Crash & AJ

Crash & AJ

Crash and AJ, Weekday Mornings on 98ROCK


Buccaneers Post Game Conference 12/13/20 #MINvsTB


Source: Buccaneers Communications
Video of the conference below


(On if QB Tom Brady’s touchdown pass to WR Scotty Miller got the offense going)

“Oh yeah – no doubt. Again, we just missed a couple third downs early, but that was a huge touchdown. I think getting a stop [and] then that play changed all of the momentum on our sideline.”

(On the decision to not dress RB Leonard Fournette and what RB LeSean McCoy was able to contribute at running back)

“I love Leonard. I think he’s a heck of a kid and a great player. We just wanted to get ‘Shady’ (LeSean McCoy) back involved. He’s fresh and he showed it today. He made it all pay off for me. I took the risk and he made it pay off. He made the best of his opportunity, but it’s nothing against Leonard.”

(On drawing a penalty on the Hail Mary attempt that led to a field goal at the end of the first half)

“When they ran the ball, I didn’t think there was enough time [to score on offense]. I thought there was either enough time for a punt block or try to get a [punt] return. We just missed the return. Tom [Brady] did a great job of executing and getting us up there for the Hail Mary. That’s all we were trying to get. We were trying to either get to the 36[-yard line] for a field goal or get a shot to the Hail Mary. We got the [penalty] call and got the three points and came right back with a touchdown [to open the second half]. Any time you get that double score, it’s huge.”

(On K Ryan Succop’s performance compared to Vikings K Dan Bailey)

“I can’t talk about Dan, but I can sure talk about Ryan. He had a heck of a day. I think he was shocked on the extra point that he missed because that’s never [been a problem]. I had no doubt he’d make that field goal that made it a two-score game. He’s been great for us all year.”

(On the importance of the defensive pass rush forcing Minnesota into longer field goal attempts)

“It was huge. I knew coming out of the open date [that] tackling was going to be an issue. It is in December anyway because it’s so long since the last game that you’ve tackled. You just don’t tackle in practice and you can’t. I was upset about the tackling in the first quarter, but I really was happy with the pass rush. Pushing those kicks back were huge the whole game.”

(On the offense not turning the ball over in Sunday’s game)

“The only thing was that we had the drive start with a penalty. That really ticked me off because we only took about 30 seconds off the clock because of that penalty. I think our team, especially offensively, is in sync. They know what we’re trying to get done and Tom [Brady] did a great job protecting the ball and making big plays.”

(On if WR Scotty Miller was the primary read on his touchdown reception)

“Not really. He’s the deep guy on that pattern, Tom [Brady] read it out and he hit him. It was not designed to go to Scotty – it was designed to go to somebody else.”

(On winning Sunday’s game as the team enters the final three games of the regular season)

“It’s huge. We had to do this – it was a big game for us. Guys did their job [during the Bye Week]. They rested, they took care of the virus, we came back clean and healthy and it showed up today. We were a very fresh team, I thought, in the fourth quarter.”

(On if the offensive gameplan was to attempt to run the ball more than throw it)

“I think yes and no. I think games dictate how much you run it. What’s the score at the end of the third quarter? We were leading, so it leads to more runs and RoJo (Ronald Jones II) ran really, really well, especially on that last drive. We wanted to set up some play-action [but we] didn’t hit as many as we had hoped. When asked early this week about our identity, I think we just showed our identity. We can do any damn thing we want to do.”

(On the offensive line’s performance on Sunday)

“Outstanding. They’ve been good – knock on wood – when they’re healthy, we’re good and those guys have been great. Just the dependability of all five of those guys being here every single week has been fantastic.”

(On S Antoine Winfield Jr.’s play this season and if he looks like a 22-year-old)

“No, not at all. He and Tristan [Wirfs] should be hitting the proverbial ‘rookie wall’ by now. We joked about it all week. Both those kids – they’re mature beyond their years, especially in football acumen. Tristan is playing lights out – I don’t know if there’s a better right tackle in the league. Right now, Antoine is just so heady. He studies, he’s got his dad to lean on, he’s got all his coaches to lean on and he puts the time in.”

