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After a disappointing Week 1 loss to New Orleans, Tampa Bay has bounced back with two important victories, including a 28-10 win over a injury-plagued Broncos team on Sunday, to put the Bucs at 2-1 to start the year.

Sunday was a game where the defense allowed just 10 points while racking up two interceptions and six sacks and the offense went the distance without committing a turnover of their own.

Head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the media following the Bucs’ Week 3 win, read the full transcript below.

(Opening statement)
“Great job by Pat O’Connor, blocking that punt and getting us started. A heck of a job by Chris [Godwin] getting it in the end zone and turning that into a touchdown. We’ve started fast in every ball game. We get a lead and we have to develop a better finish, I won’t say a killer instinct, just a finish. We came out and we answered, when they scored, we scored. But again, way to many penalties offensively. Second- and first-and-20 every series it seemed like. I liked the way we ran the ball and finished it out but defensively, we did a heck of a job other than that third-and-20.”

(On if Shaq Barrett looked like himself again today)
“There was no doubt, you knew he was going to have a big day. They tried to single-block him, we kept pressuring up the middle which was getting him singled and people were getting home from everywhere.”

(On no turnovers from the offense)
“I thought that we improved that way, for sure. We had the ball and moved it real well in the first half but we missed some [easy plays] though and we’ll work on those. It’s still timing and seeing guys but I like the way we played.”

(On if he’s pleased by the pass blocking of the offensive line)
“No doubt. Tom [Brady] felt good and thought that he could get a ball open somewhere and got sacked, they were coverage sacks. I thought that we were slow to the running game early but then we opened it up better.”

(On Sean Murphy-Bunting’s and Chris Godwin’s injuries)
“We’ll have to wait and see. It’s never good to injure yourself and then fly for three hours, four hours, whatever it’s going to be getting home so we’ll have to wait and see.”

(On the importance of getting Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard involved)
“Again, this was one of those teams that was going to double-team Mike [Evans] the entire game and that opens it up for the guys inside. So I really liked the way that we improved in that area, getting the guys open and catching the ball and delivering it to them. If they’re going to double Mike, those guys have to show up.”

(On if that “killer instinct” is an attitude thing)
“I think that it’s just playing a little bit, not scared but not wanting to mess up and give the team something to get back in the game. I didn’t like the way that we finished the first half defensively, giving them that touchdown. That was not our style. Offensively it’s just making plays. There were plays to make, we just didn’t make them. We’ve got to go back and look at why we didn’t make them. But the finish is the entire team. We got the turnovers and we’ll get more points.”

(On Mike Edwards and the other players who stepped up after injuries)
“[Antoine Winfield Jr.] has played the nickel since he got here so it was no big deal for him and Mike’s been ready for his shot. It was great to see him come up with that big interception because he’s a guy who’s a ball hawk and he should come up with plays like that.”

(On if Winfield looked like a rookie, how much he’s grown on Arians)
“The first week he got here, I mean you saw it and he’s just going to continue to make plays wherever we put him. He’s a five-year vet mentally just because of where he came from but his maturity level is off the charts. Very, very similar to Tyrann Mathieu and Budda Baker.”

(On if the defense has reinforced Arians’ excitement heading into the season)
“There’s no doubt. We built this team on defense, Tom was just the icing on the cake. When we came into the offseason last year it was like, let’s keep this defense together because it can be special and then all of a sudden Tom was like the icing on the cake for us offensively.”

(On the number of weapons the Bucs have to rush the passer)
“I’ve been with some really good defenses and that probably goes back to the early Steelers when I was with them, all four linebackers were really good pass rushers. So the inside guys are trying to out-do the outside guys and the outside guys are doing a good job when the inside guys are blitzing in coverage. All four of those guys, and really you throw [Anthony] Nelson in there who’s having a good [year] and then our secondary also. Our defense is built on multiple pieces being able to do a lot of different things and I’ll put our guys up against anybody.”

(On the importance of Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh)
“Today it was good to see Vita get his shot in there, Will [Gholston] got after them again, but yeah, our interior guys are rushing really well and they’re pushing them to the outside guys. So it’s a heck of a good unit and whoever is getting singled, I like their chances.”

(On where this defense is from good to great)
“I think we’re good, getting to very good. We’ve got to finish that half. We can’t give up that touchdown to finish out the half and be great. Making more plays. I think we’re growing and growing but I’d say we’re good right now.”

(On the play from the Bucs’ safeties)
“I don’t think they’ve let us down this year at all. They’ve been playing really, really good every game. I can’t think of any of those guys who has had a bad game yet and Antoine is only going to keep growing. Jordan is Jordan. He’s a good blitzer, he’s a good center fielder. Then Mike Edwards is Mike Edwards. When you lose Sean, nobody missed a beat.”

(On if this was Brady’s most impressive game)
“I think so far for sure. We put a lot on him today and he delivered.”

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11 months ago

I think when BA looks at the game film he’s gonna kick Donovan Smith in the ass.

Reply to  76bucsfan46
11 months ago

That’s a fact right there. He gave up a few pressures and even another sack if I’m not mistaken. He’s played like garbage so far this year

Reply to  chefboho
11 months ago

Wirfs gave up the sack that Chubb got, not Smith.

Call it a coverage sack if you want to, but it was a free run at Brady.

11 months ago

The Defense is really coming along. I like the team effort with multiple contributions from many different players! That was fun to watch. Driskel was running for his life out there and it must have felt like they were coming from everywhere… because they were. I think Defense is a bit ahead of Offense now. Just a bit. When BL learns how to call Brady’s game and he settles in then our offense is really going to be special. I think BA hit the nail on the head in terms of Brady’s play. He did play well today. Getting better… Read more »

11 months ago

That was a dominant performance from the D, the kind of outing we used to expect every week back in the heyday of the great Bucs defense of the late ’90’s early ’00’s. Dominant, swarming, high motor, speed from every unit, opposing QB’s harassed at every turn and on the run. I really agree with BA and think this defense has a chance to be truly great. Individually, I have to give a shout-out to Winfield Jnr. I can never recall seeing a rookie DB play with such poise and impact. Sensational young player. On offense, another excellent first half,… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by compewterpirate
11 months ago

BA was right when he said the defense was good but not very good or great. Right now they remind me a little of the Patriot last season. A good defense that may lead to overhype because they beat up on bad teams. I don’t think they have peaked defensively but at the end of the day this offense will need to be markedly improved for them to beat the good teams. I don’t think the defense is gonna be good enough to carry them against teams like GB. We will see though. Just having an offense that can sustain… Read more »

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