Crash & AJ

Crash & AJ

Crash and AJ, Weekday Mornings on 98ROCK


Buccaneers Post-Game Press Conference 12/20/20 #TBvsATL

Source: Buccaneers Communications
Article Thumbanil Pic: Getty Images

(On QB Tom Brady and the offense coming back in the second half)

“It’s the way we’re capable [of playing] – that’s the way we should be playing. My comments to the team after the game [were], ‘If we can play 30 minutes like that, why can’t we play 60?’ It’s frustrating. The first third down, we’re off the field [but] we miss a tackle on a check down to a back and the whole game changes. We get blown up on a screen pass, lose 15 yards on a screen pass that we catch, which kills the first drive. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. We talked about it at halftime – we got the ball, go make something happen. I was not really happy that they went back, scored and answered it. Then, we were able to score every time we touched it in the second half – I think – until the end and finish it off. The defense came alive, we kind of figured them out and the pass rush started getting home.”

(On WR Antonio Brown’s touchdown reception)

“We had it called earlier it was just straight ‘Go’ [routes] by him and Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] in the middle. They played Cover 2 and we hit Chris in the middle. [We] came back and I love the call Byron [Leftwich] made. A.B. (Brown) blew by [the defense]. They both were wide open by five yards and it was just pick your poison. I was really happy to see A.B. get in the end zone. It was good for him and good for all of us.”

(On how the defense helped facilitate the offense’s comeback in the second half)

“Like I said, I was not happy when [Atlanta] answered the drive with a touchdown. Then, we figured it out [and] started playing pretty [well]. They made the one drive, but overall the fourth quarter is when we really played well – I thought – defensively. [We] got [Matt Ryan] on the ground and got him back there. They did a great job of max protection – I think Dirk [Koetter] had a great gameplan. They max protected [and] got two guys going down. Finally we just doubled both of them and got home.”

(On LB Devin White’s 3.0 sacks)

“It was a situation where he had the back man-to-man and they were max protecting, so it gave us another free rusher and he found two gaps. He’s so quick – when he sees a gap, he can shoot it and got him on the ground both times. They were big, big sacks.”

(On if the team would have attempted a field goal on the final drive if it’s third-down attempt was ruled short of a first down)

“No. We would’ve gone for it. Kicking a field goal gives them two opportunities to score – block the kick and run it back on the kickoff. We would’ve gone for it on fourth down right there. There would’ve only been 16 to 18 seconds left.”

(On the defense using more man-to-man coverage in the second half to slow down the Atlanta offense)

“We played a lot of two man and different ways of playing two man. We had two deep safeties and everybody [else] is playing man-to-man. They kept the back in, which was letting Devin [White] free to blitz and he found some good creases and got home.”

(On what allows QB Tom Brady to lead fourth-quarter comebacks)

“He’s just a winner. He knows how to do it. I don’t know about my history – if you’re talking about last year – but Tom has always been a fourth-quarter player and we won a lot of games in Arizona in the fourth quarter. It’s kind of what we expect to do.”

(On WR Antonio Brown’s contributions since joining Tampa Bay) “He’s done a good job. He’s doing the best with his opportunities. I was really glad to see him get in the end zone – he’s been doing extremely well. We’ve got a bunch of guys – Tyler [Johnson], Scotty [Miller] – we’ve got some really good receivers. He’s playing well.”

(On if the Buccaneers can win postseason games when playing from behind)

“That’s what I talked to them [about]. We lost to the Chiefs and the Rams by three [points]. Both of those games spotting them [points] and playing this way. It’s not going to happen. You’re not going to beat those good teams playing this way. We’ve got to play better in the first half than we played today.”

(On if slow starts to the game is a question of growth among the team)

“If we make the tackle on the first check down, we’re off the field [and] we’re three-and-out [but] they go down and score. There’s so many little plays that are involved there. Defensively, we shouldn’t need growth – we should be ready to play. We’re giving up way too many scores with the first possession.”

