Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians – Media Availability – January 23, 2022

Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians – Media Availability – January 23, 2022


(Opening Statement)

“Obviously, not the final that we wanted. At halftime, we knew [we needed] to come back and get this thig to where it was. To lose it like that, it’s hard. The finality of this league is [difficult]. Now, that locker room of guys have been through hell and back this year and I love them. They have stuck together through all the injuries and everything else. Really, really proud of the comeback and not the finish, but I can’t say enough about all of them. We had the guys that stepped in and stepped up with all the receivers, DBs and everybody else this year. They were a part of this journey. It’s a shame we didn’t complete it.”


(On how Rams WR Cooper Kupp was able to be open on the final pass of the game)

“The last play? Some guys didn’t blitz. I don’t know if we didn’t get the call, but it was an all-out blitz that we should had a ton of pressure.”


(On the frustration he has after losing to the Rams third time in the last three matches)

“[It’s like] every other team. When you lose, you lose. We had our chance to win.”


(On QB Tom Brady making a comeback in the second half after being down 27-3)

“Really, it was the defense making the turnovers. He benefitted from the turnovers and we had a couple there that we didn’t catch or that we might had the lead at the end. When you have Tom, you’re never out of it.”


(On the defense struggling early and how they become more consistent in the second half)

“A totally busted coverage on a third-and-20 that we did out there and gave them a touchdown. The first half we – for whatever reason – didn’t play our best. Whether we were tight or whatever, the second half was more like what we expected to see.”


(On the way the special teams played in today’s game)

“It’s going to take all three phases. There were times that all three were good and then there were times when a kickoff goes out of bounds, giving them the ball at the 40 and things like that. That’s tough sledding, but still we had it with 40 seconds.”


(On how RB Leonard Fournette played after returning from injured reserve)

“He had two great weeks of practice and he played like I thought he would.”


(On the team’s emotion being too relaxed after Fournette’s game tying touchdown)

“No, just a little bit of missed communication and hectic moments at the end. Slipped and fell and gave them that seven route. [We didn’t] get the call in and get it communicated to all 11 guys.”


(On when Arians and QB Tom Brady will discuss his future)

“That’s up to Tom, just like all veteran players.”


(On if he is returning for next season as head coach)

“Me? Oh yeah.”


(On losing T Tristan Wirfs and how it affected the offensive line)

“I have to give Josh Wells credit. He was playing on a really bad leg. When you take an All-Pro guy out and the other All-Pro was on a bad ankle – Ryan [Jensen] sucked it up and Josh sucked it up. That’s a good front. We had our chances but we just didn’t finish it.”


(On taking a gamble to blitz on the final series of the game instead of playing coverage)

“Never second guess. Just make sure all 11 are on the same page.”


(On the resiliency of this team to come back after being down)

“These guys are fighters. They’ve shown it all year. 14-5 or whatever we are, but this team is over. This team will not be back together. They never are and make sure you say thank you to your teammates. We’ll try to regroup this thing and come in next year.”


(On being confident that Brady will return next season)

“That’s totally up to Tom.”


(On his biggest takeaway from this season)

“We have a locker room of fighters and a damn good coaching staff. We have guys that show up on Tuesday and they play on Sunday. They played pretty [well] and that’s a credit to the player. If the General Manager can get us a guy that can play, then the coach can get him ready to play.”


(On feeling a sense of finality with the upcoming changes to the coaching staff and roster)

“No, finality is finality. There’s change every year. It’s no different than other year.”