Buccaneers Post-Game Quotes (Week 17)

Head Coach Bruce Arians

On WR Antonio Brown…

“He is no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story, let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

 

On the final drive of the game…

“Yeah, I can’t say enough. Tom (Brady) did a great job of just taking what they were giving us, we knew we had to have a chunk in this drive, and you pump the safety over and got (WR) Cyril (Grayson) and I was really happy for Cyril. He’s worked his ass off and he’s really coming through for us.”

 

On winning after a week like they had and how this week compares to anything he’s dealt with before…

“Yeah, we’ve been in some crazy situations before, but this was a very special one to come back to win that game, just talking about how the defense just jumped up there and stopped them at the end and then we got Tom, that’s all you need.”

 

On how much this win helps them so they’re not dealing with a bad loss to take on the road…

“Yeah, it’s great to keep winning and hopefully we’ll come back next week and match the Panther’s energy in the first half– we didn’t do that today.”

 

On what ultimately led to the decision to release Brown…

“I’m not talking about it, he’s not part of the Bucs.”

 

On the sequence when Brown was leaving, how you treat play calling when a situation like that occurs, do you treat it like an injury…

“He was on a pitch-count today anyways, but you just take the guys that are available. We had a bunch of running backs go down, Le’Veon (Bell) stepped up, can’t say enough about him on short notice. Rojo (Ronald Jones II) hurt an ankle, Ke’Shawn (Vaughn) got a rib and Le’Veon stepped in there, did a hell of a job to help us win the game.”

 

On Brady’s calmness on the final drive and what Arian’s emotions were during the drive…

“When I see him out there and we protect like that, I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll make some play to win the game.”

 

On TE Rob Gronkowski reemerging today and his performance…

“Yeah, he loved the weather today. It’s been hot down in Tampa for him (laughs), but it was nice and cool for him. The way they were playing, he was going to get matched on a linebacker a lot in this game.”

 

On it being the second straight 81-yard game for Grayson, his emergence and if it’s poetic justice that in a game where Brown leaves that Grayson steps up with the game-winning reception….

“Yeah, I have all the confidence in the world. I’ve talked about him for a number of weeks, and he just keeps getting better, the game’s not too big for him anymore. He has brought his level to a very, very high level now and is very consistent. So, it’s whatever you guys want to write.”

 

On Brady’s trust in the younger players and Grayson and Tyler Johnson leading the team to victory in the last drive…

“Yeah, those were the two guys that were getting singled and like you said, Tom trusts them. They’ve been working their asses off since training camp and a couple weeks ago I asked Tom about Cyril and he said, ‘Man I trust him, I really trust him. Put him in there.’ ”

 

On the challenge defensively and with having key players out defensively…

“I thought some of our young guys were just a little bit confused, their discipline wasn’t good. They (Jets) ran the ball way too well on us. Credit to them, they had a hell of a gameplan with all the quick motions and stuff and it affected some of our younger players.”

 

On the difference in the run defense…

“Yeah, just getting out of our gaps and trying to make plays instead of just staying gap sound. Guys were trying to fly over, make plays, we missed some cutbacks and they hit the long one right at the end, but we just didn’t whip our blockers.”

 

On his Achilles injury and if surgery will be necessary…

“Yeah, it’s 50 percent torn but I’m fighting my ass off to not have any type of surgery, I promise you that (laughs).”

 

On if he was receiving updates during pregame warmups on CBs Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting coming in late and if he had a plan on how much he wanted to use them in the game…

“Yeah, we wanted him to start but you know it was one of those things, typical these days, the pilot showed up had Covid, so we had to go find another plane, and hell it went all the way to Canada before it got here. So, he got here about 15 minutes before the game and tried to warm up and get him out there but then Sean got hurt. Yeah, it’s been that kind of day and week.”

Tom Brady

On if he has had a win in his career as chaotic as the win today…

We got behind and we literally played from behind the entire day till 59 minutes and 45 seconds. We never got a lead, and our defense came up with a huge stop there at the end to give us a chance to go however many yards – 80 yards, 95 yards, how many? 93 yards. We got a great stop by our defense and then gave us a chance with two minutes left and talked about those situations a lot and a lot of guys came through and made some huge plays. A lot of great plays on that drive, catches, run after catches and then obviously Cyril (Grayson) made a great catch up the sideline to get us the win. So it was a great job, we got the two-point and just a great team win.

 

On how disappointed he is with what happened with WR Antonio Brown…

I mean that’s obviously a difficult situation, and I think we all want him to –  I think everybody should hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. We all love him, we care about him deeply, we want to see him be at his best and unfortunately it won’t be with our team, but we have a lot of friendships that will last. Again, I think the most important thing about football are the relationships with your friends and your teammates and they go beyond the field. I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.

 

On how challenging it was for the team to focus while the situation with WR Antonio Brown was unfolding…

The guys that were in the game, we’re just in the game focused too, so I didn’t know too much until after the game to be honest. I was just out there playing, trying to do my job.

