Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tom Brady, Todd Bowles Respond To Brawl & Mike Evans Rejection

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Tom Brady caught ejected Tampa Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans right after the 20-10 win over New Orleans, but the superstar quarterback said little afterward.

Evans and Saints cornerback Marshawn Lattimore was ejected Sunday, Sept. 18, as the two main culprits in the fourth-quarter bank-clearing brawl. It started after Lattimore Bucs quarterback Tom Brady made a gesture after a third game.

Brady didn’t want to say much more than “it was an emotional game” at the post-game press conference. He was also seen greeting Evans in the tunnel exiting the Superdome field right after the game.

The bank clearing brawl was the culmination of a heated day between NFC South Division rivals. Things soon simmered and the Bucs took off to break a 3-3 tie with a 17-7 in the fourth quarter.

“I just saw a lot of shoving and shoving and flags flying,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters afterwards. “You don’t want punches thrown at both sides. I’m sure their coach says the same.”

Evans left the game with three receptions for 61 yards, including a 41-yard grab. It left the Bucs weakened at the receiver with only Russell Gage, Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman.

The Bucs will have to wait and see what the NFL will decide on Evans’ game status after the sacking.

“I hope not,” Bowles said of Evans’ suspension. “We’ll see what happens with the league.”

Neither Brady nor Bowles wanted to acknowledge the brawl as an emotional turning point for the Bucs.

“I think a little bit better execution helps everywhere,” Brady said. “The defense played great again.”

With the game still tied 3-3 and no Evans, Brady went deep, 28 yards, to Perriman for the go-ahead touchdown at 7:41 before the game. Saints fans such as @HerulsBack claimed Lattimore’s absence played a role.

“We gave Tom some time,” Bowles said. “He just made a great shot. Breshad made a great game.”

Brady had a tough walk all day, which included showing signs of frustration in front of the camera. He threw both his helmet and a tablet on the sidelines during the game and left the press conference in two minutes – too quickly to be asked.

“Yards were hard to come by and points were hard to come by in this ball game,” Bowles said.

Bucs defensive back Jamel Dean changed the momentum when he picked off Saints quarterback Jameis Winston in the end zone. Bowles didn’t want to attribute any motivation to what happened just prior to Dean’s election.

“I don’t know if it was a turning point,” Bowles said of the brawl. “We were in the ball game. It was 3-3 at that point and it could have gone either way and we knew we had to make some plays.

The Bucs defense also sealed the deal with a few turnovers. Safety Mike Edwards picked off Winston and put him 68 yards to the end zone for a 20-3 lead. Defender Carlton Davis III then caught up on a fumble from rookie receiver Chris Olave.

Tampa Bay had losses in the win, with offensive lineman Josh Wells and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks down with injuries. Bowles said tests needed to be done on Wells’ calf, but Bowles had no update on Hicks’ foot injury.

The Bucs lost offensive lineman Donovan Smith the week before in Dallas. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Chris Godwin also sat out injuries against the Cowboys.

“I don’t know if it was a turning point,” Bowles said of the brawl. “We were in the ball game. It was 3-3 at that point and it could have gone either way and we knew we had to make some plays.

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