(On how not committing turnovers or penalties helps the team come back and win games)

“You’ve got no chance if you’re [committing] penalties. We had the one penalty on the punt return that lost some field position for us, but it’s huge. Our discipline is paying off for us. We do dig holes, but we stay disciplined and we find ways to win.”

(On S Antoine Winfield’s play to break up a potential touchdown for the Falcons)

“Great job. He had a hell of a break on that ball – [Calvin] Ridley had come all the way across the field and ‘Twon’ (Winfield Jr.) beat him across. He’s a heck of a player. He read [Ridley’s] eyes, he saw where he was going, [saw] that ball was going to be in the air for a while and he didn’t panic. A lot of times DBs will panic and they can’t run as fast. He doesn’t panic – he just goes and makes the play. I was a little disappointed [because] we dropped a couple interceptions in that one drive that could’ve changed the game a lot.”

(On an update on CB Carlton Davis III’s injury)

“We don’t know yet. We’ll wait and see. He’s had some problems with it in the past. It tightened up on him at halftime but I’m really, really proud of the guys that jumped in and stepped up.”


(On the team’s calm demeanor despite trailing in Sunday’s game)

“It was great poise by everybody. Everybody hung in there. We got off to a tough start, but found a way to win. Defense came up huge [and] made some big stops. Offensively, everyone made a bunch of different plays and it was a great win for our team. We’re going to have to keep building on it.”

(On WR Antonio Brown’s touchdown reception)

“It was great. He’s been working hard at that and [we] finally got him an opportunity to touch one of those. Mike [Evans] did a good job on the other side, the safety kind of got stuck in the middle and A.B. (Brown) just ran right by him. I put it out there for him [and] he made a great catch. Love seeing him get in the end zone.”

(On how dangerous Tampa Bay can be as a team if it plays all four quarters like it did in the second half of Sunday’s game)

“We’re going to have to figure out how to play our best for 60 minutes as opposed to 30. It was a good win by us. Everyone loves winning, but we also want to play better. We want to play our best and I think next week gives us another opportunity to try to do our best. It’s a tough week because it’s Christmas, but [we have] got to focus on what we’ve got to do. We’ve worked pretty hard to get to this point, but there’s still a lot left ahead of us.”

(On what his touchdown pass to WR Antonio Brown meant to him)

“Obviously as a teammate [and] someone who knows him pretty well, he’s done a lot of work to get to this point. Just proud of him, his focus [and] how he’s prioritized different things. A lot of guys in that receiver group have helped him and he’s making great contributions. As quarterback, it’s tough sometimes because you have a lot of guys open and you’ve got to distribute it to different guys. Mike [Evans] gets a lot of looks, Chris [Godwin] gets looks, A.B. (Brown) gets looks and as quarterback there’s one ball. You can’t split it in three or four. You’ve just got to try to use your read, and whenever those guys get the opportunity to make [plays], they make them. A.B. came down with a big one for us, Chris had a big one, Mike had a big game, Cam [Brate] had catches, Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) had catches – everybody made different plays. It was great to see.”

(On how the Tampa Bay defense allowed the offense to get back in the game and LB Devin White’s 2.0 sacks)

“He did a great job. They really put a lot of pressure on Atlanta in the second half and made a lot of big plays. Backed them up, got us great field position and it was a great team effort there in the second half. Great to see us play that way in the second half under some pressure, but we’re going to have to do it for 60 minutes. It’s going to be a big point of emphasis for us.”

(On an incomplete pass to TE Rob Gronkowski)

“We got down there in the red area and I had a chance to throw the ball to Lenny [Fournette that] probably would’ve gotten us in the end zone, but I missed him. I had a chance with Gronk and we just didn’t make the play.”

