Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians took questions from the Charlotte media on a conference call Wednesday. Below is a transcript of the Q&A session.
Can you take us through the team's preparation for London?
“We got our sports science people handling everything for us. We started protocol right after our game against New Orleans to get everybody ready, making sure we’re getting the right sleep and everything else.”
What is Tampa Bay’s travel plan?
“We’re leaving tomorrow evening at 7:00 after practice."
Can you speak to the reasons behind releasing LB/S Deone Bucannon?
“Just looking for a special teams player. Deone has been a great player for me. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re a starter to accept the backup role. We were looking around and just thought it was time to move on.”
What did you took away from the Week 2 matchup at Carolina?
“I think one thing is the familiarity. They’re doing a heck of a job. They’re playing really, really well on defense right now. Taking the ball away, scoring a lot on defense. So, that’ll be a premium for our offense to protect the football. Christian is off to a big, big start. We had some success the first game, and we’re going to have to limit that again.
Can you speak to Tampa Bay’s defensive success against the run?
“I think run defense is where we always start. We’re doing a good job there. We’ve got to do a better job of getting off the field on third down. That’s one of the problems that we’ve had, is getting off the field on third down. Passing yardage doesn’t concern me as much as points. We’re giving up too many points because we’re leaving them on the field on third down.”
Talk about the success of Shaquil Barrett
“He’s an extremely hard worker, and Todd (Bowles) knows how to use him. Not knowing where he’s going to be all the time helps, because you talk about putting a tight end or chipping, but you never know where he’s going to be. That part is hard offensively to account for. Todd has always done a good job with that stuff.”
How do you prepare for Carolina’s pass rush?
“It’s going to be big challenge. They’ve got some guys – I’ve known Mario Addison since he’s got into the league and really have enjoyed watching him grow as a player. He’s a heck of a force. Those inside guys – Gerald (McCoy) and those guys – can all rush the passer. (OL) Earl Watford has played a lot of football, so it won’t be new for him and (T) Josh Wells has played also.”
What are your memories of the last time you coached in London?
“Not very good. We got beat soundly, and our quarterback broke his arm and we lost him for the season in the second quarter. So it was not fond.”
Do see playing a home game in London as a disadvantage?
“Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, yes.”
What is your relationship with Carolina DE/LB Mario Addison?
“We were in Indianapolis together. I liked him, I thought he had a future. He didn’t make our ball club, but he has done a heck of a job with his opportunities there.”
How about Mario's development in recent years?
“Those are the guys I root for all the time. The ones that they tell you that you don’t have a chance, and they end up with seven or eight sacks. His versatility – he just continues to grow as a player and it’s impressive.”
How has Jameis Winston grown this season?
“A steady growth. He’s getting better and better. We have to do a better job on third down as a coaching staff putting him a situation to win more, but overall, he’s done a good job protecting the football and moving us down the field.”
Can you speak to the production of WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin?
“A little bit of both. Mike garners a lot of attention, but Chris does a good job playing outside and inside. I think his forte of a physical receiver blocking for us opens up a lot of things in the middle.”