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13 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (8/13/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Linebacker Lavonte David
Wide Receiver Russell Shepard
(On addressing some of the players missing, particularly tackle Donovan Smith)
“Okay, Donavon had the flu so he was home in bed. That’s where he was. As we said yesterday we’ve got some guys that are a little banged up – Saturday practice, players have tomorrow off. I would expect we’d be in pretty good shape on Monday. That’s going to happen when we have a little live football.”
(On how the offense, defense, and special teams are progressing)
“Defense we’re right on track. Offense, special teams got some picking up to do.”
(On the difficulty of practicing in pads shortly after playing a game)
“Well, it’s a little rough on the guys. We got back at 2:30 in the morning, they’re sore after a game first time playing live in a few months. We’re in training camp still. We can’t forget just because we played one game this is still training camp. Today was tapered down a little bit but it was a pads day. Players got a day off tomorrow, so like I said, Monday we’ll be back at it Monday starting a new week. We’re looking forward to a huge week going down working against Jacksonville for two days and then playing them – Heck, I’m looking forward to it.”
(On what he likes about having joint practices)
“Well, everybody here knows from talking to the players we’ve practice 11 times against ourselves and it gets chippie, all right. They get tired, they start going against the same guys, and this guy’s got his hand in this guy’s face mask, and this guy’s holding this guy. Now it’s going to be exactly the same when we go to Jacksonville except it’s just going to be different guys, and they have to figure out what they don’t like about the other people and them we’re going to play them on Saturday. I love the competition, I love the newness of it, and then going against different guys. From an offense [standpoint], just [taking] a quick look at Jacksonville’s defense I mean heck they’re two-deep on defense is impressive, so it’ll be good work for our offense. Just across the board we’re not just going down there and scrimmaging, we’re doing drills, we’re doing our half-skelly drill, we’re doing 1-on-1, we’re doing 1-on-1 pass rush, so all good stuff.”
(On what previously coaching at Jacksonville has done for his coaching career)
“Jacksonville, I got my start in the NFL, so big thanks to Jack Del Rio. I’ll always be indebited to him for that. We had a great first year there, made it to the second round of the playoffs, lost to the Patriots and then we didn’t go too many places from there. But heck, I’d like to have that same first year here that we had there.”
(On if having many people from Jacksonville on his coaching staff)
“Well not just that season, but when you’re putting together your coaching staff – I got a huge book on guys at every position. You can’t always get the guys you want, all the guys you want. We were really fortunate to get a lot of the guys we wanted in particular you mention Paul Spicer – he was a team captain for us in Jacksonville, I’ve always been a fan of his, I used to love the way he talked to the defensive players, and loved his leadership and his playing style. But, the coaches that we have on this staff that were from Jacksonville, they’re here because they are really good football coaches, they’re good teachers, and they’re good men.”
(On if they were any players that played better than others on Thursday)
“Yeah, yeah, there’s a bunch. There’s a bunch that played better and there’s a few that played worse, too many to go into. But, you’ll see some changes in the depth chart and the rep chart. You have injuries mixed in there too, but when we get to Jacksonville and play time that’ll be reflected there.”
(On the defense and their upcoming challenge against the Jaguars offense)
“Oh yeah, I mean Jacksonville they’ve got two really good wide receivers, two good tight ends, two good runners, [Blake] Bortles is a solid up-and-coming NFL quarterback. I mean, heck, he was a high pick in the draft. There are no teams in the NFL that aren’t a challenge and Jacksonville is certainly one of them. A lot of people are picking them to win their division.”
(On expecting to have William Gholston back on Monday)
“Yes, I would.”
(On running back Doug Martin’s practice reps)
“We’ve been working on that this whole training camp, that’s how everything is structured. Guys still have got to get ready to play. We have a pattern that we’re going to follow for these preseason games, and we followed it for the first game and we’ll continue to do it. For actually game-time you’ll probably see Doug play a little bit more. But, we’re not going to take unnecessary risks with any of our players. We’ve been trying to manage that – you just saw us go goal-line drill, today was goal line drill, those nine plays at goal-line would have been an all-out warfare had we’ve gone full speed.”
(On Bernard Reedy)
“Well he brings quickness and speed, and he’s got some return ability. I thought he showed up a little bit, now he’s kind for fighting for the same spot that Adam Humphries is, so he’s fighting a little bit uphill battle, but it’s a long season you never know what’s going to happen.”
(On running backs needing receiving skills)
“Absolutely, absolutely, we personally don’t even like to look for backs that can’t catch or don’t catch well. It think catching is something that can be improved. I know that’s something Doug works on very hard and Charles Simms we have a guy that’s got excellent hands. We’re going to throw the ball to our running backs.”
(On there being an emphasis on the run game and special teams at practice)
“All these practices are scripted out far in advance so other than the drills the coaches are working one – special teams would be an example – but as far as the install of the offense and defense, this stuff was scripted last June before we went on vacation so we’re just following the script.”
