Bruce Arians spoke to the Tampa media on Friday following the Bucs’ 20-14 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

It was a tough, one-score contest that all came down to a 4th-and-short with less than two minutes remaining. The defense stood tall, keeping the Panthers out of the end zone all night, and Jameis Winston had a much-needed rebound performance after the team’s loss to the 49ers last Sunday.

“After watching the film I was very, very pleased with how hard we played,” Arians said. “There’s the old saying that, whoever plays harder the longest will win games and I think it was true in that one. Was it perfect? By no means, but we made enough plays to win the ball game.”

Bucs LBs Lavonte David, Kevin Minter and Carl Nassib – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Game balls were awarded to Chris Godwin, Peyton Barber, Kevin Minter for stepping in and leading the defense, Vernon Hargreaves and Shaq Barrett.

Arians also added some good news on the injury front to rookie middle linebacker Devin White, saying that he was walking without a brace and that his return for Week 3 isn’t ruled out, but nothing is for sure yet. The MRI showed a grade one MCL strain for the Bucs’ first-round pick, according to Arians.

The defense has been the star of the show for the Bucs’ these past two weeks, allowing just one touchdown throughout the first two weeks. It’s night and day when compared to the defensive performances Bucs’ fans have become accustomed to in years past, but Arians isn’t surprised by the significant turnaround given what he’s seen from working with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

“I watched him do it in Arizona, and we knew we had talent and speed here, but he’s just an amazing teacher,” Arians said. “If you’ve ever had the privilege of being on the headset with him, he’s calling out the plays before they’re run and telling guys, ‘they’re coming.’ Sometimes we still don’t stop them but he’s telling them what’s happening. He’s very, very, very sharp.”

The run game has also seen improvements, specifically when running a zone blocking scheme, with Ronald Jones having the best performance of his career in Week 1 and Barber taking 23 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. Despite all of the talent that the team has out wide, Arians insists that the Bucs are now a run-first team.

Bucs RB Peyton Barber
Bucs RB Peyton Barber – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

“I think Harold [Goodwin] and Joe [Gilbert] do a great job with those guys,” The Bucs’ head coach said. “They’re always harping and harping on technique, we don’t need to ask for effort. We can finish better and once we start finishing better I think we’ll get even better runs but it’s just solid coaching and knowing that we are a run-first team.”

Another interesting point Arians touched on was the penalty the Bucs took after the coaching staff called two consecutive time outs, that pushed the Panthers to fourth down with less than a yard to get, insisting that there was some confusion between him and Bowles and that they were lucky to make a play after that.

“It’s fourth down, let them come up and show us what you’re doing, and we call a time out,” Arians said. “Todd didn’t know I had already called a time out and I got caught up in the heat of it. We got dumb ass luck, that’s what it was. We put them in short yardage and they changed the play. Not that we wouldn’t have stopped the other play but we’re really lucky it wasn’t a first down.”

 

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35 COMMENTS

  1. Bucs are more of a run first team due to necessity because of the tackle play IMO. Factor in that the TE’s are staying in to block more often just like in Koetter’s offense and it is clear that Bucs need to keep adding talent at the OT spot heading into the next off season. Hard to use Brate and Howard as pass catchers when you can’t trust either OT to be on an island.

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    Rating: +22. From 24 votes.
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    • Agreed, I really want to see nothing but Oline in the first 3 rounds of the draft this year and maybe an addition or 2 in FA

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      Rating: +10. From 12 votes.
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      • Bucs need DT, DE next year too. One year deals everywhere. Allen, Suh, Nacho, Barrett, and Nassib on one year deals. JPP has two years remaining, but will he come back or be the same?

        OT, DT, DE would suit me for rounds 1-3

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        Rating: +13. From 13 votes.
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        • true, but I’m really hoping we lock up Shaq and Nassib for multiple years. Suh probably has another good year or 2 in him too

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          Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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          • Nassib is like a zombie in a movie…powerful enough to break through a wall, but able to be eluded if you move even a little bit. too stiff and too slow to be a quality starter despite his strength and motor. he’s a situational guy and the bucs are probably praying for JPP to recover on the most optimistic timeline possible so Carl can flourish as a situational guy

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        • I agree 1000% with you here Big S. I thought our Bucs should have concentrated on a DE And the O line for this season. Shore up both lines. A great pass rush is invaluable. I do believe this season will reveal to Arians what this team is sorely lacking. And he will have it next season.

