Bucs’ Pierre-Paul on loss to Bears: ‘I feel like everybody in the locker room knew we should’ve won that game’

Last Thursday night, the Tampa Buccaneers started fast against the Chicago Bears and got out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter, but Nick Foles and the Bears were able to come back and ultimately defeat Tampa Bay 20-19 at Soldier Field. 

It was a tough loss for the Buccaneers, especially when you consider they had an early lead and a lead late in the game. On Tuesday, Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul discussed the loss to the Bears, and according to the 11-year veteran, Tampa Bay should have beaten Chicago on Thursday.

“It was a disappointing loss. I feel like everybody in the locker room knew we should’ve won that game, and we didn’t play to our full expectation,” he said. “That’s just what it is. I’m speaking for myself right now – I don’t dwell on the games that have been played that we lost, or on the games that have been played that we win. I try to play each game individually and game by game. That’s just basically what I do. I don’t look at the loss and criticize myself. I do within that Monday, but then it’s all over and done, and I move on to the next.”

The Buccaneers, who many expected to one of the NFC’s favorites, are 3-2 and are in a three-way tie with the Saints and Panthers for first place in the NFC South. On Tuesday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians evaluated the team after five games.

“We did a bunch of self-scouting. There’s a lot of good things. The biggest negative thing is there are games where we have too many self-inflicted penalties and put ourselves behind the chains,” Arians said. “Does it happen every week? No. But when they happen, they happen in bunches, and we have to correct that. I think offensively, things [have gone] really, really well up until last week with the red zone. We’re still running the ball well – third-down conversion could be better, but they’re going to be better if we don’t get in third-and-long all the time. Defensively, again, just technique [and] getting our head around on back-shoulder fades, those type of things. [We are] playing very aggressive [and] doing a great job against the run. We’ve got to do a better job of getting off third down, also.”

The Buccaneers were sloppy last Thursday night against Chicago and ended the night with 11 penalties, but Pierre-Paul is right. Tampa Bay should have defeated the Bears, but they didn’t, and now it’s time to get right at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers(4-0), which won’t be easy. 

Bucs’ Arians on Jones: ‘He’s playing at an extremely high level’

On Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(3-2) were defeated on the road by the Chicago Bears(4-1) 20-19, but one bright spot in the loss was the play of running back Ronald Jones II.

The 23-year-old Jones had his second straight 100-yard game on Thursday night. Jones rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries, including a 37-yard scamper. With injuries to Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, Jones has been getting the bulk of the carries for Tampa Bay, and according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, Jones is playing at a high level.

“I think RoJo (Ronald Jones II), he’s playing at an extremely high level,” Arians said on Friday. “I still can’t believe he didn’t get his touchdown where he made that catch, but that is the rule that you don’t get the forward progress after they blow the whistle. He’s running the ball well [and] making people miss, [getting to the] second level and making people miss.”

Arians is not the only one happy about Jones’ play. Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was also very complimentary of the third-year running back.

“Yeah, he played great,” Brady said about Jones on Thursday after the loss to Chicago. “Explosive runs and ran hard and took care of the football, and he’s a great runner. He’s just doing a great job for us. It was a short week. We knew there was some contingency, and hoping other guys get healthy, but it just wasn’t the case. He played really hard, and he played great.”

After five games, Jones has 74 carries for 359 yards and one touchdown. The 74 carries are fifth-most in the league and 359 yards is the third-most in the NFL at this stage of the season. Additionally, Jones is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Now, when Fournette and McCoy are healthy, Jones’ workload will probably be reduced, but he’s the number one back for this team, so he’s going to get his touches, and after what we have seen the last two weeks, that’s not a bad thing for the Buccaneers.

Bucs’ Evans on Brady: ‘We need him to play like that week-in and week-out if we want to be the special team’

On Sunday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady had Buccaneers fans thinking about 2019 when the Chargers’ Michael Davis intercepted Brady and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Ultimately, Brady and the Buccaneers would be down 24-7 in the second quarter, but unlike last season when Jameis Winston threw 30 interceptions, the Buccaneers would turn things around. After the pick-six, Brady would throw four touchdowns, and Tampa Bay would defeat Los Angeles at home 38-31.

The 43-year-old Brady would finish the game 30/46 for 369 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception.

“He’s the G.O.A.T,” Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis said after the game. “That’s as simple as I can put it. He’s the G.O.A.T. – Tom Brady. He’s a great player, even better to play off of him. Having him go down and score touchdowns gives us a lot more energy on our sidelines and just gives the whole sideline more confidence and the comeback we had today.”

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added: “I thought he just played outstanding. I just have to coach him up better on that one play and just get it coached better. He played fantastic and was lights out in the second half.”

