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27 July 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (7/27/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Linebacker Lavonte David
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Running Back Doug Martin
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
(On carrying the same type of fire from offseason workouts to training camp regarding negative comments about the team)
“Of course everyday through workouts. I thought about it, I thought about different things, looked up different things, about all the negativity people throw at this program. You know, hopefully in training camp we get to a point where we can set ourselves up for a great year this year and prove all the doubters wrong.”
(On having any other predictions in terms of playoffs)
“Just taking it one day at a time, man, taking it one day at a time. In this league anything can happen, but we only control what we can control. And just going out there starting tomorrow with our first practice, you know taking it one day at a time and keep getting better and setting yourself up for greatness.”
(On if this is the most confidence seen with this team)
“Honestly, yes, I believe so. You know, not even just the old guys but the younger guys are real confident, they’re getting real comfortable. Everybody is walking around with big smiles on their face, and everybody is looking and feeling great, and everybody is ready to go.”
(On comfort level working within a new defense)
“I’m always comfortable, that’s just me. This defense it has some areas where I have to learn different things more but that’s why some of us keep our things to take home, our notes or whatever, and go over that. For the most part, making a lot of communication, guys been communicating during the offseason asking questions helping each other out, so that’ s a positive sign.
(On if more variety has been added to his role)
“It’s just all about what’s called, what Coach thinks is the best play at that point in time at that certain situation. During OTAs and minicamp there were a lot of instances where I was able to do a lot of different things, and, yeah, it was very fun for me.”
(On about having Dayrl Smith around to help with the defense)
“Dayrl was a very chill guy, veteran, has got professional written all over him. He’s been helping us out a lot since his first day here. Like you said, he knows a lot of stuff on defense. He was one of the guys who played every position in that exact same defense. Whenever there is a time he sees something he reaches out, he gives advice on certain things and we always come to him he basically knows it inside and out. He’s a great guy to learn from and he’s a great guy to watch as far as you know trying to be a professional.”
(On transitioning to his now third coaching change)
“It’s difficult just trying to build relationships with different guys. I went from my rookie year til now just trying to build different relationships. But everybody is different, their own personality, the way they coach, and how they do different things and how they see things. But the great thing about it is these coaches they really like to interact with you, asking you what you see out there, like ‘What’s wrong, what you don’t like, what you do like,’ things like that and try to make you comfortable the best way they can. So me and a lot of guys really appreciate that and like that.”
(On Linebackers Coach Mark Duffner)
“He’s a funny guy man, he always keeps the room live and energetic. It’s always fun going to meetings with him, throwing jokes here and there out there. Like I said he’s very interactive with us. Throughout the whole offseason he’d call you he’d talk to you and that’s pretty good just trying to gain the respect with the players, and we gained respect of him. He’s been doing a really good job and I really like what he is doing.”
(On if learning this new defense will take the same amount of time as it did in the past)
“Yeah, I think so. I mean you just have to reset your mind and get rid of all the other stuff that you learned out. Lovie’s (Smith) stuff, it wasn’t a lot of stuff that he threw out there, most of the stuff was basically detail-orientated. But in this defense it’s a lot of different things a lot of different pieces that you have to know. So you know once you get all that stuff down learning who you are working with, who you are playing off of, and things like that everything will work out. But from watching film and OTAs and minicamp from what we installed, a lot of guys we caught onto it pretty well.”
(On most important take away for this year’s training camp)
“Consistency, just try to stay consistent. You know, defensively, I can speak for defense, once we learn certain things and then we get away from it for a while and then come back to it there shouldn’t be issues about it. We should know it like the back of our hand. Just stay on point with what we do, knowing our jobs, and communicating with one another, and just trying to help each other out.”
