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Bruce Arians on dropped passes: ‘I don’t know who makes up these stats’

The coach doesn’t put any stock in an unofficial stat line that doesn’t exactly favor his Bucs.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) misses a pass reception with Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (42) defending during the second quarter of the Oct. 4 game at Raymond James Stadium.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) misses a pass reception with Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (42) defending during the second quarter of the Oct. 4 game at Raymond James Stadium. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Oct. 14, 2020|Updated Oct. 15, 2020

TAMPA — The NFL does not officially keep track of dropped passes. But you can find that statistic collected in certain places, and it shows that the Bucs don’t fare well against much of the league.

According to Fox Sports, the Bucs are tied with the Lions for third-most dropped passes this season with 12. The Falcons and Cowboys lead with 13 each.

NBC Sports has the Bucs tied with the for the lead with nine drops.

Running back Ronald Jones has had some memorable bobbles. Receiver Mike Evans has two drops, according to NBC Sports. Receiver Scotty Miller may have a drop or two.

But Bucs coach Bruce Arians doesn’t put much weight in those numbers. “I don’t know who makes up these stats,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t see us dropping the ball that much. We had a game where we did, but I don’t put any stock in it. Our guys can catch, and we don’t say (anything) about it.”

Some players are ‘marked’ for penalties

The Bucs do hold the undisputed NFL lead for the most penalized team in 2020. They are tied with the Cardinals for first with 42 penalties. They are coming off a 20-19 loss at Chicago in which they were flagged 11 times for 106 yards.

Arians doesn’t believe the team is being targeted for penalties by officials, particularly because it led the NFL in penalties a year ago. But he does think certain players may be singled out.

“I don’t think (it’s) teams' reputations, but players' reputations,” Arians said. "I think officials come into the game with guys marked, and if it’s close, they call it on them. I look at (offensive lineman) Demar Dotson last year, he got holding penalties that were not holding penalties because he was a marked guy.

“I think the same thing with (current center) Ryan Jensen. I think he’s a marked guy. With his hustle and effort, he plays to the whistle.”

One thing the Bucs can improve on is not committing personal fouls.

“Yeah. Poor technique usually leads to holding. You get your feet beat,” Arians said. "If you’re beat, I don’t want the quarterback hit, so I don’t (care) if you tackle (the opponent). I’ll take the 15 yards and play from there.

“As far as defensive penalties — personal fouls, yes. They have to be eliminated. Presnap penalties are the ones that bug me more.”

Notable injury

Cornerback Carlton Davis did not practice Wednesday and did some work on a side field with trainer Bobby Slater. Davis has some sort of abdominal issue, Arians said.

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