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20 April 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Offseason Program Media Availability (4/20/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Linebacker Lavonte David
Running Back Doug Martin
(On if this team is ready to be a playoff team)
“Yeah, I think so. Every year that I’ve been here I’ve felt like we were a playoff team, but we never got the chance to put it all together. But that’s now all in the past. Now things are different, obviously and I feel like we have the guys in place to accomplish that. We have a lot of talented players on this football team and it’s not just me that is really hungry and eager to get there. There are a lot of young guys who are working out every day, battling their butts off, trying to learn as much as they can to get us to that level, so it’s very important. That’s our main goal right now – to win this division and also get into the playoffs.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander)
Yeah, he’s the main one. You can’t even get him to shut up. He’s talking all day, all day. We’re always around each other so I have to hear him talk all day and sometimes I tell him, ‘You have to chill. I’m tired of you talking, you talk too much,’ but that’s just how he is, that’s the excitement that we have. I’m sure he’s probably the same way about me, but that’s the excitement we have. The sky is the limit for us this year.”
(On linebacker Daryl Smith)
“Oh man, you can tell he’s played in the league a long time. He’s just a laid back, cool, savvy guy and while we’re going over defense – you know, this defense, he played in for seven years while in Jacksonville – so while we’re going over things, he’s throwing his little input in there and every time he says it it’s correct, so we’re picking his brain also. He’s a great guy, a cool, laid back guy and he is happy to be here.”
(On what he will do differently in the new defensive scheme)
“You know, not really different. When you have guys in our room that are playmakers, you’re basically just going to let us play football. Me, Kwon and also adding Daryl Smith – guys who we know who love the game of football – fly around and make plays. That’s basically what we’re going to do, but at the same time we’re going to try to handle our assignments. It’s very complex. There’s not a lot of things you have to think about, you just go out there line up and play.”
(On his responsibilities in Mike Smith’s defense and if he will be attacking or dropping back more often)
“A little bit of both. Sometimes attacking, sometimes getting in coverage, but right now I’m very comfortable with what my role is. By sitting in meetings and going over everything, every time we come up with something, I put a smile on my face because it’s something that I really like to do, so it should be a fun year.”
(On the difficulty of adjusting to new systems)
“It’s not hard for me at all because, like you said, every year I put a goal for me to set out there and this year is really a whole different thing. I just want to go out there, do what I do, have fun, play football and then [if] the accolades come after, you know, they just come. But the main thing for me is to just help this team get to where we want to be and if it takes me to do whatever I can to do then that’s what I’m going to do.”
(On his first impression of defensive coordinator Mike Smith)
“Oh man, Mike is just as excited as the players. Every time we get in the meetings he’s rattling off stuff, just going and going. Sometimes we have to tell him to calm down but he’s like, ‘I’m just so excited, man. I’s going to be fun,’ because he sees it. He sees the talent that we have and we see it also, but it’s our first time in there so we have to tell him, ‘Calm down we’re trying to learn it.’ But like you said, I was telling him earlier – guys like Daryl – and Brent [Grimes] is the same way. He’s played in this defense and they know how it works, so we need a collective effort from everyone. Mike Smith – he’s a great guy and a great coach and he’s eager just like us to get out there.”
(On Orlando placing a bid to host the Pro Bowl)
“It’d be cool, but I love Hawaii. I was honored to be in the Pro Bowl this past year and Hawaii was a great experience for me and my family and if it’s in Orlando, it’s right in my back yard and I’ve been to Orlando plenty of times, so I don’t think I feel any type of way.”
(On if he is tired of a negative national perception of the Buccaneers)
“Yeah, I’m very tired. Yesterday in work outs I was screaming at the guys. It’s always in the back of my mind but we just have to take care of what we have to take care of and that’s taking it one day at a time and that’s what we’re trying to do. Like you said, we have the pieces, we have the guys that are getting individual accolades, but it’s a team effort. Getting the individual accolades is pretty good, but the big accolade is winning the Super Bowl – it’s the main thing. When you win the Super Bowl everybody gets recognized and that’s what we want.”
(On what he was yelling to his teammates)
“Just basically, ‘We still have doubters. Nobody believes in us.’ When they come out with the schedule, all of the analysts put out wins and losses and we were one of the teams who had more L’s than W’s and you have to take pride in that. It’s like a slap in the face to the guys we have on this team and everybody had that in the back of their minds.”
(On the loss of his mother and if she’ll continue to motivate him this season)
“Always, always. She’s my pride and joy. Anybody who knows me – she’s my pride and joy. She’s going to be with me like she’s always been with me. I talk to her every day and she’s going to guide me through the rest of my life and I’m glad that I made her proud before she went away, but I’m going to continue to try to make her proud.”
(On Kwon Alexander losing his brother)
“Yeah, it was very tough also, for him. It’s a tough situation with him losing who he lost and me losing who I lost. The month of February and March were very tough months for me. I lost a cousin and a mom, so it was very tough for me, but now I’m back in the mindset where my family – I have a good support system, They kept me going. They kept me up, kept my spirits high and they reach out to me every day and see how I’m doing and so far I’m doing good.”
(On how the offseason program has gone so far)
“These two weeks have been pretty good. Everybody is pretty optimistic about this season. Right now everybody is out there throwing with the quarterbacks, getting our lift in and training with [Head Strength and Conditioning Coach] Dave [Kennedy]. It’s looking pretty good right now. Everybody feels good, everybody is healthy and I can’t wait to get the season going.”