(On agreeing with Doug Martin that this year’s team has the best playoff chance than in the past)
“Yeah, I think so, I can agree with that. Every year I’ve been here we were always one piece away, one situation away to where we could turn a losing season to a winning season. But the way Coach (Dirk) Koetter did everything in OTAs, what he made an emphasis on, I think those guys got a good grasp of that of what he wanted us to do and how he wanted us to be on and off the field. And as far as offensively, those guys they got their thing going they know their offense already, but it’s just us on defense. Like I said, we feel real comfortable but training camp is an extra way to get us to where we feel like we want to be.”
(On if there is was any particular addition that helped with team’s confidence)
“There were really no additions, just guys feeling more confident in themselves, not just the team but in themself. Guys knowing that they can go out there and compete with the best of the best and that’s the main thing. No self-doubting yourself and just going out there with true determination just beat your opponent.”
(On how much Kwon Alexander was missed at the end of last season)
“Kwon [Alexander] was missed a lot, Kwon was missed a lot. Especially when you build a bond with a guy on the field, especially a rookie, you need him on the field as much he can because you guys will be working together and I was working with him since the start of training camp. He is one of those guys that will bring that energy onto the field, you know you can count on him to play hard, you know you can count on him whenever a play needs to be made he can be able to make a play. That was one thing that we were kind of missing but you can’t put all that pressure on him as a young guy, there were a lot of different things that kind of changed the way those last four games went, but Kwon was key piece.”
(On what Noah Spence brings to the team)
“Noah [Spence] is a guy that I’ve been watching during OTAa and stuff. He gets after the pass rusher really well. He’s nonstop, next play takes a deep breath and gets back down and does the same thing again, and that’s something that we obviously needed. And I feel like we trust it pretty well and we’re adding him, Rob (Ayers) and getting Jacquies (Smith) back healthy and having George (Johnson) coming along and those guys. Noah he’s been really promising, at meetings and stuff he’s very interactive he’s asking questions and he knows what he’s doing, so that’s pretty cool.”
(On if anything stands out about this current defensive line)
“I came across a lot of great D-lineman who I played with all across the league. These guys, we got the leader upfront in Gerald McCoy. Whenever he is the leader, I always feel comfortable.”
(On how Noah Spence dropping back in coverage helps the linebackers)
“I feel like it helps us in a way where we can throw different looks at offenses and confuse them up a little bit having a D-lineman dropping wide. There’s one defense where it’s got him dropping way down in the middle of the field, that’s going to surprise a lot of people. It just shows how athletic he is and shows how well he can move, but our main thing is just give offenses different looks and just try to confuse them.”
(On wanting to make noise in the league)
“We’re tired of losing, tired of losing. Gerald (McCoy) always messed with me like, ‘Your whole career you’ve always been winning until you got here to the league.” He’d be like, “I see why you’re very mad, I see why you are always mad after a loss,” and I’m like, I mean, I’m not used to this. But Gerald, he’s one of those guys after every game he’d send me a text message. I’ve never seen somebody so angry and it shows the type of leader he is. He put everything on himself, he put everything on his shoulders. Me and him feel like we have to it into our hands and change everything because we are kind of like the older guys on defense. Our main thing is just get everybody on board and I feel like we’re doing that.”
(On doing anything differently from last year’s opening day)
“The main thing is just never underestimate your opponent. Study the best what you can of your opponent, sometimes teams don’t give you the full thing in preseason, but when you know your job and studying as much stuff as you can, teams will eventually come back to what they know. That’s the main thing: Just try to stay within the game and just try to do our job the best way we can.”
(On if Jameis Winston’s leadership growth surprise him at all)
“It was something I expected.. Before we even drafted Jameis we had a lot of people saying, ‘He’s a great leader, man, he’s a fun guy to be around, energetic guy,’ and it didn’t surprise me not one bit. From the first day he got here, he showed why he was that number one pick. He’s going to keep getting better and better. He was one of the first guys I saw as soon as I walked into the building, walking around with his shirt off showing his lean body now so he’s probably feeling even more confident. He’s very excited and we are happy to have him.”
