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03 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (8/3/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III
(On how the team looked after their off day yesterday)
“It was good and bad both ways. Plenty of good plays and some bad ones. There will be coaches doing a lot of correcting this afternoon. When you’re up to number six on the install, sometimes that starts to catch up to some of the young guys, but plays [are] being made on both sides.”
(On if today represents a new chapter in training camp after the first day off)
“That’s just like anything else. These guys, their bodies go through so many different phases in training camp. Right now, we’re going into our hardest: four straight days of padded practices, today being day one. This is going to be a tough stretch, we do everything we can to get these guys back. They’ve got a four hour break right here. All the stuff they do inside, we try to get them back and ready to go again tomorrow.”
(On tight end Cameron Brate earning more reps)
“I don’t think there’s any big secret [that] Cam’s been working with the first group. We’re deep at tight end and Cam’s at the top of the depth right now.”
(On tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“He’s working hard, he’s working at it. Austin is trying to get better every day. Sometimes, luck of the draw, a guy may not get balls thrown to him some days or he gets it thrown to him and it’s a bad throw or something like that. But Austin’s working at it, that’s all he can do right now. He’s just got to work. Anybody that’s fighting for a job, that’s all they can do.”
(On if Seferian-Jenkins has catching up to do with Brate)
“The guys that are playing the best are going to play. So catching up for some guys is knowing what they’re doing, catching up for some other guys is they got to play better and I’d say he falls into that category.”
(On if linebacker Lavonte David’s interception was a credit to him or the fault of quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Both [laughs]. That was an excellent play by Lavonte, that was a bad decision by Jameis. Jameis had two bad picks today from his standpoint, but the defense is excited for them to make their plays. They’re asking Lavonte to do a lot. He had a pick on that screen and later he had to cover (running back Charles) ‘Chuck’ Sims on that long ball - the quarterback held it a long time - and the back shoulder play. So we’re asking a lot out of Lavonte, but you should ask a lot out of your best players.”
(On how much stock should be taken into cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III’s reps with the first team)
“Here’s what we’re going to do with those. Vernon is working at both nickel with the first group and he’s playing corner, but because he’s playing two spots they’re trying not to crush him on reps. At the same time, as I said the other day, [cornerback] Jude [Adjei-Barimah] is doing a good job and we need to get Jude some work both at nickel and at corner. As far as number of reps, the coaches control all that, we looked at everybody’s reps through the first five practices and we’re about we’re about where we should be. But for now, Vernon’s working with the first group at nickel.”
(On Winston building an even better bond with his receivers)
“Jameis is the motivator for our whole team. Heck, he motivates me. I don’t know about their private texts or anything like that, but Jameis, he’s a passionate guy about football. And that passion, he tries to get it to rub off on guys around him. I think if you ask the other guys, it does rub off on them.”
(On seeing good downfield connections in practice)
“That is the best thing we’ve probably been doing right now, other than we did a lot better running the ball today, but consistently over of six practices [offensive coordinator] Coach [Todd] Monken charts our completions over 10 yards. It’s probably the best thing we’re doing on offense right now, which is a good thing.”
(On the Dallas Cowboys being interested in quarterback Mike Glennon)
“That would be a question for [general manager] Jason [Licht]. It’s unfortunate what happened to [Dallas quarterback] Kellen Moore, no one wants to see a guy get hurt like that in training camp. But that kind of talk is all speculation. We’re glad Mike’s on our team for right now.”
(On wide receiver Freddie Martino and Evan Spencer having big days today)
“Freddie’s a guy that we had in Atlanta. Again, when I was talking about luck of the draw with the tight ends, that’s luck of the draw. Freddie drew the right route against the right coverage and you got to execute it and he did, twice in a row. You guys have short memories because Evan made a good play there, but Evan had a wide-open drop in the very first period of practice. That [wide receiver] competition, four through eight, is going to go for awhile.”
(On there not being many penalties today)
“No, there was penalties all over the place. Yeah, there was lot of penalites, there just wasn’t the obvious false start penatlies. We had a couple real bad holds on offense, a couple of good PIs on defense, we had a real bad illegal pick. I think that was on the throw to Evan Spencer, that was [wide receiver Jonathan] Krause, he would’ve got called for a pick on that because he initiated the contact. Penalties [are] ongoing, trust me when I say we’re working on it, those guys are hearing about it. I show them the penalties every day in the afternoon meeting. The players are talking about it, that’s a good thing. They know we can’t win playing like that. At the same time, we’re also telling them to compete so we’re going to have some.”
(On what Brate is doing that’s standing out)
“He’s making plays. He’s making plays and he’s making them consistently and he’s improving in the run game.”
(On how his run blocking is improving)
“It’s improving. No one’s going to call him [former NFL tight end] Mark Bavaro, but he’s improving.”
(On the competition for the third running back)
“We have great competiton there as well. Mike [James] is there right now, but Peyton Barber’s pushing, Strom [Johnson] definitely has his moments, and even Russ [Russell] Hansbrough. That’s one position that the games will be important because those guys will get plenty opportunites to run it and the breaking the tackles part. We’re deep at running back, that’s one of the positions that we do have good depth.”
