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06 May 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Day 1 Rookie Mini-Camp Media Availability (5/6/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III
Defensive End Noah Spence
Kicker Roberto Aguayo
Tight End Danny Vitale
(On how it feels to be to see the rookies first-hand)
“It’s awesome. It’s great to be out here. Fifty-one guys – a little bit difficult when you’re trying to break in this many new guys all at the same time, but exciting not only to see the draft picks, but the free agents and the tryout guys. It’s always amazing the level of talent that’s out there that doesn’t get drafted. It really is impressive.”
(On cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III)
“To be honest, I was mostly looking at the other side, but I heard all of the coaches raving about him. I’m going to go in and look at the tape right now.”
(On who stood out at today’s minicamp)
“Everything’s moving fast. There is just so much teaching going on when it goes this fast. That’s why right now all of the coaches go in and watch the tape and then the players – we get back with the players later this evening and watch the tape, so I’m not really looking at it like that. We’re just trying to help these guys so they can function in practice. If the guys don’t know what they’re doing, you have to give them their best chance to put their best foot forward. Until they do that they can’t really show what they got.”
(On if rookie minicamp evaluations focus on effort over technique)
“Somewhat effort, but more like, can they learn, how fast they can move their feet because when we’re not going in pads you can’t totally go on effort because they can’t hit each other. I mean, some of these guys got here because they’re big hitters and they’re tough guys, but that doesn’t always show up when you’re just practicing in helmets.”
(On if the Buccaneers have made any adjustments to rookie minicamp like other teams in Florida)
“We only had a 90-minute practice and eventually those practices are going to go to two-and-a-half hours. In the two team periods we went seven plays. Typically those periods are between 15 and 18 plays, so I think we’re cutting it down, but I didn’t call Miami and Jacksonville to get their permission.”
(On the players trying to take everything in on the first day of camp)
“They’re definitely spinning, but these guys – again I can’t say enough. When we were out here for the walkthrough this morning, they were ready to go, they had their ears pinned back. These guys – they know what’s at stake. You’ve got 51 guys for probably 19 spots on the 90-man roster, so there is a lot at stake. These guys are hungry and they show it. They’re eager to please, but we have to be careful. We don’t want anyone to get hurt out there.”
(On Hargreaves signing his contract)
“Yeah, that’s great. That’s one of the best things the way the contracts are structured now. You get those guys signed early and they can come out here and just go to work and not be worried about they’re contract, so that’s awesome. We’re excited about all of these guys getting out on the field.”
(On what part of Hargreaves skill set suits him to playing inside)
“Well, his quickness and how good of a tackler he is. We’re going to start him off both inside and outside. We’re – both with the vets and the rooks – trying to find that perfect nickel and he’s one of the guys we’re looking at for sure.”
(On if any of the veteran players came to address the rookies)
“No, we have three guys that are in the veteran group that are here practicing that are eligible – Joel Ross a corner, Bernard Reedy, a wide receiver and Tevin Westbrook, a tight end, but other than that, no. For the guys that are still with us on Monday, they’ll get their chance to talk to the vets then.”
(On what a rookie needs to do to catch the attention of the coaching staff)
“Well, that’s different at every position. I don’t know, nothing in particular.”
(On how wide receivers Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries stood out at last year’s minicamp)
“Well, they caught everything and they showed both quickness and speed and they showed they could learn.”
(On the difficulty for a lineman to catch the eye of the coaching staff)
“It’s harder. It’s definitely harder for those guys. That’s where – when they’re doing their individual drills with the coaches – you have to rely a lot on the experience of your line coaches and you know, we have to really good ones in [offensive line coach/ run game coordinator] George Warhop and [defensive line coach] Jay Hayes. Those guys have to lean on their experience of what they’ve seen throughout their career on how these guys compare to other guys. You guys know that linemen – you’re depth at line goes down fast as the season goes on. We got some great looking guys out here. Good young linemen that could come in and stick are worth their weight in gold.”
(On if anyone at this minicamp came as a recommendation from another coach)
“Yeah, there’s a couple, there’s a couple that are recommendations.”
(On the biggest adjustment he has had to make in his first day of rookie mini-camp)
“Just getting in the playbook – it’s a big adjustment for everybody. We’ve got to get in the playbook, got to learn. It’s the first day, coaches are hard on you on purpose just to see how you react, so you have to go home, study tonight, get in that playbook and come out for a better day tomorrow.”
(On how it feels to have signed his contract today)
“Awesome. I have nothing to worry about but playing ball now.”
(On his initial impression of rookie mini-camp)
“I mean, it’s awesome – it’s awesome. Finally getting to play some real football; no more of that combine stuff. Finally getting to get out here and cover some people and make some plays.”
(On his first practice in the NFL)
“Playing college football and then coming here and going through a practice, you can see a difference. I don’t necessarily know how to put it into words, but the speed is different – it’s a little bit faster, a little bit more complex. It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but everybody will be all right.”
(On possibly playing nickel cornerback psoition)
“I’m excited for that. I want to play wherever I can play, wherever I fit in. It’s perfect for me.”
