Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Media Availability (9/2/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah
Linebacker Kwon Alexander
Tight End Alan Cross
Wide Receiver Evan Spencer
(On what changed for him from last year to now)
“Just being able to come into camp and being here during OTAs and during the offseason program helped me a lot because it kind of got me ready with the guys, I was able to come in with the guys and to build that chemistry and just having that feel. Also getting that experience last year was huge.”
(On being able play both inside and outside cornerback spots helping him make the team)
“I knew with the guys that we brought in in the offseason, in my role I was going to have to do more for the team this year in order for me to be on that 53-man roster. In my offseason work and everything that I did I approached it as, ‘you’ve got to make yourself as versatile as possible in order for the staff and the organization to be able to see your value.’ So I’m really happy that I was able to do enough for the organization and I feel like they [think] I deserve to be on the 53 man roster.”
(On what he is looking forward to the most with the first regular season game)
“Man, it’s the first game of the season and I’m excited. I know the rest of the team is excited - we’re ready to start fast. It’s a new year and we are ready to show the fans that support us and just to show the city and everyone what the 2016 Bucs really look like. We worked really hard throughout training camp, OTAs and everything, just put it all together and watch it gel together on September 11.”
(On how playing last year helped him gain more confidence)
“Yeah, I think that’s with anyone. The more you get reps, the more you get to play. And for me, I’m thankful that it was in game situations where I was able to get those reps. But I’ve learned a lot, good and bad. I’ve had my good moments, but I also had some bad moments. And I feel like that built me mentally, to know that, that’s what this league is about - you have to be able to bounce back. And it did give me a lot more confidence going into this year that I felt like I belonged. So it gave me a lot of confidence to be able to go out there and execute what I’m able to do as a player.”
(On if the roster getting cut down to 53 players is difficult)
“It’s just a sad day, man. [We] bring them brothers in like a family, then most of them get cut. But we’ve got to stick together, you know? This is what we have right now. We’re going to miss those guys. I hope they can find a team – or even get back on this team – but I’ll be praying for them. I wish them the best.”
(On how much he likes Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith’s style of defense)
“I like his style, I love his style. I’m out here having fun, running around here making plays. When you can do that and just have fun [and] just be yourself - play like you’re in high school or something - you’re going to do big things on the defense.”
(On how much more comfortable he is this year as compared to his rookie season)
“Very comfortable, especially when I have vets beside me, like Lavonte David. You’ve got [Daryl Smith] that just got here, they’re teaching me a lot of things that I didn’t know. So I’m learning so much that I didn’t know and it’s just making the game so much easier. So it’s a blessing to have those guys beside me.”
(On what he wants to do to build on last season)
“Just play smarter. Especially the tackling, I’ve got to get my tackling [better]. And just go and get a Super Bowl. That’s the dream and that’s what I think we can accomplish, so that’s where we’re at.”
(On if he was more so just playing on raw skill last year)
“Yeah. I knew what I was supposed to do, but just being a rookie, your first time in the NFL, you’re just going to go out there, sometimes you make mistakes. But now you know those things going into your second year. So it’s going to be a good year.”
(On what kind of approach when he took when he first came in as an undrafted free agent)
“I walked on at Memphis as a long snapper and [former Memphis Head Coach] Coach [Justin] Fuente [asked], ‘Hey, do you want to play tight end?’ And I was like, ‘sure,’ just trying to earn a scholarship and just be the best I could and just try to earn a spot on the team and get the guys to like me and earn their respect. And that’s what I did at Memphis, I caught a lot of balls there, me and [former Memphis quarterback] Paxton [Lynch] played together, had some good years. I got the call from Tampa to do the free agent thing and I was like, ‘All right, this is basically like you’re starting all over at Memphis again,’ so I just had the same approach, just come in here, just try to do the best I can and just hope for the rest.”
(On if his time with the Buccaneers has exceeded his expectations so far)
“Oh yeah, this is like the greatest group of guys I’ve ever been around in my life, from a team aspect so far. [Quarterback] Jameis [Winston] gave me a ride to the hotel the other day and I was like, ‘This guy is giving me a ride to the hotel?’ But it’s just guys like that and ‘VJax’ [wide receiver Vincent Jackson], [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy], all these guys are great leaders on and off the field and they’re great teammates, regardless if you’re a free agent with no money or a millionaire with a big house. It’s just a great feeling, to be honest with you.”
(On what he worked to get better at during the offseason and preseason)
“I’ve always prided myself on never having any balls on the ground. So that’s one thing that’s always been my focus throughout my entire career. And on top of that, just balance in running routes, route running in general. Just a whole bunch of specific, technical receiver things that I wanted to work on and make sure that I improved on.”
(On how nerve-wracking the last couple of days have been)
“It’s definitely nerve-wracking because at the end of the day, you never know. And I wanted to go out there and show everybody around the organization - and mainly my teammates - that I was here for a reason and I was here because I’m going to give everything that I can for our team and help us win.”