(On if there is one area he’s focusing on in camp)
“No, I’m just happy to be back, and seeing all of my teammtes, seeing all of their faces and seeing the work they put in this offseason. And I think that it will all mesh together this year.”
(On if he had any specific goals this offseason)
“No, just come back in tip-top shape, that’s pretty much it.”
(On if he met that goal)
“I think so. Well, we’ll find out tomorrow, but I think that I’m in pretty good shape.”
(On taking care of his hamstring during offseason)
“No, you can. Well, some of my tears were luck involved and there was nothing I could do about them, but a lot of them is just how I treat my body and how I take care of it. And I’ve been doing a lot of preventative things for soft tissue injuries, but that’s all I can do. I can’t control everything.”
(On the preventative measures he takes)
“I just do extra hamstring work in the morning with the training staff, and after practice as well. A lot of stretching. I heard yoga, I didn’t do yoga this time around, but I’ll try that in the future.”
(On confidence in depth of receiving corps)
“All our guys can play, they showed that last year. They came in and they made plays when they had to. When VJax (Vincent Jackson) was down, and Murph (Louis Murphy) went down. But it’s a lot of talent on this team, and they’ll show it in camp.”
(On taking on greater workload last season due to injuries)
“I didn’t mind it. I wanted VJax to be in there as a red-zone threat. I got doubled down there a lot, as you guys know. But hopefully we all stay healthy and we can explode this year.”
(On his season last year)
“It was…it was a down year, I’d say. I said that in the spring, but the good thing is, I get to do something about it. So, this year you’ll get a better Mike Evans.”
(On new Offensiove Coordinator Todd Monken)
“He’s great. I like him. He reminds me a lot of my college receiver coach, David Beaty, who’s at Kansas now. He reminds me a lot of him, and he has a lot of experience at coaching receivers, so I’m excited to work with him.”
(On if he worked with Randy Moss and other NFL vets this offseason)
“No, not this year. I was gonna get up with Randy and do some things, but his schedule was really hectic this year, he just got the ESPN gig and things like that so I just did things on my own with Jameis.”
(On what he wants to personally improve on this year)
“Just being more consistent and bigger plays down the field.”
(On how many touchdowns he wants this year)
“I just want to catch - as many opportunites as I get, I want to be at least 90% in the red zone. So, that’s a fair number, I think.”
(On Winston’s maturity and progress)
“To me he’s been a great player since college, and then he came in and he showed why he was the number one pick. He keeps improving, like you say, his deep ball is getting better. He’s in better shape. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”
(On where the offense can improve)
“On third down. We were good on third down, but we could’ve been better. With the drops, fumbles, just things like that. Just limit the turnovers and bigger plays down the field; I think that we can be one of the best offenses in the league.”
(On opening up the playbook this year)
“Yeah, we get to play fast, that’s the main thing. Last year, we came into training camp not being able to play as fast as we wanted. Now we don’t have to learn a new offense, so that’s great. We’re familiar with it, we like this offense, and we’re ready to go.”
(On his offseason wedding)
“Oh, it was great. It was a dream come true. Like I said in the spring, a dream come true. Took my family on a nice cruise after the season, and after that just worked hard and try to have the best season I can.”
(On hosting his first youth camp this offseason)
“That was great. It’s always been a dream of mine to do something like that in my hometown. Casey Hampton, who’s a Pittsburgh Steeler, he’s like a five, six-time Pro-Bowler. He’s from Galveston, and he always used to do a camp like that. And he had his Casey Hampton Day. And then he passed the torch onto me to have a Mike Evans day now in Galveston (on) July 2. My camp was great. It’ll get bigger, better every year, and I just wanna impact the youth in my community.”
(On limiting penalites this season)
“In training camp we’ll have to do more things discipline-wise. But Louis Murphy always, we gotta stay behind cones, he’s always getting on us about staying behind cones. After a dropped pass or something or a fumble, we do pushups. Doing the little things like that will help I think.”