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          Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
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  2. No such thing as an ugly win, even in as sloppy and ugly a game as what happened last night. I’ll take that W any day of the week. Here’s hoping going forward we fix these technical issues we seem to be going through because that game should not have been as close as it was at the end. Jameis threw 2 dimes to Mike and Perriman that both should’ve been TDs. Fingers crossed that our strong defensive play continues and we route the Giants next Sunday!

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    Rating: +16. From 16 votes.
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  3. Can’t we rotate TE Tanner Hudson in the offense? I’m not saying to not play O.J. I’m just saying can’t we put Hudson in the rotation to give O.J. or Brate a breather? I think it will be really exciting if the offense can put it together at the same time as our defense is playing well. Time will tell. Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +11. From 13 votes.
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  4. You know who didn’t make enough plays to win the ballgame?

    Carolina DT Gerald McCoy : 1 tackle, 3 assists, 0 sacks

    Gerald finally helped Tampa win vs. Carolina!!

    +43
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    Rating: +41. From 45 votes.
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    • McCoy excuse cannon : Prepare to fire!!

      He is surrounded by 1st round defensive linemen! Kawaan Short, Dontari Poe, and Brian Burns.

      He has MLB Pro Bowl Stalwart Luke Keuchly calling defenses and making plays behind him.

      Fantasy stud(lol) Peyton Barber outgained McCaffery by 45 yards on the ground and scored a TD. With Tampa’s O LINE on the ROAD in a NATIONALLY televised game!

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      Rating: +27. From 31 votes.
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  5. I hope RoJo is okay, it sounds like he is….much respect to Peyton Barber for banging his body into the defense over and over again and always fighting for extra yards, but the team could use a little more explosiveness if the run game is going to be their calling card. At this rate it’ll take the team 35 carries to break the 100-yard mark in a game. Last time we lived and died by the run we had much more fascinating RBs to appreciate in Alstott and Dunn

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    Rating: +4. From 10 votes.
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    • I was very impressed with how hard barber ran. There are backs With more ability, but the man gives everything he has

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      Rating: +15. From 15 votes.
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  6. After last weeks game we were drafting a QB in the first round. We won a game, but it’s only one game. A game that if Cam hits some guys who are wide open, and if they don’t try a bone head play at the end, we could’ve easily lost. We’ve seen Jameis play well, and God awful. The knock on him has been his up, and down play, and that’s what we’ve seen these last two games. There’s no doubt our defense is better, and the coaching is better, but we have a long way to go before we know what we got with this team. Let’s hope we keep pointing in the right direction. Like we shouldn’t have lost our heads over last weeks loss, let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this win. We started 2-0 last season, and we saw how that turned out.

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    Rating: -5. From 23 votes.
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    • BIG thumbs up on this one! There was definitely noticeable improvement on both sides of the ball in game 2, but a better game doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve shaken off all the bad play. They just need to keep the nose to the grindstone and continue to fine tune the areas where they’re weakest.

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      Rating: +5. From 11 votes.
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    • Hard to say if Cam was better we would have lost. What is more accurate throws led to a couple INTs by our Defense? What if they did manage a TD and changed our game plan to go down and get another. You can’t say if this and if that then things would be different. The results happened because of how things went and there’s no telling if it would be any better based on one aspect of the game. Our Dline our a lot of pressure on Cam which hurt his accuracy as well.

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      Rating: +2. From 8 votes.
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    • You don’t think Todd Bowles’ defense got into Newsome’s head? We just lucky? You really aren’t a fan of this team at all.

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      Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
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  7. Howard has been pretty bad although he made couple plays against panthers. Hopefully now all the lets trade Brate talk will stop. Having two is great not only for injury but also because honestly Howard is nothing but potential so far. He hasn’t balled out even one whole season.

