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22 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (8/22/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Center Joe Hawley
Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins
(On if cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III has a chance to win a starting job)
“Yeah, he was going to start working today, started working with the ones at corner as well.”
(On Hargreaves’ ball skills)
“Yeah, heck - thinking about moving him to receiver. Those were two great catches, two beautiful plays. His range on the one when he was at nickel, you’re not going to see many – well, [cornerback] Brent Grimes might argue - but you’re not going to see a whole lot of better catches than those two.”
(On not using a six-man line on third-and-short situations much this preseason)
“We usually don’t work that much in preseason because you’re working three groups of offensive line and then our tight end numbers are good and we’re trying to make those tight ends block and they’re doing a good job of it. But I think you’ll find third-and-two in the NFL is much more of a pass down. We probably were never in jumbo personnel on third and two last year.”
(On if the short completions on Saturday’s first scoring drive were to give quarterback Jameis Winston more manageable plays)
“No. I know there’s a school of thought out there about giving your quarterback easy throws or something to start a game, but in the NFL there aren’t [any] easy throws. Nothing’s guaranteed. You can think you’re going to throw it one place and it’s all based on what the defense does, so we don’t adhere to that school. The first play of the game the guy was wide open, he’s just got to throw, play catch. He’ll be the first guy to tell you that.”
(On the battles for the third running back and the fourth defensive tackle)
“What we said is we want a good competition and we’d love to have that at every position. So the better the competition, the longer it’s going to go. So the ones you guys are pushing to know the answers to, that’s probably because there’s good competition there and both those positons you’ve mentioned there’s really good competition.”
(On if using the quarterback sneak might be an option)
“Yeah, that’s an option. When I was in Jacksonville, I think [former Jaguars quarterback] David Garrard made 38 in a row on quarterback sneaks, 38 times in a row. But there [are] a lot of factors that go into it. You said a lot of people want to know, well tell a lot of people it’s a lot tougher to make those two inches then they think it is. Tell those people that for me [laughter].”
(On what the team got out of their joint practices with the Jaguars that he hopes will carry over to practices with the Browns)
“Well first, last week, let’s just start with logistically and players and staff, Jacksonville, we really worked well together. So cooperation. Just as an example: [Defensive Line Coach] Jay Hayes was telling me when they were doing two-on-two pass rush drills that Jacksonville’s O-line coach asked Jay to give him a certain kind of game that they wanted to work on. Jay accommodated. The players were still going full speed and so it was a game they wanted to work. And as we said many times, you’re going against different guys. Like [defensive end] Noah Spence said the first day, he usually goes against [left tackle] Donovan Smith in practice, he goes, ‘Hey, this [Jaguars offensive tackle Luke] Joeckel, he sets different than Donovan does.’ All right, so that’s good for him. Now moving that forward to this week, all of those same things apply, but Cleveland is a 3-4 defense and we’re going to see like eight 3-4 teams over the course of the year, so two extra days of working against a 3-4 are huge and then they’re a zone-read team on offense. That’s not all they do, but over the first couple of games they’ve probably averaged, I’ll say, six or seven zone-read plays a game where the first two teams [we played], not so much. And we need to see zone-read for down the road when we play teams like San Francisco and Seattle and Carolina, of course. Each team is a little bit different, but just playing and working against different guys is good.”
(On when he will make the decision to have permanent captains)
“I know when and it’ll be soon. The players will vote on that, but I think we need to wait until after we cut down.”
(On what special traits undersized cornerbacks need to possess)
“Well, they have to have good ball skills, and our guys do. They have to be explosive to the ball, and our guys are. Like we said before, they’re not going to grow, we’re not going to change them out at this point, our corners are who they are. We’re happy with them, we like what they’re doing but they’ve got to be able to go get the ball. I think that Grimes, there [were] two examples in the Jacksonville game, and both times he should’ve had safety help but he didn’t, the safety got out of position. The one time he undercut it, made a beautiful tip to save a touchdown, the second time Grimes was a little bit out of position, tried to undercut it and it didn’t work. But when you’re playing the game, guess what, you get beat sometimes. Then when you get beat, they’re not going to stop, they’ve got to figure out a way to fix it and that’s what he did. He just miscalculated there, that’s what preseason’s for. But you want corners who can compete and play the football.”
(On if there is more game planning in preparation for a 3-4 defense)
“Yeah, a little bit. We run some stuff that we want to work on for 3-4 teams, but game planning is serious business. I probably spend, on a real week, I probably spend close to 40 hours working on a game plan. I just don’t have 40 hours, none of our coaches do right now and things are changing. A lot your regular game planning is key to specific personnel, and when they’re playing three-deep, like we may want to attack X, Y and Z. X in the pass game, Y in the run game, Z on the perimeter. But now those guys play two series, well it just doesn’t make sense to game plan, you don’t have time, you’ve got other stuff going on. Our game plans are much more detailed and that’s why, as we talked about the other night, preseason is a catch-22. You want to win because they’re keeping score, but at the same time, the preseason was set up to evaluate your team to how you’re going to get from 90 down to your final cuts, your 53, that’s what it was set up for. I’ve been game planning for 35 years, I don’t need to practice game planning.”
(On if any of the young linebackers trying to make the team have made an impression)
“Yeah, again that’s another position like when [Tampa Bay Times reporter] Greg [Auman] was talking about running backs and about the defensive tackles, those backup linebackers, really four through about seven on those linebackers is neck and neck. And guys are getting in there and they’re battling and guys step up every week. [Luke] Rhodes had a sack, [Adarius] Glanton played really well on special teams [Micah] Awe had a big [hit] on a special team. So there’s competition there and that’s going to go right down to the wire.”
