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04 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (8/4/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Linebacker Lavonte David
Guard Ali Marpet
(On opening statement)
“Off the bat, Mike Glennon [and] his wife just had a baby last night, around 6:20 p.m., so Mike was excused from practice today - everybody is healthy. So we were missing him, that’s why he wasn’t out there. Obviously we had to change the schedule around a little bit. We knew we were going to have a little window here between eight and ten [this morning], so we moved everything up a half hour. I apologize to the fans that were here, field three that we normally work on was pretty wet on that south end, so we had to move everything to the middle field. That was just for player safety. I’m sure you could see that we had officials out there today - Gene Steratore and some of his crew. We had five or six NFL officials. They’ll be here for the next two days as well. It was great to have those guys here, it was great to have real NFL officials so I didn’t have to be the official, number one. But as you guys all know, we’re making a big emphasis on the penalty thing. We had plenty of penalties today. It was also great to work with some bad weather. [If] you remember that Carolina game last year we’d only really worked in bad weather one time in practice,  in wet ball conditions before we played that Carolina game - and it definitely came back to haunt us in that game. So that was some good work. We cut a few periods out, we had to cut a couple periods short, but we did get in some good work today, that’s the key. We got some good work with officials and hopefully the weather cooperates and we’ll get back on schedule tomorrow.”
(On if a week into practice he likes what he sees)
“Well every day is different, so some things [are] better than others. I think the thing that we are trying to stress to the players is we’re a week away from playing a game. We’re going to be playing a real game, anybody that is healthy is going to play - we’re not just talking about seeing our starters out there, we’re talking about seeing everybody. So like today, special teams having to come off the sideline, huddle and end a game clock and – officials - all of a sudden you can’t sit there and stare at the other team from 15 seconds, you’ve got to snap the ball. I think we’re headed in the right direction - but not even close to where we need to be, but things are progressing well.
(On if there are still certain areas that are a concern more than others)
“Well I wouldn’t tell you even if there was.”
(On if tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ placement on the depth chart is a big deal)
“It must be to you guys, because you’re sure talking about it a lot. I don’t get what the big deal is. Every team I’ve always been on, the best players played. We haven’t played a game yet, so we don’t know who’s going out there against Atlanta. If I had my way, we’d close practice then I wouldn’t have to answer questions like this every day, no one would know, we’d just be getting our team ready to play. But, we have practice open it’s open for the fans, it’s also obviously open to you folks. We want to get the word out, but we’ve got a lot of good football players and our number one mantra is to compete and that’s what we’re doing. When you’re competing, you’re going to have guys ahead of other guys at different times. Right now ‘Cam’ [Cameron Brate] is playing better than Austin - end of story as far as I’m concerned. What does Austin have to do? Play better. Wouldn’t you want that at every position, to elevate the whole team? That’s what competition does. Where a guy was picked, how much money a guy makes - I could care less about that. Now, I might get a call from the big bosses and they might care and say ’Hey do this,’ but I haven’t got that call yet. So right now - it’s still a rep chart because we haven’t played a game so until we go out there and play a game and at some point you guys will get a depth chart that we have to turn in by league rules for the Philly games so it’ll have them listed in an order and you make what you want out of it.”
(On if the tight end situation is more about Brate or Seferian-Jenkins)
“Well I thought Austin handled it great yesterday. He answered the questions - he has high expectations for himself, I certainly have high expectations for Austin but we shouldn’t bump Cam down if he is playing better today, whatever today is. As of right now Cam is playing better. Austin still has time to win the job. He said that, I’m saying that now, that’s true at any position. I said Adam Humphries is our number three receiver, but if someone plays better than him by the time we get to Atlanta, trust me, they’ll be out there.”
