tick off or a tick short. Whether you're on defense, you work on things [or] special teams, you work on things [or] offense, you work on things. That's just not a particular sticking point of what we're trying to do."

(On his assessment of the offensive line's play this season)

"QB Baker Mayfield has something to do with [the limited number of sacks and quarterback hits] too, obviously. I like the way Luke [Goedeke] is pass protecting – our tackles have done a very good job there. We've been okay in the interior and when we haven't, Baker has been nimble enough to move out of the way and get out of some sacks. It's good to have an elusive quarterback that way. As long as he's not taking the hits, it's a good thing. With the production like we had last week, it's going to be better in the passing game."

(On WR Mike Evans' production to start the season and if he might be 'pressing'

"Obviously, he's one of our better guys, so he's seeing double and triple coverages, so you've got to go elsewhere. When you're keying on that and not running it very well, it makes it very easy to double team the guy. We've got to do other things to free him and we've got to do other things with other people, whether it's run or pass, to free him up if they're going to concentrate on him all day."

(On if the team made it out of Sunday's game with limited injuries)

"For the most part, yes."

(On what he sees has changed with T Luke Goedeke)

"I think the way him and Tristan [Wirfs] worked out in the offseason, and him going back to tackle where he's comfortable playing, and the system that we're playing has helped him a great deal. His confidence has skyrocketed that way. He's always been a tough player. He's a very tough player. He's becoming a technician and that's a great thing for him because he's always been almost like a mauler type. He's getting a lot of technique now and he's had some success. He's just grown to be a better player and we like where he's at."

(On if Goedeke is playing with some nastiness)

"He always plays with nastiness."


(On Atlanta Falcons S Jessie Bates III)

"Tremendous player. Obviously, he's got all of the physical tools you want, but he is an extremely smart player. You can tell his leadership, too, just being up close and personal with him multiple times a year. He is a great leader [and] he gets guys on the same page and so you can see how that translates on film already. I think he is a really smart player, as well, and just a good person. He is somebody on the backend that definitely commands their defense."

(On what he would like to see from his team in terms of being motivated and focused this week)

"Just fundamentally executing. Just watching film – the good games or the bad games – the film is never as good as you think it is and it's never as bad either. So, a few of those things – it's a lot of fundamentals. Like I mentioned, get pissed off but it's also taking pride in your work. It's about executing and doing your job each play. Today we had a good practice. There wasn't any 'rah-rah' speech. The guys know what we need to get done. That's why this is a veteran group. Everybody just understands what we need to do to get it fixed. Like I mentioned after the game, I'll get my stuff fixed and everybody else is doing the same thing, so I'm not worried about it."

(On how his hand feels)


(On how long it takes to get over a loss like Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions)

"There is the classic 24-hour rule. When you come in on Monday, watch the film and then you want to flush it. It's a little bit hard when you don't have a practice or anything to go out there and really truly flush it, so yeah, it takes about a day. As soon as you start watching the next week's opponent on film… obviously, we've got a division game this week so it's a quicker flush than normal."

(On the mood of the team sitting at 3-2)

"We're still hungry. All of our goals are in front of us. It starts with big picture-wise – you have to win your division first to get where you want to go. We're still in control of our destiny when it comes to that. We've got a big one [coming up] for us. We're not hitting the panic button. We know we can play better and that's the good thing. It's not [like] we're looking around like, 'Oh no, what's the deal? How do we fix this?' No, we know what we need to fix, and we have a good group to be able to do that."

(On the continued development of his connection with, and trust in, WR Mike Evans)

"First thing I'll say – I'm not worried about Mike. When it comes to certain drops, you can go the same way with my stuff, certain missed throws. I'm not worried about it. We'll get it fixed. The physical stuff – we'll get that corrected. It's never about hitting the panic button. It's still instilling confidence. The ball is always going to come his way. I'm still going to find ways to get him the ball. And especially Chris [Godwin] obviously – a tough guy for us – he took a few shots for us late in the game. Just continuing to give them chances to make plays on the ball. They're great players for a reason."

(On if there needs to be more of a threat of a running game to allow the offense to open up and score more points)

"Yeah, I think to have a complementary offense you've got to be able to run the ball too, but also, in the redzone we just need to score touchdowns instead of field goals. That's the biggest thing. When it comes down to us being able to put more points on the board, we haven't been as good as we need to in the redzone. That's just plain and simple. That's every aspect of our offense when we get down there. We've had some good games, but we need to have a game where we are 100% in the redzone with touchdowns."

