Bucs head coach Bruce Arians took questions from the Charlotte media on a conference call Tuesday. Below is a transcript of the Q&A session.
Do you think Cam Newton can still throw 20-yards down field?
Absolutely. I don’t think there is any doubt about it or he wouldn’t be playing. Yeah, he has all his tools. He is ready to go.
How have you seen Cam Newton’s game change over the last couple of years, particularly with the tools given to him?
They have added so much speed. For awhile they had those big receivers and now they have all that speed. It’s a good influx. I see what Norv [Turner] has done with his traditional offense and then all the things that are becoming prevalent now with the option and some of the things Cam has always done.
Does it change how you prepare to defend Cam Newton when he only threw one ball for over twenty yards in the previous game?
No, I don’t want to find out in a game.
What has your relationship with Norv Turner been over the years?
I got a lot of respect. We’ve played against each other so many times. There are only a few guys who are older than us. But I’ve got a ton of respect for Norv.
Do you feel it's been tougher for defenses to get interceptions in recent years?
I think it's just a cyclical thing. I think if you probably looked at them, most of them were dropped. If there was anything, defensive backs there for awhile were not great ball skill guys and so its just a cyclical thing. I don’t think there is a huge trend there.
What does Christian McCaffrey’s presence alone on the field do to a defense?
That is the biggest thing. He is so versatile. You have to be alert of him – wide receiver, running back. So that gives you some of things options wise for your offense. He can be a great decoy but you don’t want him to be a decoy too much because he is your best player.
How do you try to game plan against Luke Kuechly?
I don’t there is any way you are going to mix him up. He studies film. He knows what he is doing. I’ve played against him so many times and he is probably one of if not the premier inside middle linebacker. The biggest thing is to make sure you are accounting for him and try to get him blocked and that is not an easy job.
Coaches, particularly Norv Turner, and their revitalized second act
I don’t think there is any doubt. We both sat out. I sat out a year, he sat out and then you come back, and the energy level is so different. Obviously, he is having a lot of fun. I think that is a big part of it.
What did you do on Sundays when you were sitting out that year?
I traveled every week and called those games for CBS.
Gerald McCoy and do you think too much is placed on when a player faces his previous team?
I think the first time always has some extra energy to it that wears off really quick when the game starts playing. Its usually more leading up to it. Probably have had 30 or 40 of these types of situations, playing guys that have just left to another team. It wears off really quickly.