Head coach Bruce Arians was visibly upset multiple times throughout the Bucs’ 31-24 loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, specifically involving a handful of plays that he believed were miscalled by the officiating crew.

One such play occurred in the first quarter as the Saints’ return man, Deonte Harris, fumbled a punt that appeared to be recovered by the Bucs’ tight end Antony Auclair. The play was initially ruled a recovery for New Orleans and after a challenge from Arians was upheld. In second half, Michael Thomas seemed to get away with offensive pass interference with Vernon Hargreaves in coverage, a play that was once again upheld despite the challenge from Arians.

Arians spoke to the media about the outcome, as well as his thoughts on the officiating, following the game.

(Opening statement)
“Obviously disappointed with the outcome. I think the game came down to third downs, our inability to get off the field and our inability to stay on the field. A little better pass protection for us, offensively, getting into more manageable third downs. Defensively we’ve just got to make plays and we didn’t make them.”

(On if Thomas was beating man or zone coverage specifically)
“It was both, man and zone. We just did a poor, poor job of covering him. He’s a big, physical guy and we know he’s going to push off so you’ve just got to be more physical than him.”

(On if Thomas’ play against Vernon Hargreaves was offensive pass interference)
“If that’s not, I don’t know what the hell is. A two hand shove, it knocked the guy backwards. They said they were hand fighting. They were hand fighting but that doesn’t knock the guy backwards.”

(On the referee’s explanation for not overturning the call and possession on the fumbled punt)
“Just what they said, it was a non-clear recovery. Baffling.”

(On Mike Evans’ lack of production)
“It was a poor job on our part. We moved him around, not enough. We were rolled to him doing things we’ve seen. We should have gotten a ball to him at the end and didn’t and he was open twice and we got sacked. We’ve just got to do a better job of moving him around.”

(On the Saints scoring to end the half and then scoring on the first drive of the second half)
“Anytime you get a two-score like that it’s going to be huge. We talked about that at halftime, this is the third time we’ve come out after halftime and failed to get them off the field. It’s a trend. Maybe I’ll start deferring, we’ll see. We’ve been doing a pretty good job with the ball to start games, I like that, but defensively we’re just not answering the bell coming out of halftime.”

(On Devin White)
“He just wasn’t ready and he’s too great of a young player to put out there if he’s not ready. He’s got too good of a future.”

(On if the secondary was just not quite good enough this game)
“We weren’t today. We have been at times but we still are too soft. We’re too soft. I don’t know any other way to put it. When we’re in press man… Now, we’ve got some guys that are getting after it but we’ve got some guys that are just soft.”

(On if the offensive line was why the Bucs couldn’t get any sacks on the day)
“I think that was a huge part of it. We were close a couple of times and let him get out.”

(On if the calls from the officials were just calling a tight game)
“No, they blew the call. It’s simple. It was a clear recovery on a fumble. Luckily we get a ball bounce, get an interception and score on it but he came out of the pile with the ball and they knew it before they went to replay. It’s all coming from New York.”

(On Scotty Miller)
“We knew Scotty was going to get one-on-one so it’s just trusting him him to win. I think it was a feeling out process, do I really trust this guy yet? He hasn’t caught a pass yet. That’s what it looked like when we were throwing him the ball. Then all of a sudden it’s like, OK, we trust him now and it’s a little bit too late. The big thing was third down. Those guys get balls if we’re converting third downs and moving the chains.”

(On the long stretch of road games)
“This was just a longer home game. We’ve got to go back, watch the film like we always do, go to work Wednesday and jump on a plane and go to London. Carolina is playing really well right now with Kyle Allen playing quarterback so it’ll be a challenge.”

(On Teddy Bridgewater)
“I’ve always loved Teddy. He’s a good, solid player and should be a starter in the league.”

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27 COMMENTS

  1. I like the “soft” comment from BA, but I’m not sure what specifically he didn’t like seeing in Devin White to keep him off the field. I also believe he has a bright future and think we need him out there and I’d rather see him make the rookie mistakes at full speed than continue to watch the product on the back half of our defense. I think our young secondary can feed off Devin White’s leadership in the huddle as the QB of the defense. I know BA wants his secondary to not be so “soft” but it seems counterintuitive to keep Devin White off the field unless the injury is still lingering or something like that as he’s a young leader that a young secondary could get an emotional boost from inside the huddle. Young players will respond a lot less soft when someone INSIDE the huddle is screaming/yelling to play fearless than they will responding to a coach yelling/screaming from the sideline to play fearless. What’s up, BA?

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    • Plus, if he is labeling the secondary (or back half of defense as soft), that’s a pretty ballsy thing to do after Carlton Davis was ejected and New Orleans won’t get a red flag PI called on them anytime soon. Just seem a lot more counterintuitive to what is happening on the field and I hope you PR guys and the Tampa press in general will question him on this later.

      Get Devin White out there to lead that young secondary, would be my suggestion. They played better when he was on the field as the 3-0 49er team could do little with the run AND pass. And Carolina’s Greg Olsen didn’t go off till Devin White was off the field.