(On keeping cool against physical defensive backs)
“Yeah, last year I had a lot of personal foul penalties and offensive pass interference and things like that. This year I think it’ll be much different. I’m going to calm it down and just play my game and not worry about what those guys are doing.”
(On morning training camp practice)
“In college I liked practicing in the morning. In Texas it’s real hot, but it’s cooler in the morning, everywhere, so I think that’ll be great. It’ll be better for our bodies.”
(On what time they practiced at Texas A&M)
“If we had a two-a-day it would be at, like, seven in the morning and then we’d come back later. But most of the time we’d practice around noon.”
(On what he learned from ending last season with four consecutive losses)
“I learned that we needed Kwon Alexander a lot. He’s a great player. When he got suspended, we lost every game after that. He was a big piece. We just didn’t make plays offensively, as well. Myself especially. But this year I think it’ll be a different story.”
(On offseason routine)
“I had a good offseason. I did a little traveling here and there. I went to Tokyo, I went home to see the family, I trained over in Southern California in the Orange County area. I stuck with the same routine, but I did more of it. So, that’s what I did.”
(On how much more he trained)
“How much more? A little more running, a little more running on hills, and bumping up the weights. You know, same routine, just adding onto it, what I did prior.”
(On if there is a different feeling under new Head Coach Dirk Koetter heading into season)
“I’d say, just getting in the playbook more, since we already went through a year of his playbook, just taking it further into which things I have to do whether it’s just getting into the playbook more. But, overall as an offense, I’m really confident on what we’re gonna do this year, and I’m very optimistic on this season. I’m just coming in here all smiles.”
(On if he has more confidence in making the playoffs entering this season compared to past years)
“Yeah, it has, since I’ve been on the team, yes, cause what we did last year, we did fall short. And, prior, we couldn’t make the playoffs, but just being close gives everybody confidence that we can get there. And with the draft moves that we made and the guys that we have, I know and everybody else knows - and you can see that everbody else knows - that we have a good chance this year.”
(On what kind of traveling he did during offseason)
“Most of the time I was in Cali. Tokyo, Japan, that was an experience, I was there for a good six days, just sightseeing. I’m an anime guy, I enjoy that type of stuff. They have a lot of video games, they’re really serious about their video games over there so I got on those. Yeah it was a very good time, I had a good time over there.”
(On if he always wanted to visit Tokyo)
“Yeah, like I said I like to watch a lot of anime and that’s where most of it comes from”
(On what last year meant to him)
“it meant a lot. Coming into the league with a good rookie year, and kind of fell off with an injury and struggled to get back. And now last year, back was against the wall, and I’m just very blessed and grateful that I was able to do the things that I did last year. The only thing I told myself was that if I just do what I’m asked and go hard and just go out there and do what I know how to do and everything else will fall into place. So, I’m very blessed.”
(On having two games in California this year)
“Well, you know what happened last time when I went to go play in Califonia in Oakland [laughs]. It’s good to have all that family support come to the game because that definitely boosts the energy of me personally, and it’s good to have that family support around you.”
(On coolest thing he did in Tokyo)
“I’d have to say going to Electric City. They just have all these buildings, like five story buildings, on each level there’s a different video game and everbody’s just waiting in line to play the video games. It was a sight to see, so that’s probably my top experience.
(On if he went to Japan to play video games)
“No [laughs]. I went there to go see the culture, to sight see and everything. I had a good time.”
(On longest he had to wait in line)
“I’d have to say probably 10 minutes, 10-15 minutes. This is one game on the whole floor, it’s pretty wild. Like Steet Fighters on this floor, a lot of games on this floor, so it’s pretty - ya’ll have to go. You have to go, you have to see it to believe it.”
(On how he works with quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Yeah, that’s just the game in general. The run opens up the pass and the pass opens up the run. And when you got both firing on both cylinders, then it’s going to be a hard to stop offense. I know Jameis wants to get better, he’s getting better, and you’ll see that he’s gonna be better and that’s just what brings the optimism in this organization.”
