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01 September 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postgame Quotes (8/31/17)

(On if he got to see everything he wanted to see tonight)
“I think I have a clear picture in my mind but I spoke with Jason [Licht] just briefly and we talked a little bit, of course we are going to want to take a look at the tape in the morning and then we’ll start rolling on it.”
(On if some cuts will happen before the deadline on Saturday)
“That’s going to be up to Jason [Licht], I’m not sure about that.”
(On his general thoughts about how the team played in the preseason)
“It’s hard to say how the games took place. I was a college coach for 23 years and then I came to the NFL and preseason football is the weirdest thing because you’re not – winning isn’t really the [main concern]. In amateur sports – high school, college – you don’t play any games where you’re not trying to win, where winning isn’t the thing. It’s just different that’s all I can say, not good or bad, it’s just different and we believe the number one thing you have to do in preseason is get through it as healthy as you can. It’s just counterintuitive because you want to put on a good show, you want to put a good product out there but at the same time you’re fighting back playing your best players. You’re fighting back showing certain schemes that you don’t want to show. I don’t enjoy that part of it. I love practice, I love the practice part, I love having 90 guys, I love seeing new guys, there are new players every year that show up and surprise you. A guy like Bobo Wilson finally got a chance to show what he could do tonight. He’s been through 20-something practices and just didn’t get much of an opportunity. He finally got his hands on the ball tonight and made some plays.”
(On the difficulty of cutting the roster down to 53 players)
“They are going to be real difficult because we have to say goodbye to 37 guys who for the most part have given us what they’ve got, some of them all the way back to April when we started offseason program. So nine weeks offseason program,  six weeks of preseason. That’s 15 weeks you’ve been with these guys. My experience in the NFL is most of these guys want to be coached and want to get better and they try and do what you ask them to do. You sometimes get mad because they don’t do exactly the way you say they should do it but they try for the most part. So that’s one thing – in the past you would already had 15 of those cuts made and over the next day and a half we are going to say goodbye to 37 guys.”
(On his biggest takeaway from the preseason)
“It’s over, it’s over and we’re pretty healthy, you know we’re relatively healthy. There are a lot of teams in the league that are worse off than we are health-wise. I know people pay for these tickets in the preseason, but people pay to see the main players play real football and that’s about to start next week.”
(On if he considers the preseason record disappointing)
“Yeah, no one cares about that, you can look that up – there is a million stats about teams – their preseason stats have nothing to do (with regular season record). I wish we are 4-0 but we’re not. We’re 1-3 and no one will give two craps about that. They won’t, don’t kid yourself. It doesn’t matter. We’re zero and zero is what we are, and so is everybody else.”
(On the preseason performance of Bernard Reedy)
“Well tonight he didn’t get as many opportunities, but over the course of the preseason he did a really nice job especially in the return game. He gave us and explosive [play] in every game until tonight and we wanted to get a look at Bobo (Wilson) tonight and he gave us an explosive [play] or two. So Bernard probably did all he could do.”
(On the ability to evaluate players in the preseason when they are not playing against starters)
“It’s still football and they are still playing at approximately the same level, but they’re not playing against the best and you don’t always get to see certain guys with your first group. It just doesn’t work that way but I think the cream always rises to the top.”
(On if they are comfortable with Ryan Fitzpatrick as back up)
“Yeah, we’re fine with Ryan (Fitzpatrick) I mean he’s got 116 starts in this league and I’ve played against Ryan multiple times, I see him everyday, I’m in the quarterback meetings I know what kinda guy he is. I’ve told you guys this before there are about 10 teams in this league that don’t like their starter and there’s not many teams that are hoping their backup goes in there and we’ve got a backup that’s got 116 starts in the NFL”
(On if Jeremy McNichols improved tonight)
“I don’t know. I probably better take a look at the tape.”
(On if he is comfortable with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the backup quarterback)
“Yeah, we’re fine with Ryan. He has 116 starts in this league. I’ve played against Ryan multiple times. I see him everyday. I’m in the quarterback meetings. I know what kind of guy he is. I’ve told you guys this before – there are about 10 teams in this league that don’t like their starter and there is not very many teams that are hoping their backup goes in there. We have a backup that has 116 starts in the NFL.”
(On the signing Ryan Griffin to an extension)
“So in Ryan’s (Griffin) case it’s just unfortunate because he was in a real tight battle with Ryan Fitzpatrick, then he hurt that shoulder. We’ve spent a lot of time, we have a lot of time invested in Ryan and I think he was having a heck of a preseason up until when he got hurt in that Cincinnati game. I’m excited that regardless of what’s going to happen here in the immediate future that we have him under contract for not only this season but next.”
