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07 September 2015

Buccaneers Quotes: Monday, September 7, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Wide Receiver Adam Humphries
Cornerback Tim Jennings
Guard Ali Marpet
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening Statement)
“We’ve practiced an awful lot, a lot of meetings, a lot of work like most of the teams in the league. There’s no fuss. Everything we have been doing has been leading up to this week. You want to peak at the right time. You want to play your best ball this week. It’s good to get away. Even to get the college weekend underway and know the NFL season is a week away. We are in pretty good shape health-wise. I know the guys are excited about playing. Starting off the season at home, there is just so many things for us to be excited about this week. We of course have added some new members to our ball club, which is always a good thing when you see new faces that blend in with the core foundation of our football team.”
 
(On if he anticipated the amount of roster turnover the team has had since becoming head coach)
“It had been a long time since I’d come into a new situation. I can’t remember exactly – I think if you look at most teams when there is a change, there’s change everywhere. I didn’t know the numbers but this does seem and feel more like our football team. Not that those teams didn’t. Whoever has the Tampa Bay Buccaneer uniform on is ours, but we are getting closer to having guys at every position that we wanted as much as anything. We feel good about where we are right now. [I’m] anxious to see how it’s all going to come together ths second year.”
 
(On if the team is Tennessee ready)
“We’re almost there. We need about one more week and then we will be Tennessee (laughs). We are right on schedule. This is the plan. Things we need to see, people we need to see – we work a lot of different combinations, look at a lot of different people in different spots. The situations you need to put a football team through, we’ve gone through the process. We’re not quite Tennessee ready yet, but, we will be Sunday and that’s what it’s all about.”
 
(On kicker Kyle Brindza and punter Jacob Schum each being unexperienced)
“That word can mean a lot of things. Maybe it makes some people uncomfortable but for me, I’m excited because both of them can kick. Both of them have strong legs. I like them. Of course I liked the guys we had last year too, but where we are in the situation we are in, we’ve looked at a lot of different people trying to get that position right. We feel good about going into the season with both guys. Last time they were out, both of them Jacob, Kyle, they both did a great job.”
 
(On defensive end Kourtnei Brown believing his exposure on the HBO series Hard Knocks helped him get interest from teams and if Smith watches the show)
“First part of that, do I watch the show? No. I haven’t seen any of the show. I’ve seen the game video. That’s what we did see. What we saw from him out there on the field [we saw] today too, same thing. I know he had a long interception for a touchdown. He has good numbers, good athletic ability, good traits. You want to see that out on the field today and even though we are in shells today we are able to see that. Excited about him being on the team.”
 
(On what he learned about his team during the preseason)      
“There’s so much to just say this. We wanted to, from Day 1, see improvement and we wanted to become a good football team. That’s what we saw. They did everything we asked them to do. We established everybody’s role. ‘This is what we are going to ask you to do this year. This is how we would like for you to do it.’ Everything we’ve given them they’ve done this too. We’ve seen the good, we’ve seen the bad, but that’s part of the process you go through to let you know exactly what you can do as a coaching staff, exactly what we feel like we can do and what we can ask our players to do. That’s what we’ve learned. We’ve learned everything that you can learn with preseason and training camp practices before you get to a regular season game. But this is when you truly know what you have – based on this first regular season game.”
 
(On what kind of team does he think he has this year)
“What we would like to see from our football team – offensively, I think every time I’ve talked to you when I’ve been asked that question I’ve talked about us establishing a running game. We have to be able to do that. I think we will be able to do that. Our lead running back has had excellent offseason workouts. The line knows we have to block for him, give him an opportunity and we can do some things there. When we want to pass the football, we want to pass the football, not because we have to or situations like that, we feel like we can do that. We know we have good skill guys that can catch the ball. We know we have a good guy that can throw the football. We realize we have to protect him. That’s what we’ve seen. Those are things we have to do offensively. Defensively, we’ve seen our blueprint in play – taking the ball away, scoring, being good on third downs, playing hard and physical as a football team. Then we need our specialists to come up, as we talked about them earlier, we feel like we have that in place. Exactly what you’ve seen on display when we are at our best is we would like to be consistently throughout the season.”
 
(On if he would throw more at a rookie quarterback like Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota than he would a veteran quarterback)
“Do we play veteran quarterbacks this year? I just know about the one we’re playing coming up. Everything is geared toward that. As far as what we are going to throw, we are going to throw everything that we have. That is what we do each week. We aren’t going to save any ammunition or anything like that. It’s all out. Everything is about this Tennessee game. It’s about us being 1-0 after this first game. Again, we’re not going to hold any players out for the next week. Everything we have, the best we can be, we’re going to see this week.”
 