The Buccaneers got the victory on Sunday, but Brady would like to see Tampa Bay play well for the whole game.

“We put ourselves in a pretty good hole, and we were going to have to dig our way out of it. That’s just the way football works sometimes – just have to tighten some things up,” Brady said. “Glad we came back – defense made a big play for us before the end of the [first] half, and that got us ignited a little bit. We made some plays in the third quarter and made some good plays in the fourth quarter. Started the game well [and] finished the game well – that middle part – we have to figure out how to play 60 minutes well.”

According to Buccaneers WR Mike Evans, who had seven receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown on Sunday, Tampa Bay needs Brady to play the way he did on Sunday to be a great team in 2020.

“We all know his track record and his résumé,” Evans said about Brady. “It speaks for itself. We need him to play like that week-in and week-out if we want to be the special team that we think we are capable of being. We have to utmost confidence in Tom [Brady]. He had a hell of a game today.”

If Brady does play at this level the rest of the way, the Buccaneers 2020 season could be very special.

Buccaneers’ Arians: ‘We win a few games in a row, and everybody will be back on the bandwagon’

After the acquisition of Tom Brady in the offseason, many were ready to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Lombardi Trophy. However, after losing to the Saints in the season-opener last Sunday, the same people prepared to crown the Buccaneers(0-1) are now the same people ready to jump off the bandwagon, which Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians discussed on Wednesday.

“I was amused when they handed us the Lombardi trophy in July,” Arians said. “It’s part of the business. You go with it, and it’s one week at a time [and] one day at a time. We win a few games in a row, and everybody will be back on the bandwagon [and] happy. It’s just part of the game. If we lose this week, the world will come to an end.”

The NFL is a week-to-week league. Meaning one week, a team can look like world-beaters, and the following week, a team can look very bad. Tampa definitely did not play their best football against the Saints. However, after watching the film, Arians believes all that went wrong can be corrected.

“You’re very disappointed [after the game], and then you look at it, and you take all the good things that happened,” he said. “The things that were bad – could they be correctable? They were very correctable, and we’re on to Carolina now.”

Additionally, there won’t be many times when Brady will throw two interceptions in a game, which he did against the Saints. After that game, Arians was critical of Brady, but according to Arians, he and Brady are on the same page.

“Tom and I are fine, so I don’t really care what other people think,” he said. “It’s just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine [and] we showed up today fine, so there [is] nothing to talk about.”

Tampa Bay has a chance to get right in their home opener against another division foe, the Carolina Panthers(0-1), who also lost in their season-opener against the Raiders, so both teams will be desperate for a win on Sunday. According to the USA Today, since 2007, 107 teams have started 0-2. Only 11.2% of those teams turned things around to make the playoffs. 

If the Buccaneers lose against the Panthers, fans will panic, and many will continue to jump off the bandwagon. But, at this point, it’s never wise to bet against Brady.

Bucs’ Arians is confident NFL will play all games in 2020

Major League Baseball started their season last week, and after one week, COVID-19 has put the season in jeopardy. The Miami Marlins reportedly had 14 players test positive for the coronavirus, which has forced the cancellation of games.

At this point, the NFL is preparing for its season, and you wonder after what happened with the Marlins if the NFL could get through the season. However, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians does not believe what happened to the Marlins will occur in the NFL.

“I don’t think our guys are going to get sick in the locker room,” Arians said via a video call on Tuesday. “I don’t think they’ll get sick in our facility. Everybody here is tested [and] they’re clean. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen outside the facility. Is it possible? Yeah, [but] I don’t see it happening. We don’t stay in cities as long as baseball does, and that can be a problem [for them].”

When asked if he felt the NFL would make through all 16 games, Arians said the following:

“I’m very confident. Like I said, the protocols that are in place are extremely safe. It’s going to [take] coaches, players, and staff being smart outside the building. Nobody is going to get sick over here because everybody’s got a negative test that’s in the building, so you’re going to get sick somewhere else. We’ve just got to have a lot of discipline this year, and I have a lot of confidence we’ll get it done.”

It’s going to take a lot of work and maybe some luck for the league to make through the season. What happened in baseball is scary, and unless you have a bubble, making it through the season won’t be easy.

Bucs’ Arians: ‘Tom(Brady) is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent quarterback Tom Brady to a multi-year contract, the team announced today. 

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a two-year deal.

The 42-year-old Brady comes to Tampa Bay after spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, securing 249 overall victories, 14 Pro Bowl selections, six Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors, three league MVP awards, three first-team All-Pro selections and two Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year accolades.