(On if he has decided on the kick return position)
“The hardest thing about the kick return position is that you don’t get to return very many kicks. We all thought, me included, that when they changed that rule two years ago that everybody was going to mortar kick to the goal line and we were going to be bringing all these kicks out. But they’re not. All these kickers are kicking them out, I mean I don’t know what the number is but it’s got to be less than five, it’s probably like three that we’ve had a chance to return the whole time. It’s not like that is something that you practice live on our own. I have a lot less of a feel for kickoff returner thank I do for punt returner, I think we have two real solid guys in that area but kickoff return, it is a little bit up the air still.”
(On what he looks forward to most in the first regular season game)
“To see what kind of team we are really going to have. It’s easy for all of us, me included, and most of you included, to speculate on what type of team we are going to have based on the preseason. None of us really know, none of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we’re going to play this season. There has been a lot of talk, a ton of talk, but the talking time is done. It’s time for us to earn it, we got to do our thing, next Sunday. If you’re in this business, player or coach, that’s what you’re in it for.”
(On the play of Anthony Auclair)
“Anthony (Auclair) is a guy that we are really happy that we got him as a free agent. I think Jason [Licht] and his guys – I think we got a steal in that guy because there are just not many tight ends that are 262 pounds and can block on the line of scrimmage and really have never played football in the United States, even though he played in Canada. He’s a tough guy, he’s a pretty smart guy, he’s still got a ways to go, but we like his upside. I think he’ll find a home in the NFL, I do.”
(On the linebacker depth of Kendall Beckwith, Adarius Glanton and Cameron Lynch)
“I thought those three guys were outstanding tonight. I think we’re the deepest we’ve been at linebacker for sure.”
(On his overall preseason performance)
“Overall, I thought it was good. Obviously, I’m pretty hard on myself sometimes, so I always think that I can do better. It’s a grind and we got through it together. Thankfully I’m healthy, so that’s always a positive. It’ll be interesting the next couple of days. We’ll see what happens.”
(On if he thinks he’s done enough to make a roster spot)
“It’s hard for me to say. I like to think that I went out every day and did my best, worked my hardest and put my best foot forward. Whether I make it or not will be up to them. I’ll just be waiting for the call.”
(On what he can improve on moving forward)
“With football, there’s always going to be mistakes. You can look back on any game or practice you have and you want to change things, but that’s football. You have to learn to put things behind you. I wouldn’t change anything. I came, day in and day out trying to work hard and trying to do my best. That’s one thing I can look back on and be proud of.”
(On whether he spoke to his Dad prior to final preseason game)
“Yeah, I had lunch with him today and I had dinner with him last night. We talk every day. I talk to my brother all the time and they say similar things. Mainly through preseason, you just have to learn to enjoy the grind. Its long days, it’s tough on your body, it’s tough mentally, but just keep going. Keep being strong and getting through it. We made it through preseason now. I feel like I did my best, so when I look back I can say at least I did that.”
(On overall defensive performance)
“We had a good game plan. We kind of figured we knew what they were going to come out and do. We came out and we played well. The front seven played well and the back seven, we communicated well and we were able to go out and execute the game plan.”
(On mindset going into game knowing he would have significant playing time)
“Nothing changes for me. Every week I go out and expect to play a lot, even if I don’t play as much as I expect to. I go out and I expect to play, so my game plan coming in is to play and be ready to play.”
(On the benefit of having one year of experience with the team)
“You just learn a little bit more every year. You get more comfortable playing with the guys and playing with the calls. You get a feel of how he [Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith] is going to call the game in certain situations, so you’re ready for the call to be made. You can think about what the offense is going to do more instead of your assignment.”
(On getting on track for the end zone and getting on track throughout the game)
“It just takes one play until you start getting into a rhythm and then after that the O-line did a really job of giving me time to get the ball to my playmakers, which is the biggest thing.”
(On his touchdown throw to wide receiver Bernard Reedy)
“Just trying to ‘low-high’ the corner there. I wasn’t really expecting him to give off the corner route so easily, but he kind of stood flat-footed and I just gave Reedy a good ball off the top. I was kind of excited, but at the same time we were still losing in the game and were trying to fight back. It was a little bit more subdued than probably I wanted.”
