Bucs Friday Media Availability Recap

Bucs Friday Media Availability Recap
Reading Time: 6 minutes.

Bucs face the media again

The Bucs went in front of the media again yesterday as they prepare for Sundays NFC Championship game. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance to capture the key takeaways.

Head coach Bruce Arians, cornerback Carlton Davis III and quarterback Tom Brady all came to the podium, following Wednesday’s coaches press conference. Their thoughts are captured below, starting with the Head Coach.

Head Coach Bruce Arians

In typical Coach Arians style, he was once again short and straight to the point with his answers.  He gave an update on the status of WR Antonio Brown and DT Vita Vea:

“Antonio will be out this week. Vita we have to [activate] sometime between today and tomorrow, if we do it.” 

In regards to whether Antonio Brown had suffered some kind of setback:

“I just talked to him this morning and to put him on the plane, have him fly up there and have it swell more doesn’t make any sense. He wasn’t as close as we had hoped, so we’ll get him ready for the next one.”

Coach Arians sounded much more positive on the progress of Vita Vea:

“He’s looked real good. He’s been running around for almost three weeks and had a real good practice yesterday and a good one today. We haven’t made that determination yet. We’ll see if we want to activate him or not, but there is a chance.”

Following the press conference the Bucs activated Vita Vea, making him eligible to play in Sunday’s showdown.

With the weather forecast for Green Bay suggesting freezing conditions, and possible snowfall; the effectiveness of the Bucs running game could be key on Sunday.  He followed by giving some thoughts on the effectiveness of the Bucs run game at present:

“Yeah, it’s as good as it’s been all season. Our blocking units, our tight ends [and] our receivers – everybody is doing a really, really good job of getting on their people, getting hats on hats, and the backs are hitting the holes extremely well. I don’t foresee a lot of dime versus some of our formations, but if they want to load up the box obviously then we’re playing one-on-one outside.”

Heading into Sunday, the Bucs may need to rely on their veteran players who have experience of playing in big playoff games. 

To conclude, Coach Arians highlighted a number of players who will be key in that regard:

“Having Tom [Brady], ‘Gronk’ (Rob Gronkowski), ‘Shady’ (LeSean McCoy), Leonard [Fournette] and other guys on offense and then JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) defensively – yeah, it helps. Those guys, they can talk to the guys in the locker room about preparation and that it’s really the same game – you just have to be totally prepared so that you can go out and do your job.”

Quarterback Tom Brady

6 time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady was next to the stage. Cool, calm and collected in front of the media, as you would expect from someone of his experience.  He gave some thoughts on the news that Antonio Brown was not going to be making the trip:

“I think we’re going to have to find a way to win. It obviously sucks for Antonio. We all wish he could be out there with us. Other guys are going to have to step up and do the job. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys who haven’t been in there as much when A.B. has been in there.

We wish everybody could play. We’ve lost a few guys over the course of the season. It’s a great game to play in. You would want everyone to play in this game. We’re going to have to figure out a way to win regardless.”

Much of the excitement of this game has been about the showdown between superstar QB’s in Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers.  Tom gave some insight about what he admires about Rodgers:

“He basically does everything well, so he’s got great command and experience. And [his] leadership – players are playing hard. He’s got a great style of play. He obviously throws the ball as well as any quarterback, he gets rid of the ball quickly, has great vision of the field and is able to extend plays with his legs.

There [are] a lot of explosive players he’s got, so they’ve got a great football team and they’ve got obviously a top scoring offense, or a top offense, however you see it. It’s a big test. We’re going to have to go up and play great football to beat them.”

This is of course Brady’s first season with the Bucs, having spent the entirety of his career previously with the New England Patriots. 

He gave the media his views on the differences of his leadership role with the team compared to previous seasons, and secondly what he’s enjoying about this new role:

“I try to be very consistent over a period of time. Just show up every day with an attitude to get the work done. I’ve got a lot of people that I really rely on – the other quarterbacks, our quarterback coach (Clyde Christensen), Byron [Leftwich] our coordinator – we’re all working hard to try to put the team in a position to win.

I have a lot of experience playing and I like to try and convey a lot of different things I think can be successful, whether it be a physical thing to a player [or] it could be a certain way that I see something happening. I think we have great communication and great rapport with everyone.

The only way to work through things [is] to communicate through them. It’s been a really fun process. We put ourselves in a decent position, so now we’ve got to go capitalize on it.”

“I just try to do the best I can do to show up everyday with a good attitude, work hard and do what my job is. It’s been fun just being here and I had a great time in New England, as well.

I’ve had a great 21 years. I’m a very blessed and lucky guy. The fact that I’m still playing football, for me, is a blessing. I’ve had a lot of great teammates that I’ve played with over the years and a great group this year. That’s the best part about football is all of the relationships you have. It’s been a fun year doing it.”

In recent weeks we’ve seen the news that veteran quarterback Phil Rivers is retiring. It is widely anticipated that Drew Brees is likely to do the same.  However, Brady, at 43 years of age still looks as good as ever.

He finished off by giving some final thoughts about what continues to make him want to play the game at his age:

“I don’t think too much about those things. Again, I try to show up everyday with a positive attitude to work hard and do my job. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of great teammates [and] great coaches that do the same.

The rewarding part in a team sport is that we’re all showing up together with the same goal in mind. How you work through adversity is a great thing.

You’re always going to be challenged in football and in life and how you work through those things, how you communicate through them [and] how you inspire each other to be the best that you can be – that’s the best part about sports. That’s why I’m still playing.”

Cornerback Carlton Davis III

Lastly, second year cornerback Carlton Davis III came to the stage, and he gave his thoughts on the defensive side of the ball.

Carlton started by explaining what Devin White means to the defense, and on Devin’s performance last week against the New Orleans Saints:

“He’s a big part of our defense. Obviously, he had a huge game with the interception and his tackles. Just his energy he brings to our defense and we’re just happy to have him as a leader on our defense – happy to work with him every day.”

He followed on by giving some insight on what impresses him the most about Green Bay’s offense. In particular, on the prospect of going up against star receiver Davante Adams:

“Adams is one of the best receivers right now, for sure, and of course he has Aaron Rodgers, who is arguably the best quarterback right now. They pose a ton of threats. He can literally throw every route.

He’s just one of the best quarterbacks out right now – there’s nothing he can’t do, and it’s the same with Adams. He can run every route. [There’s] not much he can’t do, so we’ll have our hands tied come Sunday.”

Carlton finished up by talking about the secondary’s relationship and what that means heading into Sunday’s game:

“It’s something that we built from the ground up – a lot of young guys coming together, having growing pains, learning, taking our lessons and turning it into blessings.

To get to this point is amazing, but we still understand that there’s a lot more work to do – that the job isn’t finished and losing now could make us feel as if we did all of this for no reason. We just want to finish the job.”

This concludes the Bucs media availability for this week. Now the Bucs prepare to head to Wisconsin for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.

With a trip to Super Bowl LV on the line, this is one not to miss!

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