Now sitting at 3-7 the Bucs head to Atlanta for another divisional matchup, this time against a Falcons squad who is coming off of dominating victories over the Saints and Panthers to also put them at a 3-7 record through Week 11.

Bruce Arians spoke to the media on Wednesday before the Bucs look to get back on track with a win on Sunday.

(On O.J. Howard not playing up to his potential)
“It’s frustrating for him most, I think. He’s had opportunities, we try to fit him in the game plan every week and he’s had the misfortune of juggling a couple of balls this season and there’s still six games for him to get out of that funk.”

(On Howard not being targeted after his drop-turned-interception)
“Yeah, we liked Cam [Brate] in that situation a bunch so he got all the targets.”

(On if there are plans to get O.J. Howard coaching in sports psychology)
“That’s not up to me, that’s up to him. It’s available for all of our guys and they know it’s available so if they want to use it they can use it.”

(On if there is a longer adjustment period for certain players when learning a new offense)
“Oh yeah, totally. It happens all the time.”

(On the Falcons turnaround)
“Just watching the New Orleans film, when they beat them in New Orleans, it was a different group of guys. It was the same guys, but it was a different group of guys. There seems to be more energy, especially defensively up front for them. Their pass rush and their coverage seems to be syncing up.”

(On Ryan Jensen snapping the ball early on multiple occasions)
“[Winston] was ready, he just hadn’t said anything about snapping it, Ryan Jensen just snapped it.”

“Ryan just couldn’t hear, and instead of turning around to look he just snapped it. The same thing with the second one after we talked about it on the sideline. For a veteran player that’s inexcusable.”

(On the early snap issues happening at home)
“On the road we’d probably be in a silent count and I told them, if you can’t hear down there use a silent count, because there was a lot of Saints fans down in that end zone.”

(On third down inefficiencies)
“Mainly, too many third-and-longs. We’re at third-and-7 to 12 way too much, either because of penalties and negative plays.”

(On his feelings about the job Byron Leftwich has done as offensive coordinator)

“Ecstatic. I think he’s doing a heck of a job.”

(On the pressure it the defense puts on the offense allowing so many points)
“More pressure is put on our defense is when our offense gives the damn ball up inside the 20 to put our defense in the situation to give up all those points, so it’s not just defense. When you get the ball inside the 25 four times in three weeks, that’s not on the defense. They did a hell of a job two weeks ago of turning those into field goals, but this one was a touchdown on the first play.”

(On how often he has the urge to impact the play-calling)
“Not very often. The suggestions are made when we don’t have the ball or on a timeout, we just collaborate a little bit.”

(On receivers not getting separation and it leading to sacks)
“It’s a combination of bad blocking and not getting open. He’s done a good job the past three weeks of throwing the ball away. Some of it was on him trying to make plays early in the season and he’s finally adjusted to getting rid of the ball, some of it left handed. I’d rather see it right handed but he’s getting rid of it.”

(On if Winston needs to get rid of the ball quicker)
“Yes and no. The guys still have to get past the first down, to their depths. We’ve got to block a little bit better with our backs. I thought Dare [Ogunbowale] blocked pretty well but the rest of the guys didn’t block as well early in the ball game to allow him… our first third down, Chris [Godwin] is open, he’s ready to throw and [Ronald Jones] doesn’t get across quick enough to block his blitzer and he’s got to pull the ball back down and now he’s covered. Little things like that.”

(On going back to T.J. Logan after a nice pass for a first down)
“I never run the same play twice in the game in the passing game, I never have and I never will. Give the defense too much credit, they’ve seen it already.”

(On takeaways and giveaways)
“That game changes if Lavonte [David’s] toe isn’t that far out of bounds. It’s a game of inches but that turnover changes a lot of the makeup of that ball game. We’ve got to quit giving it away and when we take it away, get the damn things.”

(On Howard’s giveaway)
“It was huge, huge. Going down that many points that early and your game plan starts to slip away.”

(On Justin Watson)
“Right now he’s the five and he’ll play in certain situations but he’s the five.”

(On how realistic winning was immediately in Tampa Bay)
“Very realistic, we just haven’t done it on Sundays. It’s not a talent issue, it’s a performance issue turning the ball over.”

(On the biggest difference in turning this team and his Cardinals team around)
“We might have had five first- or second-year players on that team. It was a very veteran team with a very solid defense, they just didn’t have a quarterback. When Carson Palmer walked in the room it changed the entire outlook of the game for us. We had two rookie running backs play really well. Tyrann Mathieu was a rookie who was way beyond his years so we didn’t have too many young guys. Our first round pick broke his leg early, that hurt us, but it was more of a rebuild on offense than on defense.”