(On how much more comfortable he got on the final drive based on the amount of playing time he has been getting)
“I’d say pretty comfortable. I’d say I think for the first time – I know I played a little bit in the Cincinnati game – but for the first time in about six months being able to play a consistent amount of reps, I thought that just be being comfortable came with the as the game came along. I think overall I needed to be a lot crisper, a lot sharper sooner in the game to give us a chance and I need to take care of the football too.”
(On what he’s learned in this preseason and training camp)
“Details, details, details. I think everybody is very skilled in the NFL and it all comes down to X’s and O’s and the mental side of the game because everyone knows what they’re doing, so you need to know your offense inside and out. You need to know what the defense is doing so you can get the ball to your playmakers and put your team in the right positions to win because if you’re wrong about four or five plays in a game that can really hurt you and lead to a losing season. So it’s all down to details and execution.”
(On if these are the longest 10 days of the year)
“Yeah, absolutely. You all know I say this every year – this is the worst time of the year. These next two days – I hate it, I hate it with a passion. I absolutely hate that it has to be on TV, but you know, it’s reality. That’s the great thing about being on Hard Knocks – they catch reality and what is really going down. Everything you’ve seen so far on Hard Knocks is 100 percent authentic and it’s been fun, but I’m not looking forward to these next two days.”
(On if he will watch the final episode of Hard Knocks)
“I will watch it. They do a great job putting the show together, so I’ll watch it. It’s just you hate to see it. You’re with these guys, especially now how things go – they’re with you all the way, from the offseason all the way to the fourth preseason game. There are not cuts early. We’ve grown attached to these guys. Every year this happens – we bring guys in, we get attached to them and then they let them go. But, that’s the reality of our game and you just hate to see it.”
(On if he will speak to running back Doug Martin before he leaves the team for a few weeks)
“I’ve already talked to Doug. Doug will be ready when he gets back. We are going to miss him for sure. We love Doug. He is a dominant running back. He’s not good – he’s dominant, especially when he is on his game. We are going to miss him, but I’ve spoken to him. We’ve already had that conversation and he’s going to be good.”
(On his overall preseason performance this year)
“I progressed a lot from day one until now, but I’ve still got a lot to work on.”
(On if the process of adjusting to the system and understanding the playbook caught him by surprise)
“I expected that. You’re going to mistakes. You’re learning a new system, a new playbook, a new environment – everything is new – so you’re going to make mistakes, but you’ve just got to continue to learn quick. It’s the NFL, so you’ve got to learn quick. You don’t really have a lot of time.”
(On if he approached this final preseason game differently)
“Yeah, I approached it way different. I had more of a clear mindset. I just wanted to run harder and just play with a chip on my shoulder.”
(On if he believes he did enough to earn a roster spot)
“We’ll see.”
(On if his struggles early in the preseason helped him play with a chip on his shoulder tonight)
“Oh yeah. My struggles – those really humbled me. I really had to go back and check myself and it did make me have a bigger chip on my shoulder moving forward. But, it’s still not good enough. I’ve still got a lot to work on and I’m going to continue to progress.”
(On if it was hard to come to terms with his mistakes so far in the NFL due to his success in college)
“No, because even in college it didn’t come easy. I made mistakes in college as well early on, even throughout my sophomore and junior year – not as many of course, but you just have to trust the process. It’s all part of the process.”
(On what it was like to get out on the field tonight)
“It was fun to get out there and just show what you can do and play with the guys. I just tried to do everything I could to get on the roster.”
(On how he remains focused on football)
“Just block out the noise – block out all the outside noise and just focus on what I can in that building – film, practice, extra work – just things like that.”
(On his mentally now that the preseason has ended and how he awaits to see what happens)
“Just wait and pray. I always put my faith in God and not in man so that’s what I look at.”
(On what it feels like to be from the Tampa area, become the fan favorite and make some plays)
“I mean it means a lot – to continue to ball the way I have. I would just say that I put my team first. Without them, without Sefo throwing, without the line blocking for him, I can’t make those plays.”
(On the camaraderie he has built with his teammates)
“One thing about this team – it always feels like with an NFL team, with a lot of high-paid guys – but I feel like everybody is a family and that’s what I am used to.”
(On if having teammates from college at Florida State with him again on the Buccaneers has helped it feel like a family atmosphere)
“Yeah because like Jameis [Winston] – he’s going to push me. He knows me. He knows when I am down. He knows when I’m slacking. He knows if I take a play off and he’s going to keep pushing me every day in practice.”

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