(On if there is anything that concerns him about his team)
“None of that – how young – it doesn’t [matter]. We’re going to put a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team on the football field. The unknown is that there’s no way to go through the first game. It’s as simple as that. First regular season game – we’re not in that 2015 routine. No one is. The things you are concerned about as a coach and all of us is, ‘How will it all play out.’ Again, all 32 teams are in the same situation. Last year, the teams that really did well – that can’t help them this year. The teams that didn’t do well don’t have to bring that with you. Everything starts from scratch, that’s why we love it.”
 
(On how quickly can newly acquired cornerback Tim Jennings compete for a starting position)
“We want him to be in position where he can help us win. As far as starting job, all starting jobs – who starts, who plays – that works itself out once you get everybody in a position where they can prove what type of time they should get. First step for time: there are some things we do differently. It’s been a while. It’s the first day he’s lined up as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. There are steps he has to go through, but in time he will be able to contribute for us. He’s a good football player. We wouldn’t have brought him here. I have seen him in a lot of different situations. I’ve lined up with him in a lot of game, so I think I know what we are going to get.”
 
(On if he can appreciate the matchup between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota)
“Yes I can, but I think as you talk to some of their veteran players, some of our veteran players I don’t know if they are getting into that as much as everyone else is. I see why everyone else is, but once you get down to it they have a say, but it’s so much bigger than that. That’s taking on a life of its own and we realize that. I’m responsible for Jameis and what I’ve told Jameis is he knows his role in what we are asking him to do. Let all of that take care of itself. You just be the quarterback and make good decisions. Be Jameis Winston and we’ll be okay with that. Everything else can take care of itself.”
 
(On bringing in quarterback Ryan Griffin and the decision to carry three quarterbacks)
“As a general rule we would carry two and put one on the practice squad, but when there is a good player out there – we have some positons that are flexible. [he] could be on the 53 or the practice squad. We’ve liked him as a player for a while. Dirk [Koetter], Mike [Bajakian] [like him], I don’t know a lot about him. All of the guys that really know and then watching him throughout, he’s a guy that we kind of had our eye on all along. We thought he was worthy of that. What we ask our quarterbacks to do – make good decisions, be smart. Again, the things we are looking for in a quarterback we think he has. It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing exactly what he can do. The times he did play that we’ve seen him, he’s looked pretty good doing it.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER ADAM HUMPHRIES
 
(On finding out over the weekend that he had made the 53-man roster)
"Yeah, it was an exciting weekend, obviously. I played well in the game Thursday and things were looking good for me, but you never know in this league. It was good on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to know that I was on the 53-man roster. It was just exciting, but now I've got to work and get ready for the game on Sunday."
 
(On if he got a call to tell him he made the roster, or simply didn't get a call about being waived)
"Actually, [Head Coach] Lovie [Smith] called me Saturday morning and told me I'd earned it, that I had done a good job in camp. So it was pretty cool to hear from the coach."
 
(On if he was nervous when Lovie Smith's call came)
"Yeah, I was a little nervous at first because he left a voicemail and all he said at first was, 'Hey, it's Lovie, give me a call back.' I was like, 'Oh, man.' But when I called back he told me I made it, so I was jumping around the room, pretty excited."
 
(On where he fits in the Tampa Bay’s return game)
"I don't know that right now but I think I've proven in the preseason I can return punts, so if they need me out there I can do that."
 
(On working more on punt returns than kickoff returns)
"Yeah, I've done a lot more punts than kickoffs. I don't think I got a rep on kickoff return in a preseason game. I've done it in practice but not in a game, so a little bit more punt return than kick return."
 
(On the most difficult adjustment for him)
"Obviously, playing for Clemson we played some really good schools, some good teams. I think the biggest difference for me in the NFL is just the details. Our offensive coordinator is really strict on details and getting here it's tough to learn all the splits for different routes, and you have to learn three positions. Just getting the details down and learning all three positions was tough but I feel comfortable there now and hopefully I can just go out there and prove what I can do."
 
(On putting in extra time with quarterback Jameis Winston)
"Jameis is such a competitor, he wants to win at everything he does. We try to get together and go over the script, go over some plays and just interact and talk about that. It's always good to get some extra study in with him, and it's good to know that we have a quarterback who really wants to win and will put in the extra work."
 
