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29 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (8/29/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Linebacker Lavonte David
Wide Receiver Adam Humphries
Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson
(On what the plan is for the fourth preseason game)
“Some guys will be held out, some guys will play a little, some guys will play a lot. That’s the plan.”
(On if he will follow a similar plan to what the team did last year)
“I don’t really remember what we did last year to be honest with you, so I’m not sure what that is. But you’ve just got to remember that preseason [game] four, you’re less than a week and a half away from your first game, you’ve got cuts coming, there’s certain guys you have to protect that it’s just not worth the risk. There’s other guys that are still in competition to make the team, so it’s a fine line and [General Manager] Jason [Licht] and I will talk it through.”
(On the talent that is at the wide receiver position)
“Like we’ve been saying all camp, it’s bunched up and you can take almost any guy out there and pick a day that that individual has shined. We tend to lean towards consistency and guys that have shown they can make plays and make plays in game situations and then been consistent players, so we’re still looking. It’s down to the end here and a decision is going to have to be made.”
(On making Bryan Anger the team’s starting punter over recently released punter Jacob Schum and what he likes about him)
“Well it was a very close battle. Both Bryan and Jake punted well. Bryan just did a little bit better in the game situations. They both punted very well in practice and it was a good competition, but there’s only room for one. Those are difficult choices, but ones that have to be made and we made it and [we] move forward with Bryan.”
(On what safety Major Wright’s release says about the progress of defensive back Ryan Smith)
“Well Ryan’s still got plenty of work to do and it’s not a guarantee that he’s going to be here yet. Major’s another guy we hated to say goodbye [to]. Major’s played a lot of good football here, played a lot of good football in his career, but we’re probably only going to keep four safeties unless something crazy happens. And that was a decision that was made, like all decisions, in the best interest that Jason and I feel like are in the best interest of our team.”
(On the final preseason game determining whether the team will carry two or three quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster)
“I think it’s safe [to say] that we’re probably going to keep three quarterbacks. Two reasons: one, we put a lot of time into Ryan Griffin and I think he’s proving that he’s capable of being a backup in this league. And then the second thing is, obviously, it’s not a big secret that Mike Glennon is going into the last year of his contract. Jameis [Winston] is our quarterback for the long haul, but we’ve got to have a two and those guys take so long to train and with the calendar the way it is in the NFL where you can’t bring guys in early…I mean we’ve invested – well, we picked ‘Griff’ up at this time last year - so we’ve invested a full year into his training. A lot of that is him and [Quarterbacks] Coach Mike Bajakian a lot of time that you guys don’t know about. He’s done a good job when he’s been on the field and we think he’s got a chance to be here long-term.”
(On having so many contributors on the roster who were waived and cut from teams in the past)
“Well it’s nothing new for guys around the league. Just do the math. When you go from 90 to 75 and 75 to 53; 32 teams, the number of good football players - not just that cut yesterday, but are going to get cut at the end of the week - it’s a lot of good players. And the guys that you just mentioned, one thing it does is it says something about player development. There’s really two ways you can go: you can churn the bottom of your roster and continually bring guys in - there’s people that have done it that way and done it successfully. And then you can also, if you like the guys that you have on the bottom and you have to make some tough decision and let them go, you can continue to develop those guys, bring them back hopefully on the practice squad, continue to develop them, continue to coach them. And those players still get better, those guys still improve. So I think the guys you just mentioned are guys that did that, they improved and got better and they earned their way back.”
(On if anyone has stepped up for the third running back spot yet)
“That’s kind of like the wide receiver thing in that all those guys have had their moments and also, as we’ve mentioned in here before, running back is a position that takes a pounding. We try to protect them out there when we’re practicing against ourselves, but in the game those are pretty violent hits those guys are taking, so we’re a little banged up at running back right now. Of course we try to keep Doug [Martin] and ‘Chuck’ [Charles Sims] out of harm’s way here this week, so I’d say there’s still some work to be done there.”
(On if the team has a policy in place where players must stand for the National Anthem before games)
“Well, believe it or not, we have practiced how to lineup for the National Anthem, we’ve worked on it. I don’t know if our organization has the right to tell a guy that he needs to do that. I would be disappointed if any of our players didn’t stand up for the National Anthem, personally. I look at that as a salute to the people who have paved the way for us, but at the same time this is a free country and I think freedom of speech is something that we all believe in and freedom of expression. That’s an individual’s choice, that’s a fine line there. I would personally be disappointed, but I think it would be hard to enforce that rule.”
