Buccaneers Players (11.27.22)


Buccaneers WR Mike Evans:

On letting the lead slip away and to lose T Tristan Wirfs:

“That is the toughest part. We should not have been in that position and I thought that when [Wirfs] went down. I wish I could have played better to help prevent that.”


On what the Browns defense was doing to prevent him from getting more balls:

“No. I had some good opportunities in the first half. I caught a pass in the first half and a dude pulled my jersey so I thought it was an obvious call and they called an OPI on me, so we still moved the ball down the field and tried to score before the half. I thought I caught a ball in bounds with two feet in and they did not review it, so we got a field goal out of that.”


On how difficult it is to snap back and focus after losing a guy like Wirfs:

“Losing a guy like that with such a promising future is hard, but we all hope he is ok. We just have to play better to prevent things like that.”


On what it means to not put up points with the talent they have:

“It is super frustrating. Early on, it felt like we could do whatever we wanted between the run, play-action pass and the pass. It was just football. Guys were wide open and passes got tipped at the line. Just the little things like that. It is tough.”


Buccaneers OL Nick Leverett:

On the injury to Wirfs:

“It hurt a lot. When you see any of your teammates go down it hurts, but Tristan is like my brother. We line up next to each other, we bond a lot, we are in the same meeting room and the same position group. To see him go down, it hurt a lot. I hope it is not serious and a speedy recovery.”


On the tough battle and the opportunity to get one more score up 17-10 and couldn’t get it:

“It was just killer opportunities and you know it hurts. We put the work in and we felt like we had a great game plan. We go out there, try to execute. It is the NFL. Nothing is guaranteed. Every game is hard, but when we put the work in and are confident in the game plan like that, it hurts to let it slip away like that.”


On the tough conditions in overtime:

“It was crazy. Like you said, the weather was all over the place. We kept going in and out and needed to execute. Unfortunately, we did not do that and now we will have to reflect and go back to the drawing board and get ready for next week.”


Buccaneers DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches:

On how much he credits the Browns offense making plays in the fourth quarter and the catch by Browns TE David Njoku:

“That was a heck of an NFL play. I just think back to when we played Pittsburgh and some guys just make remarkable plays. You just have to tip your hat to him.”


On the mindset of the defense going into overtime:

“The biggest thing was stopping the line, so we could get to the quarterback on the pass. Like I said, they continued to do things and stuck around to make plays. It was just frustrating as a defense when you make a stop and then they made big chunks.”


Buccaneers RB Rachaad White

On losing Wirfs to injury and losing in overtime:

“It was really tough seeing Tristan go out. He’s a veteran, a leader, a great player in this league. It was tough to see him go down. To not close it out is a sickening feeling. I had opportunities. We all had opportunities and we did not close. We just have to go back to the drawing board.”


On somebody trying to hurdle him on a pass play:

“I was not even in. Sneak (Buccaneers RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn) was in. I don’t know where that came from. I saw it on the sideline. I talked to Sneak about it. It was insane. That was crazy. I would not have respected that either, if I was in, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t.”


On whether he could feel the difference in the energy as Wirfs was carted off the field:

“ I feel like the energy shifted throughout the whole game. There were moments it was high and moments it was low. That’s what coach ( HC Todd) Bowles spoke on. We have to continue for 60 minutes. It will not be easy with missing Tristan for sure. The team felt the hole and the gap. We also had (T Josh) Wells that came in, which is good. Wells came in for a minute. It sucked to lose Tristan for sure.”


On the frustration of having a talented offense and only scoring 17 points:

“There is a lot of frustration that goes into it. Even when we win, coach B-Leftwich (Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich) always talks about it, because he can see when we come in and they congratulate us. The team morale, like with offensive things, we know we can play better. It has been that way all season. I feel like it is going to click really soon, but we just have to keep being consistent, stay focused and locked in every day.”


On whether still being in first place in the NFC South is any consolation:

“My mind says to work. I am pretty sure whatever we have tomorrow, I know we have lifting and stuff like that. I will be in the weight room. Whatever coach wants me to lift, that is the type of guy I am. I am fine. I am lifting and I am working. Go back to work and get better.”


On building on his positive performance in Seattle:

“There were some positive plays and some things I could have done better. I will get it corrected.”


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