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01 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (8/1/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Linebacker Kwon Alexander
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Wide Receiver Adam Humphries
(On dropped balls towards the end of practice)
“Well just in general, late in practice we’re wearing down a little bit, which is to be expected when it’s hot and humid. We’re getting a little sloppy with our fundamentals on both sides, we’re getting a little sloppy with our mental errors. So that happened, we’ve got to get better at that it, no question. Good and the bad today [on] inside-run, defense stuffed the offense - it’s a heck of a job by our defense. Blitz period where yesterday the defense got after the offense, today offense did a lot better. Offense had some big plays in the blitz period. That’s a give and take of training camp. Those guys go in there, whatever they did bad on their coaches are getting after them, they’re going to come out and do better tomorrow. It’s been around for ages in football like that. We’re progressing just how we should be - players have their first day off tomorrow, so they’re happy.”
(On how far the offensive line progressed from last year to now)
“Yeah, I don’t know. That’s a good question, but I don’t know the answer nor do I really care because I mean last year was last year. We’ve got to worry about what we got going on right now We’ve got to develop our depth. Right now we’ve got two guys out on the line - obviously [J.R] Sweezy is out and [Caleb] Benenoch is out. When you start losing guys, it puts the pressure on the rest of the group and again that’s part of every training camp. You’ve got to just deal with it.”
(On Benenoch’s injury status)
“He had an MRI, you saw him, you can see him he’s got a boot on, he’s on crutches, [and] they MRI’d it. Waiting for the results.”
(On if cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III learning multiple positions makes for a steeper learning curve)
“Yeah, probably, but I don’t think of that as any different than a wide receiver that learns how to play in multiple spots or an offensive lineman that learns how to play different spots. We’ll start working Vernon with the first scrums on Wednesday when we get back after the [day off]. He’ll start rotating in there with the first group as I said in the spring, the guy is a good football player, he’s going to play, he’s doing a nice job, his athleticism shows up every day. That doesn’t mean at all that we’re disappointed in Jude [Adjei-Barimah] because Jude is doing a good job too. We’re building our depth at corner especially. I like what we’re seeing out of those guys.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander’s performance thus far in camp)
“I love how Kwon’s working with ‘Smitty’ [Mike Smith]. It’s great to see when I’m going down the hallway every morning at seven o’clock in the morning and Kwon and Smitty are in there on the chalkboard having a 45 minute 1-on-1. It’s awesome to see Smitty sitting at a desk and Kwon standing at the board with a grease pen in his hand - it’s awesome. As a guy that’s a quarterback coach to see ‘Smitty’ and Kwon in there in the mornings does my heart good.
(On the importance of having a quarterback on both sides of the ball)
“It’s real important. You’d like to have even more than one guy, but the middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. I love Kwon’s attitude that he wants to be the Jameis Winston of the defense, for him to embrace it - not all guys want that on them but Kwon does. It’s awesome. He’s got to back it up.”
(On most consistent players thus far during camp)
“Gerald McCoy jump out at you, Lavonte David big surprise. Alterraun Verner [and] Brent Grimes at corner. Chris Conte at safety. On the offensive side of the ball Demar Dotson right tackle, is off to a fast start. Cameron Brate, tight end, fast start. Doug Martin and Charles Sims, fast start.”
(On wide receiver Jonathan Krause practicing well)
“Yeah, sure did. There was some nice catches. Even though that last team period was a little bit raggedy. Evan Spencer back-to-back great catches - those are great catches - and then another great catch by Jonathan Krause. Jonathan Krause, this guy has been with two teams, with New England and Philly, Jason and his scouts, they knew about this guy and when he popped up on the waiver-wire we had a spot for a wide out. I like what we’re seeing from this kid.”
(On if Krause has punt returning ability)
“He has been a returner. We’ve worked him a little bit on kickoff returns so you guys can get your depth chart down on kickoff return. I missed about half of them the other day. Hopefully you guys jotted them all down, so I don’t remember them.”
(On offensive lineman Joel Hale)
“He did play a little bit of offense in college I mean he was mostly a d-lineman but they tried to play him on offense. We needed a guy late and to be honest there’s not a ton of guys - this time of year it’ll start picking up. We had Joel [Hale] in our rookie tryout camp and George Warhop noticed him and remembered him, we worked a couple guys out and he said he had stayed in shape. He’s a guy that is filling a role right now and he’s behind because he doesn’t know what he is doing, but he’s working at it.”
(On wide receiver Kenny Bell)
“Kenny had a little bit better day today. You know, let’s just end the big mystery about this number three wide receiver, okay? Adam Humphries is going to be our number three wide receiver. On the young lady’s question, you talk about the definition of consistent player there’s Adam Humphries’s picture right there, [a] consistently strong player. Adam’s going to be our slot receiver and then the battle for four, five, six and beyond, there’s some really good competition. Kenny is one of the guys in that mix.”
