The Buccaneers (4-2) got it done against the Packers (4-1), who were undefeated entering this matchup.
There are bound to be some great quotes after a big win such as this, so let’s not waste any time in checking out the 10 best quotes from Sunday and Monday.
Bruce Arians on the play of linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White:
“Their speed shows up over and over, sideline-to-sideline – but they’re excellent blitzers. When you have Shaq [Barrett] and JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) out there, it’s hard to send them all the time. But that’s four really good blitzers.”
Thoughts: The duo combined for 18 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, and five TFLs. They were an integral part of the defensive performance and will continue to be as the year marches on.
Arians on if the 28-point second quarter was the most points he’s scored in one quarter as head coach:
“It’s one of them. We’ve had some really, really good ones. I think we had a couple pick-sixes against San Francisco one year and jumped on them. But you get a defensive score and offensively you just take the game over. We gave up the first quarter, but we won the second quarter pretty good.”
Thoughts: Curt Menefee said at the half that it was also the most points scored in either a single quarter or the second quarter in franchise history, sorry, I can’t remember the exact stat. Either way, it was extremely impressive.
Devin White on how much the penalties in the Thursday night loss to Chicago played a role in the team’s preparation for this week:
“It was a big thing. When (Head Coach Bruce Arians) puts an emphasis on something, you have to get the job done or you won’t be the one doing the job. When he says things like that, he makes himself clear and you’ve just got to be a pro and be like, ‘Hey, what do I want to do? Do I want this job? Do I want to not be the one that gets the penalty because coach said we need to be a penalty-free football team to win games in this league?’ He addressed the issue. Everybody corrected themselves – just looked in the mirror and we took care of what really beat us last week. We beat ourselves with penalties. I feel like we corrected it and when we play just clean games – not all games are going to be zero penalties, but when we keep it down and play hard – you see what the outcome can be. It is what it is when it comes to that, but we’ve just got to keep that in our head that we have to do the right thing.”
Thoughts: For one week, they got it together. Hopefully this is a trend and isn’t more of an exception. Only time will tell, though.
White on what was said on the sideline after the Packers’ quick start:
“Todd Bowles just told us like we are respecting those guys too much. They have to earn our respect. We have to play them honest and just be ballhawks and just get after them. I think once he said that, he kind of gave everybody the green light to go make plays. It’s Aaron Rodgers at the end of the day. He has his respect for being a great quarterback, but Coach Bowles was preaching, we’re going to do what no other defense can do to them. He was preaching that all week, but when we got on the field, I think you line up across from him and you see who he is and see him moving around in the pocket making plays. But you just have to match his energy. I think that’s what [Jamel] Dean did, and Dean set the tempo for the whole defense.”
Thoughts: Todd Bowles for president for all eternity. You have to love hearing/reading this.
Cornerback Jamel Dean on if he was bothered by the fact that Green Bay’s offense was talked about more than the Bucs’ defense throughout the week leading up to the game:
“It did. It makes you want to make plays on an offense like that. I take it as a challenge.”
Thoughts: You obviously don’t want to give Dean —or this defense— any extra motivation, apparently. These guys are playing with a chip on their shoulder and are out to prove that they are one of the best defenses in the league. Couple that with Bowles’ mindset/creativity on defense and the sky is the limit.
Arians on Rob Gronkowski’s performance:
“I thought Tom [Brady] and Rob had great connections [on] crossing routes. We got the matchup we were looking for on the fade ball and Gronk did a heck of a job of adjusting to that ball and getting the touchdown. I just wish he could’ve spiked it with his right shoulder, but his right shoulder’s hurt, so he missed his good spikes. He made some huge, huge plays on us.”
Thoughts: Gronk looked really, really good on Sunday. He’s definitely not the player he once was, but he showed that he’s more than capable of making plays when called upon. He also helped me win a much-needed fantasy contest last week, so, kudos!
Arians on the Bucs’ lack of penalties in Week 6:
“I can’t say that I’ve ever been in a ballgame with no penalties. We address it every single day and the guys addressed it in practice this week. Hopefully we can continue that trend.”
Thoughts: This was the first time the Bucs have had zero penalties in a game since 1983. So, yea, I can say the same thing.
Arians on the trade for former New York Jets defensive tackle Steve McClendon:
“He’s got to go through the protocols and pass the physical, but he played in yesterday’s ballgame (for the Jets). We all know Steve – he’s really a quality human being and a hell of a player. Losing Vita [Vea], we just needed to sure up against some of these big-time running teams [and acquire] another nose-guard type player. Jason [Licht] was able to make it [happen] and hopefully we can get him past the physical and get the trade through.”
Thoughts: Tampa Bay certainly needed to add another interior guy on the defensive line. This could turn out to be a pretty impactful trade for the Bucs. McClendon is serviceable and knows Bowles’ system after playing for him in New York.
David on if Sunday’s win is the new standard for the defense:
“It’s definitely a standard that we have to uphold now. Especially with the coaching staff we have – they’re not going to accept anything less than our performance that we had. We’ve got to be able to be consistent, not get too high [and] not get too low and just stay the course. We know we played a good football game yesterday against a great football team, but now that’s in the past. We have to keep on moving forward and keep on stacking them. In order for us to be the best defense that we want to be at the end of this year, we have to keep putting together those type of performances. Everybody knows that. Everybody on the staff knows that and our whole defensive unit knows that. Coach definitely made an emphasis on it when we got into a team meeting today, so that’s something we have to try to establish here.”
Thoughts: He’s 100% correct. The Bucs showed that they can run with the big dogs, but now they need to show that they can beat good opponents on a regular basis. That all starts this week with the Oakland Raiders.
Gronk on his first touchdown as a Buc and the first left-handed spike of his career:
“That was my first left-handed spike in my career. It was kind of weak, from the ratings I’ve been getting. They don’t understand – I thought it was a 10 out of 10 for my left hand. It felt good to get back in the end zone. It’s been quite some time and it just feels real good to get my first with the Buccaneers. It was just cool to see my teammates excited and my coaches excited for me to get back in the end zone, which was something pretty cool. The game plan – you just never know how it’s going to go week in and week out. You prepare to plan for everything in the passing game and the run game. Some games you just really never know until the game starts. You may get 10 catches, you may get two catches. A wide receiver may get 10 catches and then two catches the next game. It just depends on how the game goes, but you’ve just got to prepare to the best of your ability that you can week in and week out, and just be ready for any situation any given week.”
Thoughts: It was great to see the big man making plays, but the reason he spiked the ball is because he has a bad right shoulder. Arians specifically commented on that after the game. That’s a bit worrisome. Hopefully Gronk can hold up as the season goes on.