Crash & AJ

Crash & AJ

Crash and AJ, Weekday Mornings on 98ROCK


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Press Conference Monday, Jan 18th, 2021


Source: Buccaneers Communications

Article Pic: Getty Images


(On WR Antonio Brown’s injury)

“He’s in the MRI now, so we’ll find out more this afternoon.”

(On WR Scotty Miller and WR Tyler Johnson making big plays in Sunday’s game and the trust QB Tom Brady has in them)

“He sees those guys work so hard on the practice field and he’s got a great rapport with all of them – especially Scotty. Tyler – very few guys can twist and turn and make that catch. Tom put it out there and he knew Tyler could make that catch. He’s got a great, great future.”

(On if there were early indications of the severity of WR Antonio Brown’s injury)

“No, not at all. Sorry.”

(On what the team did well against Green Bay in Week 6 of the regular season)

“Win the turnover battle. We got the ball away from them – one was a pick-six. Any time you go on the road in the playoffs, you’ve got to win the turnover battle if you’re going to have a chance.”

(On CB Jamel Dean’s status)

“All those guys, we’ll know more later this afternoon. They’re all [in] the training room [with] doctors and everything right now – we had a bunch of them. I don’t think any of them are too serious.”

(On the depth at linebacker following LB Jack Cichy’s injury)

“We’ll get Kevin Minter back, so getting Kevin back will help and we’ll move Deone Bucannon up.”

(On how he will prepare the team for cold weather in Green Bay)

“It’s just a matter of staying warm on the sideline. Every time I’ve played in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Cleveland [or] Buffalo, nobody was cold out on the field. It’s more mental and staying warm on the sideline. We’ve got all that technology now with the heaters and everything else. It’s different, but it’s not that big of a deal for us.”

(On if he plans to continue using RB Ronald Jones II and RB Leonard Fournette as a tandem)

“Yeah, that’s kind of been the plan all year. Just trying to keep them both fresh. Getting RoJo back and getting him back in shape from the COVID and the finger [injury]. I think Leonard’s done a great job in his absence and ‘Ro’ (Jones II) really added a spark when he got in there, so it’s a good one-two punch.”

(On if the team is tired of hearing him preach about not committing turnovers)

“I think they do because that’s the way we start every meeting.”

(On how a victory over New Orleans helps the team’s confidence)

“It boosts the confidence for sure, but we went there expecting to win. It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win. We’re such a different team than when we played back in November. Same thing – Green Bay’s a different team than we played back then, so those games don’t really matter anymore.”

(On how QB Tom Brady’s leadership has helped prepare the team for the postseason)

“Tom really hasn’t changed. His preparation is unbelievable every game, whether it’s September or January. When you’ve been there and done it, guys just follow you.”

(On what he liked the most about Sunday’s performance after watching the film)

“Offensively, I liked the running game. I thought our offensive line protected and blocked – the tight ends, you can put them in there too. Aaron Stinnie played his tail off. Defensively, it was the takeaways. Just getting the ball away from those guys, we knew it was going to be hard, but we did a great job of it.”

(On G Aaron Stinnie’s performance)

“He’s a different player than ‘Cap’ (Alex Cappa), but in the running game and the passing game, he played lights out. He’s got a great future.”

(On how offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles prepared the team for Sunday’s game)

“I thought it was outstanding – one of the best jobs I’ve seen done by both of those guys. Even our special teams adjusting after the punt return. Those two guys, they’re great coaches and they do a heck of a job.”

(On multiple offensive players being ready when their number was called)

“That’s what it’s all about. You get your opportunities, you’ve got to make the best of them. You don’t know when they’re coming and this time Scotty [Miller] jumped out there. It was really a play designed for Antonio [Brown], but Scotty ran a great route [and] beat him. Tyler [Johnson] makes a great catch, [Aaron] Stinnie steps in there and does a great, great job. It’s everybody just doing their job and that’s what we went down there [to do]. All we’ve got to do is do our job. We’re good enough to beat anybody.”

(On if he sensed that Sunday’s win was more special for QB Tom Brady)

“Yeah, you could tell. The emotions were really, really good. We had some good moments on the field, in the locker room and on the plane. He knows it’s just starting – this is far from being finished. He’s holding most of them in check.”