 

On his reaction to finding out that WR Antonio brown had taken off his jersey and left the field…

I didn’t know. I was just out there – and I’m really proud of the effort that our guys gave throughout the day, man. Again, I think you go on the road and you get behind and we faced different adversities throughout the day, but we found a way to win in the end and a great drive by our offense at the end, great stop by our defense, defense came together, some guys stepped in, we’re still pretty shorthanded at different positions. Every team faces different things over the course of a long season, and I’m sure we’ll face difficult things going forward, and we’re just going to do the very best we can do with the opportunities we’re presented. Really happy to get to 12-4, and we’ve got a home game to try to get to 13-4. I think our focus is going to be on that and try to improve this week in practice and put ourselves in a position to go out and play a good final game of the year.

 

On how cool it is for him to be a part of WR Cyril Grayson’s development…

Cyril has really taken advantage of his opportunity and he’s made a lot of plays. So, it’s really fun to see and it’s good when guys get their opportunity. I was a guy who – I didn’t get my opportunity until my second year and a guy had to get hurt in front of me, a great player in Drew Bledsoe, and I just stepped in and tried to do what I could do to help the team win, and I think that’s what you’re seeing from a lot of guys – Ke’Shawn (Vaughn),  Ro’s (Ronald Jones II) playing a bigger role, I know he went out today,

BP’s (Breshad Perriman) playing a role, obviously Mike (Evans) is playing a great role for us that he always has, Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) is, Cam (Cameron Brate) is, O.J. (Howard), (Josh) Wells is playing some different things for us, the line has been really intact for most part of the year. So, a lot of guys are doing a lot of good positive things.

 

On how much it helps the team to have the continuity and momentum from winning today…

I think to be down 14 points and to come back and win is a great thing. You’d rather be ahead, but we just didn’t get ahead. They played good. I mean I give them a lot of credit, they played good on defense, they played really well, they stopped our run game at different times, did a good job pressuring us in the pocket, they did a good job on offense with their run game. We had one drive in the first quarter, we just didn’t have the ball. And they stopped us a few times for a field goal, so we just we got behind and the key to the NFL is just playing from ahead. If we look at the games we’ve been successful, a lot of times we played from ahead. We played from behind today and it’s not what you want to do.

 

On what his approach is to two-minute drives at the end and knowing when to take the shots…

For me it’s just I have a lot of confidence in the guys I’m playing with. The line was playing great, the receivers were making plays, the tight ends were making plays, the backs were making plays. So, from my quarterback standpoint just believing in your guys and trusting them. That’s what that situation is all about and we did that today.

Le’Veon Bell

On being a part of another Tom Brady comeback win…

It felt incredible. As composed as (Tom Brady) is and accurate and as much leadership that Tom (has), there was really no second guessing. I had so much confidence that we would go down there and score. I was just glad to be a part of it and in on the same drive with him.

 

On being such a key part of the game today…

It felt good. Obviously, Coach (Bruce Arians) and (Byron) Leftwich have a lot of confidence in me. They threw me in the game and I made some plays when the opportunities presented itself. Hopefully, more of that comes down the line. I’m just ready to go out here and have nice play down the stretch and continue doing what I’m doing. Keep my head down and work hard.

 

On if he will reach out to Antonio Brown…

Yeah, of course. I found out when we got into the locker room at the end of the game. I instantly sent him a text to try and catch up real quick. He texted me back and I talked to him. He’s still one of my close friends and you won’t hear me talk bad about AB at all. Obviously, I understand things happen, but he’s one of my close friends that I’ve been around. Close teammates. Overall, he’s a good person. Obviously, he’s had some bad decision making sometimes. He’s human. He’s not perfect. We’ll continue to move on without him and keep moving forward.

Jamel Dean

On the craziness of his day…

So, first thing this morning I got a call from the airport saying the pilot called out sick, and then they asked to stay home and wait until they let us know when the new pilot comes. So, I was like, ‘Okay, that’s cool.’ So, I still get to the airport early, so I saw Sean (Murphy-Bunting), so I was like, ‘Hey Sean, did they call you?’ He was like, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘Wait, they didn’t say the pilot called out sick?’ He was like, ‘What?’ So, then now, I’m trying to figure out like, is somebody playing a prank on me? Then I go inside to talk to their front desk and I was like, ‘Hey, are you aware that the Pilot called out sick?’ They didn’t know. So, I’m just like, ‘Man, is someone playing a prank on me or what, because this doesn’t seem right.’ It took us about maybe two or three hours until we found another pilot, so we ended up taking off at like 9:40 a.m. In the air, me and Sean, we took a nap. I wake up, we’re still in the air. So, I was like, ‘How far is this, I don’t remember this flight being this far.’ So, I got back to sleep. Then Sean wakes up and he was like, ‘Hey, why are we still in the air?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ So, we’re checking the time. The time said 12:15 p.m., so he asked me if Newark is in a different time zone. So, I was like, ‘I don’t think this is central time.’ I get here and find out that we took a detour in the air to get here, so I was just like, ‘Wow.’ We landed around 12:35 p.m., so I’m just like, ‘Man, we’re not going to have much time to warm up.’ Our escort, when I tell you that it was the wildest driving experience I’ve been a part of. We were literally just weaving through traffic trying to get to the stadium. Granted, once he said, ‘Hey, you guys, I’m letting you know it’s going to be a rough ride because I got to keep up with the police.’ So, me and Sean, we both put our seatbelt on. And then, getting to the game, we’re still trying to warm up as the game keeps going. I’m like, ‘Wow, this probably is like the first time I haven’t practiced and have to play in the game.’ And also, come in the day of the game while everyone is walking out and I’m going in to put my gear on. This day is forever going to be memorable for me because I never experienced anything like this before.