(On if he would personally address a player if he didn’t stand for the National Anthem)
“I’m sure there would have to be a conversation, but that would be a private conversation. Again, there’s a lot of private conversations that go on upstairs that aren’t shared with the world.”
(On if Friday night’s preseason game was a sign of things to come for the season)
“It’s one preseason game. The whole preseason, defensively we were kind of inconsistent here and there. I wouldn’t say we put together a full, complete game, but we’ve got a lot of improvement to do. We’re just going to leave that game as the standard and just try and keep getting better.”
(On what the standard is for the defense under Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith)
“Perfection. He demands perfection out of all of us. He’s a competitor, probably one of the most competitive coaches I’ve been around. Every time we get in the meeting room, it could be good or bad. He’s just going to keep demanding the best out of you and that’s the type of mindset he’s trying to install within us and we appreciate it.”
(On how much Friday night’s performance helped them feel prepared for the regular season)
“Like I said, it’s a standard that we have. Now we know how we can play. We got in meetings today and Coach said, ‘You all played a good game and that’s the standard. If you can do it once you can do it again.’ And that’s what we’re trying to do each week.”
(On what it was like watching the defensive line get eight sacks against Cleveland)
“It’s always wonderful. Being behind those guys, you know what you’ve got in front of you, you know what those guys are capable of and they [were] able to go out there and prove it and that’s what we expect from those guys week in and week out.”
(On what the dynamic is in the locker room with upcoming player cuts)
“It’s tough because this is around the time during camp where you build great relationships with guys, maybe guys you had a relationship already who [have] been here for awhile. That’s just the dynamic of this business, that’s just the way it goes and guys know that. We’re all professionals, so it is what it is. No matter what happens, when you build relationships with guys you keep those relationships and you always get to have those relationships.”
(On if guys who are trying to make the team should put a lot of weight into the final preseason game or realize that is the whole body of work during camp that coaches are looking at)
“I think some people do put a lot on themselves, but at the same time you just have to take it day-by-day. You realize you work your whole life for moments like that. All said and done, you’ve just got to put that behind you and just focus on what’s at hand, and that’s making plays and earning that spot on the 53.”
(On how tight the wide receiver group has become)
“Yeah, it’s always fun to be a part of the grind. Camp can be tough, but just working with some close friends and just all the laughs in the locker room and the receiver room and just enjoying it, enjoying the grind and the process. And when it’s all said and done, the best make the team, but it’s just always fun working with those guys and making new friends and just enjoying the process.”

(On any advice he gives to guys trying to make the team)
“Yeah, obviously last year I was in a tough position. I had to go into the last game and try to earn a spot on the 53, so the best advice would just be keep your head down and keep working and just realize that you’ve put in a lot of work for this and whatever happens, just be satisfied with the body of work that you put in here.”
(On the talent level of the wide receiver group)
“We knew coming into OTAs that we have 11 guys at receiver that could play. And just watching practice, you see that, guys making plays left and right. So it’s going to be interesting coming down to the last game, just to see who ends up making it. But whoever does has earned it, and looking forward to working with them.”
(On the no-huddle offense)
“I think it’s something where it’s not necessarily what we call a ‘hurry-up’ offense, but it’s just on the ball. We’re staying on the ball, we’re going at a little bit more faster tempo than huddling. I think it’s something where you go do it for four, five plays and you pull back off and go back to the huddle. Then you go do it another two plays, then pull back off. So it’s great to have that tool and we work on it quite a bit, so [Head Coach] Dirk [Koetter] has done a good job.”
(On if he supports San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick not standing during the National Anthem)
“I think everybody has a right to their opinion and it’s an individual. His beliefs, personally - I wouldn’t associate it with football players or his team even in that light. It’s one person who has a passion for something that he sees and he wants to bring light to, so that’s his own business.”
(On how it felt to be on a roll offensively against Cleveland)
“It’s good, it’s nice to move the ball and come away with points, whether it’s field goals or touchdowns, obviously you want more touchdowns. But it’s nice for us to get in a good rhythm and have some productive drives early.”

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