Returning to practice after the bye week, the Bucs had some changes at practice after a week of self scouting. The most notable difference was the return of edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, who had missed all of this year recovering from a fractured vertebrae suffered during an offseason car accident.

Bruce Arians spoke with the media on Tuesday and discussed the affect that Pierre-Paul can have on the team by returning to the locker room. Arians also addressed the rumors of a potential trade of tight end O.J. Howard and the report that the Bucs may move on from quarterback Jameis Winston at the end of season.

Here is a full transcript of Arians’ press conference from Tuesday.

Opening Statement
“Good start to the week. It’s always fun when you tell the guys to have a glorified walk through and they’re running around full speed, that’s always a good sign. Heck of an opponent, this team is probably the most physical team we’ve faced all year in both lines of scrimmage. It’ll be a heck of a challenge.”

On taking this week to self scout and what he looked at
“Without giving away gameplan stuff, it’s moving certain people around. The biggest thing about self scouting is finding your tendencies throughout the season and see if you can make them to your advantage, both sides of the ball. No major changes.”

On what he’s addressed with the captains of the team heading into this week
“It’s more with everybody. It’s about our preparation, making better adjustments in game, halftime and on the sidelines, studying a little more film. Just all about preparation.”

Week 16 Injury Report
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On how Jason Pierre-Paul looked returning to practice
“He looked good, he looked fine. He’s healthy, he had a heck of a practice today.”

On if Pierre-Paul was able to have contact
“Oh yeah, he had contact last week with pads on.”

On if he was able to watch Pierre-Paul at all last week
“I was out there, it was good. He was a little rusty but it was good.”

On what it says about Pierre-Paul that he’s able to come back from this injury
“He’s come back from some serious stuff. He’s kind of a freak of nature as far as healing. He has a great belief in his faith and I think sometimes that helps heal you.”

On what it means to get Pierre-Paul and help with leadership
“It’s a huge, huge thing because he has been one of the vocal leaders for a long time. Not having his presence, I can already feel the difference. Obviously he’s feeling his way football wise, but last week going out to practice, coaching, doing all those things, giving young guys advice, it’s fantastic.”

On when he thinks they’ll have Pierre-Paul back in a game
“We’ll see.”

On how Donovan Smith has played this year
“I think he’s been really solid. He’s really picked up his run game stuff and he’s usually got the best pass rusher and he’s held his own all season.”

On if he’s in a position where they need to develop a third receiver with Breshad Perriman out
“Getting him back today, it’s a whole different look. Big fast guy out there that’s played well for us, he hasn’t gotten a lot of targets but he’s played well. And developing Scotty (Miller), Justin Watson, now (Amara) Darboh, just developing some young guys, getting a physical guy in Darboh, a fast guy in Scotty, but just trying to find them and just continue bringing them along.”

Bucs TE OJ Howard – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs TE OJ Howard – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

On the reports that the Patriots were interested in O.J. Howard
“You might have to ask Jason (Licht) about that one. Bill (Belichick) didn’t call me.”

On if he sees his time of being buyers or sellers at the trade deadline
“That’s something Jason and I haven’t talked about yet, it depends on how much you’re offering. If it’s in our best interest, we’ll probably do something, but if it’s not, we’re not giving away guys for sure.”

On how he balances knocking off the rust off Jason Pierre-Paul with him also being a quick healer
“It’s how he feels, it’s how he’ll feel tomorrow after this practice. A lot will depend on how he feels Thursday after Wednesday’s practice in pads, and we’ll just judge it from there.”

On how important is this game in terms of deciding whether to be a buyer or seller
“This is a big one, this is a big one. We got to win some of these road games so these home games give us a chance to get into the playoffs. I can’t say we want to split on the road, but we need to win this one on the road for sure, and then hopefully grab another.”

On what he’s seen from Jameis Winston since coming back
“He’s excellent, had a good practice today. He’s had bad games before, he knows how to shake them off.”

On the report that the Bucs could be preparing to move on without Winston
“Good speculation.”

On what else he’s seen from the Titans
Another great running back. Derrick Henry’s a big, strong, fast, guy and he’s also a great screen runner. He’s got a lot of long passes on screens, so we got to handle their big strong receivers. Mike Vrable’s a hell of a coach, defensively they’re very, very complicated in their blitz schemes. It’s good to have the extra days this week.”