(On what stands out with Green Bay’s evolvement throughout the season)

“I think their defense is really, really playing well. Their young secondary, a couple of guys are playing outstanding. Their pass rush is good, but again, same thing, they’re running the ball so well. They present a heck of a challenge in the running game and Matt [LaFleur] is such a creative guy offensively. He and Aaron [Rodgers] are really on the same page.”

(On the team receiving significant contributions from players selected in the NFL Draft)

“I’ve got to say, Jason [Licht] is the main reason I came back in coaching. I knew how good of an evaluator he was and having worked with him. We shared the same vision – we were going to build this thing on defense. We’ll score enough points. Just building the roster the way he has and being able to get Tom [Brady], Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) and Leonard [Fournette] and still be really cap friendly with this roster that we have. We believed RoJo (Ronald Jones II) was a player – he had all that talent, it was just a matter of maturity. Can’t say enough about what Jason has done. To me, he’s Executive of the Year just pulling off all that stuff that he did.”


(On the team’s demeanor throughout the game, including when it was trailing early)

“I think that just goes back to how the regular season played out [and] some of the games we played – the Chargers game, the Falcons game – where we got down big deficits and we were able to come back. We didn’t really get down big during this game, but we weren’t always running smoothly on offense. We just kind of had a feeling that we were going to figure it out. The looks they were giving us, they were inviting us to run the ball, so we kind of took it upon ourselves to get the ground game going. I think that really opened up a lot of things for us.”

(On the celebration in the locker room following Sunday’s game)

“We were all pretty pumped up – that one felt pretty good. The Saints have had our number [and] they’ve had a hold on the NFC South for pretty much my whole time in Tampa. To go out there, face adversity, overcome our struggles against the Saints and win that game was definitely a special feeling [and] a special moment for all of us.”

(On what has allowed him to become effective as a receiver)

“I think a lot of it has to do with trying to establish a run and getting more tight ends on the field. It’s hard to gameplan that way when you have the weapons that we do [and] the quarterback that we have. Just establishing the line of scrimmage, making sure the defense doesn’t just pin their ears back and pressure us – that’s been big for us and we’ve kind of been gearing that way toward the end of the regular season and now into the playoffs. It’s worked out for me and [I’ve] just been able to make some plays for us, which is cool.”


(On how playing Green Bay earlier in the season helps prepare for Sunday’s game)

“We have some familiarity with them from the standpoint of playing them earlier in the season. As you mentioned, teams evolve and adapt and find ways to be successful. The Packers clearly have done that by winning the number one seed in the NFC and have it going through their house while we’re traveling to them. From that standpoint, we’ve got to go back and watch the film on how they were successful against the Rams this past weekend, understand some of the good things we did against them the first time we saw them and see how they’ve changed and evolved [as a team] playing at a high level.”

(On how the team finding its mindset has impacted its play in recent weeks)

“I think it’s definitely having the mindset of understanding that you kind of control your own destiny from a standpoint of how we got into the playoffs and how we finished off into the playoffs being the fifth seed and controlling our mindset in that aspect. Then, knowing we needed to get on the road and take care of business against Washington and then see where the chips fell. That had us going back to New Orleans, which I was happy about from a standpoint [that] as a team, we needed to go out, challenge and beat [the Saints], which we were fortunate enough to do in a good fashion from the defensive side of the ball [by] getting so many turnovers. My intent is all about the keys for us continuing to play at a high level. I think for a young guy like [Devin White] to recognize that and see that as an important piece and knowing that we need to stay focused on that as well as executing, we should be in a good place going into this Packers game.”

(On how well the combination of youth and experience on defense has worked in recent weeks)

“Like I said, having veteran guys like Lavonte [David], myself, JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) who has won a championship, Shaq [Barrett] who has won a championship, who have been in these situations, it’s able to talk to these younger guys and say, ‘It’s no different than us playing a regular season game.’ Obviously, it means a lot more and we need to be that much more on point because people are going to try and expose us for our mistakes, but just go out there and execute. When you have an opportunity to make a big play as [Antoine] Winfield did, as Sean [Murphy-Bunting] did – I gave that little man a hug after the game because I’m so proud of him, the way he’s handled his business and the things that he’s really had to fight through. It’s being able to encourage those guys and them getting that feeling, getting their feet wet and them understanding how they can continue to grow through the midst of the success.”

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