(On if he is thinking of bringing in competition for kicker Roberto Aguayo)
“That would be a question for [General Manager] Jason [Licht]. Right now Roberto is our kicker and we’re going to make it work.”
(On if he has different rules when facing off against a 3-4 defense)
“Yeah, every year you have basically what you’d call your even front rules and your odd front rules. So we’re working a lot on our odd front rules on plays. And one thing Cleveland does that makes it challenging is they’ll mix back and forth - even within a series, they’ll switch back between even and odd. So that’s one of the problems a 3-4 presents for an offense, is they make you be on top of your communication. You’re not always blocking the same rules. Typically the outside linebackers in 3-4 are really just big defensive ends, so in pass protection you’re trying to keep your backs from not having to block those guys. You want to make your calls so that your linemen are blocking those outside backers and your backs are responsible for the inside guys. In a 4-3, you’re fine. Look at [linebacker] Lavonte David as our outside linebacker and from a size standpoint, we’d be fine with our back blocking a size guy like that.”
(On what the format will be for the joint practices with the Browns)
“It’s the exact same format [as it was with the Jaguars]. [Browns Head] Coach [Hue] Jackson and I got together and we’re going to shorten it by 10 plays over the course of the whole practice. So Tuesday and Wednesday will both be 10 plays shorter, everything else will be the same format. I’m actually going over to the hotel, they’re getting in tonight. I’m going over to their hotel tonight to meet with them again and we’ll just try to smooth out any of the last-minute details.
(On the success of the run game against Jacksonville)
“The run game is huge. When you get 150 yards in the NFL, that’s big. I think all three groups were doing a really good job running the ball. We need to continue to improve on it.  This week we’re going against a 3-4 defense, so it’s a different kind of style. So it’d be good work for us to transfer [over to] this season.”
(On where the offensive line is heading into third preseason game)
“Third week is the dress rehearsal, it’s the final big push before the regular season, so we’ve got to come in and prepare like it’s a regular season game, install like it’s a regular season game. Obviously we’re going to have two practices against them, so there’s going to be a lot of good work this week. I think the O-line, we’re getting better every day and [in] football you’re either coming in getting better or getting worse each day, so we’re just going to continue to try and get better each day and work well together.”
(On the benefits of practicing with another team)
“It’s better competition. When you go against the same team, it gets kind of monotonous. So going against better competition, different competition, different schemes transfers over to the field a lot better than regular practice.”
(On if practicing with two teams in back-to-back weeks can be too much)
“No, I don’t think so. I think last week both teams did a really good job of pushing the tempo but staying off the ground. And that’s just being a professional. Everyone’s a good enough athlete to stay off the ground and take care of each other. So I think last week we did a good job, I think we’ll do a good job this week too.”
(On what his mindset is while moving up and down the depth chart during camp)
“First of all, I haven’t been fighting anything back. I’ve just been doing what I’ve been supposed to be doing since I got here in training camp. And I’ve been working hard and like [Head] Coach [Dirk] Koetter says, if you are put down on the depth chart, all you can ask from players, not just myself but the whole entire room, is to get better. And that is to perfect your craft, get detail oriented and do what the coaches ask you to do. Nothing’s changed on my end. I’m working hard, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and it just happens that it’s just showing up. Nothing’s really changed on my end, I’m really excited to just keep working. [Tight end] Cam [Cameron Brate] has been doing a phenomenal job, the whole tight end room has been doing a phenomenal job and nothing changed in our room. Everyone’s trying to get better and there’s a competition but there really isn’t. There’s a mutual respect that we’re all trying to get to a higher place as a team and the further I can push Cam, the further Cam can push me, the further Cam can push Luke [Stocker], I can push Luke, I can push [Brandon] Myers, Tevin [Westbrook], Danny Vitale, the better we will be as a group. So I know the media puts it as, ‘Him vs. Him,’ and it’s really not. It’s really about the tight end room being better. I think obviously you guys have to do that, you guys have to make a story, but I think it’s more about the group of the tight ends, it’s not about individual, it’s not about me, it’s not about him, it’s about us.”
(On if he has taken advantage of some opportunities that weren’t there before)
“No I just – training camp you get here the first week and sometimes you’re rusty. I was rusty and I wasn’t doing things the way they asked me to do it, and that’s what happens. If you don’t do it the way coaches ask you to do something and someone else does it the way it’s supposed to be done, that’s just natural life. If you write a story and the guy ahead of you, you’re competing with a writer and your editor tells you this is how you’re supposed to write it and you don’t write it like that and he writes it like that, I wonder whose stories are going to get published [laughs]. So it’s really just basic life things, it’s a cool thing about Coach Koetter here to not just teach us about football, but teach us about life and expectations and being able to follow through when you’re told to do something. And then listening and understanding it’s not always to rebuttal or talk back, it’s to understand and to apply to daily life. And not just in football, but in your daily life. It carries around, the details on the field goes to the details in life, so I’ve really been very appreciative of everything Coach Koetter has done for me, the Bucs organization has done for me to help me continue be a better football player and a person.”
(On how he and Cameron Brate complement each other)
“I think Cam’s a phenomenal tight end in his own right, I think he does a lot of good things well. I think we just play hard, we both play hard and we both like to make plays and we both like to catch the ball and we’re both going to give effort and we’re both good people. I think we’re both kind of misunderstood in a way. I think sometimes people think Cam, because he’s from Harvard, he’s a little soft, but he’s not. He plays really hard, he plays a physical game and he’s not afraid to go in there and get hit. He’s going to make the plays. This past week, that was just a freak thing, he’s going to make those plays, he’s been making those plays and he’s going to make those plays for us in the long run. And he’s going to do a great job and we’re going to do a great job in the tight end room to elevate our team.”

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