(On if there is any concern about Seferian-Jenkins and where he is at right now in his career)
“I want to get the best 53 guys out there for the Bucs. I’m concerned about all of these guys’ careers, but let’s face it all 90 guys aren’t going to make the 53 [-man roster], and the 53 that we keep, their main job is to help the Bucs win games. There’s a lot of little storylines in there, you guys make of it what you want. I mean I’m being as honest as I can.”
(On if his previous statement about players battling for a job means a starting spot or a job in general)
“It could mean both, but in that case I would think that you would read into it that we’re talking about for a starting job.”
(On if he tells the team who is winning the starting positions)
“Trust me - I’m not playing any mind games with anybody, all right? You guys always think I’m playing these games to motivate guy - I’m telling them the truth, okay? I’m telling them the truth. I’m never [lying to] these guys. I mean that’s the fastest way to lose creditability with your team. They’re never getting [lied to] about me, I promise you that.”
(On if he is ever concerned about quarterback Jameis Winston burning himself out)
“[laughs] No, I don’t worry about it. I worry about him staying out there after practice for an hour in the sun, talking to too many people, but I don’t worry about him being in here working on his craft. I think that’s a huge, huge positive and you want the leader of your team to be one of the hardest workers. While we are on that subject Gerald McCoy could not be setting a better practice pace than he is. That guy is dominating in practice every day. When your best players are also your best practice players it sets a great example for your team.”
(On thoughts about today’s red zone drills)
“It’s just where we are in the install - this was install number six. We did what we call ‘high red zone.’ We do a high red zone and then we do a low red zone. That break point on where the transition is varies from team-to-team. But, we started in with the high red zone [it] was our situational work today and also two-minute period. Obviously we didn’t score any points in that period - I guess the third group got a field goal. [The] two-minute and high-red zone were points of emphasis today.  We’ll gradually move it into the low red zone because by next week we’ve got to have covered all the situations that could come up in a game. That’s the challenge as you get into the first preseason game.”
(On the competition at punter)
“Well you know Bryan [Anger] has got a reputation as having one of the strongest legs in the league. He was maybe asked to punt a different style than we’re going to ask him to punt at Jacksonville, but right now we’ve got a big-time competition between him and Jake [Jacob Schum] at punter. If you’ve been watching, we haven’t done a whole lot of days - I think today was only the third day we’ve had him kick with the team - but man, those guys are like two golfers matching each other shot for shot out there. Those are some beautiful punts. I think Nate [Kaczor] told me - not today, but last time we punted - we’ve had some hang times at like 5.5 seconds, which is incredible. We’re asking him to punt it a certain way and with a certain height - that’s another position like I said we haven’t talked about it, but those two guys are in a battle for one job, all right? There’s one punter that’s going to be on our team and that’s what those guys are battling for.”
(On the injury status of defensive end George Johnson)
“I do not know what happened. Obviously George went down in that two-minute drill and it took him off and I haven’t had a report yet.”
(On the expectations placed on George Johnson for making the roster)
“Well forget about last season’s stats because last season was last season - that doesn’t matter. Everybody is battling. All 90 guys out there are battling. Don’t make any predetermined who’s going to make it [and] who’s not. I mean, sure, there are guys in more danger than others and we got a lot of really good competition at defensive end. George is also working like Robert Ayers is as an inside rusher our nickel package and he’s doing a good job there. But there’s definitely competition at defensive end.”
(On practicing in the rain)
“For me personally it feels good either way, just getting another opportunity to go out there and play football, do the thing you love. But for some reason when it’s raining, it makes it fun. Just out there in the mud you kind of want to slide on purpose, things like that. But it’s amazing how much work we got in, in that short amount of time. I feel like we got what we needed to get done, [Head] Coach [Dirk] Koetter did a great job of sticking to what we’re supposed to do and guys adjusted quick.”
(On how much it helps to practice in the rain in preparation for rainy games)
“I think it help a lot. You never know what the weather down here in Florida [will be]. I remember three years ago we were playing New Orleans, we had a weather delay and we had to come right back out and finish the game and it was in the same conditions [as today]. It was good that we got a chance to work on wet games game like this early in practice so we can get accustomed to it, get comfortable with it so when it hits us on gameday we won’t be surprised.”