(On if the team needs some sports psychology across the board)
“No, it’s a fine line. Some kids need it today. I studied to be a counselor, some kids need counseling and some don’t. These kids today, they’re used to it, some need it.”

(On the importance of finding the third option at receiver)
“I thought Scotty [Miller] played a little bit better, he’s starting to develop and it’s about that time. Usually rookies it takes until Thanksgiving. Breshad [Perriman] is open. He’s not getting his opportunities very often but he’s doing his job. Our tight ends can do a better job, I thought Cam did a good job with his targets. That position, when they’re playing double zones, you’ve got to win inside like T.J. Logan did”

(On the investment on the offensive line and them struggling)
“I think, again, I don’t know if [all the sacks credited] are [Donovan Smith’s fault], sometimes we’re holding the ball back there and he gets credited with some, but overall I can’t say they’ve played poorly other than two snaps. I don’t ever anticipate something like that from those guys.”

(On how Scotty Miller’s speed compares to other players he’s coached)
“He’s probably eighth, ninth, 10th of some of the guys I’ve had. I’ve had some good ones.”

(On what’s disappointing him from his offense)
“Turnovers. The past five weeks. And defensively not creating enough. When we’re getting our hands on balls we’re dropping interceptions, fumbles are on the ground and we’re not getting them. They usually come in bunches so hopefully we’ve saved our share for the last six.”

(On the solution for Howard’s issues)
“Fundamentally, mentally. Just keep playing and getting better every day.”

38 COMMENTS

  1. On his feelings about Byron Leftwich as OC… “I’m ecstatic, he’s doing a hell of job.” I guess BA has his finger on the pulse of the fans! Because they think the same thing! Not! Wow! What he’s saying and what we r seeing is two very different things!

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    • My thoughts exactly…wtf Bruce???

      Is this early onset dementia we’re seeing?

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  2. BA isn’t the problem. Byron Leftwich isn’t the problem. Playcalling isn’t the problem.

    It’s player performance. Gerald McCoy had to go because of his performance. VH3 had to go because of his performance. This team needs players who step up and win on Sunday. Who’s next?

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    • Agreed. People here are having a “knee-jerk” reaction to the turnovers on offense, which is the player’s fault not the coach’s. Leftwich is not to blame as this is one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL, and one with nearly the most yardage. If they stopped turning the ball over they would be better. It is not the plays causing the turnovers, it is the players.

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  3. Bruce need a neurological evaluation.

    This man use to be brilliant coach, now he’s just an old man saying stupid shit. At the beginning of the year I was all in on BA, yet it’s clear now he’s worst Buc’s coach in 20 years.

    This roster is way too talented to be ranked outside the top 25 this year.

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    • A Phoenix Sports writer named: Adam Waltz
      Posted: Aug 17, 2016, That Bruce Arians was hospitalized for 3 days and talked about a minor stroke
      he talked about many health issues leading up to his retirement.
      I see signs in his behaviour in Tampa Bay this is not the same Bruce Arians that was on Amazon All Or Nothing 2016 season with AZ cardinals this guy now rambles at press conferences Bull Sh-t that no one believes, he is lying or he is a tick off in the head.
      Lots of people see it.

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      • Also makes sense why he is not calling plays

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  4. Only the Glazers,and Jason Licht can run an organization this poorly. They go from bad, to worse, to doesn’t make a difference who they hire anymore, you know they’ll suck. How is this guy an improvement over Koetter? Hired his buddies as coaches, lots of them, more coaches then any other team. Runs what looks like the same offense, but has a less experienced play caller. We’ve actually gotten worse. I don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel. The Glazers bought all in with Jason Gump, and Bruce almighty. They’ll give everyone next year at least.

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    • We can blame Licht and the Glazers for the mess that we’re in but we can’t fault them for not trying. Lovie Smith had to fired! Dirk Koetter basically fired himself! And I don’t think anybody expected Bruce Arians to be this incompetent! Arians has made a lot of missteps since coming here the biggest being Leftwich as OC. Who can argue that Todd Monken & Mark Duffner couldn’t have done a better job than this. The product that BA is putting on the field is right up there with what I saw under Raheem Morris with a less talented roster. I don’t think anyone saw this coming!!!

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      • I think the biggest mistake has been made has been the defensive coordinator.

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  5. Next year go Bucs.