(On how hard it was to prepare for Philadelphia without any film on their new defense)
“It was difficult, but we got some good film on what [Eagles Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jim] Schwartz was with the Bills and with the Lions. So we had an idea, but like you said, no film on that defense specifically, it makes it tough.”
(On if he watches as much film in the preseason as he does in the regular season)
“No, you don’t do as much of it, but you need to see your personnel, who you’re going against, who you’re facing.”
(On implementing more screen passes to the running backs into the offense)
“Well if you look at our practice film, our defense was shutting down our screens all the time. But we were very happy how our screens had success in the game.”
(On his fumble in Thursday night’s game)
“I just dropped the ball. I was actually getting ready to throw it, and he just batted it down. Great play. That guy [defensive tackle Fletcher Cox] is a hundred-million dollar man. Just got to hit my check-down and be a little bit more decisive and get it to [running back] Doug Martin.”
(On where he would rate the offense right now)
“We’ll never be where we should be because like I said, we’ll never arrive. Our objective is always to get better, but if you look at the box scores, our offense did a good job. It’s just really hard to win games with four turnovers, especially with my fumble being inside the 10 [yard line]. You look at the whole game, the two turnovers that we had on their side of the field, if they don’t get those turnovers inside their own 10-yard line they, don’t score.”
(On what he’s looking forward to when the team has joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars next week)
“Oh, I’m very excited. One reason is because I get to reunite with my [Florida State] teammates again, with [safety] Jalen [Ramsey], [linebacker] Telvin [Smith] is going to be running his mouth the whole time, I already can expect it. But that’s what I love, and that’s why I’m really excited, just to be playing against him. Just to get that feeling back because I know he’s very passionate and I know he’s going to bring it and he’s not going to take any plays off.”
(On if he went into Thursday night’s game with a script of plays)
“Yeah, we had a good game plan together. And we just went with it, we just went with the flow. Typically, you try to be vanilla, but we just wanted to see how we would do against another defense instead of playing against our guys. And in my eyes, we did okay. But for future reference, we want to be way better than what we did, we want to be more consistent.”
(On how much more comfortable he is running the no-huddle this year)
“I’m just comfortable running the whole offense. I believe [Head] Coach [Dirk] Koetter always puts us in good situations. We have a great supporting cast, we have a great offense. For us to be able to move the ball effectively, just regular tempo and move the ball effectively in no-huddle, that really puts the defenses in a bind.”
(On wide receiver Russell Shepard)
“It’s so amazing because Russell just had a child this offseason. And I told him after the game, I said, ‘You’re playing like you just had a baby boy.’ And if you don’t get that, he has something to play for. Day in and day out, Russell Shepard is out there putting in work, and again he had another chip on his shoulder because that was a team that cut him. That’s why we took emphasis in making sure he scored a touchdown last year against Philly. He just played an amazing game and you just see his work ethic and the things that he [does] is amazing.”
(On if he still has a close day-to-day relationship with Head Coach Dirk Koetter)
“Absolutely, I think Coach Koetter does a good job of working his way inside the quarterback room and still keeping that same relationship, even [while] taking on the head coaching duties. He has a lot on his plate, but as we all know, we all should know, that man works his tail off and he’s going to stay consistent with everything he does. We’ve just got to get that same mentality and follow him.”
(On if having Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith on the staff allows Coach Koetter to focus on the offense more)
“Yeah, I believe that. We trust all our coaches. At the end of the day, coaches coach and players play. So we as players, I can only speak for players not for coaches, we’ve got to take initiative to go out there and do our job so the coaches can be in a predicament to trust us on every single play.”
(On wide receiver Bernard Reedy)
“Very exciting player, he had a big game for us in that Philly game, too. And it’s just the same thing, just the mentality that he has, kind of similar to [wide receiver] Louis Murphy, him being from St. Pete, him being a Tampa native, him just being home. He’s doing everything he can to keep working hard so he can stay here and play [at] home.”
(On if trying to get players to start “hate losing” is “him lobbying to get certain guys off the roster”)
“No, no, no, no. I’m not talking about individual players, I’m talking about a mentality. I would never call out my teammates and say guys need to start hating to lose. It’s a mentality that you’ve got to have, and it’s an easy choice. It’s a choice; you’ve got to want to win. As a team, we have to make that choice together. I’m not saying just because I want to win doesn’t mean that someone else wants to win, I’m saying all of us have to be together and be on the same page because if we’re on the same page and we have the same common goal, the same focus, we’re going to win a lot of football games.”
(On if a quarterback’s best friend is a great running game)
“You better believe it. Because that’s how you win football games in this league, if you can run the ball effectively you win games. And like I said, not just having two great running backs, we have some great running backs in the depth chart as well, as you’ve seen in the preseason game. But it just starts with the offensive line. [Offensive Line] Coach [George] Warhop works them so hard, and they spend so much time trying to create time for me, trying to create gaps for Doug and Chuck [Charles Sims] and the rest of those guys. And you’ve got to give all the credit to those guys.”
