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29 April 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 First Round Pick Press Conference (4/29/16)

Cornerback Brent Grimes
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
General Manager Jason Licht
(Opening statement)
Jason Licht: “Good afternoon. We are thrilled today to announce Vernon Hargreaves as the newest member of our Buccaneer family and I talked quite a bit about him last night, so without further ado, I’m just going to turn it over to Vernon.”
Vernon Hargreaves: “Thank you, thank you. First of all I would like to thank the Glazer family for letting me be a part of this organization. You know, it’s a blessing to be back home to play in my back yard and I’m excited to get started.”
(On if he’s realized that he’s gone from eating at Marco’s Pizza to Ruth’s Chris steak house)
VH: “[Laughs] Not quite. Not until I eat my first meal at Ruth Chris. I haven’t been there yet, but probably so.”
(On when he thought he might be drafted by the Buccaneers)
VH: “Well, I actually have to give a lot of credit to my agent. I talked to my agent the day before the draft and he said that, ‘The Bucs my trade back to 11 and they might get you,’ and I left it at that and didn’t really think too much of it and then when the clock came up and I saw that they did trade back, that’s when I really started getting nervous. I was like, ‘Oh, he might be right,’ and then it actually happened. It’s surreal. I still don’t know if it’s hit me yet, but it’s great. It’s an honor to be here.”
(On what the last 24 hours have been like)
VH: “A lot of interviews, a lot of press conferences, but it’s great. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This is what I dreamed of. This is how it’s supposed to be.”
(On if he has been wearing Buccaneers cleats during the draft process)
VH: “Well it wasn’t necessarily Bucs gear, but at the combine they had a guy up there that was a graphic designer for some cleats and I got the city of Tampa on the side of my cleats just for the city and it eventually worked out, I guess.”
(On if he wanted to be picked by the Buccaneers)
VH: “Of course. It was right in my backyard, right next to my mom. I didn’t go too far. I mean, this was the spot for me.”
(On his father being a football coach)
VH: “Growing up my dad didn’t coach me, didn’t train me. We weren’t out at six a.m. lifting weights and all that kind of stuff. He let me figure it out by myself – if I wanted to play sports and that’s what I did. The main thing that he preached to me was respecting women and keeping my grades right so I think that worked out great for me.”
(On if his football intelligence came naturally or from watching his father)
VH: “I would have to say a little bit of both. Growing up as a coach’s kid and being at the practices and watching guys like [wide receiver] Reggie Wayne and [safety] Sean Taylor. I think things like that just stick with you unconsciously. I knew that I wanted to be like them when I grew up and I saw how hard they worked at practice, even as a little kid, I knew they did the right things and I knew that’s how it needed to be done.”
(On his belief that he has the natural ability to play the cornerback position)
VH: “Of course. My father could probably tell you that the best. It started off going into my high school year, I was going to play football for my high school and there was a seven-on-seven tournament and I didn’t know what position I played and my dad was like, ‘Do you want to play?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, where do I play?’ and he was like, ‘Go out there at corner,’ and the rest was history [laughs].
(On if his room at home is still the same)
VH: “I don’t know. I haven’t been back home yet. I’m interested to see what’s going on with my room right now [laughs]. My little sister probably moved in and took my bed and all. Probably.”
(On if he’ll be confident on the field as a rookie)
VH: “Of course. Confidence isn’t something that leaves you, it’s with you. It’s something that you have and it’s kind of like a trial and error thing. I’m going to go in and whatever happens, happens. You know, I’m going to get beat and if I get beat I have to bounce back, make more plays and I’m going to learn. There’s a whole bunch of good guys that I’m here to learn – you know, Brent Grimes is a guy that I really look up to. I like to model his game, so I’m going to be in his pocket, asking him a bunch of questions and he’s going to be annoyed with me, but he’s just going to have to deal with me for a little bit.”
(On what type of corner he is)
VH: “Press-man. End of discussion.”
(On his ability to tackle as a run defender)
VH: “It’s the most important thing in the game. If you don’t tackle, you definitely don’t win, so you can’t be scared. You have to go throw your face in the fan and go get the guy on the ground and that’s what I like to do.”
(On if he’s prepared to be compared to last year’s first round pick quarterback Jameis Winston)
VH: “Of course, of course.”
(On the prospect of facing NFL-caliber receivers)
VH: “Man, it’s going to be exciting. I’m excited. I’m ready to showcase my skills. You really see how good you are on Sundays. It’s a whole different ball game, you have to be elite, so I’m excited to showcase my skills.”
(On the phone call notifying him that he had been selected by the Buccaneers)
VH: “Well, it’s actually kind of funny because we were sitting at the round table and I had my phone right in front of me and my friend that I brought with me to the draft was sitting acroos from me on the other side of the table and he saw the phone ring before I did and the phone was right in front of me. I was like, ‘Okay,’ and obviously I saw it was an 813 are code and I knew who it was.”
JL: “It took about seven rings. We were about to pick a different player [laughs].”
VH:  “Don’t tell that to me [laughs]. Yeah, it was a great call, a great conversation with coach and that was it. Real simple.”
(On if he has had time to digest everything that has happened)
VH: “Not yet. I don’t think it’s hit me or my family yet. Probably when we get home tonight and kind of talk about it and see it on ESPN a few times then it’s probably going to be like, ‘Okay it’s kind of here now.’”
(On facing the quarterbacks in the NFC South)
VH: “Well, we all know what they can do. We all know that those are three of the best right there and we have to our best job at competing and you know, knocking them off, getting a win off of them.”
(On if he was a Buccaneers fan growing up)
VH: “Not necessarily. I didn’t really necessarily grow up in Tampa. I finished high school in Tampa which is why I say I’m from Tampa, but I didn’t really grow up with any favorite NFL teams or anything like that. Wherever my dad was coaching, that was my team.”
(On getting redemption against wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin who he faced in college)
VH: “Yeah, definitely. I definitely have to see him again and he know it.”

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