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  6. “I never run the same play twice.” I may not but it sure looks like Leftwich does! Defense seems to know what’s coming just as I do when I’m watching the game! Wow! I’m speechless!

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    • This explains why Mike Evans had zero catches in 4th qtr of the Giants game. Janoris Jenkins was getting torched by Evans for 3 quarters and in the 4th no targets. I would put this right up there with Dirk Koetter “If I knew how to fix it I would”. I can see a situation where if this team keeps losing that Arians throws his hands up and resigns this year.
      The Tampa media/reporters unlike the New York media won’t hang you, They will just hand you rope and show where to jump!!

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    • I think you’re just seeing poor blocking.

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      • Did anyone other than me question why they were such a hurry to hire bowles after being fired in New York for running a bad defense anybody surprised his last place in the NFL not allowed to talk about it because they want to make him the next head coach

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  7. Hmm he’s “ecstatic with the play calling?” “O line hasn’t played poorly?“

    These press conferences in beginning of year were good and fairly honest for a head coach. Now it’s just turned to jibberish. Lol.

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  8. The Arians stroke stuff is bull shit btw…nice try. He was in hospital in 1985 with severe migraines that they THOUGHT could have been stroke. Since he went on coaching successfully decades after that this is non story BS.

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  9. Amazing that there was only one question about the Defense.

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  10. What’s all this crap about sports psychology??? Tell these guys to get to work or put them on the bench! There’s been no accountability for his performance. Howard is a pampered ‘Bama guy that just expects to be the man. But he’s not – start Cam.

    Oline? Not all their fault. It’s turnovers. And their QB is one of the most sacked and hit QB’s in the NFL. But it’s not their fault.

    Play calling? Ecstatic. Are you kidding me!!!!

    The problem – turnovers. Ahh – so it’s the QB’s fault. Well, then sit Jameis, workout Girff, trade #3 and get on with it.

    Oh, and about that defense…. no, I’m sorry, it’s the QB’s fault.

    Never mind….

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  11. What is amazing about not mentioning defense Horse? You think Bowels is biggest issue not the inexperience of secondary? Front 7 is good. Back end has too much inexperience.

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    • Fredster: just saying if you have all these young guys don’t overwhelm them; keep it simple and basic. If that’s what they’ve done so far, then yes we have a big problem with our defensive backs.

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  12. Where r the changes? Let’s try to mix things up a bit. I don’t understand? If one thing is not working then try something else. Atlanta Coach was about to be fired. He made a couple of modifications and now they r playing better. I don’t see many in game adjustments or halftime adjustments! This is a veteran staff yet we look clueless. Taking a timeout after having just taken a time out??? Something doesn’t smell right. How can Jameis be THAT bad if he has already thrown for over 3000 yards and we have 2 WRs that r number 2 and 3 in total receiving yards in the entire NFL? Lastly, do we need a couple of upgrades on O-Line… yes we do… but ur QB does not throw for over 3000 yards at this point in the season if that O-Line absolutely sucks! So what gives? We know the turnovers are killing us! That’s a given. But the problem runs deeper than that. This Offense puts up points! But, the Defense allows more! It has to be Coaching and the scheming that’s the problem. R the Coaches putting the players in the best positions to succeed? Why hasn’t the GM been doing his job? We have almost a max payroll and one of the highest paid O-Lines! Something doesn’t smell right. The fans r beginning to put their money where their mouths r and tuning out. They better make some substantial changes or they will be playing in a half empty stadium and most of those will be opposing team’s fans… oh wait a minute… that’s already happening. Break out the bags AGAIN! Right now, I just don’t know how u can favor the Bucs over any other team. I’m just saying…

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    • Do you think this could be a quiet tank job???

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  13. If I were Arians, I’d leave after this season. If he stays with these Bucs, chances are he’s gonna end up in worst condition back in the hospital. If I were the owners, Licht, Jameis and of course Mr Leftwich would follow.
    I’m looking at the remaining schedule and I see possibly..2 more wins. And I hear Jameis’s post-game PC’s and him repeating his mantra, I got to get better. He’s been sayin that now for what… 4 yrs now after every game.
    I’m pass depressed with this team. Its all..Whipping Post jokes for me to keep from crying out loud.

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  14. A couple thoughts:

    1) including sports psychology in the daily coaching routine is not up to Howard…Arians is the coach, Howard works for Arians, not the other way around. If I tell my staff to attend some training, it’s not “up to them” whether they go or not, I sign their pay checks so they go.

