Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Defensive End Vinny Curry
Running Back Ronald Jones
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On splitting practice between outside and inside)
"It's great. Obviously, this part, being in here, is awesome for the fans because of the air conditioning. It's tougher outside. We tried to do the transition and I thought it went fine."
(On defensive tackle Vita Vea leaving practice with an injury)
"Vita left practice. I'm not sure what it is. It's a lower-leg injury of some kind. We’ll know later – I don't know right now."
(On if he saw what happened to Vea)
"He got kicked, I believe, but we don't know."
(On tackle Leonard Wester suffering an injury)
"When we practice now, there's going to be injuries, right? There’s going to be injuries. I'm not going to know what the injuries are until I get off the field. Hopefully everybody's good but we'll have to see when I get in there."
(On how sharp practice was)
"It was off and on. There were highs and lows. When you're playing against yourself, one side's happy, one side's sad. I thought the defense dominated early and the offense did a little bit better at the end."
(On rookie wide receiver Justin Watson)
"Today was his best day. He got some chances. When you're a wide receiver, you've got to get chances. Sometimes you could be out here all day and not get any balls thrown to you. He showed up today. He's got a fight on his hands because it's a deep position.”
(On adjusting to rules about contact in practice)
"We're not going to play live football for 20-something practices before our first game. You want your guys to be physical; I thought the hitting was good. You're trying to stay off the ground, but there are collisions. It's a collision sport and there's a fine line. That's why I'm the guy blowing the whistle because it's a hard thing, it's a judgment call on every play. You're trying to keep from pile-ups. On the Wester play, that's what happened – there was a pile-up and his leg got caught in there. You're trying to avoid those plays in practice if you can."
(On adjusting to new NFL rules)
"We've already watched about a hundred videos on it with the team. It's a huge part of it, and then on top of that we'll have a full crew of officials here all next week. The officials on Tuesday will be going over the new-rules video with the team and then we'll have five days to work with them. Some of those rules, like the kickoff rule, are still a little gray. [Special Teams Coordinator] Nate [Kaczor] went over the new video we got of that with the kickoff guys last night. The helmet video being the main one, the kickoff probably number two and then there are some other ones. We've already been through them [but] it's a work in progress."
(On if he thinks there will be a period of adjustment to the new helmet rule)
"I'm not sure. We just don't know. I think it's a great rule but it's also a collision sport. Anything to try to help the players be safer is good and we'll just have to see how they're going to enforce it. You know, the ones that are shown on the video are obvious ones that anybody could see [and say], 'Hey, we don't want that.' We want the players to keep their head up and see what they hit, and if they do that they should be okay."
(On if there are gray areas in the helmet rule)
"Well, it happens so fast. It happens so fast. The refs have a tough job."
(On rookie cornerback M.J. Stewart)
"M.J., you know the thing that gives him an edge is he's smart. Some guys when they come in here they're swimming in terminology. That's not the case [with Stewart], he knows what he's doing. The first play of inside run he had a big hit on Ronald Jones, got the ball out, so that was
(On if he thinks teammates are picking the brains of Vinny Curry and Beau Allen on how to be champions)
"I think all the guys we brought in – I would say those two, Vinny and Beau, and then JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] – I've been impressed with all three of those guys, how they're sharing, especially with the younger guys. I think it also creates good competition on both the O-Line and the D-Line. If you watched one-on-one pass and one-on-one run, O-Line versus D-Line, yesterday – I didn't get a chance to see it yet today – there were some really good battles there. You go down the line and you've got Donovan Smith versus JPP, and then over here you've got Gerald McCoy versus Caleb Benenoch. We've got great competition on both lines and that's going to make everybody better."
(On if getting better on third downs on defense is dependent on stopping the run first)
"Well, you're trying to get them on third-and-as-long-as-possible. The percentages go down based off it's third-and-two or third-and-10. So if you do well on first and second you've got a better chance on third. We went from first in the league on defense two years ago to last [place] last year. We had a ton of third downs scripted in there today, both sides. You win some on the offense and you win some on the defense."