(On how much confidence Humphries gained on knowing he’s the number three receiver)
“I haven’t told him yet, so whoever is the fastest runner out of you guys can go tell him [laughs].”
(On if Humphries would play outside if one of the other receivers were injured)
“No, that’ll be another problem for another day. Adam can play outside, he did so last year. The great thing about Adam you never have to know he doesn’t need reps out there – see people are already getting their tracks shoes on to go talk to him. He’s not ideal as an outside guy, but football players come in all shapes and sizes and he’s no different than that.”
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries being named the number three receiver)
“I’m not surprised by it at all. Adam is a great player for us, he’s a third down machine for us. He’s had a great camp and last year he was one of my best targets. You think about the first play of the year, me and that guy bounced back from that quickly and had a great season together.”
(On what it was like starting the year off slow last season with Humphries)
“That’s just how it is in this game. You’ve got to get back up and try again and I definitely trust that guy with all my heart. I know Coach Koetter trusts him and this team trusts him. So that’s a big thing for him, I’m pretty sure when he hears that he’s going to work even harder.”
(On going against the defensive line in padded practices)
“It’s been great. [Defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] has really just been killing us.You just see why he’s in the Pro Bowl [or] running up for the Pro Bowl every single year. And that’s so good because [guard] Ali [Marpet] is coming back off that ankle injury and he’s holding his own. Ali’s holding his own and they’re all just doing great. [Defensive end] Noah Spence is amazing, he’s doing really good out there. But that’s how you make a good team - iron sharpens iron. We’ve got great people on that defensive side of the ball and we’ve got to produce on the offensive side.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander being the quarterback of the defense)
“One person I met was [Dallas Cowboys linebacker] Sean Lee at the Pro Bowl. And I was like, ‘Sean, how can I get Kwon to get like you?’ From the study points because Kwon always asks me like, ‘How do you study?,’ and I was like, ‘Man, I’m not a middle linebacker, you’ve got to ask [Carolina Panthers linebacker] Luke Kuechly, or one of the main guys.’ So he reached out to Sean Lee, got some information from him. And ever since then, he’s been willing to just want to be the quarterback for that defense and he’s been doing a great job.”
(On how impressed he’s been with the secondary)
“I’m just very impressed with our whole team. The chemistry of that defense is showing and [that it’s] their first year in that defense, it’s very impressive. I can’t wait to see how things work out for them because I know they’re giving us trouble out there and they’re very tough. It’s so good for the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks, we talk about it all the time, we get so many different looks. And these guys are doing it to the T. And just for them to just be installing it the way that they are, it’s pretty good.”
(On if the defense’s effort is more aggressive this year)
“It’s just different looks, that’s all. But the overall effort is great and you can’t coach effort. Effort is something that you have no choice but to do. Talent doesn’t effect effort”
(On the biggest challenge so far at camp)
“Just getting back together. It’s just the beginning of camp, there’s not a lot of challenges. Today we faced some adversity, started off kind of slow, but we picked it up - that’s the main thing. Sometimes in games we’re going to start off slow, but are we going to lay down? No, we’re going to get back up and try again and keep fighting.”
(On the defense giving him different looks in practice)
“Like I said, it’s so good for us to see different looks because different teams are going to have different gameplans against us every single week. And by us seeing that at practice every single day, it’s good for us. Just so we can process information fast and make the right decisions.”
(On his second training camp being different than his first)
“The attitude is the same. My attitude is to go out there and get better every single day. So I’m not looking like, ‘Oh, it’s more simple now,’ I’m just trying to get better and better at my craft and try to put this team in a good situation to win some football games.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander stepping up as a leader)
“He knows his job, he knows his worth to this team and it’s very high. He knows that we’ve got to get better every day and the only way that we’re going to be better [is] if everyone individually is trying to better themselves every single day. So he took that and ran with it. He’s trying to be a great linebacker and to me he is. I’m always going to support him - he’s an Alabama boy - so you know you love his heart. I’m glad that he’s making that transition.”
(On if more respect is given to Humphries because of the path he had to take)
“No, it honestly just shows these kids that [are] worried about going to these big-time schools and being a superstar on that team, that really doesn’t matter if you don’t work your butt off. And Adam Humphries, that’s one thing that he does, he works his butt off. Same thing with [tight end Cameron] Cam Brate. Cam Brate is a guy that stepped up for us last year. No one had ever heard of the guy, but he works his tail off. Hard work pays off, Adam and Cam, they have that.”