(On how excited he is for the season to start)
“I’m really excited. I’m very anxious to get going and see what this team can do, see how we’re going to improve, and I just can’t wait.”
(On sharing carries with running back Charles Sims)
“Yeah, Chuck - really call him Chuck - he had a good season last year and being that he is able to do the things that he’s able to do it’s gonna help the team. And, it’s good to have a guy that can go in when I need a breather and not worrying about the offense dropping off, so it’s good to have Charles on this team.”
(On how he felt after the season and how he feels now)
“I felt fine after the season. I felt like I could play another, three or four games after that. I tell myself I’ve got a young body, I didn’t start playing the game until I started my freshman year in high school so I feel like I’ve got a young body, got a lot of mileage on this body, so I didn’t really feel any wear and tear after the season, I felt good.”
(On Winston’s progress as a leader)
“You know, since he’s been here - when he first got here, he was a little quiet just being the rookie and just listening and learning. Over time he became that vocal Jameis that’d be seen on TV. He’s always inspiring and he’s shouting out motivational quotes, so he’s definitely growing as a leader and I believe this year he’s going to take those reigns to another level as being a leader.”
(On what he’s excited to see in training camp)
“For this camp, I just want to see the competitive level. I want to see the competitiveness taken to another level during this training camp without hurting each other. I just like to see us play with energy and with a lot of discipline, so that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing during this training camp.”
(On the play of the offensive line last year and what he will miss about Logan Mankins)
“Oh they did a tremendous job. What I’ll miss about Logan [is], Logan was a dog in the trenches. He moved guys and he was good for the young guys to see him do that and to learn how to play the game, that’s what Logan left with this team. And that’s gonna be ingrained in their minds when they play, is ‘What would Logan do?’ and, ‘How would Logan do this?’, and they know that, so I’m definitely gonna miss that guy, but these guys are going to do a real good job this year.”
(On how players can fix penalty problems from last year)
“It just can’t be the coaches, yelling [by] the coaches. It’s gotta be players being accoubtable for other players and talking to each other. And when you see a player probably step offsides if the other player has to tell him ‘That’s not cool. We’re not doing that this year.’ It just can’t be the coach in the back yelling at him because sometimes that doesn’t really work, it has to be a player thing. So that’s something that we gotta do.”
(On if that didn’t happen last year)
“We needed more of it. There will be more of it this year, so that’s also what I want to see this training camp.”
(On if he thought about last year’s fumbling issues this offseason)
“Definitely, I watched all those fumbles after this last season, and it was more of me fighting for those extra yards than having my other arm on the ball, the hand on the ball, but switching to fight for extra yards. So, all of these will be corrected, I don’t look forward to fumbling that much this year, so yeah, that’ll be corrected.”
(On if this is the most excited he’s been going into a season)
“I’m excited for any opportunity. I’m excited for any season. Any time I get the opportunity to play another year, the sport I love, I’m excited so that’s all you see. Can I say that this is, if not the, one of the closest groups I’ve been with? Yes, but moving forward I’m just excited to get out there with the guys.”
(On if this season has a playoff feel to it)
“Yeah, I mean, we have all the pieces in place – we’ve just got to put it together. Great coach, great staff, we put in a lot of work this offseason. The maturity level of the team is much different than it’s been in the past. Even with us having a lot of young guys, we have a lot of maturity in those young guys and not really many egos and that goes a long way on a winning football team.”
(On his impressions of rookie defensive end Noah Spence)
“He’s a hard worker. Even though some people don’t think I work hard, I really do. In my training this offseason he was with me and he asked if he could come work with me.”
(On where he and Spence trained together)
“No, this was here. I’ll go to San Diego before OTA’s, etc. Before training camp I just train here at the facility because nothing can simulate this heat so I think it’s the best place to train. But, yeah, he asked could he come to work with me and he came to work every day. I’m excited to see what he does out here in training camp.”