(On if he has a philosophy about the running game, whether he prefers by one primary runner or a committee)
"Well, we've done both over the course. It depends on who your backs are. The best backs I've been around, they want the ball. They want the ball a lot, they get into a rhythm. In 2015, when we were second in the league in rushing, Doug [Martin] carried it a lot. We haven't been able to get back to that. We'll just have to see how that sorts out. That's a work in progress. We've done it both ways but that kind of depends on who your backs are."
(On what area running back Peyton Barber has improved the most in)
"I'd say protections, probably. For all the young backs, until you're in there on third down when you’re getting the exotic blitz looks – the first and second-down protections are fairly basic – but when you get in there on third down it's a little tougher. Peyton had a couple good pick-ups today; he missed a couple yesterday, so he learned his lesson.”
(On if any young offensive linemen are taking advantage of veteran linemen missing time)
"Yeah I'd say Cole Gardner so far is the leader of that group. Depending on how long Leonard and Dot [Demar Dotson] can't go in 11-on-11, that gives them added reps right now and they need to take advantage of it."
(On the confidence he has in offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch)
"A lot. He's played, and he's played more than one position over the last two years. Especially in the run game – he's still got some work to do in protection. But everyone out here has some work to do. He's on the right track."
Defensive End Vinny Curry
(On developing chemistry with the players)
“That’s one thing you know we pride ourselves on. You know, right now - Like I’ve said already, everyone is getting to know one another. By this time next week, we’ll be a totally different team from today. You know what I’m saying? That’s the goal, to come out here and kind of get better each day, learn something new and get down that chemistry as soon as possible.”
(On how it feels to have a veteran like Gerald McCoy looking to him for championship advice)
“You know what man, we had a great team last year and great defensive linemen. You know, from the ones to the twos, we rotated every four plays. We’re building that here. We have just as much talent on our defense here in Tampa as we did in Philly [Philadelphia Eagles]. Just him watching that you know I’m pretty sure he was just watching his position. You know whether it’s Beau [Allen] or Fletcher Cox and seeing how they rush, you know with someone like me being on the same side as Gerald [McCoy]. Trying to get that feel, I’m pretty sure that’s what he was watching.
(On sharing stories about winning the Super Bowl LI with the rookies)
“My biggest thing is I’m telling everyone: winning is contagious. You know, it’s contagious man. You know, at this point, it’s the National Football League, everybody is good. It comes down to discipline and how bad do you want it. If you go out there and put your heart on the line and everybody is on the same page, that’s really where you get your click in. That’s really where you get, ‘Damn that team is fun to watch.’ When everyone is on the same page and everyone’s got one goal in mind, you know, one heartbeat one sound. That’s when it’s like, ‘oh, that team is fun to watch.’”
(On how not having Jameis Winston for first three games compares to playing with Nick Foles in Philadelphia)
“At the end of the day, Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] - when I was on the Eagles he [threw] it on us. You know, so he’s not somebody that doesn’t have experience. At the end of the day, you’ve got to give him his credit. As a team, we’re not really worried about that there. And like you said, coming from experience and seeing a back-up quarterback – I’m not going to call Fitz backup quarterback because like I said he’s got experience. The number two guy. At the end of the day, we control what we can control, and if the defense takes care of their part, it’ll make it easy on him.”
Running Back Ronald Jones
(On if he has been progressing with knowing his blocking assignments in pass protection)
“Most definitely. Identifying, that is the key – find out who you have and then it’s actually getting over there and giving the quarterback space and time to through it. Progress every day.”
(On going through training camp with fellow rookie running back Shaun Wilson)
“It’s real cool to be able to go through this experience together. He’s a very talented guy. He’s very detailed, and I learn stuff from him, and he learns stuff from me. So it’s good to have him there with me.”
(On what he feels he needs to improve on going into the preseason)
“Probably just my details. Just knowing my whole overall assignment and just being out there playing fast. Not guessing because then you can play fast.”
(On the difference between learning college and NFL playbooks)
“Probably the responsibilities. You’ve got a lot dual-reads. You have to check three sides – backside, weakside – and college I was just primarily, it’s one-two and then I’m out. But [in the NFL] you have to do one, two, three, four, five, and then you get out. So it’s a lot more but I’m picking it up.”
(On what he has learned from veterans thus far)
“Take care of your body, number one, because if you’re not on the field, you can’t play. And studying when you have time off. Always be accountable.”