      Think (a little more) before you speak, BA. Need a larger sample size of Devin White on the field leading this defense. Minter has been solid but we’re obviously lacking something with him on the field and we didn’t draft Devin White #5 overall for nothin.

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  2. Hey BA! Blame the players all you want but don’t forget to look in the mirror when you go back watch the tape. This was a horrible game plan and you need to own it. If Bunt Cake is the player you are referring to as “too soft” remember you’re the one who wanted him over Risner.

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    • Who knows exactly what he meant, as there might be some truth to it. However, you’re right. I think this is more of a hot take from BA and needs to sit back a day or two and think about what’s going on on the field.

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  3. Bottom Line..The Saints were the better team period. Their pass rush was awesome. And TB and the rookie QB played well. They threw 2 QB’s at us. We didn’t know what to expect. Onward to England and hopefully into the Bye at 3-3.

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  4. Secondary is bad plain and simple. CB’s especially. If Davis is your best CB then that says a lot…..I also can’t believe how bad O line was. They were ran over like bunch of little bitches out there. Pathetic pass protection. Ogunbawale and Dotson were both pancaked like got ran over by Mac trucks. Lol. Lastly D line got no pressure at all. Just really disappointing even though Saints are ranked 3rd best team in nfl.

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  5. You know who is not soft? Bruce Arians.
    God, I love this guy. He’s pissed about the loss and he’s pissed about the officiating and he’s going to do whatever he can to improve the team for next week’s game.
    Bruce has come to Tampa to kick ass and chew bubblegum and he’s all out of bubblegum.
    We may not make the playoffs this year, but we’ll be there next year. Our coach will make sure of it.

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    • Gave you a thumbs up, but it really begs the question as to what BA meant by that statement. I assume by his statement that he thinks Carlton Davis’s helmet to helmet hit was not soft. And I’m sure that because of that call and the likely fine coming, that a young secondary would be less aggressive, especially on rookie pay-scales where a helmet to helmet fine is costlier. I don’t know, but hopefully the soft comment isn’t some kind of hangover from previous games where his comment would actually carry more weight.

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      • ….otherwise, he’ll start losing his effectiveness as a teacher if this comment isn’t 100% effective for THIS game and THIS game alone.

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        • I have no clue what he meant exactly. I just like that he always has a plan.

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          • Me too. After more thought, I’m going to assume that he’s thinking more in VH3’s direction as he did call him out at the beginning of the year saying that his mentality wasn’t right. That was vague at the time but it definitely left room for this “soft” comment at this juncture. VH3 is the vet of the secondary, and I don’t think it’s too much to expect more from him at this point. It’s not that he’s giving up yards that bothers me as much as the lack of splash plays….INTs, pass breakups, forced fumbles, whatever it takes. I think BA expects more from him.

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  6. Soft sums it up perfectly VH💩 SMB needs to tuffin up maybe when Dean comes back he can start and White head had a bad day

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  7. Well, it’s pretty obvious. The Secondary is terrible. They can’t play man coverage at all. Michael Thomas has just had his way with us the last few years. VH should have nightmares of “13”, he just got used. When we blitz and don’t get there it’s trouble for the secondary, receivers aren’t just open, they are wide open!!!!

    There was no real pressure from the front four, yes a few times they made it to Bridgewater but other then that, nothing.

    You have to be able to get off the field on 3rd and long and they just couldn’t get off the field today. The seven point difference in the game doesn’t really tell the story. The Bucs got their Asses handed to them today plain and simple.

    Winston was sacked six times today. Yes he held on to the ball to long on some of them, but damn, how are none of the receivers getting open? Winston had a lot of time in the pocket but just no one was open. Credit to Winston to take the sack instead of the pick (Yes I know he had two called back from penalties). The running game is working ROJO is a totally different player this year and looks really good. In pass protection today our O-Line just didn’t get it done. Do I need to say how good Godwin is? CW is just killing it.

    So off to London and I sure the Hell hope we come out with a “W”, GO Bucs!!

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  8. What he meant was VH3 is SOFT!!! He wants to play press man but when the lights come on and Michael Thomas was across from him, he didn’t play physical and played scared. BA is ok with CBs getting beat from being too aggressive, but not playing to soft and making it easy for QBs. The rookie Dean better get healthy because his opportunity is coming.

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    • Yeah, gotta agree with you here. VH3 hasn’t done anything the last three games and he’s the vet. He needed to lead this secondary. Started off well but has faded the last 3 games.

      Maybe VH3 and a 3rd rounder can pry Patrick Peterson from Arizona. I think VH3 has talent, but he might need a change of scenery. He had a bad start here and spent too much time with Mike Smith and Brent Grimes I wonder.

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  9. Enough of Ogunbawale, he has whiffed on protection in multiple games. . .

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  10. If we are going to talk and point fingers on softness u minus well start with Leftwichs play calling..and Bowles needs to let the 2ndary rookies make mistakes and let them play a bit more aggressive..last week Goff torched us,now Bridgewater. A game without Brees is a gimme. Saints have a good team,but we also have a talented roster, let’s go!