(On the defensive scheme with Tampa Bay as compared to what he is used to from the University of Florida)
“They’re similar, but there are some different things that they’ve put in. It’s football. At the end of the day, football is not too much of a complicated sport. So it’s a little bit of the same, a little bit of different stuff.”
(On if it is helpful to have previously worked with Tampa Bay Secondary Coach Jon Hoke at Florida’s Pro Day)
“Of course. He kind of knows my work ethic a little bit and he’s on me hard – that’s what I expect, that’s what I need. I’m excited.”
(On if he has had much contact with Tampa Bay veterans since being drafted)
“Not necessarily. Just, ‘Hey, what’s up, hello, let’s get going, let’s get to work.’ I’m sure next week, I’ll probably sit down with some of those guys and talk about plays and things of that nature.”
(On comraderie with the other rookies)
“Being in the locker room, getting to know all these guys – of course, it’s a process to get to know guys, but we’re all starting to get comfortable with each other now that day one is over. Now we can talk to each other and hang out and make fun of each other and all that stuff. So I’m excited.”
(On how it feels to get out on the field)
“It feels great. It feels really good.”
(On the biggest adjustment from college to the pros)
“A little bit faster I guess. A lot of plays and everything like that, but I feel good about it.”
(On what he can to make an impression on the coaches)
“You can pass rush, use your hands on the run. Everything like that. Just a lot of technique stuff.”
(On the bonding of the rookie class)
“We’ve only been here for two days, but I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. I feel like we’re going to be pretty close.”
(On how he felt when Tampa Bay traded into the second round to draft him)
“Honestly, I was just watching it. I knew they had the 74th pick and it was around like, pick 56. I was just relaxing, not paying that much attention. I was hoping they would draft me, so I was like, ‘I’ll wait until the 70s.’ All of a sudden, I got a phone call. That’s when I stopped watching. I got a call that I was going to be part of the Bucs, so I was excited.”
(On if he knew his ability on kickoffs would be as important as his ability to kick field goals)
“I never thought that, honestly. In high school, I would kick it deep. When I got to college, it was high and to the goal line. Then they changed the rule, now [touchbacks are] out to the 25[-yard line]. I think in my four years there at Florida State, I learned how to kick it high. Coach [Jimbo] Fisher told me, ‘You can thank me later for making you kick it high.’ Whatever they want – if they want me to kick it deep, if they want me to kick it high, I’m able to do that.”
(On if he has spoken to quarterback Jameis Winston, his former Florida State teammate, about Tampa Bay)
“Yeah, he shouted me out on Twitter and he’s excited for me and I’m excited to be back with him. I’ll wait until he gets back here, probably on Monday – excited to be alongside him again. Hopefully we’ll win a Super Bowl.”
(On growing up rooting for the Buccaneers and if this is the team he hoped to play for)
“Oh yeah. Me and my parents were looking at pictures after I got drafted. Actually my first stadium to be in and actually kick in was Raymond James. I won the ‘Punt, Pass and Kick’ [competition] for central Florida. Then we had the state playoffs in there and I kicked inside when I was 11 years old. Who would have thought?”
(On dealing with the pressure of being a highly drafted kicker)
“I think I’ve always dealt with pressure. Coming in at Florida State, the pressure was can I replace Dustin Hopkins? It’s been on me throughout my whole career. I think the pressure, I rise to the occasion. I love it. It motivates me and makes me work harder. I think there’s pressure, but I live off of it, so it’s exciting for me. It makes me get up and work hard every day.
(On which of his responsibilities with the Buccaneers will be the newest for him)
“I think I actually fell into a great situation in terms of that. I did this pretty much in college. I kind of played in the slot, I kind of played tight end, a little bit of fullback, so I think the biggest transition is going to be that fullback spot when they do need it. But I’m not worried about it. I think just using my athleticism I’ll be able to figure it out.”
(On if he believes he will play a lot of tight end)
“Absolutely. I think I can be used in a lot of different situations. Flexed out in the backfield a bunch of times and then in the backfield as well – kind of like a wing/flanker type of guy as well, so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.”
(On playing with quarterback Jameis Winston)
“I think it’s awesome. It’s a pretty young team and a lot of great athletes. You have guys like Jameis and [wide receiver] Mike Evans as well. Those are guys I looked up to when I was in college, so it’s pretty cool. It’s going to be pretty awesome playing with those guys.”
(On his pre-draft interactions with the Buccaneers)
“I had talked to them and the combine. Then at my pro day [tight ends] Coach [Jon] Embree was there and worked us out – the tight ends. There were three of us there. I actually had a private with Coach Spence [Tim Spencer] as well. I knew the interest was there. You just never know when you’re going to go, so every time Tampa Bay popped up on the ticker on draft day my heart kind of sank, so I’m happy to be here.”
(On the fullback being a position that is ‘dying off’ due to the evolution of the game)
“I think football is kind of moving towards this ‘hybrid-style’ of football. I wouldn’t say [the position is] dying, I would say it’s transitioning to more of this H-back position that I think I’ll be playing a lot of here. It’s exciting to see. Obviously I’m happy about it because that’s what I played in college, so it just makes this transition a lot easier.”

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