(On the defense shutting down Minnesota’s offense in the fourth quarter)

“I thought two things. We stopped them [and the] offense came down and got the field goal that made it a two-score game. We knew it was hunting time for the defensive line and I thought we got after them really [well]. Our secondary played [well], we got after Kirk [Cousins] – he didn’t stand in the pocket very often [for] very long and that’s what we can do. If we get rid of the running game and get them in a two-score game that time in the ballgame, we should be getting after them.”

(On what S Antoine Winfield Jr.’s performance meant to him after watching his father play for the Minnesota Vikings)

“I’m sure he’s elated [and his] family is probably elated. When you watch the team you grew up watching your dad [played for] and [being] in the locker room [growing up] – it’s huge. I can remember when Peyton [Manning] played the Saints – it was the same type of thing. When he got the blitz-sack, I would’ve loved to see us pick up that fumble and score. That was a great, great job by him.”

(On if he considered trying to score a touchdown from the 1-yard line rather than attempting a field goal on the final play before halftime)

“None. To get a chance at points – we were not going to take any chance of not coming out with any points. It was risk to do what we did and it paid off for three [points] because

we had the ball coming out for the second half, got the touchdown and it’s a 10-point swing.”

(On how much Tampa Bay helped itself in the playoff race by defeating Minnesota)

“We got the tiebreaker on these guys. This is a good football team – they’re going to win some games down the stretch. We’re [taking it] one day at a time – that’s what I just told the guys. It was a great win because it started on Tuesday. We had great practices this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday [and] Saturday. This week is different [because] we can’t meet Mondays and Tuesdays. We have another different way that we have to handle getting ready to play a ballgame. Whether it’s virtual [or] however we get it done – we’ll get it done and just make sure that we take care of tomorrow’s business tomorrow.”

(On only having five offensive plays in the first quarter and what that was like on the sideline)

“It’s frustrating because we had a manageable third [down]. They dropped the coverage, came back and hit Scotty [Miller]. It’s a good play by their defense. We went to the right guy [and] they just made a good play. It is frustrating when they’re running the ball like that against our defense. We’re just not used to that. It wasn’t anything scheme-wise – we were just missing tackles against a really good back. I think we cleaned that up and got better and better as we went along.”


(On coming out of the Bye Week with a win)

“It was a good win. We’re obviously going to need to just keep making progress. It was a good week of practice. The defense was on the field a lot – we didn’t, on offense, convert as many third downs as we needed to. It was a good win for our team, so keep it going.”

(On what his touchdown pass to WR Scotty Miller did to spark the offense)

“It was a good play. They ended up rushing three and the line did a great job protecting. They’ve been protecting [well] all year and they protected great today. Didn’t get much pressure, very few penalties – if any. I don’t really remember any. They gave me a lot of time on that play. Scotty ran the post, just got it up over the top of the safety and Scotty made a great catch. Big play for us – we’ve just got to keep making them.”

(On his throw on the Hail Mary to draw a penalty at the end of the first half and the decision to try and score points in that situation)

“It was good. We hit a ball to the tight end, then we hit A.B. (Antonio Brown) on the crosser and then had a shot at the end zone. It was a good play and [we] ended up getting three [points] out of it. It was a good play by us offensively. They got the ‘PI’ (pass interference) – Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) was going up to possibly get that – and it ended up working out well for us.”

(On having RB LeSean McCoy on the field Sunday)

“It was great for him to be in there and contribute. I know he’s been itching to get back in there and make plays for us and he did today. Everyone appreciates how hard he works, the pro that he is, his mentality to practice and his prep for the game. It was great to see him make plays.”

(On what Sunday’s win does for the team’s confidence moving forward)

“Winning in the NFL is tough. I’ve been doing this for a long time – there’s no easy games. Every one is a battle and this is a team that’s won four-of-five [games] or five-of-six. They’ve been in a lot of games and [are] very competitive. They’ve got some great players on offense, some really dynamic players on defense – especially in the secondary – and it was good to just get a win. It feels good. By the end of tonight, we’ll move on and get ready for Atlanta and go there. It’s going to be the biggest game of our season.”