(On what defensive end Robert Ayers has brought to the team)
“Passion. Passion on that defensive side of the ball. There’s some players that you play against, and I was just talking about Telvin, they bring it every single play. And you can tell as a veteran, he’s brought that ‘every single play I’m going full speed’ mentality to that defensive side of the ball. You see Robert Ayers go out there, make a what would be called a sack on me, but they still let us throw, and then the next play it’s a competitive atmosphere. Now [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] is like, ‘Man, I’m about to get a sack because I’m not going to let Robert Ayers outdo me out here when I’m the best player on this team.’ And then Gerald goes out and makes two plays in a row, then you see [defensive tackle] Clinton McDonald like, ‘Hold on, now everybody else is making plays, I’ve got to go and make a play.’ And that’s what Robert brings to this team, and that goes back to that winning mentality. When you’ve got people competing and you see that your leaders are competing, that’s why I’m the one that says we’ve got to have that winning mentality because I’ve got to be the one to start off. My body language has to remain consistent, I have to be that image that they look at. Like even if they’re looking down like, ‘Jameis still wants to win, shoot, I want to win, too.’”
(On if the team has the mindset that they are playing for the guy next to them)
“Absolutely. And we’re still building. Even at Florida State, it’s a process. Times like this, we’re at camp. Last year, I couldn’t really be that. Well I could, but at the end of the day I was trying to learn what I needed to learn for me to have the opportunity to lead this team to some wins. But now, since I’m more familiar, it’s time for everybody to get everybody involved and get that same mentality so we can win some football games here because team chemistry, if you do everything you’ve got to do to win a football game, like not have turnovers, not have penalties, but even if that stuff happens if you’ve got team chemistry, you can overcome that, You can overcome that adversity because at the end of the day, that team is still like, ‘There’s no reason why we should lose here.’ We’ve still got that winning mentality, we’re never down. Even if we’re down 42-0, you’ve got to have that mentality like, ‘We’re not losing this game, we’re [going to] break an NFL record and come back and win this football game.’ And that’s just how it is, that’s why I say you’ve got to hate to lose and just love to win.”
(On the defense playing well)
“Yeah, I mean that’s well our thing, and that’s how our mindset is too whenever we’re out there. Thursday night we’ve got to put that behind us. As a defense, they scored those touchdowns in the beginning and we have to be able to keep them out the end zone or even hold them to a field goal. We’ve got to work on that more but we’re ready to get back out here – like I said we’re still in training camp mode, still got a lot of things to get better at that’s what we’ll try to do.”
(On ranking the defense on a scale)
“We’re just trying to get better, trying to get better. There’s really no scale, there’s no real measuring where we’re at right now. We’re still in camp, a lot of stuff that we need to work on so we just fix what we need to fix and we’re just trying to get better out here and make it transpire on the field.”
(On working against a different offense)
“It could work a lot, because most times when people get us a chance to go against another  opponent sometimes guys can get a little shell shocked or whatever. Your technique your fundalemntals go out the window. But, to work at it against another opponent you get to see it throughout the week, communication probably has to be there, run fits has to be there, so going against Jacksonville should be fun.”
(On getting the opportunity to tackle against another team)
“It was beautiful, it was wonderful. That’s what we’ve been waiting on, and for the most part I think we did that, but like I said, we still have to get better.”
(On making it difficult for Head Coach Dirk Koetter to keep him at special teams)
“I love Dirk. The biggest thing for me is just to be able to make an impact for this team, whatever they ask me to do. Whether it’s catching balls, making tackles on special teams, blocking the front line. I’m a team guy first, that’s kind of what I’ve been brought up on and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.”
(On if this offense is a fit for him)
“It’s my second year in the offense, since I’ve been at LSU I’ve been through almost 10 different offenses. So going through an offense with [former Eagles Head Coach] Chip [Kelly] my rookie year, going through certain things with [former Buccaneers Head Coach Greg] Schiano, there’s different offenses we learn. You learn how to learn. The biggest thing is you just come out, you get reps. The biggest thing I will say about Dirk’s offense and his practice schedule, it gives other guys an opportunity to get reps and that’s probably been the biggest thing in my career thus far is being able to get enough reps to make up for not playing as much receiver.”
(On how he did at the NFL Combine coming out of college)
“I didn’t go to the Combine. But I played with some amazing receivers, playing alongside Vincent Jackson a lot the last four years, playing with [Giants wide receiver] Odell Beckham, playing with [Dolphins wide receiver] Jarvis Landry, playing with [Eagles wide receiver] Rueben Randle, [Bengals wide receiver] Brandon LaFell, the list goes on, the receivers that I’ve played with. I’ve got some good guys in my room. Somebody like Mike Evans, who’s younger than me but he’s a good teacher, watch his game, see how he attacks the DB vertically on the ball. That’s a good example for us day-in and day-out.”
(On if he’s looking forward to practice with the Jaguars next week)
“Yeah, it’s always fun. Jacksonville is a really young, talented team. When I say young and talented, they kind of remind me of us. Very talented team, it’s going to be a good test for us, I’m excited to go up there and compete and this is what football is all about, competing. You’ve got an opportunity not to go against our guys, beat up on our own guys, so we’re going to take advantage of this and we look forward [to it].”

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