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07 August 2018

Training Camp Quotes: Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability. Full video of press conferences can be found on Buccaneers.com.
 
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
 
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
 
(On the work in the red zone during practice)
“Well we cut down practice a little bit today. We left the red zone stuff in and we’re still just on our normal install. I think offense is on install number 10 and defense is on install number 9. You’re slowly getting all your stuff in and this was a heavy red zone day.”
 
(On the benefits of entering his fourth season calling plays with the Buccaneers)
“I would just say that having guys in the same system is probably more of a benefit than having the same play-caller. I think just having guys that know your terminology – having the old guys being able to help the young guys. You’ve got Mike Evans helping the young receivers and that’s a big plus.”
 
(On how cornerback Ryan Smith has done in training camp)
“Ryan, because of the guys we’ve added, he’s having to compete. Last year he may have gotten elevated a little faster than normal just because of the depth we had – or lack thereof – at that position. He’s in a stiff competition right now. Ryan’s working at it. He’s getting better, and he’s just got to hang in there and keep improving.”
 
(On how injuries affected today’s practice)
“We had kind of a rough day yesterday from an injury standpoint. That’s one of the reasons we had to cut it back today. We’ve got a game Thursday night and even though we have 90 players, it seems like you always seem to get hit at one spot. Right now, we’re just a little but thin in the offensive line and that affects everybody else. We’ll see. There’s still a lot of guys up in the air for Thursday night. Obviously, we’re not going to take any chances with any player for preseason game number one.”
 
(On last season’s struggles in the red zone)
“I mean that’s well documented. We got down in the red zone plenty of times. We didn’t score enough touchdowns. You’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone – somewhere between 55 and 60 percent of your drives. We were under 50 percent. We’ve got to do better. We’re not going to solve that in one day. And then the other thing is that we’re going against our own defense. You’re not game-planning, you’re installing. Some things are going to look raggedy at times on both sides. Some things are going to look good. We know we have to solve it, but we’re not going to solve it in one practice.”
 
(On if today was closer to a 50-50 offense versus defense practice)
“Today was a different kind of day. We had a lot less full-speed periods today. I wouldn’t score today.”
 
(On his faith in running back Ronald Jones)
“I have faith in him already. I can see how he works and I can see his explosiveness, so I already have faith in him. I’d just say that preseason games are part of it. He didn’t play all those plays at USC and not be a good running back. Preseason is part of it, but I’m not going to weigh that any more than what I’ve already seen.”
 
(On if the quarterback situation is affecting Ryan Jensen and the other centers)
“One thing: I know you guys are dying to know how we’re going to do this quarterback thing. The quarterback thing is one piece of it. We can’t play the offensive line, the receivers – we’re not going to double their reps because of the quarterback situation. We’re going to stay on our progression and the quarterback situation is a separate issue that has to be worked out. Yes, we’re extremely concerned about it, but I don’t know for sure if he’ll work with more than one quarterback. He might, he might not. You never know how many plays you’re going to get. Typically, your first group plays about 15 plays, which should take you through at least one quarter. Ryan – the fact that he’s playing next to Ali [ Marpet] is helping him a lot. Very pleased with how physical he’s playing. But as far as making all the calls and working with the quarterbacks, that’s a process that’s where it should be. It’s not behind or ahead.”
 
(On what he’s seen from Jensen)
“Yeah, every player has strengths and weaknesses and as we see what those are, we’ll have to adapt accordingly. He’s definitely the right kind of guy. The right kind of competitor and the right kind of toughness – the things we saw on tape.”
 
(On if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is surprisingly mobile)
“He’s got over 2,000 yards rushing in his career, so we kid the other quarterbacks about how far behind they are to that 2,000. Griff’s exactly 2,000 behind him. He’s gaining one yard at a time. I think Fitz has always been a good runner. Part of being a good running quarterback is just knowing when to pull it down and go straight ahead – not waste time going sideways. I think Fitz does a good job of that.”
 
(On Fitzpatrick avoiding hits)
We prefer he didn’t get hit and we can control it for the most part in practice. That’s where one of the points of emphasis this year is the new slide rule. A quarterback, to declare yourself down, you don’t have to go feet first any more, you can go head first. One thing they’re going to tighten up is where the first spot is – they’re not going to let them slide for two or three yards. Fitz is going to have to take care of himself. That’s where he’s got to be smart.”
 
(On being down a couple of players)
“We’ve got plenty of guys, it’s a great thing. For this game for us, it’s going to be more like prior years preseason [game] four when you had 75. We’re going to be close to that number. It’s plenty of guys, but it’s preseason [game] one. We don’t necessarily want Donovan Smith to play with the threes because we don’t have any tackles left. We have some issues at a couple positions like that right now. Some positions better than others and we’ll work them out. We’re going to go out there and compete our tails off on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to it.
 