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On if the Titans’ defense is more complicated than their own defense
“Very similar.”

On how much does having the bye week let them evaluate what is and isn’t working
“I don’t like the word analytics, I still like to call it self scout. It’s something that you do very strongly that week and look at the success rate from everything from each formation to each personnel group, everything good, bad, ugly. Hopefully get rid of more of the ugly then good.”

On how much change can really be made on what they want to establish and what needs to be changed with what works and what doesn’t
“Not a lot. We start out, we want to run the ball, we want to stop the run, we’re doing both of those pretty well. Third down has been an issue on both sides of the ball, so address that. We talked a lot about our halftime adjustments. This past week we came out and stopped them but our offense didn’t go get points and that would have been the turn around in the game that we needed. Just play better those first five minutes of the third quarter.”

On starting Andrew Adams at free safety in London and how he did
“He was solid. He’s a good communicator, Mike Edwards tweaked his hamstring the last play of practice over in London, so he got his chance and he did really well.”

On the disparity of being first in the league against the run but last in the league against the pass
“It’s two-fold. It’s coverage and pass rush. Now that team’s are doing a lot more max protection, we’ve to do a better job of covering guys a little bit longer, and be a little smarter, be a little more physical back there.”

On if the max protections should help him from a numbers standpoint
“There’s no doubt, no doubt.”

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25 COMMENTS

  1. I guess they will wait for mathematical elimination from playoffs before doing something with Jameis if anything.
    Titans favoured by all oddsmakers at -2.5 I have it 50/50
    Titans defense one of the best offense so so

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  2. No clue which Buccaneer team is going to show up for this game. Going to a Gold Star Mother Banquet and will be recording the game. Hoping it will be a win. Go Bucs!

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  3. I’m with the coach he is not the problem!

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    Rating: +6. From 12 votes.
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  4. “…Just play better those first five minutes of the third quarter.”

    Yeah, sure, that’ll do it. Never mind the clueless GM and ownership, chronic neglect of the lines and a half decade of erratic play by the human turnover machine. Just fix that five minute bit after halftime and the rest will sort itself out.

    What’s that saying, oh yeah, it’s a Bucs life…

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    • In the middle of the season screaming about who we have and who our GM is when it can’t be fixed is probably a waste of words. So BA is giving you his in-season thoughts on what to do with what he has now.

      Apparently it wouldn’t matter he says from your perspective, huh?

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      Rating: +2. From 4 votes.
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    • Your proposal is to fire and replace the GM and ownership mid-season? Yeah, sure.

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  5. The Bucs problem with the offensive line started in the second half against the Saints when the right side of the line went out with injuries and the Bucs coaching staff didn’t make the necessary changes in the offensive play calling knowing Winston would have less time to throw.
    It seems pretty simple doesn’t it.
    The Jets didn’t do it either last night and it was notated by Booger (who despite the criticism he receives, I enjoy listening to} during the game against the Pats.
    Hopefully after a week of self evaluation, the Bucs will realize this and make the necessary adjustments.

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  6. I just gave you a thumbs up on your remark BucAss, Seemed very fair and rational.

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  7. Personel wise, this is has been a dreadful year. I had such high hopes for OJ Howard. Buc Coaching doesn’t know how to use him. Glad to see ROJO starting to emerge. The secondary is a huge letdown and once again, Hargraves looks great in preseason and below average in the regular season. I said it once before I will say it again, looking back, Gay is going to be our best draft pick this year. Both wonderful and tragic.

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    Rating: +4. From 8 votes.
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  8. Jameis Winston had a good year when Doug Martin ran for over 1000 yards. They need to stick to a ball control running game with play action passing like the Carolina game. Getting into a shoot out is going to be a loser. Byron Leftwich needs to figure it it out or give it up.

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    Rating: +11. From 13 votes.
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    • I know, right. How simple is this – run the ball so keep the heat off your QB, wear down the other guy.

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      Rating: +6. From 6 votes.
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      • Most of those sacks 10 days ago were on Jameis. He’s got to stop taking sacks he can avoid either by movement or dumping it off to his RB. They need to run to setup play action, and then do better with play action.

