Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the Tampa media again after the second day of the team’s mandatory mini-camp, and once again sung the praises of his young defensive backs. He also discussed some of the injuries that the team has dealt with at the receiver position, where that unit has struggled, the process a quarterback goes through when learning a new offense and how the offensive line has progressed despite not yet getting into pads.

On the boxes he wants checked during every practice
“We put our guys in specific situations every day just so we become a smarter football team because you never know when they’re going to happen in the game. Today it was 22 seconds with no timeouts. Back at the eight with two timeouts. Every day it’s a different must-win-the-game scenario, offensively and defensively, so they can become a smarter team.”

On O.J. Howard
“A lot of potential. He’s an interesting guy because he can hold the point of attack and he’s obviously a mismatch on safeties and linebackers so you’re trying to use him in a lot of different ways. Matching up those three tight ends that we have should be a lot of fun in the fall.”

On his confidence in the offensive line
“It should be really good. We’ve had one or two guys miss quite a bit so the five guys haven’t been out there together, so I’d like to see some chemistry that way, but we’ve got plenty of time when we get the pads on to hopefully get that done. They’re seeing every blitz known to man this spring. You can see them start to see it and talk, where they’re coming from, and it’s not easy to pick up. I’ve been down this road with Todd Bowles before and it’s tough on the offense the first time around.”

On Jameis Winston having an OC who played in the NFL
“It’ll help some. I think I’ve had a lot of them come off and talk to me and I didn’t play in the NFL, I’ve coached it. I think it’s a respect thing. What did you see? What’s on this picture or video? Then we can communicate on an honest level and so far, so good.”

On how Suh will help prepare the offensive line
“A lot more in pads. Right now e’s a smart player so he’s going to get to training camp healthy but it’ll be one-on-one’s, it’s going to be a battle with all those things that he brings and his brains. You want to go best against best, which we’ll do a ton of in training camp, so they’ll all get better.”

On why he things the secondary is fixed and where he sees that progress
“The number of balls they’re touching, the communication, I’m hearing a lot of communication. We’ve got five corners, four safeties, and I don’t give a s*** if they’re rookies. These guys can play. They’re getting a lot of hands on the ball and doing things that veterans do because they listen, they’re smart, the veterans are helping them out and they’ve got good coaching.”

On the secondary playing with improved footwork
“We’re a man-to-man team but we mix in zone coverage so we have both principals defensively. It’s a battle right now and not enough receivers are winning one-on-one.”

On what he’s seen from Scotty Miller
“His competitiveness. He’s jumped out there and he’s made a play in every practice, whether it’s in the redzone or all the way down the field. We had a miscommunication today and hit him deep. He brings speed but he’s brought a lot of compassion to the game.”

On improving the pass rush
“You can create it a lot of different ways, it’s not a front four. I know Tampa’s traditionally had a front four for year. We don’t have a front four per se, we have a bunch of guys coming after the quarterback. It could be four, could be three, could be eight. It’s the unknown, that’s how you create a pass rush.”

On how the two practices creates an inherent competition
“There’s no doubt, if you’re on field two you want to put great stuff on tape and get over there, which has happened to a couple of guys due to injuries. It’s also great conditioning and football conditioning. You can run wind sprints all year but as soon as you get to camp you’re going to pull a groin because you’re not changing directions, so it gets us in great football shape.”

On Justin Watson
“He’s been on field one the whole time. He’s very position flexible, he’s got a great feel for zone defense and he’s won a bunch in man to man so he’s showing me he can play.”

On if it’s hard to run two practices when the roster is cut to 53 men
“In the regular season, no way, but in training camp, yes. We’ll have different days where we’ll have two seven-on-seven’s or two blitzes just to get off of the field faster and not be in the heat so long.”

On where that system has come from
“Coach [Bear] Bryant. We had four of them going on because we had 250 players out there back in the 70’s and 80’s.”

On how he views the interceptions and pass break ups on the defensive backs or quarterbacks
“It’s mostly [the defensive backs.] The quarterbacks learning new systems tend to look too long at where they want to throw the ball and guys are breaking and making plays. Sometimes it’s poor receivers. A quarterback trusts his receiver and if he doesn’t win… he’s the one-on-one, he’s got to win and a couple of them aren’t that way but the defensive backs are playing well.”

