Bucs HC Bruce Arians on Growing Pains & Going Against Ndamukong Suh

Below is a transcript from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians. Full video of press conferences can be found on Buccaneers.com.

Head Coach Bruce Arians                               

(Opening statement)

"I thought it was outstanding work today. It was a lot of fun going against a different colored jersey. The tempo of practice on both sides was really good [in] all three phases – I haven’t got to watch enough of the defense [part] of practice yet, so I’ll go upstairs and watch that. I saw most of the offense and I was pretty pleased."

(On whether he asked Warren Sapp if he was ready to come out of retirement)

"I just looked at him and the answer is no. I saw him on the golf course this spring."

(On whether one team won the practice)

"I don’t think so. I think it was really good – one thing, [there were] way too many penalties on both sides. That’s one thing we’ve got to learn – both of us, we play a lot of man-to-man [and] got to keep our hands off the jerseys. We’ve been preaching it pretty hard, so I’m anxious to go up and get the count how many penalties we had because that was the emphasis for us today, with an NFL [officiating] crew in here, is to not have many penalties."

(On there being no fights during joint practice today)

"We will never have fights."

(On if there was any part of practice lost due to the weather moving practice indoors)

"No because we had it all planned out. We walked through it last night – both coaching staffs – took Brian [Flores] over, we went through the building just in case because we thought we were going to get it in. With 10 more minutes, [we] would’ve had it done. I don’t think it looks that promising tomorrow, though."

(On what S Darian Stewart brings to the defense)

"Yeah, [he is] a veteran player who’s still got a lot in the tank. [He] was a Pro Bowl player and a very smart player, so he should be able to get up to speed real quick.”

(On if there are growing pains early in the year when installing a new defensive scheme)

"Yeah, I think the defense should be ahead of the offense. It should be easier to play gaps [and] to have gap-control defense. The hardest thing is getting used to playing press man-to-man when you’ve been a zone team – as much man as we play – and the combination of zone and man. A young man like Devin [White] – he’s played man-to-man most of his life and now he’s dropping zones. That’s a little harder for him. Constricted areas [like the] red zone – those things playing off each other, that’s where the safety injuries kind of hurt because that’s the communicators back there, so we’ve got new guys at safety communicating [and] we had some rough spots today.”

(On what the Dolphins’ young guards can take away from playing against Buccaneers DL Ndamukong Suh in practice)

"What it’s going to be like when the real bullets fly, because he (doesn’t) play. He’s going, so yeah, it’s great for a young guy. It’s like our young guys when they’re going against him. You better have good technique, you better know your assignments, you better play fast, because he’s going to be playing fast."

(On if the team picked up Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles’ aggressive mentality)

"I don’t think there’s any doubt. As soon as the guys got to know him [and] got around him, they got the feeling of how we’re going to attack."

(On what his plan is for playing time in Friday’s game)

"With as much [practice] as our one’s are getting today and tomorrow, I don’t think it’s necessary probably to play them much in the ball game – maybe a few more plays than last week. If things go as well as they did early offensively, it’ll probably be the same. Defensively, the same – just because of the work we’re getting this week. If we weren’t working together this week, we’d probably play 20 plays [or] 25."

(On the offensive plays at the goal line during practice)

"Those were all two-point plays, but yeah, it was a good drill, a good live drill, and we’ll do goal line tomorrow. In those condensed areas, I’d rather go full speed than having guys semi-pull up – that’s when you get injuries. Just let them go – nobody gets hurt that way."

(On how S Darian Stewart fits into the defense)

“He’s a strong safety, and he’s a great communicator. So, that’s a great fit for what we need right now.”

(On if any players have stood out that he didn’t expect)

“Not really, I’m still waiting on some guys to show me something. That’s probably more surprising than guys that have surprised me. I’m waiting on three or four guys to show me something.”

(On if it will be a challenge for CB Mazzi Wilkins joining the team)

“It’s really tough. Keep playing like you’re playing, then you’re going to have a chance. The one thing about him – he plays full tilt every time he’s out there. He’s playing smart right now. He did get a couple of penalties today, that’s the stuff that’ll kill us, especially on third down. I love his aggressiveness, but let go of his shirt. Things like that – he’s a good young aggressive player. He’s going to have a good future.”

(On if WR Spencer Schnell has potential to make the team)

“Yeah, if he gets a hundred yards in the fourth quarter again, he’s going to open a lot of eyes. He just keeps getting open. He’s more of a slot [receiver] – get him out there in one on ones outside, that’s not his forte – but in the slot, he’s a heck of a football player.”

(On if there is need for a slot receiver on the team)

“Yeah, Snelly (Spencer Schnell) could be. I mean, Justin Watson [is] a bigger physical guy, because he’s got to block. People who play wide receiver for us, you’re going to block, and that first. That’s his downfall as far as Snelly. Going in there, he’s tough enough. His physical stature just isn’t big enough, but he could catch a football.”

(On if there is a place on the team for a player like Schnell)

“Oh yeah, third down.”

(On if Schnell is a good punt returner)

“That’s the thing – kickoff, punt return. He’s fighting some other guys, too. I’d like to see Scotty Miller get back on the field.”

 

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