(On how much more comfortable he thinks linebacker Kwon Alexander is in his second year)
“I think he’s getting really comfortable. He gets in early, he meets with [defensive coordinator] Coach Mike Smith by himself early in the mornings. And then on top of that, he comes in and meets with the defensive coaches when we’re doing our regular stuff, so he’s on it. He just wants to learn. He knows that the Mike linebacker position can be basically the vocal leader of the defense. Got to get everybody lined up in certain situations, and then the communications aspect out there on the field. The way we communicate is really awesome, so that’s a pretty good sign. I think he’s getting really comfortable with it, but [there’s] always room to get better.”
(On if that is the reason why they have been getting takeaways in practice)
“Besides the fact that we’re really good [laughs]. But yeah, the communication aspect, knowing where guys are supposed to be, knowing what you’re supposed to do when a certain defense is called, talking, communicating, things like that. Knowing what you’re going to get from the offense, so when you learn your defense you got to learn what offense can beat you with and things like that. So it gives us a chance to anticipate what we’re going to get hit with.”
(On the competition at linebacker)
“Competition’s amazing. I’m not sure if you guys saw, but when [linebacker Jeremiah George] ‘JG’ dropped the interception, we were kind of ticked off at him because he dropped it. He knew he was going to hear it so when he came over there he kept his head down, so he knew he was going to hear it from us. But we got a competition chart, every day we come in the defense meeting room there’s a big sign on front of the board that says, ‘All about the ball,’ so that’s what we try to do, take the ball away as much as we can. And ‘JG’ killed that opportunity today, but it’s all good.”
(On if that sign is just for the linebackers or the whole defense)
“The entire defense. But at the same time, we’re competing with each position groups to take the [ball], beat them in turnovers and things like that, so the competition level is pretty good.”
(On why he seems more confident this year)
“I think it’s just getting accustomed with everything all around. As I go into my fifth year, I’m getting comfortable with being in the NFL, taking over the role of being a leader, knowing how the guys look at me as a leader and stuff like that. So I have to carry myself in a certain way. I noticed that if I’m down, certain guys might be down, if I’m up, everybody’s up. So I look at things like that, so I just try to stay positive as much as I can, try to stay upbeat, just try to keep my energy level high.”
(On this year’s rookie class)
“Those guys have a motor; those guys are eager to learn. When we get breaks sometimes I don’t think they come out for the breaks, they stay in the meeting room and try to learn as much as they can. They’re always asking questions. They want to learn so that’s a pretty good thing. I think we’ve got older guys, veteran guys who are willing to teach those guys because you never know, those guys might be in a situation where they have to play and help us out, it could take us a long way.”
(On if he feels he is being used in more different ways than last year)
“Yeah, I think so. It’s just the way the defense is, at certain times and certain situations I may be used on the blitz, I may be used in pass coverage or I may be used in zone drops. But I feel like I’m more involved in certain things now, I’m getting a lot of action, getting a lot of plays thrown my way and stuff like that. So it’s pretty good, I like to take on challenges like that and it helps me get better.”
(On if he feels the defense is winning more battles against the offense in practice)
“Of course I’m going to say yeah. But no, I don’t know, it’s all competitive out there. They win some, we win some. We’re jaw jabbing back and forth, I’m sure you all [are] hearing it out there. But that’s the main thing, it’s still competing. You’re competing out there, but you’re competing with your teammates. Those are the guys that you got to go to battle with on Sundays, so for now you can compete against each other, but when it’s time to go against an opponent we’re all together.”