CORNERBACK TIM JENNINGS
 
(On making the decision to come to Tampa Bay)
“It was easy once I came here on the visit and I walked in the building and saw a lot of familiar faces. I saw a lot of the guys I played with, coaching staff that I played with for a while. The comfort level was already there. As far as it being comfortable, being a place where you are wanted and feel comfortable in the system and then come in and play right away – it was a no brainer.”
 
(On going to a team he thinks can win and how he sees himself as a member of the defense)
“I thought it was an opportunity to really help the defense – use some of my knowledge that I’ve played in the scheme for a while. To come in and help the guys, it was a great situation for me. [I’m] real familiar with the defense, so it was an opportunity to come in, help the team and help the defense and hopefully be a part of something, kind of turn it around here.”
 
(On if being cut for the first time in his career has added motivation to be relevant this season)
“Like you said, it has been a first time for me, but I use it as motivation just the fact that you never want to be fired from a job. You just basically switch firms, switch business. Take what you learned from other places and come in and apply to another job and try to help them get better. That was the approach I’ve taken, but of course it added a little fire to it.”
 
(On how important is that Lovie Smith gets the defense the way he wants it and how much it helps having veterans from his system)
“I think that is what he is trying to do. With the style of defense it’s more discipline being where you are supposed to be, being accountable for your job. I think I’ve been in the system, played it a while. With myself and some of the guys that played in it a few years, that’s what he’s wanted, to help some of the young guys, the new guys that come in this system. Just realize it’s a system standpoint with this style of defense we are going to play, so why not bring guys that are already experienced and familiar with it to help some of the new guys coming in.”
 
(On what he likes about the offense)
“I definitely like the size and the size on the outside. You have a quarterback in there that is very smart, eager to learn. The sky is the limit with him They have a lot of potential. The running game, I think Coach [Lovie] Smith is going to emphasize that a lot. I think when you can manage the clock like that and have the big guys and the playmakers on the outside, you have a chance to be a great offense. It’s kind of hard to match up with those guys out there. The potential on the offensive side of the ball was definitely a plus for me.”
 
(On if the youth of the offense puts more pressure on the defense)
“We always take the pressure with the defense. We feel like we have to get takeaways and turnovers and score on offense. We’ll take that pressure. We want to take the pressure off the offense and let them go out there and play freely, manage the ball not turn the ball over and we’ll take all the pressure by taking it away, help put points on the board. Anytime we can have that pressure, we welcome it.”
 
(On if he has stayed in contact with Lovie Smith since they were in Chicago together)
“It’s been a love/hate relationship [laughter]. Of course I wasn’t able to talk to him while being part of the Bears in the offseason. We may speak a couple of times over the years, just seeing how the year is going, checking up on me, seeing how the year was going. That’s just the kind of man he is. He’s a man that cares about guys. It was like a no-brainer once we reconnected. It was like we never missed a beat.”
 
(On facing Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota)
“I’m excited. I’m excited to see what our quarterback does against him. Hopefully we’ll take the ball away more than they do.”
 
GUARD ALI MARPET
 
(On what Tennessee’s defense does that will cause problems for the offensive line)
“I don’t think there is going to be a lot of stuff they can do. If we prepare the right way like I know we are we should be fine. They like to bring some linebackers and things like that. They like to do some things, but again, it’s all stuff we are going to be able to cover and have answers to.”
 
(On having ups and downs during the preseason and what it means for the offensive line)
“I think for me the Cincinnati game, that’s the team that we are. There’s no reason why we can’t do special things this year. There’s bad stuff, but again that’s stuff that you are going to learn from and get better.”
 
(On what it’s going to feel like to walk out of the tunnel of Sunday)
“All I know is I’m extremely excited and in order to slow the game down it’s going to be all about preparation this week. I’ll be excited and jacked-up, but at the same time it’s about slowing the game down.”
 
(On what he is most excited about for the season)
“What this team can accomplish. The reality is we have a lot of talented guys. There are some special things this team can do.”
 
(On what it means to be learning from a veteran like Logan Mankins)
“There are little things he points out that I wouldn’t even see. As far as being able to see the defense and slow the game down that’s really what experience does.”
 
(On if youth matters as long as players are talented)
“Experience is extremely important, but the thing is talent goes a long way. The reality is we have some talented guys here. We are going to be a real good team.”
 
(On what he thinks is more important talent or experience)
“Obviously they are both important, but at the same time experience is invaluable. That’s why Logan is such an excellent guy to learn from, so it’s great having him in the locker room.”
 
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