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05 August 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Training Camp Media Availability (8/5/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Tackle Donovan Smith
(On a lot of goal line work during practice today)
“Well, our two points of emphasis today were third-and-long in the field, and I’d say defense got the best of that. And then we had some low red zone work, and there was good plays on both sides. I think the main thing in the low red zone is everything is squeezed down there. It was great having the officials here today because there was obviously some defensive pass interference calls. It’s the first day we’ve done low red zone inside the 10 [yard line]. We need the work, I’m not sure I’d declare anybody a winner but it’s great having those officials out here so everybody gets a feel for what they can get away with.”
(On how quarterback Jameis Winston looked in the blitz period)
“Yeah, both sides [were picking it up]. Again, that was all third-and-long stuff. We were working on some new protections and the defense gave us some new pressures that they put in today, so there was a lot of things that we hadn’t seen before, on both sides. Jameis did some really good things and he missed a couple. That’s ongoing but we’re getting so many great looks that are going to help us over the course of the year. It’s not like we’re really focusing in on a gameplan where a team might only give us a handful of things, they’re throwing a lot at us. It’s good for both sides.”
(On what jumps out at him about the team’s red zone performance last year)
“We need to score more. We’ve got to score more touchdowns.”
(On wide receiver Jonathan Krause)
“Again, as we said the other day, I didn’t even know that guy’s name and [general manager] Jason [Licht] and those guys pulled him off the waiver wire, talked about his history and for a kid that missed all of OTAs and just came out here, he’s doing well, he’s definitely in the mix.”
(On when offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile will be back at practice)
“Kevin was excused today for a personal issue, and I’m not sure but it’s nothing that is going to be long term, it’s something that just had to happen. Injuries or guys missing [practice], we just have to deal with it. That’s all you can do, you’ve got restrictions on how many guys you can have here and injuries are an unfortunate part. Kevin’s situation is not an injury but we just have to deal with it. That’s how you build your depth and that’s what we have to do.”
(On defensive end George Johnson’s injury and also on the competition at cornerback)
“As you know, George suffered a significant hip injury yesterday and he had to be placed on IR. Unfortunate for George because he was playing well at the time. As far as the corners go, I think right now we have four guys kind of out in front right now, in no particular order: [Brent] Grimes and [Alterraun] Verner and [Vernon] Hargeaves and Jude [Adjei-Barimah]. And then we’ve got [Johnthan] Banks and Josh Robinson kind of battling for five and six. That’s sort of where we’re at right now.”
(On tight end Danny Vitale bringing different options to the offense)
“Well, all of our tight ends I think have those options. Dan just happened to be used that way at Northwestern, that’s how they used him. So he’s already sort of played that role but I’m really fired up about the versatility of all of our tight ends. That tight end group, that’s a position that we’re deep at and those guys are making plays every day, we’re asking a lot out of them and they’re giving it to us right now. So not just Dan, but I’m fired up about a bunch of those guys. Our preseason is going to be good for some of those younger guys.”
(On how many corners they are going to keep on the final 53-man roster)
“That’s a question for Jason [Licht], that’s Jason’s department. I’m going to try to help him if he’ll let me [laughs]. Even though it’s my first time, I’m going to still try to help him. But that’s Jason, you’ve got to ask Jason that question.”
(On local players trying to make the team and if they bring a little bit more fire)
“Sure, I think there’s guys that grow up in their town and they want to be a Buc. Now that doesn’t make their road any easier, that just might mean they have a few more friendly faces in the crowd but that certainly doesn’t make their road any easier.”
(On if George Johnson is a candidate to return from IR later in the season)
“I’m not sure about that right now. A lot of that conversation doesn’t come until we get to the cutdowns. Right now, you don’t have to decide that. The bottom line on that is you can only bring one guy back, so you’ve got to wait and see how that goes and we’re just a ways away from that right now.”
