The Buccaneers suffered a very disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. It wasn’t the loss itself —there were many who had the Bucs losing this game— it was how they lost that really set the tone.
So how did Bruce Arians and Co. take it? Let’s dive into some postgame quotes.
Arians on how Tom Brady can improve after Sunday:
“He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in the ballgame because they didn’t do the things that we didn’t get ready for. Everything they did, we thought we were ready for. Some wide receivers have to do a better job of winning one-on-one when he decides to go their way. He put us in the right run checks a couple of times, so it was a learning experience that way. Can’t say that we were out of sync because we started out as good as you could start out going right down the field. Then, we don’t get any more chunk plays other than pass interference penalties. I think it’s a great learning experience. It’s just Round 1 of a 16-round fight and we’ll learn from it.”
Thoughts: Arians didn’t back down about Brady’s play. On second watch, Brady was much better than he initially looked, but he has to get better. And the receivers do need to start winning 1-on-1 matchups way more often.
Arians on left tackle Donovan Smith’s performance:
“I was very disappointed in his play. I think every now and then he reverts back to some techniques that are not very good [and] he got beat. He had, probably, the easiest guy to block up there and he did a poor job. It was one of his poorer games and [I] expect for him to bounce back this week, yes.”
Thoughts: Yep, this was one of the worst games of Smith’s career. That’s all you need to say about that.
Brady on his two interceptions:
“Yeah, they were bad throws. When it comes down to it they were just bad throws – can’t do it.”
Thoughts: Arians pinned both interceptions on Brady at first, but he came out said that Mike Evans shouldn’t have cut his route off. The second one is still on Brady, though, unless Arians forgot to mention it.
Arians on the Bucs’ starting field position (or lack thereof):
“When you look at the drive start, ours was the 18[-yard] line and theirs was the 42. That’s a huge, huge advantage.Special teams did have a big part of that – as did the turnovers. We have to do a better job of tackling on punt returns when we’re punting the ball. We were getting down there pretty good, but we were just missing tackles. They had a 14-yard average on returns and that put them over the 50[-yard line] twice. We have to do a better job of punting the ball and a better job of covering and tackling.”
Thoughts: I didn’t realize the Bucs had such terrible field position compared to the Saints. Arians is absolutely right, that type of advantage will most certainly play in the favor of the team with the better numbers.
Arians on the busted play that led to the big completion to Jared Cook:
“That was not Jamel Dean’s [responsibility]. Jamel Dean was rolled up – he was a cloud corner. The safety – we were in Cover 2 – bit an inside route, which can’t happen. It was not Jamel Dean at all.”
Thoughts: Thank goodness the All-22 comes out Tuesday so we can see what Arians is talking about. It’s so difficult to tell what happens in the secondary based off the broadcast angles.
Arians on Brady’s first interception to Mike Evans:
“No doubt. It wasn’t Cover 2, it was quarters coverage and Mike should have been splitting, going down the middle and never stopping.”
Thoughts: It looked like there was a single-high safety in the middle of the field. Again, thankful for All-22 so we can be on the same page as Arians.
Arians on how Carlton Davis III played:
“I thought [there were] two [bad] plays for him. He played an outstanding game other than [when] they ran what we call the ‘Jerry Rice motion’. He comes over and goes back and he missed the tackle and got the facemask. The other one was when he had Michael Thomas covered really well [but] he just had his back arm around him when he batted the ball up and we got the interception. Other than those two plays, I thought he played great.”
Thoughts: Davis did play well, but he also had his moments. That’s been his issue so far. He’ll play really well, but he has one or two hiccups that lead to big plays whether they’re a penalty or not. This is his third year in the league, so he has to start cutting down on mistakes.