The Bucs beat the Panthers to move to 1-1 on the season, so of course there was plenty to talk about.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best quotes over the last couple of days.
Bruce Arians on Mike Evans’ performance:
“We have to do that every week. We can never let Mike just sit still and be somewhere where everybody can double cover him. Tom [Brady] did a great job of finding him – especially deep down the middle. Again, that was a good design by Byron [Leftwich] to set that play up with Mike in the middle.”
Thoughts: One of the commentators, I believe it was Mark Schlereth, said that one of Evans’ big plays was the same play that resulted in an interception the week before. If that’s true, I really like how the Bucs —especially Tom Brady and Evans— sat down and worked on their communication and the specifics of that play.
Brady on what was different from last week’s game against the Saints:
“Execution was a little bit better, I think we are still a long ways from where we need to be. I think we had the ability to make plays. I think consistency [and] dependability are going to be things that we really need. We’ve got to get back to work and the clock is ticking on next week. Going to get focused on next week’s game and try to be a lot better next week.”
Thoughts: I don’t think Brady will ever be completely satisfied with a game, but it’s still good to hear him say this offense has a lot of work to do. Because let’s be real: It does.
Arians on the dropped passes and keeping the foot on the gas:
“It’s unusual. I think at times we relaxed and we’re not good enough to relax. Nobody’s good enough in this league to relax, and we talked about it at halftime. ‘We cannot relax.’ We go out, defense gives us a turnover, we turn it right back and it’s a ballgame when we should have put that thing away in the first five minutes of the third quarter.”
could’ve should’ve had three touchdown passes on the day. Scotty Miller dropped a tough catch, but it was one that should’ve been caught. The same went for LeSean McCoy. Two dropped touchdowns is never good and that needs to get fixed.
Evans on his health and how he played on Sunday:
“I don’t feel I played that well. I feel like I played OK. I’m still trying to get back into that midseason form. I was having a really great camp and then I had the hamstring injury, but the training staff has been doing a great job. I’m close to fully healthy for sure. I felt good today after I got a couple catches and got to run a little bit. I should be fully healthy really soon.”
Thoughts: Dude is a warrior. He put up a 7/104/1 stat line while hurt. I’m sure Brady can’t wait til he and Godwin are 100%.
Arians on what happened with the Cyril Grayson incompletion:
“Yeah, that was a big one. Tom [Brady] found him late and the wind was wicked coming across that sideline and blew it across.”
Thoughts: That damned wind.
Carlton Davis III on his third quarter interception:
“The interception was a play that they ran earlier on in the game, and I actually got beat on it over the middle. When they did the same motion and it was the same formation, I just kind of knew it was coming or kind of thought it would come, and I just made a play.”
Thoughts: This was the play of the game and it comes after a week of compliments and praise from both Arians and his teammates. Davis continues to grow and make plays in this system. It’s fun to watch.
Arians on if he’s concerned about Rob Gronkowski’s production (or lack thereof):
“Not really. He got a nice pass interference call for us [and we] missed him on the over route. We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends – that’s what we have receivers for [and] that’s the way our offense is built. Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”
Thoughts: I don’t know about this one. You’re paying the guy $9.25 million dollars. That’s a lot of money. In fact, it’s the second-highest salary in the league for a tight end in terms of base salary. You’d think you’d want the guy out there making plays.
Arians on if Leonard Fournette could become the starter:
“Not right now. I think everybody’s role is good right now. There’s no need for that. He’s still doesn’t know enough of this offense yet to be the starter.”
Thoughts: “Starter” can sometimes weigh more than it’s worth, but that last sentence certainly left the door open. If Fournette keeps playing like he did Sunday while continuing his BA education, then one would think he’ll become the starter, eventually.
Arians on correcting Sunday’s drops:
“Don’t drop the damn ball or you won’t get another one. It’s easy. He [isn’t] going to throw it to you.”
Thoughts: This is great. I mean, what else do you need to say?
Arians on the fumbled exchange between Brady and RoJo:
“RoJo [is responsible]. It’s patience [and] it’s a draw play. He saw a big ole hole, he took off before Tom was ready to hand it and his elbow was down. It’s just all patience and it’s all on Ronald.”
Thoughts: The good thing about this is that it’s an issue that’s easy to fix. Jones needs to play well, though, because Fournette is slowly but surely coming along.