Brady’s 219 regular-season victories and 30 playoff wins are each the most by a quarterback in league history, and he remains the only player to have won six Super Bowl titles. Winning 219-of-283 career starts, Brady’s 77.4 career winning percentage ranks first in the Super Bowl era among quarterbacks with at least 50 starts. Also, he has led his team to 12 or more wins in a season 12 times, which are the most such seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.

Brady has appeared in nine Super Bowls and 13 AFC Championship Games, tacking on 17 division titles in his 18 seasons as the primary starting quarterback, including 16 consecutive with him in that role. His four Super Bowl MVP honors (2001, 2003, 2014, 2016) are the most by any player in league history. He has also been selected as NFL MVP three times in 2007, 2010, and 2017 and earned Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2009. Additionally, he holds the NFL record with 30 Player of the Week honors and 10 Player of the Month awards throughout his career.

“Tom is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league, but what makes him so special is his ability to make those around him better,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians. “I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. Tom is no different. He is a proven winner who will provide the leadership, accountability, and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship.” 

Including the postseason, Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in total yards (87,197), passing yards (85,959), total touchdowns (642), passing touchdowns (614) and completions (7,402). Solidifying his place in NFL annals, Brady was selected to the 2000s All-Decade Team and was recently honored as part of the NFL 100 All-Time Team, recognizing the best 100 players of the league’s first century of play.

After enduring 30 interceptions from Jameis Winston in 2019, Brady will be a welcomed sight for Buccaneers fans because of his ability to take care of the football. Brady has a 1.79 interception percentage, standing as the second-best ever behind only Aaron Rodgers(among players with at least 2,500 career pass attempts). He has an NFL-record 58 games with three touchdown passes and no interceptions.

With Brady and the weapons that they have on offense, Tampa Bay has a chance to get to the playoffs. However, Brady will be 43 by the time the season starts, so as great as he has been, we all have to consider his age. However, Brady did a lot with very little weapons in New England last season.

Tampa will have to continue to upgrade their defense. They were 29th in points allowed, and 30th against the pass. But, with Brady’s ability to take care of the football, maybe the defense won’t be put in a lot of adverse situations.

It’s a happy time in Tampa Bay, and if Brady can continue to be Brady, it will be even happier times in 2020!

Bucs’ Arians: ‘We are coming into stadiums expecting to win’

While it is probably too late for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make the playoffs in the NFC, this team has finally started to play well, including Sunday’s 28-11 road win against the Jaguars.

With the victory, the Buccaneers(5-7) have now won three of their last four games, which includes two straight victories on the road. The defense forced four turnovers on Sunday, and QB Jameis Winston(21-33, 268 yards) played well.

“We want to finish this thing strong,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said after the game. “We will add them up at the end and see if it’s enough. We want to hopefully get three in a row at home. We can’t get six in a row; we can only get three in a row. I like where we are at. We are practicing and preparing extremely hard each week. We are coming into stadiums expecting to win.”

Winston agreed with Arians’ sentiments.

“We should expect to win,” Winston said. “So, I appreciate Bruce, and I definitely back that. We’ve just got to continue to do it, and I think we’re just coming together. These past two games have been great games of playing complementary football. Our defense has been incredible, and we have capitalized on opportunities that our defense has given us. We have just got to continue to do that.

“We’ve got to finish better as an offense, and as long as we do that, we’re going to be a tough team to play.”

The Buccaneers have four games left; if they can continue to play at this level, maybe they continue their winning ways, and if Tampa Bay can finish the season strong, perhaps it could give this team some confidence going into next season. However, for now, Tampa can enjoy this victory over Jacksonville and get ready to head home to battle the Colts next Sunday.

 

Arians on Winston: ‘I’m really pleased with where he is at’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is in an interesting position. Winston’s head coach Bruce Arians did not draft him, which means he is not Arians’ guy. Therefore, Arians does not have any loyalty to him.

At this point, we have more questions than answers when it comes to the former number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In five seasons, all as a starter in Tampa, Winston has yet to lead the Bucs to the playoffs. Additionally, Winston has the most interceptions and turnovers since 2015. However, last Thursday, Winston played a mistake-free game as the Bucs were able to beat the Panthers on the road 20-14.

While the 25-year-old Winston struggled against the Niners in Week 1 with three interceptions(two returned for touchdowns), Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is happy with Winston’s progress.

“I’m really pleased with where he is at,” Arians said during a conference call on Wednesday. “He got victimized a little bit in the first game, played really well last Thursday night. He should have had a couple more guys catch some balls for him; I think for us, it’s just about playing better around him.”

Winston should be able to put up some decent numbers this week as Bucs host the 0-2 Giants on Sunday. New York is rank 30th against the pass, so Winston should have some opportunities.

However, in terms of what happens after 2019 with Winston, all depends on how the season plays out, which will be very interesting to see.