On Matt Gay
“He’s got a lot of range. When he doesn’t try to kick it too hard he’s pretty consistent so it’s a very good competition going.”

On the impact of missing guys like Breshad Perriman or Mike Evans in practice
“Breshad, he put on a different colored jersey so he really only missed two days. Mike’s missed about five now. Jameis misses it more than they do. It does give other guys an opportunity but we need to see those guys with Jameis. He’s learning with guys he’s never played with so some of that, ‘I stared at him too long because I had no idea where this guy was even going,’ goes on too.

On Sean Murphy-Bunting
“Very, very mature, very, very bright guy. All those guys we drafted are very bright, very mature and picked it up extremely fast which is unusual for rookies, but these guys are all very, very mature players.”

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like it’s coming along well! Obviously pads aren’t on but in a new scheme on both sides of the ball, every day is learning… Training Camp is gonna be fun to watch…

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  2. It’s great that the rookies are playing well but have there been any plays made from Carlton Davis, MJ Stewart or VHIII? You know, the guys we drafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds the past few years. I think its funny that people claimed VHIII was bad because the scheme didn’t fit him, well its OTAs in a press scheme and everyone seems to be coming up with the football except Mr. 1 career INT.

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  3. I really like listening to Bruce Arians answer the questions from the media. His answers are direct and honest. That is a refreshing change. He isn’t blowing smoke up anyone’s ass about these guys. He talks about the players who are being PLAYERS and not “PLAYAS” as Jon Gruden might have called them. Respect is EARNED through play, not reputation or draft status.

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  4. I’ve never heard a Bucs coach so positive about the team’s effort and progress. MAYBE Raheem but he was just talking out of his ass. I think it’s great as it builds confidence and makes the team think they are coming along together and believe in one another. Dirk was always saying “too early to tell, we have a long ways to go” which is the way of most coaches. But that shit hasn’t worked in Tampa and when you are a roster full of players who haven’t had any success in the past 10 years, hearing how much more work you need to do from your coach via the media can’t be a positive thing. Loving it so far!

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  5. So based on all of this it sounds like Murphy Bunting is a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl, sure fire All Pro.

    Guy hasn’t even put on pads yet or faced Drew Brees once, gone up against Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley. Look, I like what we are doing, but enough with the hype. Feeling like the PR in Pewter Report is turning into a PR arm for the Bucs. If I want that kind of reporting I’ll just go to the Bucs website.

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  6. It’s an article of Quotes, Dman. How is PR spinning this?

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  7. I am just wondering who is the odd men out in our Secondary. And if Justin Evans is seriously hurt, will we have even one player with more than a year in the NFL? ( I still think they trade or cut Hargraves.)

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  8. @dman

    I agree that the hype with the rookie DBs is a bit much now lol. I want to hear about the other portions of the team and their progress.

    Like for example, Arians shared the progress ROJO has made as a pass catchers. Spence looking faster off the ball. The staffs hope of Cappa taking the next step.

    Liedtke has been playing exclusively at center with the 1s with Jenkins out with a back injury.

    Watson has been playing with the 1s the entire off season so far.

    Cichy and Bond have been making progress according to Arians.

    Lots of nuggets of information that I think is being lost in the shuffle due the hype with the rookie DBs. In fact, D. White’s impact on the field is being overshadowed by the hype with the rookie DB’s lol.

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  9. @alldaway Exactly my point. I would like to hear how the Line is coming together with new offense – how has the scheme changed and how do our guys fit. Would be interested in this kicker and how he’s competing vs. Santos. Read a comment that Arians made that as long as the guy doesn’t swing for the fences each time he’s pretty accurate. So how does Santo look. It’s early and I’m nit picking I guess. Just feeling like PR is pushing a lot of puff pieces…..

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  10. Arians just answers the questions he’s asked. The youth of the defensive backfield is glaring. He has to be positive about them because they really have no other choice. Unless they want to scavenge broken vets off the waiver wire and overpay them for a few healthy games over a season.

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  11. I agree with Arians on the maturity/smarts of the rookies. Just listening to their interviews compared with some other top draft picks around the league, the Bucs draftees stand out for character and intelligence. Pretty much right down the line, from White to Beckner. That’s unusual. But they seem to be pulling White out of the spotlight a bit, so it doesn’t go to his head. He was starting to get close to Cam Newton “icon and entertainer” territory. But I think he’s grounded enough to avoid that.

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