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  11. This is a good point Allan, if BA is calling out VHlll for playing in soft man coverage when he’s supposed to be in press man coverage then you take him out and tell him what you expect. If he does it again then you take him out the game, But to go through the media and call out one of your players is amateur to me. I expect more from our HC.

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  12. VH3 is the softest of the soft. SMB is next.

    Also, Dare and little Scotty Miller should not be playing. AT ALL.

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  13. Arians is 100% right. Having a coach that will fix things over the long haul is a nice change.

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  14. VH III doesn’t like off coverage and he can’t play 1 on 1 bump and run. Gee, what’s a fellow to do.
    Another Gator washout.
    To think we could have had Sheldon Rankins in the same 2016 draft that is now a complete washout is maddening.
    But I remember at the time everyone was screaming for a CB instead of a DL including Pewter Report.
    When we get a GM in here who will quit listening to the local media scream and holler for in state school players, especially from Florida, we might go some where.

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  15. Looks like by the end of the season we’re going to have plenty of cap room. Just because some of these guys become free agents doesn’t mean we have to pay more for underperformance.

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    • That is why people worrying about cap space don’t realize this is a season for Arians to figure out who stays and who goes.

      Players that perform stay and those that don’t will go. Straight forward to me.

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  16. How refreshing to have a coach who follows the Howard Cossell philosophy to “Tell it like it is.” In this game we were just out-physicaled with the exception of Godwin. The team did not have the same look in their collective eyes that we saw the first four games. Term could also be applied to the two coordinators who seemed to be playing not to lose.

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  17. Predictably, commenters here are slamming the secondary and blaming it all for the loss.

    But of course, anybody who understands the game of football knows that the quality of the pass rush has a huge impact on the performance of the secondary. If the pass rush is ineffective, no secondary can make up for that. Likewise if the pass rush is highly effective, it automatically makes the secondary look much better, because the amount of time the defenders must cover receivers is much reduced, and the throws being hurried are far more likely to be inaccurate and more easily intercepted.

    In yesterday’s game, the pass rush got a grand total of zero sacks .. and was equally ineffective in getting hits and hurries on the quarterback.

    Conversely New Orleans’ pass rush was highly effective, with six sacks, and many hurried throws by Winston. He managed to suffer zero INTs, but between nullifying penalties and drops by defenders, he should have had six INTs yesterday. He was consistently throwing wild except for the one drive in garbage time when the Saints’ defense effectively shut down knowing the game was already decided.

    When the Bucs defense was in its glory days of the late 90s and early 00s, it was the combination of a ferocious pass rush, by D-linemen, linebackers, and even by our secondary (Ronde Barber, for instance, got 28 sacks in his career) that then opened up the juicy opportunities by the secondary to defense passes and intercept the ball.

    The term for this is “playing complementary football”. Quite a few analysts use that term to refer to the defense complementing the offense, and vice versa. But it equally applies to pass rush complementing the secondary.

    It all starts up front.

    Our run defense has been very good so far, but our pass defense has been horrible, currently ranked last in the league in yards allowed. Our total sacks rank just 19th in the league with 11, about half that of the Patriots (24) and Panthers (20).

    The Bucs also rank dead last in the league in points allowed – which is of course by far the most important defensive stat.

    Gee, I still remember all the talk all this year about how the Bucs problems were all with the former coaches, especially the defensive coordinator .. and that with Bruce Arians as head coach and a Todd Bowles defense all our problems were solved, that Jason Licht was fully absolved of all his failures as GM because it was “just the coaching, not the players” – despite the fact that the GM selected both the coaches and the players.

    So Licht completely revamped our defense, letting go our best defensive lineman, our best linebacker, and completely changed out our secondary .. and now that Todd Bowles was no longer forcing our secondary to play off, all problems would disappear and the playoffs were now assured, if not another Super Bowl in the making. That Ndomikong Suh was a huge improvement over Gerald McCoy. That letting Kwon Alexander go was no big loss. Yada yada yada blah blah blah

    Our defense is playing significantly WORSE this season than it did last season. In points allowed, in yards allowed, in total defense, and in passing defense we are now dead last. In sacks, we are no better this year, ranked no. 19, than last season, also ranked no. 19.

    And here’s another shocker – in contrast to all the trashing of our secondary, when it comes to INTs this season, our secondary is actually performing far better than last year’s version – ranked 5th in the league, vs. last year’s 28th ranking.

    Yet the same geniuses here at PR are whining about the secondary players being the cause of all our woes.

    Perhaps the Bucs will turn it all around the last 11 games of this season. It’s always possible. In the end, all that counts is season ending stats, starting with Ws and Ls, and then major rankings in points scored/allowed. But so far the geniuses have been almost 100% incorrect in what passed as “conventional wisdom” here at PR, in both the articles by the writers, and in the majority of the comments posted here.

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  18. Calling out the boys is great, gotta get Devin’s name in there though. He’s doughy soft.

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  19. I think some of these comments are like reading books lol. Stats are great for fantasy but a win this Sunday changes alot of people’s attitudes
    GO Bucs

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