From his introductory press conference earlier this year to watching and listening to him on the field coaching last weekend during rookie-mini-camp, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner is becoming the media’s favorite coach with a quote.
On Wednesday at One Buc during a get together with all of the defensive coaches, Buckner lived up to his reputation once again, being brutally honest, humorous and to the point on how this team must be better in 2018.
Below are some highlights from Buckner in front of the microphone.
(On accountability among the players)
“It has to come from inside that room. Most of us in this group are parents, you can yell at your kids all you want, and they say, ‘Oh there goes mom and dad again.’ But, just like a coach, it falls on deaf ears. But if I am accountable to my brother beside me, in front of me, behind me, now when he says something it means a little bit more. That is what football is all about. It is the ultimate team sport. You can have 10 guys on the same page doing everything exactly right, and one guy gets selfish, or doesn’t do his responsibility, then it is a bad play and it hurts the whole team. And now what those guys are starting to see is, look I have to trust the guy beside me or behind me is doing his job, and he has to have that trust in me. And they know the only way you can have that is by working together.”
(On the pass rush affecting the entire defense)
“We just had that talk today. I have never blamed a defensive back for a long pass or giving up a whole bunch of yardage. Because we are the closest to the quarterback. So we affect everybody’s job. So we stop the run – we keep the linebackers free, their job is better. We get to the quarterback – and the defensive back’s job is better. And so with that type of responsibility we have to work hard and expect it from ourselves.
“We are the big brothers. We are the foundation. You build a house on a shaky foundation, I don’t care how many bells and whistles you put on it, it is going to collapse. We are laying the foundation.”
(On what he wants his players to get from him most)
“Don’t make football a science. Don’t make it bigger than what it is. Football is a sport based on pure fundamentals. Tackling, running, blocking using good technique. A Mercedes is still a Mercedes whether you have rims on it or not. It is still a very expensive car and it gets you to where you want to go. We don’t have to have all the bells and whistles. We want to play technique-sound football. We want to be true to the game.
“I don’t do a bunch of drills, I do what helps you in the game. The basics: get off, hands, knowing what is about to happen to you before it happens. Just line up and whip the guy in front of you. And I have told them before, if you do that, I am going to be happy. You are going to win some, and you are going to lose some. Just make sure you win more than you lose.”
(On how a bigger player like Vita Vea helps the Bucs)
“I played next to Kris Jenkins who is 360 pounds in this same style defense. Size don’t mean nothing in this game. Aaron Donald is the best linemen in this game and he is what, 285? So size don’t mean nothing to me. I don’t get caught up in size. Vita is a football player. That is all we look for in the draft. We look for the best football player that can help the Tampa Bay Bucs get better and hopefully win some games.”
(On his impressions of Gerald McCoy)
“Well first off, Gerald is a good kid. He is well respected, is very respectful. He works hard. He wants to be great. I had a talk with Gerald, now you have to work on it. Now you get to a point of being 30 years old, it isn’t about your ability anymore, it is about playing the game up here (taps his head). I sat down and watched film with him and told him the way you are going to improve your game is mentally evolve your game even more. And he wants it. He is hungry for it. Because for nine years, or eight years, he has done the same thing, been successful but has it showed up for the team? So now I am challenging him personally to go to that next level. Not get stronger. Not get faster. Play the game up here. Know what they are going to do to you before it happens. Be smarter about it. Embrace your teammates around you and watch it grow. I don’t need a Superman, I need a bunch of Super Friends.”
(On a double-digit sacker this year)
“I don’t care about double-digit sacks, I care about double-digit wins.”