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14 March 2016

Transcript: Cornerback Brent Grimes Introductory Press Conference (3/14/16)

Cornerback Brent Grimes
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
General Manager Jason Licht
 
(Opening statements)
Jason Licht
“Good morning. We had a great week here obviously with Doug [Martin] and J.R. [Sweezy] and Robert [Ayers]; who couldn’t be here; getting Chris [Conte] back yesterday, but today we’re here for Brent. We’re beyond excited to get a Pro Bowl corner. The last three years have been three of the best years of his career. He’s going to come in and make an immediate impact for us. We’ve got a lot of people here on staff, including Dirk [Koetter], Mike Smith and  Mark Duffner, that know him very well and have said nothing but great things about Brent [Grimes] and his family. We are very excited to welcome them to the Tampa Bay community. With that I’m going to turn it over to Brent and Coach Koetter.”
 
Brent Grimes
“Well first off I just want to say that I’m extremely excited to be here. I want to thank Coach Koetter, Coach Smith, and Mr. Licht for bringing me in and having faith in my abilities and I’m just excited to get this thing started.”
 
(On the key to being so effective despite being in his 30’s)
BG: “Well first I would thank my wife for making great food. I eat pretty well. Food is the key, food is key. But no, I take good care of myself. A lot of it is genetics. A lot of people can’t do – get to a certain point and can’t do the same things. I’m lucky to be able to do that. I thank my mom and my dad for that and I’m just going to keep going for as long as I can.”
 
(On the food his wife makes)
BG: “Oh man, I can go on and on. She makes a great steak, awesome salmon – just everything she makes is good but it’s usually healthy. I like to say that before I met her I probably didn’t know more than maybe two vegetables [laughs]. Now I know a lot. I know a great variety of vegetables and that’s a good thing for me.”
 
(On his favorite vegetable)
BG: “Probably squash, zucchini – one of them – asparagus I like. So she put me hip to a lot of – expanded my vegetable horizon I guess you could say [laughs].”
 
(On how much of a factor it was to play in Mike Smith’s defensive scheme again)
BG: “It’s a big deal for me because I like the system. I also know, one thing I know about Coach Smith is he’s a great coach. As far as everyone on the field knowing where they need to be, know what their assignment is and he pays great attention to detail. I feel like in a league like the NFL, it’s the best of the best. Things that win the game are details and he’s very detail-oriented and I feel that that will help me and the team. That was a big factor for me.”
 
(On what he liked about the Buccaneers)
BG: “Now I really like what I see as far as the coaching staff, obviously with the familiarity of coaches that are here. Also I like the players that we have. I looked at the roster, obviously the main thing you see is we have a great quarterback here, we have two great recievers, a great running back. You know the defense, the linebakers are great, a great defensive tackle and there is a lot of talent everywhere. I can keep going on and on, so that was a big factor. I can’t really remember all the details of before with coming here previously [as a prospective free agent], but now I feel like this is a great opportunity and I can’t stress enough how excited I am.”
 
(On what Licht likes about Brent despite his age)
Jason Licht: “He plays like a young guy. He still has a lot of energy. I mean I would probably card him if I were a bartender [laughs]. He looks young. He’s one of those guys. There are certain players that despite maybe being a little bit older than the average, just continue to make plays and that’s Brent. He jumps off the film every time you put it on. He’s extremely athletic, one of the most athletic corners in the league and I’m sure he’s got a lot of gas left in the tank.”
 
(On if overcoming his Achilles injury made him a better player)
BG: “Yeah I believe so. I mean it was a challenge and I approached the challenge. I’ve done that for the majority of my career as far as coming from a small school, being undrafted. I like challenges and that was a challenge I attacked. I felt like I became a better player as far as knowing things. Going to a different system and excelling in a whole other system, that was a challenge for me and I feel like it made me better.”
 
(On what he feels he does best)
BG: “What do I do best as a corner? Make plays on the ball. I feel like that’s my strong suit, I go get the ball. That’s what wins games in the league is making plays on the football when the ball is in the air and I believe that’s a strong suit for me.”
 
(On having success despite his height)
BG: “At my height technique – also I believe my athletic ability helps me a great deal as far as getting in and out of breaks, jumping – and also just knowing the game. Film work, things like that. Like I brought up earlier genetics is a great deal and I guess I’m lucky to be able to do some of the things I can.”
 
