Buccaneers Media Availability Recap

Buccaneers Media Availability Recap
Reading Time: 5 minutes.

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held another media conference via Zoom in the lead up to the Conference championship game at Lambeau against the Green Bay Packers. Head Coach Bruce Arians, OC Byron Leftwich and DC Todd Bowles were in attendance, along with Ryan Jensen and Rob Gronkowski. Representing Ninety Nine Yards, I was fortunate enough to garner a slot.

I was able to ask Bucs Defensive Co-Ordinator about the biggest changes the defense faces when transitioning from preparing to play Saints QB Drew Brees to preparing to face Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Here’s what he had to say:

“Just honing in on the details, honestly. At this point in time, they know who we are [and] we know who they are. Whoever executes better is going to win the ballgame, so we’ve just got to lock in. When you play great teams and great quarterbacks – and they have great players on that team – you’ve got to make big plays. We’ve got to make big plays, but it’s got to be within the scheme.”

Head Coach Bruce Arians

Head Coach Arians was short and to point in his usual manner and shared views on the cold or wind would be a factor in Green Bay this weekend

“Definitely the wind. The wind is a much, much bigger factor. I don’t consider it cold unless it’s single digits. It’s not going to affect the game at 28 degrees, but the wind really affects the game.”

As well as giving updated on injury doubts WR Antonio Brown and defensive lineman Vita Vea

“Antonio, he’ll be a game-time decision. He wouldn’t have to practice – he’s veteran enough and he knows what he’s doing. We’ll see what happens. Vita moved around pretty good today when it was full speed.”

Offensive Co-ordination Byron Leftwich

Image: Bucaneers.com

The Buccaneers up-and-coming Offensive Co-ordinator looked very comfortable in front of the media, with a relaxed but professional style that will serve him well should a head coaching gig come calling in the near future.

He was effusive in his praise for veteran QB Tom Brady and what he has brought to the Buccaneers organisation

“I think leadership. Leadership and his ability to get his team in these types of games. He’s been in a lot of these games, as we all know. He’s played in a lot of these championship games and it starts, really, with his leadership from day one. Making sure that everybody understands the importance of why we do everything day in and day out to give ourselves an opportunity to be in these types of moments. I just think the leadership that he brings to our team [and] the awareness that he has from being in these moments [and] being in these situations is something that we have benefitted from greatly.”

Leftwich was also keen to share his thoughts on the game being played at one of Football’s most revered stadiums, Lambeau Field

“When you think of it, it’s the mecca of football. You really think it’s one of the meccas in football. It’s like [Madison Square] Garden in basketball [and] I guess it’s like Wrigley Field and all those in baseball. It’s a beautiful place to play the game of football. A beautiful facility – just from being inside it – the way it looks [and] all of the names that are hanging on the walls there. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a great place to play the game of football. Some of us call it the mecca from a football standpoint, but it’s a beautiful place to play. It’s football – it’s the old school football and what football is all about.”

Centre Ryan Jensen

Centre Ryan Jensen was up next, and the former Raven was keen to talk about the teams rushing attack and how this has developed over the final weeks of the regular season

“Being able to control the line of scrimmage and being able to run the ball efficiently has been huge for us, obviously, in the last five, six, seven weeks. For us, it just helps open up everything else from the passing game, the play action. Running the ball and wearing pass rushers out is always a good thing to do.”

TE Rob Gronkowski

Image:Tampbay.com

Last but not least was the larger than life character of ‘Gronk’. Clearly someone who is comfortable in front of the camera, Gronkowski was in fine fettle and talked at length about the current offence and where it ranks amongst those he has previously played in;

“Yeah, I would say it definitely ranks up there if it’s not number one. I’ve been around a lot of great, talented players, but I would say overall – as a group, from position to position [with] how many guys we have at each position – I would say this definitely ranks up there, if it’s not number one for talent as a whole. Yeah, definitely.”

He also touched upon how this season has lived up to expectations following his year out of the game and leaving the New England Patriots setup

“It has matched a lot of hopes that I had coming here big time. It’s just so hard to win football games in the NFL. Week in and week out, it’s just hard to win games. The main goal, obviously, is always to make it to the Super Bowl, but it’s hard. It’s one of the hardest things to do out there in the sports world. You’ve got to put work in week in and week out. My expectations coming in were just to work hard week in and week out and just give the best I could every single week, no matter what I had. Just give it my all – if it was good [or] if it wasn’t good, it was still my all. Expectations – really, that’s all, is to give it your all. Obviously you want to win games and the main goal is to win it all, but to just be where we are now is just unbelievable. It’s exceptional [and] I feel like it’s well-deserved overall as an organization. Everyone has been working hard. Everyone has been putting their time in. Overall, it’s been a great experience. I’m not surprised that we’re this far, but at the same time, I know how hard it is to get this far and how much work gets put in.”

So there you have it folks, an interesting dive into the thoughts of Tampa Bay’s coaches and players as they head into this weekends showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Keep a look out for more media days and other exciting content in the coming weeks @NinetynineYards

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