(On if Spence had trouble keeping up with him when training)
“A lot of people do [laugh], but he’s great. He pushed himself and he told me, he said, ‘I don’t know why people go to pay all these different guys to do all this training when you can come right here,’ and I was like, ‘That’s how I feel.’ It wasn’t anything special, it was just – I kind of go into a trance when I train. A lot of guys say like, ‘Man, what’s gotten into you?’ I have a lot of motivations to why I go so hard, and all those motivations hit me at once while I’m training. You see guys smiling and stuff and I got into a zone where I’m not really talking to anybody and I’m pushing people because my belief is people shouldn’t have to motivate you. You should learn to motivate yourself and push yourself. That’s honestly kind of a method behind the madness why I train by myself. I believe that it’s great to have people to push you but if you can’t push yourself, nobody’s inside your head in the fourth quarter when it’s really hot and the defending super bowl champions are driving to win the game. You’re inside your own head so nobody’s going to make you go, you have to make yourself go. And I truly believe that, and Noah brought that same thing when he came out there to train so that’s why I’m really excited to see what he can do.”
(On what he loves about running back Doug Martin)
“Doug, I don’t how much you guys get to see Doug off the field. He’s just very playful and a fun-loving guy. He brings that same thing to the field. That energy that he has off the field – just loves to have a good time, always joking around playing – he may seem quiet to you guys but he’s really not. And he’s a very high energy guy and that’s the same thing he brings to the football field. I always ask Doug, ‘Man, how do you do it every day?’ His speed never changes. You can always see even with myself, I can admit some days I just don’t have it and I have to push myself but you can tell like, ‘Okay, G is missing a little bit today.’ Doug it’s like, ‘Man, will you stop? Please! Slow down.’ He’s just the same speed every day. I don’t know where he gets it from but that’s what makes him so good – he’s just high energy at all times.”
(On the physical toll of the game and how he’s only missed four games in four years)
“It’s tough. I’m only 28 but my body doesn’t feel like it. I know all you guys are laughing, like, ‘You’re only 28 kid, shut up,’ but my body really doesn’t feel like it – especially down in the trenches. But if you take care of your body as far as your diet and recovery, that’s why I’m in this towel now – I was in getting some treatment and again, I just got out of the cold tub and I didn’t want to miss doing interviews with you guys so I ran down here in a towel. But yeah, you’ve just got to take care of your body and [Hall of Fame defensive end] Bruce Smith, I talked to him this offseason and I always try to find inspiration from other people to help me push myself to get to where I want to be. I asked, ‘You played so long, you set so many records, etc. etc. how’d’ you do it?’ He said, ‘One thing I learned at an early age in my career: it’s easier to stay in shape than to get in shape.’ He said taking care of his body was his main priority more so than just working on his game. He knew the mental aspect of the game was coming but he took care of his body and that’s how he was able to play as long as he did as a defensive lineman.”
(On wanting to play a long career)
“Yeah I want to play. That [Warren] Sapp guy, man, he’s a measuring stick for me. He played 13 [seasons] so I always told my wife and I always say, ‘Hey, listen. You get to 13 then we’ll talk, but you have to get to at least 12 or 13.’ I’d love to play 13, especially. More importantly I would love to play 13 years with the Bucs. I’m saying that hopefully I would love to play with the Bucs my whole career. But yeah, I want to play a long time, as long as I can. When my body says you’re done then I’ll shut it down but until then I’m going to go.”
(On the toughest part about staying in shape all year)
“Diet. Yeah, I’m from the South. We like to use butter, fry stuff. I coconut-oiled for a little bit, but it didn’t last long. I don’t use much butter, but my wife does. And I love my wife, so when she cooks I eat it.”
(On why everyone is buying into this season despite last year’s disappointing finish)
“It’s the next season. Last season’s over. The Denver Broncos are the champions until somebody changes that. But they won last year’s Super Bowl. Now it’s open for all 32 to have an opportunity to win this year’s Super Bowl. That’s why everybody’s excited because now, we get our shot again. Once the season was over last year, that was our shot, it’s over. New season starting, now we get another shot, that’s why everybody’s so excited.”