(On if there is an area where he feels the team made good progress coming out of the Bye Week)

“Us complementing our run game, pass game, everything – just finding a rhythm, finding ways to win games and making plays in situational football like we did at the end of the first half and the start of the second half. The defense came up with some big plays there in the fourth quarter and that’s what it’s going to take as we go forward.”


(On having a lead in the second half and how it feels as a pass rusher knowing the offense is going to throw the ball)

“Yeah, we were most definitely ready to feast and get after the quarterback once we were up by double digits with a certain amount of time left. We knew they had to pass it and we were ready to take advantage of it.”

(On if he is more comfortable rushing from the right side)

“I guess so if the numbers don’t lie. But I feel good on both sides. It’s just been working out lately and I just have the mentality that we’ve just got to make it happen. Whatever I need to do [has] to be done. The guys inside – we all are working together. Backend – we’re all working together. It’s timing, it’s moves, it’s everything working perfectly in order to get the sacks.”

(On if he and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul are starting to heat up going into the final games of the season)

“Yeah, we have to. It’s not an option, we have to. I mean not ‘we.’ I started slow and I just have to pick it up. I want to do my job as much as possible and be known as one of the best, so in order to do that you have to have the stats, you have to have the numbers to go with it. Having JPP on the other end just helps out a lot. We always talk and are always switching sides now and are trying to figure out what works best for us. It’s working right now, and we’ve just got to stay hot, keep it hot and keep going.”


(On the sense of urgency by the offense)

“Just the emphasis on going out there and playing hard and getting a win, that’s the only thing that matters. It can be an ugly win, a blowout, whatever it is we need to get a [win], that’s the mindset. We have that playoff attitude and mindset right now, and we know that the time is now if we want to get a shot [at the Superbowl]. The biggest thing is just getting

there, that’s it. Once we get there then things slow down. You dissect different teams and you play the game. Just got to get there.”

(On conversation with coaches regarding his role in the offense)

“Just stay with it, your time will come, be ready – things like that. [They] encouraged me to stay focused but just be a professional. I’m always dialed in because we have a lot of young guys with Rojo [Ronald Jones II], [Ke’Shawn] Vaughn and Leonard [Fournette]. So, I’m constantly coaching and teaching and looking for things to watch after. Even when we’re watching tape. I’m always dialed in enough. But the hardest part, like I said is just waiting, even when coach tells you you’ll get your shot. All I ask for is the opportunity, and I’m going to play my role and keep going. Hopefully, I think it may improve, so we’ll see.”


(On his 48-yard touchdown catch)

“First and foremost, I’ve got to give all my glory to God, my Lord and savior. That play, I was one of the later reads. I was a deep post [and] I think [quarterback Tom Brady] was going through a flat route and then an intermediate out route. Then, I think he saw the one-high safety creep down and I had a one-on-one with the corner. So, I think he probably liked the matchup and I was able to run right by him pretty clean.”

(On wanting to contribute to offense while working through groin injury)

“Ah, so much. I’m a competitor, I want to be out there and play as much as I can to try and make big plays and help the team win. So, to finally be back out there and get a deep ball and make a play, it felt great. Hopefully, I can just continue to be out there, get opportunities, and take advantage of them.”


(On having the opportunity to make a big play after all his hard work over the years)

“Just took advantage of all my opportunities. I started making plays on special teams, started sprinkling a few plays on defense here and there. People got tired, just go in there for two plays pursuing them and then just make opportunities of it and I made the best of them.”

(On what it felt like to get his first career sack)

“It’s been a long four years coming. It was the best feeling ever to be honest. I haven’t had one in so long but all this work that I put in leading up to this made it worth it.”

(On the defense getting sacks during crucial times of the game)

“It was huge, we just had to stop them in the run upfront first and then make them do uncomfortable stuff and throw the ball like that. We knew what we had to do going in and then we just took advantage of third downs. Everyone was getting after them all day, so it was a good result.”

(On the defense’s mentality when it’s a two-score game heading in the fourth quarter)

“Yeah, especially for a defensive line and outside linebackers, when you know it is third and long or fourth down and manageable that you can just pin your ears back and roll off the ball. We made the best of those opportunities when they were big time plays, we had to go make them."

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