Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS QUOTE SHEET 9-23-21

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TODD BOWLES

(On how the Rams are different with a more experienced quarterback like Matthew Stafford)

"He's got a little more experience but offensively I don't think they've changed what they're doing. He makes decisions. They've got some more wideouts in. They're doing things a lot crisper right now and they're playing good football. But he's been a good quarterback for a long time. Not that [Jared] Goff isn't, but he brings a little bit more experience so he should see things a little quicker."

(On if doing better against the Rams this time involves changing strategies or executing better)

"We've got to execute better, we've got to call it better as a coach and we've got to coach it better. It's all three, all of the above. We've got to come in with a better mindset of what we're trying to do and what we're trying to do to stop them."

(On if Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is one of the harder play-callers to game-plan against)

"They're all hard. They're all hard, every week."

(On closing the Atlanta game out with three safeties on defense)

"It was more or less the defenses and the way that they set each other up, as far as the D-Line setting up the corners and the safeties to make the plays happen, more so than the three-safety look itself. We have certain guys that do certain things well and we always try to put them in position to make plays, and the ball seems to find Mike [Edwards] a lot."

(On if he feels more comfortable about putting Joe Tryon-Shoyinka into a larger role than he would with most rookies)

"I feel comfortable that he's gotten a lot of reps and he's been here from Day One along with [Anthony] Nelson. So, if we have guys that have to play in case somebody doesn't play we feel comfortable putting anybody in whether they're rookies or vets."

(On the Rams' offensive line allowing a low pressure rate)

"You just said it – it's going to be extremely difficult. They've got two big tackles, they're playing well on the inside and [Stafford] knows where to go with the football. They have a very good scheme so it's going to be tough to go against."

(On communicating on defense in a noisy stadium)

"Defensively, that's not that big of a deal. It's more for an offensive type of team. We have signals and we face a lot of motion with quite a few teams so we should understand that part."

(On if Rams WR Cooper Kupp presents unique challenges)

"Only if he scores. No, he's a great receiver. He does a lot of things for them – inside, outside, short, deep, you can't pinpoint where he's going to be or where he's going to go. And he blocks as well. They've got a lot of great receivers. [Robert] Woods is great, [Van] Jefferson's good, they've got DeSean [Jackson], they've got [Tutu] Atwell. They've got a lot of speed out there and they have a lot of experience."

(On if rookie LB K.J. Britt is ready to step into the main reserve role if Kevin Minter is out)

"If he has to play, yes, Britt will be the guy."

(On if the Buccaneers will have to adapt if opponents continue to favor lots of short throws over runs)

"We understand what they're trying to do to us, but everybody still has to try to run the football. You're not just going to throw the ball 60 times in the air. But we've got to be better at tackling on the outside and understanding the edge-type of situation that's going to be presented for us. And when you think they're not going to run, they're going to run, so you've got to defend everything."

(On if Rams WR DeSean Jackson is a unique challenge)

"No, he's fast. They're all fast. Every week we're going to face a 4.3, 4.4 guy. That's just part of being in the league. So, we just have to make sure we don't get beat over the top and we understand that we've got to tackle well in space."

(On what makes DL Ndamukong Suh a tone-setter for the Buccaneers defensive front)

"The intelligence of the game, really. It starts in the pregame stuff and practice, pre-practice, where he talks to the guys and [helps them] understand assignments and giving them tips on hand placement and how offensive linemen move and set, and how they're going to be played. [It's] just that type of experience that you don't get all day from a coach while you're out on the field. He's a coach on the field that he can help the rest of the guys with. He brings a wealth of experience and the physical part speaks for itself."

(On if the possibility of playing the same team in the playoffs changes how you approach this game)

"No, right now the most important game is the game this week. It's only Week 3, it's a long season, so we're going to just focus on the Rams and we're going to give it our shot and we're going to try to knock them off. That's what we try to do every week. We're not going to take it one week at a time – Coach [Bruce] Arians says one day at a time. We can only win the day, and then Sunday we'll try to win the game."

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BYRON LEFTWICH

(On his philosophy of using play action)

"I think it's week-to-week. I believe you do whatever you feel as though you need to do that week to win. If it's a lot of actions, it's a lot of actions. Because every time the best way to attack people is not all play action, not all just true seven-step drops. So, just do whatever we feel as though we need to do to try to have success play-in and play-out and what we need to do to win a football game."