(On his impressions of rookie linebackers Devante Bond and Cassanova McKinzy)
“Bond has been getting some first team reps, he’s coming along well. Obviously still got a lot of work to do because I’m not sure if he’s been used in a certain system like this, but his turnovers have been really good. He’s been one of those guys that’s been standing and asking questions and things like that. So he’s been doing what he’s supposed to do, right now he’s just learning his job and that’s all we need him to do.”
(On the difference he sees in quarterback Jameis Winston in this camp as compared to last year’s)
“He’s talking a lot. He’s talking more, he’s taking control of the offense. He’s audibling, checking plays and things like that. So you see the growth in him, he’s making correct reads, he’s doing a real good job. Jameis is going to be Jameis, I expect nothing less of him, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do and he’s got great guys backing him up and he’s got guys around that can push him.”
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy setting a tone in practice)
“I notice it a lot. Nine-on-seven, 10-run drills, watching it on film, his get-off is amazing. His get-off and motor is amazing, he’s disrupting plays in the backfield and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We expect Gerald to do things like that, and it’s [not] going unnoticed, everbody sees it and we expect him to do that down in and down out and he’s doing it. Great things to come for us this season - a nod to him.”
(On what he’s seeing from defensive end Robert Ayers)
“He’s dominant as well. We’ve got a tandem of guys. [defensive end] Noah [Spence], Rob, ‘Mac’ [McCoy]. We took a loss with [defensive end] George [Johnson] today, I’m not sure how serious his injury was but he’s been doing good. You’ve got [defensive lineman] Will [Gholston], those guys have been working their tails off, they’re getting the pass rush and things in and also they’re doing a great job of stopping the run. And that’s the main thing, on defense we want to stop the run first to get those guys in a situation where they can rush the passer so they can take advantage of those situations, use those skills to their advantage. So all around, [defensive line] Coach Jay Hayes is doing a great job with those guys, they’re talking amongst the line. Like I said, the communication part from the front end to the back end, everybdoy’s talking, everybody knows what they’re supposed to do.”
(On how he feels in his second year as compared to his rookie year)
“I think the second year you’re able to hone in a little bit more on your technique stuff. Where as the first year may be more schematic, just knowing who to block. Now it’s how to block, I guess would be a better way to put it.”
(On if things have slowed down for him)
“I think it has slowed down, and hopefully it will slow down even more which has helped me out a lot, but yeah it’s definitely slowed down a bit.”
(On defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)
“Gerald is playing tremendous football. He’s so freaking fast, he’s messing up a lot of the things that we’re doing. It’s only making us better, which is awesome, and he’s going to give a lot of people problems this year.”
(On how the defense giving the offense so many different looks can help them)
“It keeps us on our toes as an offense. You can’t really practice that when you know what you’re getting, so, yeah, seeing different looks just really helps you prepare, I guess would be the best way to put it.”
(On going up against different blitz packages in practice)
“I feel like we’ve seen it all this point. We know what’s going to come, it’s just communicating at this point and making sure everyond’s on the same page.”
(On offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile)
“I think he’s playing awesome football. I think that he’s a starting caliber guard, there’s no question. So it’s awesome to have that depth.”
(On anything specific that Offensive Line Coach George Warhop is focusing on)
“It’s really just cleaning up the details and just being really detail-oriented as an offense. The offensive line taking the next step and really just cleaning everything up.”
(On what he sees different from quarterback Jameis Winston)
“I definitely think that he’s taking on an even bigger role. He was a leader last year, there’s no question, but he’s definitely taking on that role as a leader for our offense and for our team.”
(On practicing the two-minute offense today)
“I think two-minute was big for us. I think you can see that it was our first time really doing two-minute because we were very sloppy. So I think we’ve got to keep doing that moving forward, but yeah, that’s awesome work to get.”
(On having league officials at practice the next couple of days)
“It’s important because we get to communicate with them like off the field. We get to ask them questions and see what they’re looking for and that’s important to have, to have an open dialogue with the refs.”
(On communicating with the officials during practice)
“We can talk to them whenever, they’re pretty open with us.”

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