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31 July 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (7/31/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III
Offensive Lineman Evan Smith
Defensive End Noah Spence
Tight End Danny Vitale
(On the first day of practicing in pads)
“The difference between shells and pads for these guys isn’t very much. They’re going to go pretty hard either way. We did have an inside-run period today. A lot of banging, some good one-on-one work, anxious to see all the tape of that. We had some one-on-one runs, some one-on-one pass blocking - we’re starting to play real football, got to piece it together.”
(On if tackle Caleb Benenoch got injured in practice)
“I’m not sure about any injures, we’ll see how it all shakes out.”
(On competition at center)
“We’re alternating Evan [Smith] and Joe [Hawley] every couple of days, so, as we said, there’s competition there. We want competition like that at every position, if we can get it.”
(On how the offense has looked)
“I think if you watch that last team period, you’d think the defense was the one that had the extra playbook because the defense got after the offense pretty good in that last perioid. But both sides are coming along fine. There’s probably an advantage to the offense, but I like what our [defense] is doing a lot too.”
(On if the team was better with penalites today)
“Much better today. Not perfect, but much better.”
(On how critical it is to develop a receiver behind Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson)
“Real critical. Like three through eight right now in that receiver group is pretty close. You take a guy like Kenny Bell - two days ago looked like the MVP two days ago, then he disappeared yesterday. And ‘DD’ (Donteea Dye) looked like he didn’t belong out here two days ago, and it was better yesterday. Russell Shepard has had his moments. Evan Spencer has had his moments. All those guys have a chance. You even look [at] Bernard Reedy and Freddie Martino, those are two guys that stuck with us a long time in Atlanta, two veteran players and they know what they’re doing. I like this Jonathan Krause kid, [he] has flashed a little bit. So no doors are closed right now for those receivers. I like our talent there, I like all those young guys and that’s what this preseason will be for.”
(On how defensive end Noah Spence looked today in pads)
“I’ll be honest, I’m gonna have to get back to you on that after the film because there was a lot of drills going on at the same time. I didn’t notice Noah in any of the stuff live. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have a great day, I just didn’t see it.”

(On if he was hoping for more execution on defense at this stage)
“[We’ve had] four practices. I want perfect execution every day on both sides. That’s a pipe dream, but that’s what we’re shooting for.”
(On the hard hitters at linebacker)
“I know everyone gets fired up when they see a big hit out there. Sometimes it’s called for, sometimes it’s not. Big hits executed correctly on gameday are awesome, but big hits when it’s a cheap shot on a guy not looking in practice, that’s a different story. So we need good football players all around.”
(On if the morning practices are working out the way he wanted them to)
“Not right now, I’m hotter than hell [laughs]. We’re getting a lot done - it’s all good. Except for that rain yesterday, we’re where we need to be.”
(On defensive end Robert Ayers)
“I’m impressed with Robert Ayers. Not only his play, but how hard he’s practiced. I think Robert’s going to be a good leader for us on defense as well. He’s a verteran guy who’s a proven NFL player, so a real good guy for those young defensive ends like Noah Spence to look up to. Robert’s off to a fast start.”
(On if he’s surprised and pleased by how assignment-sound the new defense has been)
“Well, I wouldn’t say surprised because I know [defensive coordinator] Mike Smith, I know [linebackers coach] Mark Duffer, I know [defensive line coach] Jay Hayes, I know [secondary coach] Jon Hoke, and I know [defensive backs coach] Brett Maxie. Very pleased, those guys are doing an awesome job, and they’re giving us a lot of looks. That second-to-last team period was a blitz period and we had about three times that the quarterbacks would’ve taken big hits there. That’s great work for our offense to see multiple blitzes like that.”
(On the first practice in full pads)
“It was good, it was real smooth. Obviously there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but we’re getting the hang of things.”
(On if he was nervous last night)
“No, it’s football. I’m focused on what I’ve gotta do and helping the team in whatever way I can.”
(On how happy he was to put on the pads today)
“It was great - fun playing football again.”
(On what kind of coaching he’s getting)
“It’s critical and that’s how we’re coached. They’re hard on us, but they want the best for us, they know what it takes to win. [Secondary] Coach [Jon] Hoke, he always stays hard on us on our technique and we have to find a way to perfect it.”