(On the motivational texts he sent Humphries in the offseason)
“I always try to keep the guys thinking about our main goal. We talk about the law of attraction. We talk about what Denzel Washington said in one of his commencement speeches at, I think the University of Penn, how we need to fall forward instead of falling back because he said you’ve never seen a hearse  pulling a U-Haul. So always fall forward. I’m always trying to get the guys to just mentally be prepared. Because like days [like] today when we start off slow, mentally we’ve got to be there because when you’re tired, you’ve got to be able to focus because that’s the difference between winning and losing football games.”
(On if he has been able to talk to cornerback Brent Grimes)
“Absolutely, I talk to those DBs every day. They give me feedback, but the same thing, they’re installing. So it’s only so much they can tell me beause they’ve got to learn and do what they got to do. Especially with Brent coming. I know he’s a vet but he’s still having to install stuff. Definitely just telling me if I’m staring at a zone too long, or something. But we help each other out.”
(On what he did in the offseason to prepare for his second year)
“To tell you the truth, I just worked out. I didn’t even move around a lot, I stayed in the house a lot. I had my notes that I had, I’ve been studying. I just worked out a lot. I worked out with [linebacker] Lavonte David, so we were together the majority of the time. We just got some good work in, now that we’re out here on the practice field.”
(On how often he gets on the chalk board with Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith)
“I get there every morning, it’d be right around 6:30 [a.m.]. I wake up probabaly about, like 5:10 [a.m.] eat breakfast, then go up there and study for myself probably for like 30 minutes. Then I go up there with him and I get on the board. That’s been great, it’s making me a better player now. If I’d have been doing that, some good things would come out, so I can’t wait for the season and show y’all.”
(On how important the mental part of the game is for the middle linebacker position)
“Playing mental, you really have to be smart. Last year, I was kind of smart, but wasn’t that smart [laughs]. I was out there just playing because I had never played Mike before - it was just different. So when I got to this year, I told myself that I’m going to have to sacrifice for this team and for us to go to the Super Bowl and be the number one defense I’m going to have to get up early. So I’ve been getting up early, me and [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] get up the same time, we leave at the same time. I told him before we got to camp, ‘I’m coming with you,’ and we’ve just been rocking ever since. He’s been doing good and I’ve been doing good, so it’s going to be a good season.”
(On the fifth day of camp)
“It’s been a good five days of camp, I feel good, [and] the team is looking good. We’re happy that we’ve got an off day tomorrow.”
(On the offense connecting and wanting to be crisper)
“Yeah, for sure. The defense beat us down today and then we had a lot of mental mistakes. Everybody is tired, but we’ll fix it up. It’s nothing that we can’t handle.”
(On what Adam Humphries brings to the offense)
“He brings a lot. He’s versatile, he can play inside and out, he’s tough, he goes hard every play. He was the third receiver last year, you guys saw him. He made plays, a sure-handed guy and he knows how to get open.”
(On getting a shout out from NBA player Dwayne Wade)
 “It means the world to me. If you know me, you know he’s my favorite athlete, and I felt like a big kid when I saw that. Great player, great guy, and I think the world of him and it meant a lot to me.”
(On spending time after practice with the family of the late Drew Newsome, whom Mike honored in 2014 after scoring a touchdown)
“It’s great I get to make an impact on that guys life. He died and wanted to be buried in my jersey. That’s something that you never think about when you play this game and I’m happy I can make an impact.”
(On Head Coach Dirk Koetter naming Humphries the slot receiver)
“Yeah, I mean obviously, it’s early in camp and we still got a lot of work to do. Obviously, that’s good to hear from the head man, but got to keep the edge and keep working hard every day and I’ve got to earn the spot every day no matter what he says. I can mess up or I can keep getting better and that’s what I’m going to do.”
(On his progression from last year when he was just trying to get noticed)
“Yeah, like I said I just came out here with an edge. When I came out here last year no one knew me, [I] didn’t really know anyone out here, so I just tried to work hard and get noticed. But it’s good to come in this year and be a guy that the quarterback can rely on and just earn that number three spot.”
(On how he remains consistent and puts bad plays behind him)
“Yeah, that’s the biggest thing is having a short memory and if you do mess up it’s not a bad thing if you mess up. You can learn from that, correct it, and get better so mistakes are good sometimes, especially during camp. Everyone is going to mess up. So you’ve got to take positives away from that and keep getting better.”
(On quarterback Jameis Winston not hesitating to throw the football to him last year)
“Jameis feeling comfortable throwing the ball to me is good. It just [speaks] to a lot of hard work on the practice field just being reliable and consistent with my routes, just being a guy that he can count on.”

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