 

On how hard it was to get the final outcome…

The outcome was hard because the Jets, they came to play. They treated it as if this was their Super Bowl and what better way to go out knowing that you beat the former Super Bowl Champions. They gave us their best game.

 

On the hardest part about playing today…

The hardest part was really just jumping into the game and trying to get my flow going while everybody else already got their rhythm going. So, it’s just like, ‘Let me stay focused on the game, relax.’ After a few plays, then I finally had calmed down.

Cyril Grayson

On how he was able to get open on the final drive…

During two-minute, especially at the end of the game when it was a crunch, we were behind, the only goal was to win. So, we were out there, running down the field, exhausted. It was at the end of the game, so played a lot of special teams, so my legs were kind of dead, but it was whatever it took. We had a couple plays, Tyler (Johnson) made a good play, I had another one, I think Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) had a good one. So, the only thing was sticking together, everybody putting their hand in at that time to do whatever we needed to do to win. I guess I was the lucky one who gets a little bit of the credit because I scored, but everybody did their job and we got the W at the end.

 

On the Antonio Brown situation…

I guess I was on the field whenever all of that stuff was happening. I just prepared this whole week to play however many snaps I needed to play.

 

On overcoming difficult circumstances at the end of the game…

Tom Brady is the goat. He’s the best to ever do it, he’s been in every situation that you can ever be put in as a quarterback, as a leader and we just pull from him, so he comes to the huddle and he demands us to win just as he’s used to. So, that’s the only goal that we have is to win, no matter what we have to do, no matter how hard it is. We’re putting everybody in to win.

Rob Gronkowski

On what this comeback win was like…

Incredible, that’s what it was like. We fought until the end and that’s what makes football so great. You have to play all 60 minutes. Every team is really good. Every team has good players. The majority of NFL games go down to the last second, many, many games do. You have to play 60 minutes and that’s what we did. We stuck together as team. The defense had a great stop on that fourth-and-two inside our 10-yard line. Hats off to them for that. Then, we finished the job. Cyril Grayson with such an unbelievable play at the end of the game. That guy works so hard and he keeps fighting for his job week in and week out. He’s just showing how the hard work is paying off the last two weeks. Hats off to him. That was one of the best games I’ve been a part of. And what a comeback too. It was awesome.

 

On Antonio Brown…

I really don’t know too much about it. Obviously, I heard a little about it. I was really focused on the game. I’m sure I’m going to catch up with my teammates and coaches. That’s part of the team, a situation like that. I just wish everyone the best in whatever the situation was.

 

On what the difference with Tom Brady today was…

We were on the same page. Us players (have to) step up. There were a lot of great plays last week that players stepped up into their roles. This week, I just had a lot more opportunities to go out there and make some plays. You just never know how the game of football is going to work. Like I said, it’s a team game. One person can have 10 catches one game, the next game he can have two catches and someone else has 10 catches. That’s what it’s all about though. Sticking together as a team, making plays whenever it comes your way no matter how many opportunities you get and just trying to get the win. And, that’s what we did. We got the win, so it’s all good.

Joe Tyron-Shoyinka

On the defenses confidence in giving Tom Brady the ball back…

That last drive was bend not break. We had to make a decision and as a defense we got that fourth down stop and gave our offense the chance to win the game. They did what they had to do and we came out with the W.

 

On how crazy this week has been…

It wasn’t really crazy. It was just another week at work. The people who were gone, (others) had to step up. I feel like it was a pretty smooth transition. We had (Bruce Arians) at the game, so it wasn’t much difference in our week of preparation. We knew what we had to do. We had to come out and get this must win.

 

On making the tackle on fourth down at the end of the game…

It was awesome. The defense the whole time was fighting, fighting, fighting. They got down to the red zone, close to the goal line. It was do or die at that point. The (defensive) line got great push, stuffed the quarterback and I just came off the edge unblocked and helped out on the tackle.

 

On the leadership of this team…

We all had to step up. People were missing. We have a lot of injuries. It was a culmination of what we are about as we’re about to go on this playoff run. People are going to have to step up like we did today moving forward.

 

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