Arians wonders if Bucs are smart enough

by Gary Shelton on August 2, 2021

in general

Joe Tryon is making an impression./TIM WIRT

Monday, 3 a.m.

They are fast enough. They are strong enough. They are big enough.

But are the Tampa Bay Bucs smart enough?

Bucs' coach Bruce Arians is wondering that after a weekend of mistakes by his team. He likes the effort; he doesn't always like the results.

"Really pleased with the effort," Arians said. "We're working extremely hard, two days in a row, fast. But I'm not seeing the smart. We've got to be a much smarter football team. After looking at yesterday's practice, (we had)

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way too many mental errors. Same thing today (with) guys getting lined up, especially those young wide receivers, and it's time for them to grow up. But you can't ask anything more from our football team as far as work. Work, speed of practice and all those things – -very, very competitive but we've got to become a smarter football team quick."

Arians scoffed at the idea that the Bucs were suffering from mental fatigue.

"There is no such thing," Arians said. "There is no such thing. Fatigue makes a coward out of you. We've got a few (players dealing with fatigue), it's whipping their ass.

 "Guys got to make plays, man. They're in critical situations, you can't fall down. (Tom Brady) gives you a chance to win the game, you've got to go win the game. I don't care how tired you are.  Really, it was just a few guys that were average, defensively. Their assignment sheet was way less than the offense. Offensively, it looked like we were executing but we really weren't."

One player who stood out, Arians said, was No. 1 draft pick Joe Tryon.

Oh, more than (meeting expectations)," Arians said. "He hasn't been in pads in, what, two years? He's whipping a lot of guys' asses. That says a lot about him. He's carving out a real, real nice role for himself."

Arians was asked about Tryon's repertoire of pass rush moves.

"You should probably ask Tristan [Wirfs] and Donovan [Smith] because he's kicking their ass pretty good sometimes," Arians said. "I don't think he needs any more moves, that's for sure. Maybe a little more strength, but he's got plenty of that, too."

Arians said the team was almost fully vaccinated.

"It's all personal decisions and education," Arians said. "On August 13th, we'll be 92% (vaccinated) – close to 100, really. We have a couple guys who've had it and can't get their vaccine – as soon as they get their shot, two weeks later they'll be good. Pretty much we'll be close to 100%, at least 98%, for the first game. August 13th, we'll be over 90%."

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