(On if running the ball is crucial to a successful offense)

"I mean you have to run it somewhat. You have to have positive runs. You have to attempt runs or they'll know it's a pass and it defeats the purpose of play action."

(On potentially losing WR Antonio Brown after he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list)

"You always want to have as many of them (Pro Bowlers) as you can possibly have, but it's unfortunate. It's the type of year it's probably going to be. You have no idea with this thing (COVID-19) – that's what makes this such a tough thing to deal with week-in and week-out because it can happen at any point. Nobody did anything wrong and it just happened. Unfortunately for us, we're losing a good football player – or a chance of losing a good football player – but we have to go get ready to play. Nobody is feeling sorry for us. We have to do what we need to do to still go out to try and find a way to execute and do what we need to do to win."

(On WR Scotty Miller possibly stepping in if Brown can't play)

"Well, Scotty can really play. He's one of those guys who is always looking for more opportunities also. Anytime you play with the team that we have – and we have the guys that we have – when you're the fourth, fifth and sixth guy in that room, you're just really waiting for opportunities – him and Tyler [Johnson], really. That whole room is just waiting to get the opportunity to make plays. In the game of football, between injuries and with COVID and everything, I think guys will have opportunities just because it's football. He'll take advantage of his opportunities just knowing him. He's always been ready whenever he gets the opportunity. Expect the same thing from him on Sunday."

(On keeping Rams DL Aaron Donald from recording a sack in the last two games against them)

"You jinxed us (laughs). No, I mean, he's such a good football player that you just feel fortunate. Obviously, you try to do things from a gameplan standpoint, but when you talk about a player of that caliber, you don't know if we're fortunate or lucky or what we try to do worked. Either way none of that matters. None of that matters for Sunday. It looks like he's getting better [after] coaching against him in that division. Now seeing him, there's no slow down, he's only getting better. It's amazing to see that type of player. They're doing a good job of moving him around and putting him in different spots but his talent and his ability on what he can do – I don't know if we've seen that. I don't know if we've ever really seen that from any defensive player from any defensive position."

(On where the offense can improve from the first two games)

"I think converting third downs, having better first and second downs so we aren't in third-and-longs and just executing what's there. I think we've missed some layups, and what I mean by that is layups that aren't the big plays – just the simple plays. We missed a bunch of simple plays here and there and it comes to bite you sometimes and that pushes you into third-and-long situations. So, we just need to clean that type of stuff up, really. Clean that type of stuff up. Do we feel as though we left a lot out there the first two games? Yes, but it means nothing really going into this game. We're just going to try and go out and execute better this week and hopefully we don't say that after this game."

(On RB Ronald Jones II missing an assignment in pass protection)

"I just think he missed one. It's been a 100-something plays and he didn't do his job on really one. No concern on my end."

(On what he sees from Jones heading into this week)

"I think he is always in a good mindset. He always plays hard. He always comes out here and prepares himself the best he can. He practices hard. He looks no different than he looked before. It's been a long time since he went to school out there. As a pro, you get rid of that quick. It's more about the opponent, more about doing what he needs to do to prepare to get ready to go this week for a tough opponent. We have a really good football team we have to play on Sunday. Every position has to make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure we can have some sort of success."

(On players being in the moment and not focusing on the Patriots in Week 4)

"We don't have that problem. You guys talk – you guys in the media – so that's kind of your guys' job to bring that stuff. This whole team is focused on our next opponent. That's how we go about our business every day. That's really never been an issue with this crew, with this group of men. We do a good job of focusing week-in and week-out and get ready for our opponent."

(On the Rams moving CB Jalen Ramsey around on the field)

"When you have those types of players, they don't want to keep them stationary. They're moving them around and I understand it. Raheem [Morris] is doing a great job of moving those guys around. They're doing some of the same scheme stuff they did last year, but I can see his spin that he has on it - good coaches, good players, really good players, really good coaches. We know what we're getting ready for. We're getting ready for a tough opponent. We're just try to get our week of preparation in, accomplish everything that we need to accomplish from a preparation standpoint and then go play the game on Sunday."