(On if he ever thought he would leave Tampa Bay as a free agent)
“You know, I wasn’t really all that worried. It’s a business, so there is always a chance – I always felt there was a chance I might be somewhere else, but I was really hoping I’d be back here and I’m very grateful and very blessed that I get to play here for five more years.”
(On If the coaching change impacted his decision to return to Tampa Bay)
“No, not at all. You know, it was a shock to many, but it was a business decision and whatever the owners – whatever decision that they make is going to benefit the team. Any decision that is going to benefit the team, I’m with it. We love Dirk [Koetter] and I believe he’s going to do an awesome job.”
(On if the same offensive system still being in place is a relief for the players)
“Exactly. I’ve been through about two to three new playbooks [in my career], so it feels good to come in and not have to learn a whole new playbook and it’s good to have that continuity.”
(On if having a new playbook is difficult for running backs)
“Yeah, it is. If you get a new guy and he has a whole new playbook, it’s like learning a whole new language, so it’s a good feeling to come here and not learn a whole new playbook. It’s easy on everybody else.”
(On what the benefit is of having the same playbook)
“Hit the ground running. We should be able to hit the ground running and get into more depth into the playbook – just little details that will probably be game-changers in the game, so just really getting in depth with the playbook.”
(On what’s missing from his career)
“What’s missing? Well, a Super Bowl [laughs]. A Super Bowl, going to the playoffs. You know, we haven’t had a lot of wins since my time here, so I want to win games and get to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl and win it. That’s the thing that I’m looking – that’s next thing on my list.”
(On what he has to do to be considered one of the best running backs in the league)
“I just have to set goals for myself and if I set high goals, if I shoot high, then the rest will fall into place. I have to have a burning desire and know what I want and if I do that and just work hard and do my job, everything else will fall into place.”
(On specific goals he’s set)
“I would like to just get more yards than I had last year - than my rookie year. More touchdowns, I’ll be able to finish more, finish more often. I get caught around the five you know, finish and get more touchdowns. But just goals like that – just adding to my game.”
(On how badly he wants to be in the playoffs)
“Very bad. That’s the reason why you play the game, you want to win, go to the playoffs, and then go to the Super Bowl. If those aren’t your goals then you shouldn’t be playing, so that’s definitely something that we’re trying to get.”
(On if his belief that the Buccaneers can get to the playoffs in the coming year influenced his decision to return to the team)
“I came back because I just – I love the team. And exactly what you said, I know we have great potential in what we’re going to do in the future and real soon, so that definitely had a hand in me coming back.”
(On if he thinks the Buccaneers are a playoff team this year)
“Yeah, I do. I do and if you don’t have that confidence going into the season then you shouldn’t be on the team. I definitely have that confidence.”
(On what makes him think this is a playoff team)
“We have the continuity with the playbook and I haven’t really seen what the defense is doing, but they’re pretty excited about what they’re being taught and we have that unity in the team and the locker room is good, so that’s all the things you need to go the long way.”
(On replacing retired guard in Logan Mankins)
“Well he was – we had our left guard. Logan, I’m glad he was here with us because he was able to teach the young guys – Donovan [Smith] and Ali [Marpet] – how to play the game.  Logan was a pro of the game and we’re going to miss him, but he came here and taught those young guys how to really play the game.”
(On how much motivation playing in a contract year provides and how to find that same motivation this year)
“People like to say that, because it was my contract year, that why I did the things I did, but there were a lot of things that happened to me. We got Dirk in, we drafted two rookies in the o-line, so the o-line was better, we drafted Jameis [Winston], so it’s just all of those tangibles that were the reason for my success.”
(On if he’s seen quarterback Jameis [Winston] grow in the past year)
“Oh, definitely. He definitely has. I mean, from that first game to the last game, he really grasped the leadership role and he’s continuing to do that. What’s contagious about him is his winning attitude. He wants to get better every day and that’s the type of leader we need for this team.”
(On the Orlando placing a bid for the Pro Bowl)
“That’d be pretty cool. You wouldn’t have to go far. But that’s the individual goal. Like you said, the way I look at it is if I set high goals for myself, those goals would benefit the team. Like I said, everything would just fall into place and with those goals it will help the team get to where we want to be.”
(On what he changed going into last year to help him be successful)
“I went to go train last year in Irvine, California at this place called Proactive. That really helped me. Being injury-free – I had been injured for 2013 and almost half of, I believe it was the 2014 season, so just staying healthy. Just stretching before and after practice, stretching at the house, eating right and just all those tangibles helped me be successful.”
(On if he has gone back to Proactive)
“I have and I plan on going back for the summer.”
(On how big the changes he had to make to his diet were)
“The changes health-wise – eating-wise – weren’t so big I just wasn’t eating pizza as often or Chinese food. Just lean meats, not a lot of fatty food, no McDonald’s and things of that nature, but like I said, I would go home, I would stretch and make sure that I was flexible enough to come out and not injure myself. I was very blessed last year not to get injured and hopefully I’ll be able to play out the whole season this year.”
(On if it was hard eating healthier)
“There’s some times where I have to force myself to stay on that regiment.”
(On what the toughest vegetable to eat was)
“I like asparagus, but you know, just stuff that you’re not used to eating and I just keep eating and just have a strict diet.”
(On if he’s impressed by how in shape any of his teammates are)
“I’m impressed with everybody. Everybody wants to get better and you can tell looking in everybody’s eyes that they’re getting ready for this – that they want to hit the ground running. Everybody, like I said, is optimistic and everybody is ready for the season.”
(On if he has seen a change in his teammate’s mentalities this offseason)
“You know, it wasn’t the best season we had last year, but going forward, we did do some good things and I think that everybody knows that we did some good things and we’re just going to continue to build on that.”

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