(On how much of a blow Johnson’s injury is to their depth at defensive end)
“We don’t want to lose anybody. Shoot, right now any injury is a blow to our depth right now because these guys are competing for spots. Yeah, it’s a blow and it’s unfortunate. The worst part of this game is that, is the injury situation. It’s the worst part about football on any level, is the injuries. [It’s] unfortunate and we wish George the best in his recovery.”
(On who is in the best position to step up and fill in for Johnson)
“Kourtnei Brown and Howard Jones are guys that are going to be put into the limelight right now. They were already there in the competition, but it’s going to increase their role a little bit.”
(On what he’s seeing from defensive end Noah Spence)
“Solid every day. Every day the kid flashes. For a rookie, he hasn’t hit any slump days so to speak where he’s had an off day. Every day he flashes, he’s got a nice motor, he pushes himself hard. I think [defensive end] Robert Ayers and [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] are setting a great pace for all of our D-linemen. Those two, as hard as they’re pressing – just in that last red zone period, Ayers made two or three plays. In the run period, Gerald’s so disruptive in our run periods we can hardly get a run play off. So they’re setting a great example for all our D-linemen.”
(On much emphasis he will put on special teams)
“People like to say special teams is a third of the game. It’s really not a third of the game but it’s a very important part and we’re putting, I think, the right amount of emphasis on it. But that will play out when we start playing these games. Nate Kaczor, Carlos Polk, our special teams coaches, if you come out here before practice you see they’ve always got a few guys in different little groups, working on different stuff. We’re working a ton of guys in special teams, so that’s one of the places where some of these down the line guys that might not be on our radar right now, they’re going to get a chance to show up when we go to Philly next week.”
(On who will get the first opportunity on punt and kick returns against Philadelphia)
“I would think [wide receiver] Adam Humphries on punt returns and I’ll have to get back to you on kickoff returns. I’m not trying to fake you out, I just don’t really know.”
(On thoughts about defensive end Robert Ayers and what he brings to the line)
“He’s a great add. He definitely brings the fire off the ball and that age and experience. He’s able to vary his rushes and show you different things which are only going to help you out come Sundays. It’s a great add.”
(On impressions of rookie defensive end Noah Spence)
“He’s doing good. I went against him in college. He’s more so learning and knowing how to rush people now and having a plan coming off the ball, so that’s great. We try to make each other better [and] help each other out - some wins, some losses and we just go from there, help each other out.”
(On what makes Spence so special)
“His speed and his bend. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him go down.”
(On thoughts about tackle Leonard Wester)
“He’s good. Obviously he still has some work to do but he’s learning, he’s taking the coaching and everything, and he’s doing what he is asked. He’s doing a good job at it.”
(On how much stronger he feels now compared to his rookie year)
“A lot stronger. The thing you can’t replicate is the reps in terms of just coming in - you have to actually get out there and get the feel. You know having played a whole season I know what I’m looking for - I know what to work on myself. It allows me to come out and focus on things. It may not be perfect, but that’s why we practice you just try to get better at it every day.”
(On the Atlanta Falcons signing defensive end Dwight Freeney)
“I’ve seen it.”
(On when he will start looking at tape on a new opponent like Freeney)
“We still are [practicing] Bucs-on-Bucs. We still got four preseason games and everything, when we get to the Falcons we’ll start focusing on that.”
(On the level of competition between the other positions)
“Oh, it’s very intense. Dirk [Koetter] he stresses competition and competing throughout the whole team and everybody is taking that to heart. It’s human nature because we love the game and you want to get out there and compete and have fun - one person raises their level of competition, everybody raises it. It just brings the best out of everybody.”
(On how the chemistry has grown throughout the offensive line)
“[The chemistry has grown] a lot just in terms of terminology. You learn how one person talks and says different things. It helps you understand it easily for you to get your job done, and for them to get their job done, and for us to get our job done as one. It really does help and makes it a lot easier.”

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