(On how much getting his teammates excited is a part of his game)
BG: “I like to lead by example. If you play well people tend to follow you. If they see somebody that plays well, doing the right things, as far as being at practice doing things right, staying out of trouble, doing things like that – people tend to follow that. If somebody is having success, everybody in the league wants to be successful, so if they see somebody that’s having success and they see them doing things the right way, usually it rubs off on people.”
 
(On what drove him to be successful)
BG: “I just wanted to be great. I felt like I had the ability to do so. Obviously I came from a small school and now I have a lot more. I wouldn’t have the chances that somebody that came from USC, Alabama that would have but I felt like I had the ability, especially when I got to the league and saw ‘Oh I can do this’, and what drove me was I wanted to become a great player.”
 
(On how much more difficult the defense will be for offenses to face with recent additions)
Dirk Koetter: “When we started this whole thing in free agency and Jason [Licht] and I were going through, we knew we needed to add a pass rusher and a cover guy. Friday was a big day because we got both in the same day. I know first-hand from going against Brent in my time in Atlanta in practice – I haven’t seen [Atlanta quarterback] Matt Ryan back down from too many corners but Matt would tell me every day, ‘We can’t throw this route on that side because Grimes is over there’ and I was like, ‘What? We can go against that guy’. I think he had about 15 picks that first spring I was there.”
 
(On how free agency will affect the draft)
JL: “Well our goal in free agency is to make our team better and it just so happened that we were able to address some of the perceived needs. In the draft we are still going to have the same approach. It’s going to be best player, whether we’re picking at nine or moving up or moving back, it’s going to be the best player that makes us better. This does help a little bit because we were able to, especially the quality of the player in Brent and the other signings, but it does help give us more options and we always like options here.”
 
(On if Grimes is surprised he is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer)
BG: “You would have to say you’re a little surprised, but this is business. Things happen and I moved on from it and I’m just excited to be here. I look at the team and I can’t help but be excited. I know the coaching staff and I feel like this is going in the right direction and I’m happy to be part of it.”
 
(On re-signing safety Chris Conte)
JL: “That was one of the things that Coach [Koetter] and I had talked about in the onset of free agency. That was we wanted to bring Chris back and he wanted to be here too, so that was an easy one. It just happened yesterday, but he’s a very good, still young, safety that when things were going well for us last year he was a big part of that. It gives us some continuity back there and he’s got some familiarity with the scheme and with Jon Hoke so we are very excited about having him back.”
 
(On what Koetter likes about guard J.R. Sweezy)
DK: “We just liked J.R.’s style of play on film. He’s a guy – I think he said he plays to the echo of the whistle. He’s a finisher, a really strong run blocker and a young guy – relatively young at 26 years old – but he’s started a bunch of games, just under 50 games, played in a great organization, he knows how to win. Excited about the things he can add to our offense and our team.”
 
(On if there is concern about moving Sweezy from right to left guard)
DK: “No, I think he did a good job of addressing that. [He] is a guy who came into the league as a defensive lineman, moving from right to left guard and then – all those guys, all those guys on the line, George [Warhop] teaches them how to play multiple positions. That’ll all shake itself out. That’s a beginning point as left guard, but we’ll do what we can to get the best five on the field in the end.”
 
(On what the addition of Brent does to the rest of the lineup going into training camp)
DK: “Well we’re not done yet. Obviously the Draft is coming and we haven’t even been on the field with the new coaches and all the guys so there’s still a ton of work to do. At this point, you’re just trying to add guys that you know are outstanding players and quality guys, the right kind of guys for the locker room and this guy is a great example of that.”
 
(On what Licht sees in defensive end Robert Ayers)
JL: “Well first of all he’s – just like Coach said we’re looking for quality guys and he’s definitely a quality guy. We’ve followed Robert throughout his career and have some coaches that know him. Maybe didn’t coach him, but on visits have known him. We do a lot of research and he’s a great person. He’s had a couple of good years – or three good years here – in the past three years. He brings a lot of versatility to our defense and what we plan on doing and he was the right kind of guy and the right kind of fit.”
 
(On the importance of adding veteran leaders)
DK: “I still think it just goes back to the right kind of guy. I personally am not too tied up on guys’ age, especially when I have personal knowledge of them. This guy sitting next to me – the age says one thing, but like Jason said, he’d have a hard time getting in to Applebees and having a cold one right now without getting carded [laugh]. I think that age is a number and there’s successful guys playing at different ages. Turn on the film, the film doesn’t lie. A guy can either play or he can’t and I mean [Grimes has] been to three straight Pro Bowls. We’re looking – we said it time and time again, they have to be the right kind of player and the right kind of guy and if they are I don’t think that the age is the biggest deal.”
 
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