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    Rating: +3. From 9 votes.
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  8. Surfer it’s a New system and we still have issues on O line and big issues with their penalties. I can guarantee you only stupid fans were ones talking about drafting a QB after one game not Arians lol. The whole offense played like shit against Niners.

    Agree Winston has had ups and downs but last 7 games last year were solid so with better coaching, run game. And defense he will be fine imo. We won’t know until close to end of year on him and he’s not going to go anywhere before then for sure.

    Go Bucs!!!

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    Rating: +14. From 14 votes.
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  9. While Tampa calling back to back time outs Was unbelievable, the first time out actually saved a touchdown in my opinion. when they lined up you could see that The panther receiver had Single coverage to the right side with no one giving support in that half of the Endzone. It was a quick thinking by Arians That probably saved the game for us.

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    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
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    • BA did not say anything in post game conference to support your opinion. He stated he did not realize the DC had already called timeout. Which is lack of awareness & communication which in excusable in my opinion.

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  10. Good win. Trench play on both sides of ball has vastly improved. We need a true #1 CB, Vernon got abused by #10 all game. We also need OT, RG, DE,DT. Thru the draft & free agency. Hopefully The new accountability standards our head coach preaches will hopefully result in consistent play. However the boneheaded back to back timeout calls, could have cost us the game from the sidelines. Makes the accountability culture a hard sell. I might be wrong but I don’t remember another time we have committed that penalty in over 40 years, & we have had some real doozies for head coaches. The media & fans should not let him off the hook, 0-2 would have probably ended our season in Sept. Bad sideline situational football, whole lot harder to earn locker room respect,than it is to lose the locker room. We should hear from him on how he will not make that blunder ever again.

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    Rating: -9. From 11 votes.
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    • The difference with Arians making this “mistake” is that he has held himself accountable.

      For you to say “Makes the accountability culture a hard sell.” shows a lack of awareness to what is actually happening. I don’t think Arians is letting himself “off the hook”.

      You may want to re-evaluate your hard-line and over the top stance.

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  11. Pick6, surprised you are wasting you pro level scouting expertise on us morons out here.
    Why don’t you try and peddle your skill to a pro team.
    Guys like you crack me up. Trying to sound like a pro scout in between handing out pick up orders at a drive through.
    Do us all a favor.
    In the immortal words of Jack Nickolson, “Go sell crazy somewhere else, we’re all stocked up here.”

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    Rating: -1. From 11 votes.
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  12. I will say nothing comes easy for our Bucs and they keep it interesting. Missed Field Goal, Refs Suck, Perriman not catching a perfect TD Pass and back to back time outs to which i woke my wife up screaming at the TV. All this and they still found a way to win on on the road in the division. You can see this team is starting to learn how to win and they are definitely buying what Bruce is selling.

    Coaching matters in this league. I think we are seeing that immediately.

    The Defense is legit. Todd Bowles is a mastermind and has these guys flying around playing confident. I was hoping for a top 20 defense i will say we will be top 15 based on how they are playing. Major Improvement.

    Really like the balance the offense is playing with and this really helps Winston. Still think Leftwich is learning on the fly and hope he improves in the play calling in certain situation. Its still a learning process on the offense.

    This team needs a RT Dotson has seen better days. The oline is serviceable.

    I have been in Winston corner form day 1 but after last week i can’t and won’t defend him any longer. However he played well Thursday. if we can have that Winston we will win a fair amount of games. Key is not to put him in situations where he feels its all on him. That’s when the turnovers start.

    We really dominated this game and should of won going away but it is very encouraging. Keep stacking wins boys. GO BUCS.

    Oh Yeah McCoy was McCoy all bark no bite. Did his typical i will make one play in first half think i am the best DT in the league and disappear when the game in on the line. Thanks for the bone head penalty we got you. This team will not miss him one bit and the decision they made was the correct one. Nice guy okay player. Enjoy your 0-2 with Cam.

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    • Excellent points Last Fan.

