Crash & AJ

Crash & AJ

Crash and AJ, Weekday Mornings on 98ROCK


Buccaneers Post Game Press Conference 1/3/21 #ATLvsTB

Source: Buccaneers Communications
Pic: Getty Images

Videos below.


(On WR Mike Evans becoming the first receiver in NFL history to begin their career with seven-consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards before getting injured

“It meant the world for him to get that record and then to have an easy touchdown. The turf was really slick in the end zones and it was just a freaky thing. Knock on wood – we don’t think there’s any serious damage. We’ll know more in the next 24 hours.”

(On WR Antonio Brown and WR Chris Godwin’s performances and the depth at wide receiver)

“There’s no doubt. Scotty [Miller], Tyler [Johnson] – we’ve got weapons. Obviously, Mike [Evans] is special. I kind of put Mike in that Vita [Vea] category – it’s going to take two guys to replace him for sure, if he’s not there.”

(On QB Tom Brady’s performance and the offense not needing to punt in the game)

“It was going to be one of those games. It’s [bothering me] that [Brady] got an interception, but he played fantastic. He’s been on fire since the [Bye Week] and we scored on every possession except that one and the kneel down. We kicked too many field goals, but that wasn’t him. He’s been fantastic.”

(On Brady throwing 40 touchdown passes this season)

“I think he broke Peyton Manning’s record for [touchdown passes] being [in the first season] with a team [by] throwing 40 touchdowns. I think Peyton had 37, so I know he’ll like that [and] Peyton will be pissed. When we first met, that’s really what we talked about – the guys that we have and what he could do with the players that we have. Adding Rob Gronkowski to the mix just helped. I envisioned 40 [touchdowns]. When he first signed I said, ‘OK, we’ll be a 40 [touchdown] and 10 [interception] team.’ I was expecting practice, I was expecting OTAs and those things. What he’s done with none of that – especially this last half of the season – is incredible.”

(On the mood on the sideline following WR Mike Evans’ injury)

“He’s a big part of the leadership. It was just, ‘Hey, you young guys step up.’ Scotty [Miller], Tyler [Johnson] step up, A.B. (Antonio Brown) go play ‘X’ [receiver] and let’s go. There’s nothing we could do about it at the time. It sounds cold at times, but you have to go on. We’ve done a good job of that all the time and I think we’ll reflect on that when we see them tomorrow.”

(On how much the field was responsible for Evans’ injury)

“Totally. It just [gave] out from underneath him.”

(On the defense holding Atlanta to a field goal to avoid them taking the lead in the fourth quarter)

“It was huge. Obviously, getting those turnovers was gigantic to ice it. We bent way too much. Penalties hurt us, especially in the second half.”

(On players filling the roles of starters who missed Sunday’s game)

“I thought each and every one of those guys [played well]. Ross Cockrell’s done a great job all year. Every time he’s gotten an opportunity, he plays [well]. Anthony Nelson had good pressure, Cam Gill got a half a sack it looked like – I hope they gave him half a sack. Kevin Minter, I thought, was outstanding. We know Kevin’s a solid player and he’s been one for a long time, so that drop off wasn’t as big as the other ones.”

(On how the team is currently playing compared to earlier in the year)

“Way, way more confident – especially offensively. We’ve got a good grasp of what we’re doing offensively. I’m not sure how many times we’ve punted since the second half of the first Atlanta game, but Atlanta’s a quality football team. Without those turnovers [today] it probably would have been a six-point game. That’s a talented football team [and] Minnesota’s a talented football team. We can’t worry about who we played – all football teams can beat you on Sunday, so you better be ready.”


(On the emotional swings throughout Sunday’s game)

“It’s always tough when you see guys go out. Mike [Evans] – proud of him for everything he’s gone through this year and what he’s fought through. It’s an incredible record to have. Toughness, dependability, not obviously [only] skill, but attitude plays a big factor into those things. I just love playing with the guy, so when he went out, other guys really stepped up and made a bunch of plays. Chris [Godwin] keeps making plays, Scotty [Miller] did a good job, Tyler [Johnson] made some plays, Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), Cam [Brate], everyone – A.B. (Antonio Brown), obviously [as well]. Just got to keep it going. We’ve got a big one next week – it all comes down to one game. Now that the regular season’s over, it’s about one football game. Who plays well [and] who executes when the pressure is on?”

(On WR Mike Evans’ impact on his transition to playing in Tampa Bay)

“Consistent, dependable, tough, great playmaker, great attitude, great teammate, he’s selfless [and] never talks about his own accomplishments. Great for him to be a part of what we’ve got going. I love everything I see from him from a quarterback standpoint – just his attitude and what he brings to our team.”

(On the importance of not letting Atlanta take the lead in the fourth quarter despite coming within three points) “It was good. We made a couple plays when we needed to. We didn’t have as many plays there in the third quarter. We didn’t convert when we had the opportunity there. We made a big play to start the half and then kind of gave away some points. Could’ve been better in certain areas – certainly in the red area I thought we left some out there today. Regardless, it’s 11-5 [and] we’re finished. To do anything now, you’ve got to earn it. That’s what it comes down to – who earns it, who puts the preparation in and who goes out and executes when the pressure is on?”