(On how to handle facing a player that is versatile and can move around in the defense)

"Well they have been shown to play a lot of zone, so it allows them to move Jalen [Ramsey] around. But the problem is how good they are, how good of a football team they have, especially on side of the ball. It's not just those two though. They have good players really all over there in every position. That's what I think may get overlooked. You don't play defense at the level they played it with two good guys. They do a good job collectively together, playing good team defense, keeping the ball in front of them, all those types of things. All the things you teach defense to do, they do well. We're preparing ourselves for a good football team on Sunday."

(On the team getting off to fasts starts offensively and then suffering lulls)

"It's like sometimes we may miss that layup I'm talking about that puts us in a bad position that forces us to punt. That's the game of football that you have to correct. You try to win football games while you're having those issues. We did a good job of that the first two weeks but when you play good-on-good football, those types of plays come back to bite you and can be the reason that you win or lose the football game. How you handle those situational football plays. We're really just going to try to go out and play our best football. Play our best football and understand that we have a really good opponent, but we're going to prepare and come out and be ready to play our style of football – do what we do and see if we can win us a game against a good football team."

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

(On the depth at wide receiver if Antonio Brown can't play Sunday due to being on the Reserve/COVID-19 list)

"I think different guys are going to have to step up if he's not available. I think everyone kind of new this situation someday was going to happen. I'm sure it's not going to be the last one. We just have to deal with it as best we can. I know different players around the league have tested positive. It's just the way things are now with the stadiums full and families traveling – we're definitely at more risk this year. I don't know what we can do about it, but in our situation, we will just deal with it and try to get some other guys prepared. Then if he can't go, he can't go."

(On what he remembers about entering the game for Drew Bledsoe 20 years ago today)

"20 years ago – time flies. It goes pretty fast. It's been a long time since that's happened. A lot happens in 20 years."

(On if he could've imagined in that moment the places his career and his life would go)

"I don't think anyone thinks 20 years ago where their life would be. I certainly don't think in my wildest dreams I could've imagined what's happened. I am just very appreciative and grateful for all of the different things that have happened over time. Really, it's just about the support system of people. My teammates over 20 years, my coaches, my family, my friends – I just have great memories. I think sports have a great way of bringing a lot of people together. Sports are kind of integrated into the fabrics of our society for a reason. When I was a kid, it brought our family together on Sundays to watch the 49ers and we had season tickets. It was kind of what our Sundays were all about. We played a lot of softball in our house – my sisters played a lot of softball. They took our family out to the softball fields every night, soccer fields [too]. Our family was just kind of based around sports. Sports have a great way of bringing people together, and I think for my family still. It still has allowed everyone to come [together]. Like two weeks ago, I had everyone here for the opener which was a lot of fun. It's been a great journey."

(On sports teaching you to be ready for your moment in life)

"Yeah, you never know when you're going to get your opportunity. I try to talk to a lot of people about that because it's very rare where you're like the prodigy and everything is kind of handed to you on a silver platter. A lot of times you have to go earn it. You have to go out there and work at it and work at it and be prepared. Then when you get that moment, you've got to take advantage of it. I think a lot of people don't really take advantage of it. I've seen a lot of people over the years not really learn the lessons of learning when other people are in. I think if you take advantage of that, when the moment comes you can be prepared and take advantage of a great opportunity."

(On what has kept the offense from reaching its full potential this season)

"I think just consistency [and] attention to detail. We've worked hard at it, but we've got to keep communicating. The only way to do it is communicate, go out and execute it and then learn from it and work hard to improve it. You have to figure out what the problems are in order to solve them. I think we're learning things every day. I don't think we are ever a finished product. Football is a very challenging game in that there is so much coordination that needs to happen between a lot of people. What may seem like a really simple thing of a throw from a quarterback to receiver actually requires great blocking schemes and a great design so that other people are getting open. One ball to Mike [Evans] could be because the linebacker took an underneath route and that underneath route had to happen at a certain moment, and we had to pick up the protection, the back had to figure that out and we had to sort through that in communication with the line. So there is a lot that goes into it. This week is really challenging because they've got good players in the secondary, they have a good front and we lost to them last year. They're one of the top-rated defenses in the league. They have one of the greatest defensive players of all-time. Everything about this week is challenging – really good defense, really good offense, we've got a long way to travel. It's a big game for both of us."