(On the adjustment to playing nickel corner)
“It’s going well. It’s kind of just like playing corner, you’re just inside. You’ve still got your basic coverages, but just something I’ve got to get used to and something I gotta get good at.”
(On not being overwhelmed and just being himself)
“That’s all you can do. Be yourself, stay in your lane and try to make plays.”
(On if family and friends were here today)
“They came yesterday. My mom came yesterday, a few friends stopped by, so that was pretty cool for them to see me in a Bucs uniform for the first time.”
(On being from Tampa)
“Definitely unique, but I’m proud to be here, happy to be here. The fans are loving it, I’m enjoying the fans and looking forward to a great season.”
(On how he is feeling thus far)
“Good man, just you can’t prepare for this humidity. It’s something to work through. It takes a little bit out of you. Dirk [Koetter] is doing a great job trying to get us out here early in the morning not in the dead heat of the day, but it’s still a battle. I think guys are still pushing through it. We’ve been some good work picking up where we left off from last year.”
(On putting the pads on today)
“The thing is that you go from keeping your heads out of the box, everyone kind of sitting in it to really just kind of sticking your head in there and just going full bore. So everything gets a little more physical everyone’s kind of got to get their butt legs under them a little bit more, but it’s fun. It’s always fun when you can play some real football.”
(On how the competition has been with offensive lineman Joe Hawley)
“It’s good. I mean, me and Joe are good friends. We talk a lot, we see a lot of the same stuff, that’s just football, man. It’s competition. You’ve got to go out here and play, you’ve got to compete, and at the end of the day they want the best five on the field.”
(On how comfortable he is on moving to different spots on the line)
“[I’m] coming into my eighth year in the league, kind of done it all since then. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I’m a professional, they tell me that’s where I need to go - if I had to go play tackle it wouldn’t be pretty but I’d go try.”
(On how he is feeling)
“Good, feeling pretty good. I mean, it’s still football and everything but it’s just a little fast paced right now but I think [I am] getting it together pretty good.”
(On the excitement of practicing in pads)
“Yeah, I’ve been excited for that since I got here, and now it’s here. It feels good to have the pads on.”
(On making adjustments in the league thus far)
“I don’t think it’s that hard or anything, it was just learning the plays at first. Now I’ve pretty much got them down pat. As they come to us you just study them. That was really the biggest thing for me, getting all the plays.”
(On his comfort level and speed of his play)
“I’m getting there - I’m still trying to get to my full speed because I’m still thinking a little bit when I come off and everything like that. Once I get everything fully down I can go full speed.”
(On working out with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in the offseason)
“I did it on my own. I knew I wanted to get a lot of good work in and he said he was staying here and he’s been doing pretty good for himself, so I was like, ‘Why not?’”
(On what he learned during the workouts with McCoy)
“I learned that I can keep up, I learned that I could work, and I’m going to learn a lot about pass rush and run-stopping, stuff like that.”
(On if his best attributes are showing up on the practice tape)
“I think so, yeah, especially with pass rush and everything like that. I’m still getting down my run fits, and trying to keep my hands in tight when I run-stopping. I think with pass rushing, I’m doing pretty good.”
(On the importance of playing with a chip on his shoulder every play on defense)
“I mean, you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to have a reason to come out here and work. Mine is for God and then after that it’s all I’ve been through. Then, it’s just coming out here and working with other guys on the team. You’ve got to play with a chip or else you’ll be no good.”
(On playing multiple positions)
“I think that I might not be the biggest guy out there especially as a tight end, but the combination is still being around 240 [pounds], 242, and then being able to run-that’s a great mismatch for a lot of teams. Being able to put me in those different spots and creating different situations could be a strength for us. I’ve just got to keep learning, take it one step at a time, and definitely be a little more physical out there.”
(On the difficulty of learning multiple positions)
“At first it was definitely difficult, but that’s where I hope my Northwestern education comes into it. Being able to learn fast and retain it all as well, it’s a lot of detail. But now that we’ve gone through these installs a couple times, three, four times, now it’s down to the little details and it’s getting a lot simpler. You’re able to go out there and react and play fast rather than think so much.”

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