(On if there’s any particular matchup against the Dolphins that he’s looking forward to seeing)
“You know what, we haven’t even talked to the players about matchups yet. That’s something that we’ll start tonight and continue up until Thursday night. Typically, with preseason one, you don’t want to start talking about the game until the day before, so we’ll spend some time on that tomorrow.”
 
(On if he’s concerned with long-term injuries)
“A little too early to say on that. Sometimes when we have guys get hurt, they can’t get MRIs until the next day. We’ve got guys getting MRIs today later, so I’m still waiting on some of the guys that got injured yesterday. We’ll just have to see.”
 
(On if Fitzpatrick can run a quick passing game)
“He can – yeah, he can.”
 
(On the offense overall)
“Our offense is what it is. Let’s leave it at that. I mean all those guys can do it.”
 
(On Jameis not being known for the quick passing game)
“Lack of quick game is on me and nobody else. It has nothing to do with Jameis. Jameis can do quick game just as good as Fitz.”
 
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
 
(On the plays from todays practice in the red zone)
“Red zone especially against your own team, they’ve seen your plays, you’ve seen their defenses, so sometimes it gets a little bit tough, in terms of people being able to read some routes. It makes us have to be very efficient and good at what we do, precise down there. That’s important. If you look at the guys we have, the size we have, we should be a pretty good red zone team in that regard. My favorite play today was probably O.J. [Howard] going up and getting one in the corner of the end zone. That was a ball that yesterday, or a few days ago, he had one like that and didn’t come down with it. He was upset with himself and worked on it, and worked on it, and brought that one down so that was nice to see.”
 
(On the new concepts the team is trying this year)
“There’s plenty of new stuff. I think the biggest thing down there though is just knowing exactly where your guys are going to be, them knowing exactly where you expect them to be, and when you get one-on-one matchups, winning the matchups, and making good throws.”
 
(On what’s been different for him this training camp and what would make it a success)
“I think a success in the preseason game is coming out healthy, everyday coming out healthy. It’s good in that we’ve been banging heads with the same guys day-in and day-out. So, we get to go against a different scheme, some guys that we don’t know so well, and they don’t know us so well; just to go out there and run our base stuff and execute a little bit just to get that game feel back. Even going through warm-ups, and pre-game and reestablishing that routine.”
 
(On how he’s feeling physically due to the increased reps)
“I feel good. The biggest thing with the reps with me is how does your arm feel? [Are] you throwing too much? And definitely not. The reps have stepped up a little bit, but not a ton. I’d say now that the reps that I do take are a little more meaningful than the ones that I had all of last year just in terms of working with twos and threes. I feel really good physically. My arm feels great. Going into year 14 I couldn’t ask for my body to feel any better, probably.”
 
(On Fitzpatrick’s instincts and ability to run)
“It’ definitely instinctive. It’s something I’ve always been able to do a little bit and have some success with. I think at times it will keep defenses honest with what they do. It’s not what I’m trying to do. I do it when necessary. The new rule they made this year matters a little bit. Giving yourself up feet first was always the deal, and now as a quarterback dives head first, he’s also considered giving himself up. My awkward sliding ability, that rule probably helps me a little bit to avoid a few more hits.”
 
(On if he’s is inclined to dive rather than slide this year due to the addition of the new rule)
“I don’t know how to slide. Usually I go head first, and the defense is so confused at me looking so awkward and flopping around like a fish that they don’t know what to do. Now they’re not allowed to hit me.”
 
(On what is expected of running back Peyton Barber)
“I think Peyton [Barber] is to be determined. He really came on at the end of last year and did a great job for us. He’s worked hard this offseason so we’ve got high hopes for Peyton and I would definitely say that one is to be determined. He’s got a lot of talent.”
 
(On advice he would give to a rookie going into their first preseason)
“I would say enjoy it. You never know how long it’s going to last. So, take everything in and enjoy the fact that you’re there. It’s such a neat experience. Whether it’s a preseason game, or that opening week, as an NFL player, it’s a pretty unique experience. Going through it and putting on the uniform and going out with your teammates, that would be my biggest thing.”
 
(On giving knowledge to the guys trying to make the team)
“I love helping younger guys. Whether it’s a receiver, quarterback, tight end, or running back, just trying to get a feel for them and help them out as much as possible. There are definitely patterns and certain things that happen every preseason that you either try to exploit, or avoid, especially that fourth game with some of the younger guys. I’ve got plenty of sayings and wisdoms for [quarterback] Austin Allen and things for him to do.”
 
(On how Jameis Winston has handled training camp)
“Jameis has been great. There hasn’t been a change with him in terms of the way he’s attacking the game, the way he’s been in the meeting rooms, the amount of time that he’s putting in, the amount of work that he is putting in right now, he’s been awesome. When we first started practicing, the one thing that we stressed to each other was open lines of communication. If there was something that was either bothering me, or something that I felt needed to change, and have open lines of communication with Dirk [Koetter] and Jameis. I think those two are the same way with me, and with each other. It’s been fluid, and we’re continuing to work through it, but I think Jameis has been great.”
 
-BUCCANEERS-
 

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