Bucs new boss talks about the team heading into preseason game three

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians is an upbeat guy and while there are some things that concern him, overall the head man is very candid about what he sees in camp.

Here is the transcript of yesterday’s afternoon press conference provided to Sports Talk Florida from the Bucs PR department. Below is Coach Arians opening statement.

“[It was a] good start to the week. The film showed exactly what I thought it would. I thought there were really good things on the film from the other night. Obviously, when you’re put in game-winning situations and your young players perform, you’re proud of them, and they did exactly that. I was not happy with the defense giving up a touchdown, but [I was happy with] the offense responding and Matt [Gay] making the field goal. I think overall, the first group was pretty solid – we had one big mental error that cost us the drive, with a new protection that we put in, and we turned a guy loose – but other than that, I thought it was pretty solid.”

(On if he considered attempting a 58-yard field goal at the end of the opening drive)

“No, it was kind of into the wind. Had it been going the other direction, maybe.”

(On if there is a timetable for S Justin Evans and QB Nick Fitzgerald to return to practice)

“No, not really. It’s day-to-day, but hopefully some time before next week.”

(On the Dolphins substituting on fourth down on the goal line)

“Yes, they cost us a timeout.”

(On if he could carry four tight ends)

“We have a bunch of times, because we’re a two-tight end offense. It depends who the fourth tight end or fifth corner – all those guys that come in from 48 [players] to 53 [players]. One’s got to beat out the other one and special teams usually decides.”

(On what TE Tanner Hudson has to improve on in order to make the team)

“The blocking and the special teams has to pick up to beat out that other guy, whether it’s the fifth linebacker or fifth corner – whoever it is – on special teams.”

(On TE Jordan Leggett making a touchdown-saving tackle on special teams)

“Yeah, the guys are working their tails off on special teams. We had the miscommunication on [the] 12 men [penalty] when [we didn’t know] who was in the game and who wasn’t, and we had two guys that were in there. We don’t like that, we don’t like that at all. Some other things that happened – we had nine guys out there one time. Just a lack of communication – ‘I’m out of the game on defense, but I’m not out of the game on special teams.’ We’ll get that corrected easily.”

(On what WR Breshad Perriman has to show him to establish a role on offense)

“Nothing, he doesn’t have to show me anything – he showed me everything I need to see. He’s fast, he’s big, he can catch, he’ll block – [he’s] doing everything that we are asking of him and he has a major role right now.”

(On how much he likes the ability to challenge pass interference calls after winning a challenge in Friday’s game)

“I love the ability to correct their mistake. The flag was thrown, he gets talked out of it – it’s obvious, so you throw the flag because you know you’re going to win and keep your challenge – so, yeah, that would’ve been a field goal instead of a touchdown drive on a mistake by a back judge who called him off.”

(On having someone in the booth telling him to challenge a pass interference call)

“Larry Rose – he’s a trained eye. He did it for 40 years.”

(On how important mental reps are becoming for second and third-team players)

“It’s huge – that’s the thing that’s going to separate you making the team. Whether we look on the waiver wire for somebody else [or not], because you’re showing me you’re not smart enough to be a practice player.”

(On if RB Dare Ogunbowale taking first-team reps in practice was because of his performance in the preseason opener at Pittsburgh)

“No, it’s more [because] RoJo’s (Ronald Jones) knee is a little sore, but I have no qualms with him being on the first team. He’s earned that right.”

(On DL Vita Vea’s heath progression)

“He’s getting better and better every day. [He’s in] no pain, so I’ve still got my fingers crossed he’ll be ready.”

(On the offensive line depth)

“It’s still something we’re looking at, whether it’s on somebody else’s team or our team. You guys have got to realize there’s 31 other teams out there, so don’t count numbers on our team because there’s other guys on that waiver wire. They’re picking it up, they’re getting better.”

(On if OLB Shaquil Barrett has a chance to make a name for himself on this defense)

“Yeah, Shaq (Shaquil Barrett) – he’s a good sack player [and] he’s a good pass rusher. That’s what he excels at, so that’s kind of his role right now, to be in that situation, so yeah, he does.”

(On if a dumb player can play for him)


(On General Manager Jason Licht’s contract extension)

“I’m surprised it just got out. It was huge for me because I trust him, I respect him and he’s the reason I’m here.”

(On if the wide receiver depth has progressed the way he’s wanted it to)

“Yeah, Scotty [Miller] needs to get back out there – he’s missing valuable time, but we don’t want him before he’s ready. [DaMarkus] Lodge is getting back out there. We claimed Emanuel Hall, who I liked coming out of the draft. Snelly (Spencer Schnell) has done a good job, A.J. (Anthony Johnson) has done a good job – those guys are battling for that fifth spot. Bobo [Wilson] is having a heck of a camp. We’ve kind of limited him – he’s was playing three positions, now he’s playing one and he’s excelling at it.”

(On if WR Justin Watson has the fourth wide receiver spot solidified)

“No, I would not say that.”