(On the Falcons defensive front)

"They're hard to run the ball on, I'll say that. Calais [Campbell] is just an absolute monster of a human being. I've played against him quite a bit. And [David] Onyemata… Grady Jarrett has been a great player for them for a long time. They give you looks, they give you trouble and they play extremely hard. Good individual players but playing really well as a unit right now. And [Kaden] Elliss, that came over with their 'DC' (defensive coordinator) from New Orleans, knows the system and knows how to do some of those packages, so they present some issues of their own with obviously the tremendous players that they have."

(On how things are going with Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales and if the offense could be simplified)

"It just comes down to executing. I think the tipped pass [and] the two shots to Trey [Palmer] – I don't think anybody is questioning the play-calling because those are good designs that Dave had. They're just miscues for us on offense. It's just one of those things. We trust in the system. There are answers for the defensive coverages that we're getting. It's not about that – it's about us executing and being fundamentally sound, like I mentioned earlier. When it comes down to simplifying it – it's just doing the little things right. You don't need to shorten the list down. You need to have answers for a defense like this that presents a lot of coverages and pressures that you've got to have answers [for]. At the same time, you've just got to execute it. It's about our work ethic and our mentality during the week to get the gameplan down and have it be second nature."

(On if he feels he is better able to flush games out of his head as a veteran as compared to earlier on in his career)

"Yeah, a little bit. You never want to have a snowball effect good or bad. Obviously, you want to build momentum, but no play [and] no game is the same. It's an 'on to the next one' mentality so that comes with a lot more experience, but at the same time, you've got to learn from your mistakes instead of harping negatively on them."

(On visiting team fans at Raymond James Stadium)

"I'd want to come down to Tampa too. It's a good spot."


(On how he is preparing for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons after a loss to the Detroit Lions)

"Attacking the week hard, don't change [anything], because it doesn't do [anything] just to dwell on losses. You just [have] bounce back. It's a week-to-week league."

(On what he thinks the offense looked like against the Detroit Lions)

"That's what's frustrating about it, but there [are] also some positives in there because – they're a good team, they're playing some really good ball this year – but when we watch the film, there [are] a lot of plays that we should have made."

(On what he sees in the Falcons defense)

"We just started game planning today. We know them pretty well. I know they have a new defense coordinator, so, offensively, we've been watching their tape. They're playing hard. They've got some new additions on the back end, so we've got to come with it."

(On the importance of building on the division lead)

"That's important. Last year, we had the opportunity to gain some ground early in the season and we didn't do it. This would be a great time to take control of this division."

(On having a few close plays or catches that have been missed so far this season)

"That's football. There's a lot of unfortunate plays that have happened throughout my career – I've got a lot of lowlights, as well. But, it's football. Those things happen. I had opportunities to get the ball last week – I know I missed the one, but other than that, teams do a good job of game planning against me."

(On if having a stronger rushing attack would help the passing game)

"Running the ball obviously helps the play-action pass, for sure."

(On if the rushing attack is the final thing missing from this offense)

"Yeah, I mean the [Miami] Dolphins are probably the number one offensive team in the league and they run the ball and pass it. We're trying to have that recipe and we have the players to do it. It's a new offense for all of us, so we're still learning, but we have to pick it up soon."


(On his assessment on his first game back from injury)

"I think I've learned a lot from playing fast. A lot of my process has been recovering, working to get back on the field, so now [I am] actually playing in a full game, [and] I just have to work on the bad plays that I had out there."

(On if his calf injury is off his mind)

"It's definitely something I am working on every day to make sure I stay on top of it."

(On what he wants to work on after watching film)

"I definitely want to have better run fundamentals. I want to be able to dominate the run as much as the pass, and I just want to be able to make more plays."

(On Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson)

"I think he is a great running back. He hits the hole, he makes guys miss, I think we [have] to do a great job at stopping him and getting him down and [getting] eleven men to the ball."

(On Atlanta Falcons QB Desmond Ridder)

"Ridder, he is a guy that's been going out there helping them win. I don't know who will be playing, but I'll definitely be after him."

(On if there is a bad taste in the defense's mouth after last Sunday's game)

"Yes, [there] definitely is. We want to keep that winning culture around here, so losing is not in our mind at all."

(On his endurance and how he plans to improve each week)

"Like I said, it's a little different when you go from rehabbing, recovering, practicing, and going out there when the bullets are flying. I think it's a little different, so for me, just work on getting back that game shape. I think I'll be way better."


Latest Headlines