(On if he thought he could throw 40 touchdown passes in his first season as a Buccaneer)

“Whatever happens for me as a quarterback is reflective of what our group does on offense. I love playing with the guys I play with. We’ve got a great group of receivers, great group of tight ends – very selfless – the backs have done an incredible job. The way the offensive line is playing and protecting gives any quarterback a great

opportunity. It’s a team sport – those are great team accomplishments. Just proud of all the guys [for] what they put in this year. Now we’re moving into the playoffs. We have a great opportunity ahead of us and we’ve got to go try and take advantage of it.”

(On what has changed offensively to allow Tampa Bay to have more success completing the deep ball)

“The guys are doing a great job making plays. Like I said, it’s about what we’re doing on offense. I’ve got to try to give those guys a chance and they’re coming down with them. Chris [Godwin] comes down with them [and] makes incredible plays, A.B. (Antonio Brown) does, Mike [Evans] does, Scotty [Miller] does. We’re just going to keep challenging different parts of the field and our guys are making a lot of great plays. We’ve got to keep it going.”


(On his emotions toward WR Mike Evans setting the NFL record for most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career and then getting knocked out of the game with an injury on the next play)

“Like you said, it’s definitely a rollercoaster of emotions. He breaks the record and that’s something that – a guy being here for four years and watching him close in on that – I was so proud of just the man that Mike is and the way he works, so I think that is really awesome. Then, next play he goes down. It hurts – I feel for my brother – but I’m hoping he makes a speedy recovery.”

(On the increased success on deep passes over the past few weeks)

“Honestly, I just think that it comes down to our repetitions in practice. I think as the year has progressed, we started to work on that more and more and just get more familiar with what Tom [Brady] is looking for. He’s familiar with our body language now, so I think you are starting to see the fruits of that labor come to fruition.

(On how Mike Evans has helped him grow as a player)

“I don’t necessarily know if words can really describe that. Mike – he’s been such a great teammate to me from the day I got here. He has helped instill confidence in me and helped guide me in the early part of my career. Like I said, he’s been a great teammate – he is a brother of mine. Watching him go to work and watching him be so dominant, I have been able to take things from his game and apply them to mine. I tip my hat off to Mike [Evans], he knows how I feel about him, but I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves.”

(On the reason the offense has clicked over the last couple of games)

“I don’t think it’s one thing. Like I said, I think we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor. I think we’re getting the right play calls at the right time and we’re executing so much better. At the end of the day, when the ball is in the air, guys are just making plays. I think you are starting to see just how much talent we really have. And that’s going to be really big for us moving forward.”


(On being down on defensive players)

“It’s just kind of what we do, right? Coach always talks about ‘Next man Up’ and that’s something we live by in this locker room. Regardless of who is down, no excuses. We are all Bucs and we all have a goal in mind, we all trying to get that championship. So regardless of who playing, you need to strap the helmet on and go. I’ll be damned if I [am] the one to let my team down.”

(On getting motivated to play following Mike Evans’ injury)

“It wasn’t really difficult at all. It was more so we were doing this for him. Regardless if he is down or not, we needed to win this game, get that fifth seed and proceed as usual. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We finished this thing for 13.”

(On approaching the next game without knowing the status of Devin White)

“I’m approaching [it] like I am the starting linebacker. Regardless if he is up or not, I’m going to be in my book. I am still in my special team stuff too and I am a professional and I will carry myself as such.”

(On Buccaneers offense playing well and not punting today)

“It definitely puts a smile on my face, I will tell you that. I was starting on punt too, so I was thinking, ‘Please.’ After the [11]-play drive and the 15-play drive, ‘Y’all keep it going.’ I was definitely happy but starting to see them click is dope. Everybody is having fun on their side. AB [Antonio Brown] you couldn’t keep a smile off his damn face, all game. He was trying to get it. RoJo [Ronald Jones] was running like he had nothing to lose, he was running through peoples’ faces. [Leonard] Fournette is Fournette, he was coming downhill. It’s exciting. I had to do some extra stretching – I was getting cold on the sideline. I love that problem.”


(On being shorthanded on defense)

“Everybody rose to the occasion. Everyone came in, stepped up and did what they had to do. Kevin Minter came in and played a significant, higher role than he has played throughout the year. It was like the beat didn’t stop. You had younger guys like [linebacker] Cam Gill getting in there. ‘Deuce’ Chapelle [Russell] getting in there and guys like that. I mean, that’s all you can really ask for as a coach and as a player [is] for guys to trust one another and to go in there and battle for each other.”

(On his forced fumble and fumble recovery which helped seal a victory in the second half)

“It’s been a while for me since I’ve had a big, impactful play, I would say. But, honestly, I’m just blessed for the coaches to still believe in me and trust in me throughout the year. Obviously, this year, I’ve had my ups and my lows. It just means a lot to me. Each and every game [and] each and every day coach is telling me, ‘Let’s go, let’s be that player you are. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be.’ [He’s] always keeping that confidence there and keeping my morale high. I’m very blessed for that.”

(On slowing down Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley)

“Honestly, just playing our keys -- playing our technique [and] playing our proper keys. [Calvin] Ridley is a really good receiver. He’s really slippery [and] he’s really sticky at the top of his routes [and] releases. But, the main thing was kind of ourselves. Beating ourselves the week before and techniques. We were getting certain calls, but we were

playing them the way we weren’t supposed to be playing them in that sense. So, I would say, just technique and being technique-sound, being patient, reading our keys, and staying in control of our own destiny and our own game.”

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