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  13. I think for the first time in a long time… I felt like we were going to win with 7 or 8 minutes to go. I love our coaching staff. I truly do. I hope BA sticks around. Godwin is going to have a monster year in the slot, mostly because Winston can’t throw the deep ball, but…ehh. Hargreaves made the best play on the 2 yd line there in the end,that I have seen a Buc defender make in like..10 yrs. Wallowing around on the bench for all these yrs, Hargreaves alone shows how bad our coaching staff was for all those yrs. He’s great. And a a Gator fan… I knew he was. Our D actually looks pretty darn good. I still don’t think we are very good. Cam Newton was the reason we won because he was absolutely terrible, but we aren’t horrible, and I am genuinely excited that I think in a couple of yrs, we can probably be pretty good, with a new QB and some decent o linemen that aren’t turnstiles. Positives boys. Things are looking up. Not a great game, but we took advantage of things in the game like good teams do, and eeked out a W. Lot of positives Thursday night.

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    Rating: -4. From 8 votes.
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  14. So excited to be chatting about a division road win in prime time no less. Hopefully they’ll build on this and come out with a bit of swagger next week vs the Giants. What I did see that gives me a bit of reservation yet is several Cam completions to receivers down filed that were wide open. There’s speculation about Cam’s surgically repaired shoulder and these are names like Curtis Samuel, not Julio Jones. For this team I’m hoping a bit of confidence goes a long way. Let’s make it two in a row!

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    Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
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  15. You can’t stop every pass thrown. Sometimes coverage and matchups go in the Offenses favor. Overall the Defense is holding up very well and when coverage matches up it is pretty tight and physical. So far.

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  16. We got the win, that’s all I care about. Now on to the Giants. Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
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  17. Bucs are playing hard for these coaches and that’s very apparent. Defense was in backfield of Carolina and getting penetration all game. I have not seen that in so long. Many years! Every pass is contested and they are swarming to ball. They blew a few coverages with Olsen but overall what a difference Bowles has made!!!!!

    Arians and Lefty need to get Brate and Howard going. Still thinking Evans has lingering effects of that illness? Man when they all get going this offense will be scary. Arians said this team will run the ball and they are. We have average at best O line and RB’s but running ball with new coaches. That tells me it was coaching why they couldn’t run ball before. Plus the D was always putting them behind so almost had to pass 50 times plus every game. That works very seldom in NFl.

    I am very impressed with the turnaround. There will be mistakes and it’s a young team for sure. If they stay healthy I can see them really surging second half of season.

    Go Bucs

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  18. I have rewatched the game about 4 times on game pass and number 19 looks worse every time. I’m feeling good about the team in general but I have serious concerns about Perriman. Todd Bowles might have been our best off season move, what a turn around on defense! I realize it’s early but damn, that D looks great! 50 and 93 haven’t been moved off the line yet this season, 58 is a flat out beast and 31 is my favorite Buc. He is constantly thumping dudes 60 lbs heavier, that boy gots the Dog in him!! Love it.
    GO BUCS!!

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  19. Go Bucs 72, there’s a reason Perriman has bounced around the league. So far he doesn’t look like a solid pick up. Jameis has better chemistry with Bobo, and Watson. Maybe the Bucs could also go with some three TE sets, letting Auclair stay in blocking, sitting Perriman some, and let OJ run some routes instead of helping Smith, and Dotson do their jobs.

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  20. With our Oline it seems more and more that our Interior Lineman are able to hold their own, which is allowing for more runs between the Tackles. It’s our Tackles that are struggling, Dotson more because of his age and Smith is more average. If we can Draft and bring in better Tackles this line could actually be Solid.

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  21. Was I the ONLY Buc fan who had trouble viewing… or listening on radio to the game? Gave up cable few years ago. Usually watch games on Hulu. I even have the NFL channel that it kept asking me for my Cable service provider, log in name and password… I was stuck in this never ending verification loop… missed the fricking entire game… didn’t feel like going to Hooters. Oh well… next game will be back on regular channel. Go Bucs!

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  22. Refs suck, per usual. BS block in the back, among many others. Winston managed the game well. D showed out. Hargreaves played like he was expected to play when drafted.

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