(On his relationship with Lavonte David)
“Well, I said this in prior interviews. I talked to [Hall of Fame linebacker] Derrick Brooks and he told me the best way for your defense to be successful is for you to get as close as you can to Lavonte. That’s what him and Sapp did, and after that I called Lavonte and told him what Brooks told me and ever since then – we were already growing close – but ever since then we really have a bond and we talk a lot. When he was going through the situation with him mom, I flew down to Miami to be with him in the hospital. We have that type of relationship, and it’s only going to grow. We have a lot of private, intimate conversations involving this team and what we need to do moving forward. So, if he says he’s tired of losing, most likely that’s coming from both of us.”
(On now being one of several leaders on the team)
“People ask, ‘Gerald, what type of leader are you?’ Whatever type my team needs me to be. Jameis and I had a private conversation about what he feels like this team needs me to be as a leader. I’m not going to say, but I think it’ll be obvious when it happens. Because you guys are used to seeing me do things a certain way, that’s going to change because the face of the franchise came to me and said, ‘Hey listen, if we’re going to win we need you to do this’. Our quarterback said this is what he needs, this is what I’m going to do. Because if he feels like that’s what our team needs in order for us to win, who am I to tell him, ‘No, I’m not going to do that?’ Because I want to win too, so, he’s an intelligent guy, young or not. Very mature, very intelligent, and he sits back and he watches and analyzes and he’s seeing something that he feels like I can do to help this team be better. It’s not hard to do, it’s just a matter of me just doing it.”
(On being a leader and ‘passing the torch’ to Winston)
“I love Jameis, man. The day after he got drafted I went to both of his parents and told them, ‘I’ll take care of him. Don’t worry about him. When you go home, go on the plane and go home, I got him.’ I love him, man, he’s like my brother. Like I said, I just referred to him as the face of the franchise because he is. He is. When they show commercials of the Bucs they’re not showing Gerald, they’re showing Jameis. And that’s for a reason, and I’m happy about that. Because if your quarterback is the face of your franchise, usually that tags to winning or going in a positive direction. So, I’m excited about it, man. And passing the torch, Ronde gave me the torch. I didn’t ask for it, he passed it to me. So, here you go Jameis. Take us to a Super Bowl, man.”
(On Winston earning his respect)
“He’s Jameis. He’s him. He doesn’t care if I’m Gerald, if you’re [wide receiver] Vincent Jackson, if you’re one of the Glazers, if you’re Mr. [Jason] Licht, he doesn’t care, he’s going to be Jameis. And that’s what makes him him. That’s why he’s been successful his whole career in football because he just is himself. And for a guy to come in regards to what people say to him, how people feel about him, he’s going to be himself? You can’t do anything but respect that.”
(On if his leadership changes will be apparent in practice or on gameday)
“A little bit of both, a little bit of both. Internally, you guys won’t see it, but gameday you guys may see it, you may even see it during training camp. But internally, no, you won’t see it. But it’s not a very big thing. It’s just, he told me privately, so I won’t speak about it. That’s all it is, it’s nothing like, ‘Oh man, wait until we see this’. It’s not even that big a deal, I promise you. But he spoke with me privately so when it happens, it’ll be obvious, like ‘Oh, that’s what he was talking about’.”
(On if he was surprised how quickly Winston became a leader)
“Yes and no. I thought it would be at least by the end of the season. It was way earlier than that. Honestly, if you want to be honest, it was probably after we beat the Saints Week 2. How he started the season and then how he flipped it within a week, in a matter of a couple of days, he was ready then. He was going to make rookie mistakes. When he played a game like he played against the Saints, then a couple weeks later we played Carolina and it’s like, ‘Geez, what happened’? It just, it happens. So what? But then he finished the season out, it’s like, this is the guy. So, yes and no. I knew it would happen soon, just not that soon. But am I surprised? Not really.”

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