(On if he is pleased with what he’s been seeing at the left guard spot)
“[Offensive lineman] Kevin Pamphile was disappointed when we signed [left guard] J.R. Sweezy to come in and fill that spot, he was in the tank for a few days. I said, ‘Look man, you’re very valuable, you’re versatile, we need you,’ and here he is right off the bat filling in at the the starting left guard. And if we had to play today we’d feel fine about that. Kevin can go pretty much across the line and start for us, it’s a blessing. So we’re off to a good start there and as I mentioned yesterday, [right guard] Ali [Marpet] and [left tackle] Donovan [Smith] [are] in their second year, but the guy that’s really playing well right now is [right tackle] Demar Dotson, he’s our best player on the offensive line right now.”
(On linebacker Cannova McKinzy’s injury)
“He’s got a little tweak, we’ll just have to see.”
(On tackle Caleb Benenoch’s injury)
“He’s going to be out for a while. He’s got a cast on there, so he’s going to be out for awhile.”
(On how camp is going)
“It’s going good. I feel good. I’m lighter now, I’m running better. I’m ready to go.”
(On what he’s working on most)
“Just getting low in my routes, being more flexible and focusing on catching the ball.”
(On how helpful it was to spend time with quarterback Jameis Winston in the offseason)
“It’s great, he’s a true leader and he knows how to win. He won at the college level, he won it all. He’s a great leader. It’s showing already early on in camp, that we know where he’s going to throw the ball on certain routes and things like that.”
(On how much of a difference it makes having a year under his belt already with Winston)
“It’s only been six practices so far [this year], but it’s already showing. We know where he’s going to throw the ball , like I said. We’re thinking before the play starts.”
(On if there is less thinking having to do out compared to last year)
“Now we’re in the second year of this offense, we’re playing fast. [Winston] knows where we’re supposed to be. Based off what coverage, he know where we’re supposed to be. It’s been great so far.”
(On if they have the communication down where they can just look at each other to change the route)
“We had two plays like that today, we knew where it was going to be man coverage or it was going to be zone coverage, we knew it and we hooked up.”
(On the improved secondary)
“They’re giving us some work, they’re giving us a lot of good work. [Cornerback] Brent Grimes one of the best defensive backs in the league, [cornerback] Alterraun Verner, [cornerback Vernon] Hargreaves is looking really nice. Working against those guys is only going to make us better.”
(On if his mother has been to camp yet to watch)
“Yeah she’s been out to a few practices, she said she likes it. She said it’s weird seeing me in these colors, she’s used to seeing that orange and blue, but she’ll get used to it.”
(On getting practice reps with the first team)
“You know that’s what I came here to do. I want to be with the first team, I expect to be with the first team and I’ve got to go produce. At the end of the day that’s all it comes down to.”
(On what adjustments needed to be made learning how to play on the inside)
“Just new techniques - there’s new techniques playing the nickel position, that’s a little bit different than corner, little bit more responsibility. You’ve got run fits that you’ve got to know, things of that nature. But at the end of the day it’s football and if you can make plays you’ll be all right.”
(On reaching out to any former players who played the same positon)
“You know not necessarily, not really. I kind of like to do things on my own, I like to figure it out by myself that way I know what to expect, I know what I’m going to get. Everybody is a little bit different so I try - trial and error - and see how that works for me”
(On what it’s like working with teammates who have a lot of talent)
“We have some great vets - Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner - I mean [those] guys, they’re textbook in everything that they do, they’re real professional and they’re always helping me out with new techniques things that they know. I’m always picking their brain, so you know we’ve got a great group of guys.”
(On what it’s like putting the practice pads on)
“Oh yeah, it’s great, it’s awesome. You know, finally playing some football getting into the groove of things.”
(On what will go through his mind in the first preseason game)
“I’m not sure yet. I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous but you know once the game gets started and I get settled in, I’ll be all right.”
(On emphasizing the value of taking reps with multiple groups during practice)
“At this point it doesn’t matter. I need as many reps as I can get, no matter which group I can get them with. I need to see more looks, I need to see more route concepts and at the end of the day it’ll all work out how it works out.”
(On if he has been seeking anybody for advice)
“Nobody, really. It’s a process you have to learn by yourself. You’ve got to go through it and I’m going through it. I’m figuring things out, figuring out how things work. Obviously I ask questions to the guys in our group, which are great guys, but like I said, I’m trying to figure it out myself, trying to get into the groove of things.”
(On if playing nickel or outside matters to Hargreaves)
“No, not necessarily. Ehatever gets me on the field first.
(On how helpful Grimes has been)
“He’s great. Like you said, he’s played for Mike Smith before. He knows the defense, so if I have any questions I can go right to him and he’ll break it down for me in a player’s terms, in terms that I will probably understand. He’s a great player, and a great guy.”

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