Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Tight End Alan Cross
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On if it was an advantage again today to have the indoor facility available)
"Absolutely. We would have been in, like you said, anyway, but we had this crazy weather pattern. Now we've got a lightning delay and we can't leave – everybody's trapped in here for 30 minutes."
(On practicing unusual game situations like putting a return man back on an opponent's long field goal attempt)
"For instance in the game [Thursday] night, when we were trying a 53-yarder, if we would have been on defense right there we would have probably put a guy back. As we know from the college game, that could be a season-changing play. That's just one of the many things that you've got to cover in training camp."
(On how the players responded to coming back to practice after Thursday's game)
"Yeah, I think we started off a little sluggish. I mean, I'm not going to lie, I don't think those guys were crazy about practicing today. But it's training camp and we've got to work. We need to work. I thought actually coming in here today with the fans and the AC, that juiced them up a little bit. We finished better than we started. We'll go in and we'll correct it and the players are off tomorrow. I'm sure they'll be happy about that."
(On tight end Alan Cross's versatility)
"It was real valuable. There's a couple guys on both sides of the ball that are like that, that can play multiple positions. The players always say, 'The more you can do, the more you can do.' Evan Smith. Evan Smith's that guy on the O-Line. And then we already mentioned Alan Cross. Guys like that are worth their weight in gold whether they're starters or not."
(On if the Buccaneers will do more game-planning for their second preseason game than they did for the first one)
"Typically there would be about the same amount of game-planning, not that much. But the fact that we're practicing against them, that changes things a little bit because you practice against somebody for two days, then have that one day off and then you play them. You're not going to show them the same exact stuff you just showed them in practice. In the NFL, if you show good NFL players something one time, the next time you come out in that look they'll be calling it out. So we have to game-plan a little bit more when we practice against them."
(On if he sees value in joint practices with another team)
"Absolutely, absolutely. It's the same thing – these guys say they don't want to hit each other, and it's great work to go practice against someone where I have a script of what we're going to run but I don't know what they're going to run. And same for the players – you're seeing different offenses, different defenses and it's always a challenge for the players and the coaches."
(On injuries in the secondary)
"We're thin, we're thin. Last week and continuing into this week, offensive tackle we're thin, and we're thin in the secondary, especially at corner. I think we have four corners down. We just signed two corners yesterday; if we wouldn't have signed those guys we would have had four corners to practice today. It would have been tough. Those guys would be [tired]. You're playing nickel at least half of practice. I don't know if you noticed but we had Justin Evans playing nickel with the first group today. You've got to keep going and the two new guys got baptism by fire. They got a lot of reps today."
(On rookie wide receivers Sergio Bailey and Ervin Philips making plays in Thursday's game)
"I've got to admit, those two guys, they did a good job. A two-minute drive, no-huddle – you saw how tired both the offense and defense were. I was really proud of those two guys. I think it elevates their confidence, and then you see Serge make a beautiful catch in the end zone today. You find guys like that in preseason. Like all of a sudden – Erv [Philips] hadn't been playing outside at all – he had to play outside in the game the other night. You can find out who pays attention in the meetings."
(On wide receiver DeSean Jackson)
"DeSean's having an excellent camp. I think DeSean has really asserted himself not only as a veteran but as a leader. He's tried to take on more of a [leadership] role, and I'm very pleased. We haven't hit him as much as we should, but that was progress."
(On how Jackson is asserting himself as a leader)
"What he says, his body language. DeSean has instant street cred because of his career. The players respect the heck out of DeSean, so when DeSean has good body language – he's talked to the team at least twice so far. He's going to be the captain this week in Tennessee. It's a big difference if you see a guy that you respect out there doing what he's supposed to do versus a guy that's out there moping around. And hats off to him, he's doing a good job."
(On if getting playing time in games against top competition helps the rookies)
"Absolutely. It helps him, no question. There's no coach standing behind you in real football, so you find out real fast guys that can play without a coach telling them what to do. It's great work for those guys."
(On the response from the rookies to the live game action)
"Some of them. Some of them not so much. It's always going to be that way. So for the ones that we didn't like we say, 'Hey, you've got another chance coming up this week.' For the ones that you did like, you say, 'Okay, build on it. Learn more. If you're a wide receiver, play more than one spot."
Tight End Alan Cross
(On him bouncing on and off the team’s roster and practice squad)
“I’ve had that mentality ever since I got to college. I walked on as a long-snapper. I always feel like I have to make the team, regardless of what coach says. Obviously it makes you feel good, but I’m still here to make the team in my opinion.”
(On his touchdown reception in the first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins)
“We caught in on the goal line. We were expecting them to be in one-high. I just had to beat the linebacker and stay away from the safety. Griff (Ryan Griffin) threw a good top shelf ball, and luckily I came down with it.”
(On the potential of the tight ends on the roster this year)
“I feel like if we have Cam [Brate] and O.J. [Howard] out there at one time, and Mike [Evans] and D-Jack (Desean Jackson] on one side, you have to pick and choose your battles. If you match up and double Mike, we can run the ball. If you go one-high, man-up, we can beat you on the outside with Mike and D-Jack, and having those threats across the middle with O.J. and Cam, it just opens up the run game even more. Hopefully, it opens up everybody and everybody benefits from it.”
(On heading to Tennessee to practice with another team)
“I like it. It’s a good thing for rookies. It gives a team another opportunity to see them. We did it Jacksonville and Cleveland my rookie year. Last year we did Jacksonville. It’s always good to go against other guys, and not bing and bang on your own guys. That’s for sure.”
(One being a player that can play multiple positions including on special teams)
“That’s the main reason why I’m still here. That’s the biggest reason why I made it my rookie year, because of special teams. Being able to do more positions on every special team is better, and it will benefit you. That’s what I try to tell the young guys that are coming in. Try to learn as much as you can, be a sponge, soak up as much as you can. While the coach is teaching one person, even though it’s not your position, just learn it. You never know.”