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  9. Bucs are going to start Jameis all of the last 10 games unless he gets hurt. It’s not about Possibility of playoffs or being out of it mathematically. They are going to do what they said from day 1 and evaluate him this year and see if he is the guy and after those 10 games he will either get long term deal (doubtful at this point unless he really plays good last 10 games) franchise tag him one more year to be sure if want to dump him or not (this is most likely scenario) or dump him after 10 games (doubtful unless plays horrible many games and defense and o line improves) They aren’t giving up after London a game in which this whole team and the o line especially played like total shit and nobody could succeed.

    All the Winston haters and trolls can hope and pray he tanks but I want him to succeed and this team to succeed so not starting over again. Have no faith they can pick anyone better either. Lol.

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    • Although I do not like Winston I agree with Fredster they will most likely stick with Winston win-lose no matter how he plays, I sure Winston will continue to play the same as last 4 years.
      Benching Jameis will be admitting that they are as stupid as everyone already knows they are but will postpone comming out of the closet of morons as long as possible.

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    • I’ve been a consistent Winston supporter and have not abandoned him. But is lapses have been really disappointing. I wanted him over Mariotta from day 1, and of the two Jameis is the guy that seems to have NFL QB talent – streaky, but talent nonetheless.

      That said, everyone take a look at all those one and two year QB’s that are struggling now – Darnold, Tribiski, Mayfield, Goff. Watson in Texas and Jackson in Baltimore look to be the best of the bunch up to now, but who knows. Point being there are no easy answers or quick fixes.

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      Rating: -1. From 5 votes.
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      • Trubiski and Mayfield are being labelled busts in Chicago and Cleveland. Only Watson has been relatively steady. Jackson is a freak but teams now have film and not sure he can be a franchise quarterback. You look around the league and you see just how difficult it is to draft a franchise quarterback.

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        Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
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      • I liked Mariota since day 1 over Winston, and that’s me being a FSU fan (although not a diehard fsu fan). His mechanics and passing motion reminded me too much of ,ironically, byron leftwich. We have suffered both on and off the field with JW. Mariota atleast tasted playoffs once. But injuries slowed him down too so I dunno. Trust me, I’m with u on that support and abandonment. I have 2 #3 jerseys in my closet and went against my purchasing a “player’s jersey rule”. What broke my hump was that 5INT game..

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        • Great, Mariotta is available – Tennessee has already moved on and Ryan Tannenhill has already massively outplayed him. Are you saying Allanh1 and Dman you want Mariotta now? Well the good news is for a 7th round draft pick you probably can get him now. Except the thing is, he has done no better than Winston and this year has not played well in nearly any game.

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          • No interest in Mariota back in the draft or now. Never believed he was an NFL starter. Jameis has the talent and at 25 may still make it at some point.

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          • Bucs stop, no.definitely dont want either of them now. In 2015, I was all for Mariota. Do you think that draft class, with 1 and 2 QBs picked can be talked as one of the worst hyped and flop drafts?

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        • Thanks Dman, Allanh1, get your points but glad you don’t want him – I was trying to make sense of your comments, that is all.

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  10. Everyone knew the history of Arians using tight ends as primary blockers, Howard is a player that should be used as a receiver first, Arians needs a lineman that can catch for the tight end.
    I personally like Howard and wish he was used correctly.

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    • BAB, feel the same way brotherman! Currently, hes my favorite offensive player and he is once in a generation type of TE. It would be a shame to see “brains” waste a talent like that on blocking..pfft.

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  11. When you have a weak offensive line, you have no choice but to max protect. Arians would love to use more of Howard. He’s not an idiot. He just doesn’t have the personnel. This off-season will tell you a lot about Arians.

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  12. We can still just as easily win every game as we could lose them. The hard part about this year is we want to win now but I’ve always seen our biggest improvement coming next year. After a year of seeing exactly what we have and a lot of contracts coming up next year, we will have a great chance of keeping who we should keep and bringing in what we need. We are still just as much in it this year as we could already be done, it all just depends on how much of the teams shows up each game. Time will tell, hopefully everyone really settles into the schemes on both sides for the back half here and see if we can make something happen.

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