    2) I understand that Leftwich is “like his son”…no reporter is going to ask Arians a question about either Leftwich or Bowles and EVER get an answer other than they are “doing a hell of job”…stop asking.

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  15. The Tampa Bay buccaneers have the worst defense in the entire NFL. Period. Period catch up why is everybody afraid to talk about it the worst defense in the NFL game face Todd Bowles or can you have to score 32 points just to have a tie it’s in sane who hires a coach that ran a bad defense in the New York.Makes zero sense let’s go out and hire the worst coach in the NFL and have him run our defense and then be afraid to talk about it

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    • Here’s where I disagree BOB:

      Todd Bowles (and your dumb reference to NFL game face is just ridiculous) did not pick the players. He was given the players. This man is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken spit. I do agree that the defense is truly the Achilles heal for this Team followed by the Oline/QB but some of what he has done with the Dline has been good. All of the CB’s/Safety’s are truly rookies.

      No pass being given here but this is truly Licht’s F-up!!

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      • Yet we have tried to solve or shall I say play catch up with other teams offenses over the years when..We should have been doing what worked for us during our championship heydays…GREAT DEFENSE.

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      • The game face comment comes from pewter boys there are the ones that said he had a game Face not me they got rid of GMC Quan Alexander drafted for defensive players use the first pick on an undersized linebacker they get to drag 5 yards when he tackles know this defense belongs to Todd

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  16. Oof.. After hiring BA I was “ecstatic ” about the hire. But after hearing that he never runs a play more than once, and especially after he says that the Bucs OLine has been fine “except for 2 plays” is killing me. I still have faith… but it is fading.

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  17. Just win, no excuses, no talk, just win. Put together a game plan, execute, look like you know what you are doing AND JUST FREAKING WIN!!!

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  18. What a bunch of crap. Couldn’t make it to the end.

    Just read this, appears we haven’t been giving Winston all the credit he’s due –

    Since entering the league in 2015, Winston has a staggering 76 interceptions and 49 fumbles, by far the most by any player

    So maybe we’ve recovered about 30 of his fumbles?

    We’ve been counting down to 100 turnovers (Fire those cannons! And the QB and GM with them) but that’s 125 times he has given up possession of the ball. And counting.

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  19. I feel this is the worst Bucs team since they won the first pick.
    If they get blown away by Falcons could be a long time til next win.
    This has to be a tank job to move team to UK or there just plane morons………………

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  20. I’m for playing the hardest we can and try to win as many games as possible. This is the easiest way to produce winners.

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  21. How come no one asked:

    Bruce, how can Jamel Dean be the highest rated corner last week according to PFF, and then this week, AFTER you had released a cornerback, he was a healthy scratch? ZERO SNAPS…. I just don’t understand how this is possible. Its not like the corners on the field were playing so well that he just couldn’t get on the field. What more does a player need to do to earn playing time?

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  22. I know this is not a popular sentiment but change is due. The losing 10+ years now. Interest is waning and fans r frustrated again, just like they have been in the past. Another year of Jameis and the losing, and poor team performance next year just doesn’t sound like fun to this fan. Fire Licht. Let Jameis walk. Shed the one year players u don’t want to resign. Some of these mock drafts… I know, they mean absolutely nothing… have LSU QB Barrow and Jalen Hurts going late in first round. Meaning perhaps a decent project QB might be available early. Grab ur QB and then go OLine in 2 and 3. Sign a veteran free agent DB. Sign a bridge Free Agent QB for much less than the 27 mil one year Franchise that Jameis would have cost you. Let’s regroup with BA and let’s make some philosophical tweaks to Offensive and Defensive sides of the ball. At least in this scenario the fans are excited again about the unknown potential of the new Bucs. Is anyone truly excited to see Jameis resigned for Franchise 27 mil next year. Enough of the back and forth about Jameis and his turnovers! Let’s turn the page on the Jameis era. The Bucs had a QB before Jameis and we will have another QB after Jameis! The difference is the excitement that would return because of the unknown. Sadly, we pretty much know what to expect if next year is just ONE more year to see if Jameis is the guy. I want to be excited about my Bucs again. Haven’t been in quite some time! I’m just saying…

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    • My excitement has waned too ‘Baller and, by the looks of the stands, we’re not alone. I wish it wasn’t so, but I’m starting to think the Glazers may just be thinking about some major changes.

      Haven’t seen any draft publications yet, but Burrows looks like a top 5 pick to me.

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  23. Scubog, I hope you are correct and I’m not. I hope it’s not going to do what I think it might be which is a move to another state or country?

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