(On how the noise level of a full stadium for the first time since 2019 could affect the offense)

"We did some in Green Bay last year with the 9,000 fans they had at the game – the loudest 9,000 fans I've ever heard in my life. That was kind of like we had a little introduction. B.A. (Bruce Arians) kind of predicted that and we worked on it the Thursday and Friday before that game, and we've worked on it now last week and this week just to have some preparation for it. It's been good, but it's definitely an adjustment. We've all got to be on the same page and communication is a real premium. You've got to be able to communicate between all 11 players and a lot of it is non-verbal communication. There is a lot to everyone kind of being on the same page, but communication is key."

(On playing in his home state)

"It's great. I have a lot of family from there. My sister lives down there and my niece goes to school at UCLA, so I have a lot of family and friends coming to this game. It's pretty cool. I've never played in LA, it's the first time I've ever played there. It's pretty amazing to have never had the opportunity in all of my years of sports to kind of be on the field there, but I've done a lot of practice out there and done a lot of workouts out there. And I obviously know a lot of people there, so it should be a great atmosphere. I've heard great things about the stadium."

(On his time in New England)

"I have great respect and admiration for my time there. I had 20 great years there. I've kind of spoke that the last 18 months. It was a great time in my life, but I'm really happy to be here and I think we've done some great things in a short period of time. I really love the teammates that I have, that I'm playing with here. I love the coaches. The organization has been amazing. Again, it's just a lot of gratitude for me. Everyone has protective feelings and emotions as friends and family members. That's just part of being in sports. And you have a lot of people who – because they're not out there – they want to protect. It's a very caring, loving thing that a lot of people do. From my standpoint, I had a great time, but really my focus has been on trying to be the best I can be for this team and trying to go out and be a winning quarterback, be a championship-level quarterback, for this team and for this organization because they certainly deserve it. I made a commitment to them and I want to live up to it."

(On what makes the Rams defense challenging to face)

"They do a good job in both facets. I think they're very good against the run and they're one of the top-ranked teams against the pass – last year they were. It's just a very challenging team because they do a good job disguising coverages, but they've got a great pass rush. You can't really pick up on anything pre-snap because they're holding disguises and, at the same time, they have a pass rush that gets home really quick. The corners do a great job of locking onto receivers and I think they do a good job of all having their eyes on the quarterback and reacting to where the quarterback is looking. So there are not a lot of chances to go to second reads and so forth because if you look one way, chances are the ball has got to come out just because of how fast that pass rush gets home."

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN NDAMUKONG SUH

(On what the defense would lose if OLB Jason Pierre-Paul misses Sunday's game)

"Honestly, we shouldn't lose anything. We expect Joe [Tryon-Shoyinka] to step up and it's something that we've talked about all the time – that at any point in the season we're going to have a young guy and/or someone who is technically a backup to step up and be a starter and play in a role that really is expected for them to have no drop offs. At the end of the day, we're definitely going to miss JPP if he's not playing, but we expect for guys to step up and fill in that role."

(On how the Rams' offense has evolved with QB Matthew Stafford)

"I think the offense has evolved from a standpoint of just watching the last two games that they're pretty balanced. They're running the ball quite well. Something that we're definitely going to have to focus on as we do each and every single week to stop that and make them a one-dimensional team. Matthew's a great passer. He can make every single throw and it's going to be a big competition for not only our secondary but us up front to go up there and get after him and make sure he doesn't throw the ball."

(On what he would like to see the defense do more consistently)

"No question – we definitely haven't been consistent. We've gone into, I think it was the first game, we let out a couple of big passes and then obviously settled down and got into a flow of things and started to play a lot better. Then had a little lull here and there. So, I think when it comes to consistency for our defense, it's that each and every single time we're on the field finding a way to get off. Even if we're put in a bad position from a turnover or whatever may happen, we've got to be able to go out there and hold them to three points and not allow touchdowns. I think we have lapses where we feel like we've figured out what they're going to do, they've gone through their first 15 and now we can kind of relax and feel our way through. I think our big focus needs to be make sure we're pressing on that gas nonstop."

-BUCCANEERS-

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