(On how much attention he has paid to the New England Patriots this season)

“As far as the Patriots, they have their own thing going and I’ve really been focused on how my play needs to be at quarterback, the execution I need and they’re not really an opponent of mine. Obviously I have a lot of friends there [and] a lot of great relationships, but they’re focused on what they need to do and I’m focused on what my job is.”


(On how good the Buccaneers can be as a team if they play to their potential for a full 60 minutes)

“That’s the thing – we haven’t really put it all together all year. Maybe the Panthers game in Carolina was probably the most complete game we played all year. But we know how talented we are as a team. It’s just for whatever reason we shoot ourselves in the foot and we can’t string together 60 minutes. You can win against teams that aren’t going to make the playoffs right now, but I don’t think we will win too many playoff games spotting a team 17 points. It’s going to be something we’re going to have to figure out. But yeah, with the guys in the locker room, we never think we’re out of it.”

(On the 46-yard touchdown to WR Antonio Brown)

“It’s a long time coming for that big play from A.B. He’s done a lot of great stuff underneath and converted a lot of big third downs for us since he has gotten here, but just watching A.B. over the years, he always came up with huge plays when his team needed it the most. So, for him to do that today, that was awesome. Great pass, great route [and] just a huge play. Hopefully we will see a little more of that.”

(On what allows QB Tom Brady to be so successful in leading his teams to comeback wins)

“I think a lot of it is his track record [with] the belief he kind of inspires in all of us. He’s done it on the biggest stage – the 28-3 [Super Bowl comeback] game. We’ve seen him do it and we just have a ton of confidence in him and he puts that confidence in us, as well. There was really no panic in the locker room. That was about as bad as we could’ve played in the first half [but] we were going to get the ball coming out of halftime, so the coaches were just saying, ‘Score a touchdown, get a stop and it’s a lot closer of a game.’ We just had a ton of confidence, even being down 17-0, and we just played much better in the second half.”


(On having belief in QB Tom Brady and how good it felt to score the game-winning touchdown)

“Anytime you play with a guy like Tom, it’s encouraging. He’s seen it all [and] done it all. He’s been in so many games, so many situations so to be in a comeback with him is unbelievable. I’m grateful to be on the receiving side of it. Late in the game, he made a great throw – he hit me right in the numbers. I had the opportunity to put the team ahead and it was a great play.”

(On what his touchdown meant to him personally)

“It’s been a long journey for me. Anytime I get that opportunity, [I’m] always grateful [and] thankful to God. As soon as I caught it, I went straight to my knees and called God and gave praise. [I’m] extremely grateful to be here with Tampa Bay and have the opportunity to live out my dream and play football – it’s something I love to do. I know not only was I excited, but I know my close friends and family and my kids are all excited for me.”

(On getting the team to play an entire game)

“I think we just have to come out and start fast, come out with more energy – whatever it takes. Whatever it takes to get the win. We can’t make excuses. I think we can play better. I think when we watch the tape, we’ll see some things that we can improve on.”

(On how he felt when he heard the call and if he knew the ball was coming to him)

“Well, I get excited. You know you’ll get an opportunity when they call all go routes, so there’s a chance the ball will come to you. Just run in the wind – I was excited to get an opportunity if it came to me – step on the gas and put myself in a good opportunity to put my eyes back hoping the ball was on the way.”


(On the difference that allowed the defense to play better in the second half)

“The big difference is we came out with more energy and we did everything the coaches told us to do. In this league, you’ve just got to be at the right place at the right time and you’ve just got to play within the scheme. I feel like every time it’s a hit and miss, great players will make you pay for it. On defense – all I can speak for is defense – we had to pay for it. I just played instinct football. I was seeing some things and I was taking advantage of it for me to get those sacks. I felt like it was going to help my team get off the field and give us a lot more energy to finish the game. I’m a team player and that’s all I’m about. I had to do what I had to do to help the team – whatever I can do to help the team. [If] I need to get a pick to help the team [I’ll do it]. Whatever I have to do, I’m willing to do it.”

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