Bucs looking forward to the Rams and Monday Night Football.

This week the Buccaneers know that winning on Monday Night against the Rams is a big game. Tampa Bay 7-3 is while the Rams 6-3 both very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Here are some of the quotes from both players and coaches.

RUNNING BACKS COACH TODD MCNAIR

(On RB Ronald Jones II performance this season)

“The credit goes to him. He’s really matured since last year when we first came in. He’s shown a lot of maturity [and] a lot of growth. People forget how young he was, even coming in last year. He hadn’t really played the year before, so he was like a rookie and he’s rookie age. So, a year in the system and I think the offensive coaches sticking with him [and] giving him a lot of positive reinforcement – I think he’s just blossomed and his ceiling is still high. He’s got a long way to go still.”

(On how Jones II has progressed the most this season as a runner)

“Gaining a more solid understanding of the running game, blocking scheme and stuff like that. He’s running really hard and really fast. He’s got a tremendous amount of ability and it’s coming out. I don’t even think ‘Ro’ understands how good he could be. He does stuff by accident and it’s like, ‘Woah.’ He probably can’t tell you what he did when he gets back to the sideline [but] he’s got a tremendous amount of ability in his body. He’s so unassuming of a person, so I think all that stuff is just starting to click with the age and the maturity. He’s starting to see what he can truly become.”

(On why the team has committed fewer penalties this season)

“It’s just a point of emphasis. We were, I think, the most-penalized team in the league last year – or close to it – and that’s not a stat you want. It obviously affects games – it has affected games this year – and it’s something that we really just locked in on. Coach has made an emphasis on it and the players, to their credit, have been taking care of business. That’s always a plus.”

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH KACY RODGERS

(On rookie DL Khalil Davis’ progress)

“When you speak about Khalil – a lot of people don’t know – he may be the most athletic guy we have in our D-line group. He’s a tremendous athlete, watching him during training camp and whatsoever. It’s just with our depth situation right now, it’s hard to get him in there with the numbers on game day. But, he’s an extremely athletic guy and just having him in the meeting room every day [and] watching his growth from Zoom meetings until now [with] in-person meetings every day watching his growth – he’s kind of maturing, picking up the system [and] understanding what we’re trying to do. I get to watch him every day on the show team and everything, so I really think he’s making really, really good strides. I kind of stay on him because in this league you never know.”

(On if other teams are motivated by going up against Tampa Bay’s top-ranked run defense)

“No doubt. Any time you receive recognition for doing something, you kind of place a bullseye on you. But we talk about it all of the time – stopping the run is not a one-week thing. It’s an all-week thing. It’s a totally defensive mentality, which kind of starts with Todd [Bowles]. The first thing we’re going to talk about is how can we try to slow down the run before we get to coverages or any pass blitzes or anything like that. We really kind of [harp] on it a lot with the guys about how we have to take care of the run. That’s just kind of a bedrock principle of ours.”

(On DL William Gholston and his improved pass-rush ability)

“When you look at it – one, my hat goes off to him because last year, with [Ndamukong] Suh and Vita [Vea], they get a lot of attention, but Will started every game for us. When you talk about rush defense, he plays a major role in it. For a guy who’s kind of under the radar, that’s one thing we talked about in the offseason where he needs to improve his game which was to work on his rush, and he did. You can just kind of see the time and effort he put into it in the offseason. Now, with the injury to Vita, you get to see more Will. He’s getting an opportunity to play more and he’s making the most of some opportunities.”

LINEBACKER LAVONTE DAVID

(On if the next two games will be indicative of where the team stands)

“I think so. I think around November things get heightened, obviously. People start trying to put out their best effort. At the beginning of the season you get a lot of different things from different people, but around this time you know what you’re going to get from different people and different teams as far as gameplan situations. The playmaking and all that steps up big time. It’s all about the preparation now. Opponents are going to come in and play their best A-Game [and] they’re going to give you what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been successful at. The thing is, you’ve just got to be able to stop it.”

(On what will make the team successful in big games at this point in the season)

“It just comes down to you just going out there and focusing on winning your job and doing what you’re supposed to do to win the game. We’re all professionals – do what we’re supposed to do no matter the time and no matter the date [whether its] night games, regular 1 o’clock games, 4 o’clock games – it doesn’t matter. When it’s time to kick the ball off, you’ve got to be ready to play the football game. That’s just something that we have to be able to do and that’s something that we’ve got to get prepared for. I believe everybody in this locker room will be prepared for that and I think the coaching staff has a good plan in place. I think we’ll be ready.”

(On providing Thanksgiving dinners to families in his hometown of Miami)

“Things like that not only give people hope and ideas to do that eventually if they possibly get in my position one day, but it puts a smile on my face and a smile in my heart that I can be able to do something like that. Every time I do stuff like that, I go back and I think about my mom because I know she would be proud of me for doing stuff like this. [Also], just having my family be a part of stuff like that because I know the way I grew up was always helping, reaching out and doing everything we could do to keep positive vibes in the community. With everything going on as far as COVID and people getting laid off and things like that, people may not have the funds to be able to provide a good Thanksgiving dinner for their family. For me, I feel like I should do my part because I’m able and I can be able to do things like that. I think God put me in this position to do things like that. I always go back to serving. In order to be a great leader, you have to serve – that’s what I try to do. I’m just trying to go out there and just serve the best way I can, whether it’s on the field or off the field. In this instance, it’s off the field, so just giving people hope – I love to put smiles on other people’s faces. It’s something that I’m very proud to be a part of. At first, I had 100 turkeys and I was like, ‘Maybe that’s not enough. I want to add another 100.’ So, I just reached out to add another 100 and make it 200 just to make sure everybody gets what they need.”

SHARE