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27 April 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Voluntary Mini-Camp Media Availability (4/27/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Cornerback Johnthan Banks
Wide Receiver Kenny Bell
Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On having different defensive coordinators every year)
"That's crazy. All through college, I had four different defensive coordinators. And here in the pros it's going to be my fourth defensive coordinator. [Leslie] Frazier was my defensive coordinator and then Lovie [Smith] was the defensive coordinator. I mean, it's life and I'm enjoying it. I take God for the opportunity. I've just got to take it one day at a time."
(On how difficult last year was for Banks)
"Last year's in the past. It's a new year. I'm having fun. I'm out here [and] I don't know if I've smiled as much as I have in these three weeks as I did in my whole three years. I'm having fun, getting around these guys, and these coaches, they make it fun. I try to put that in the past and move on."
(On if he looks at this year as a new beginning)
"Yeah, it's a new beginning. These coaches, they don't know a lot about me. [Head] Coach [Dirk] Koetter, he does because he played against me when he was in Atlanta and he was here last year. I'm just going to compete, have fun, and whatever happens, happens. Trying to get this team to a Super Bowl."
(On if he's a better player as a result of playing in so many different systems)
"I don't know if that makes you a better player. Sometimes as a defensive back you want to get in a system and be in that system, learn the nuances, learn the new techniques and all that. It kind of messes you over. I haven't backpedaled in three years and now I'm backpedaling."
(On if things he's learned in the past carry over to this defense)
"I kind of forgot all that stuff from the past. When I was in college it kind of carried over to this defense. It's going to be fun. We've still got a long way to go. We've got the rest of OTAs and training camp to get this stuff down and be ready for the next game."
(On if he lost confidence last year)
"No, I never lost confidence in myself. I wouldn't still be here. I would have hung it up and gone back to my farm if I lost confidence. It got tough, but it's life. Every man in this league puts their pants on the same way I do."
(On what kept him going in tough times)
"My kids, my wife – go home and see them smile every day. I know there's a God in heaven and everything happens for a reason, and it will all work out in the end."
(On what coverage he's best at playing)
"I think I can play any coverage. If I'm going to play man I like to get up there in his face and put my hands on him."
(On his first impressions of Mike Smith's defense)
"It's fun. They let playmakers be playmakers, football players be football players. You fly around. He puts you in a position to go out there and win."
(On how different the scheme is from last year)
"Oh, it's very different. Everything is different. You won't see anything of what we did in the past in this defense. It's going to be fun, we're going to fly around and make a lot of plays, a whole lot of plays. I'm excited about it and I think every guy in the locker room is excited about it."
(On if the secondary will flourish in this system)
"Most definitely. I think we're going to be great in the secondary. If you can play, this is the defense you want to be in. It's going put you in a position to go out and make plays and have fun."
(On how it felt to get back on the field)
“Oh, man. I couldn’t be more thankful to be out here. I’m just excited anxious with how much time really passed before I got to strap a lid on and get after it. I mean, it felt good to be back out here.”
(On difference between this offseason and last)
“As far as understanding the system and how things work it’s a whole new level as far as comprehending everything that’s going on just because you know, I was lucky I was kept around last year. But mentality-wise, as far as attacking the game and trying to make this team, it might multiply ten-fold.”
(On being more relaxed this year knowing the offense)
“Anytime you get a year-two into a system, especially since not much has changed, you’re talking about a lot more comfortability with guy – A lot more familiarity. Guys are definitely more comfortable and more excited, just because they’re not thinking as much.”
(On being involved with the team last year)
“I couldn’t have been more involved with the team than last year in terms of everything we did. I was at meetings every morning, I was at practice, I attended everything that we did and I was blessed that they took me on the road, so that part is very comfortable, very familiar with me, so now it’s getting out there and starting to make plays.”
(On if there has been any talk of him returning kicks)
“Oh that’s way above my pay-grade. I just work here.”
(On if he consider Jameis Winston to be a ‘Peyton Manning’ type of player)
“I don’t have the experience or the juice to say something like that. I haven’t played enough football. I know that Jameis Winston is my favorite teammate that I’ve ever approached the game with. The attitude he brings every day, his approach to the game, his dedication to greatness – I mean the guy just impresses. I mean, there’s no question about it and that’s what’s gravitated me towards him. I love playing with the guy. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this organization with him.”
(On playing in the same offense as last year)
“Well there is still a lot of improving we can do. Obviously last year I thought we were finishing the second half of the season going in the right direction as an offense. I think now the biggest goal for this offseason is to continue to gain ground before we get to training camp, perfect some of the small things, continue to get better at the fundamentals and then as we start to perfect those things, then you can start adding some nuances and moving guys around and doing different things to put the pressure on the defense.”
(On quarterback Jameis Winston seeming more relaxed this offseason)
“Experience is confidence, especially in the quarterback position. The more reps he gets out here in practice – obviously all the reps that he took last year – he definitely has a better grasp on what we expect of him and how this offense is going to work. He’s trusting guys around him, he’s getting more familiar with the people around him and you can just see it. Each and every week, each and every time we come out here and lace them up, the guy just looks like he has more command of this offense.”
(On being healthy again)
“Absolutely, I’m ready to go. It was a little bit of a frustrating year last year. I took some unfortunate shots, but if we would’ve been going to the playoffs I would have been ready to go – I’ll tell you that much. You know, just a clean slate. I love the new staff that we have in here. Obviously some new faces in the players as well and we have the draft coming up, so this is exciting. I know it is for every team around the league right now, but I feel like what we did last year, we have a lot to build upon.”
(On if he helped Winston improve his physique in the offseason)
“Yeah and you see what great shape he is coming into camp this year. You can tell actually put in some work not just physically, but mentally as well. I think he put a lot of time in the classroom - as much as he could – to continue to clean up his quarterback skills.”
(On the advantages of playing in the same offense this season)
“There’s been a lot of turnover around here and I’ll tell you what, it feels good to not have to go back and start from scratch. The way [Head Coach] Dirk [Koetter] runs it and the guys that he’s brought around him, the guys we have upstairs – really love them. I think they’re doing it the right way, they do it well with their position groups, but as a whole Dirk’s leadership and the way he is constructing this offense and the player is pretty fun to be involved in.”
(On if he is glad former Carolina cornerback Josh Norman signed with Washington)
“Yeah, right? I could care less about that.
(On Norman complimenting the Buccaneers receivers)
“I appreciate that. I have a lot of respect for the guy. Obviously he’s worked hard and he deserves what he’s getting and we wish him the best.”
(On wide receiver Mike Evans’ growth as a player)
“Mike is just continuing to get better. Being a young guy, he has to continue to just hone in on the fundamentals. That’s what I try to teach him every day. You don’t take reps for granted. There are always opportunities to get better. As talented as he is, there is still a huge upside for the guy. Obviously we all know that everybody keeps talking about the emotions and everything else like that, but he just seems to continue to mature. He’s already come out here and seemed more like a leader, leading drills, talking to younger guys and that’s exciting to see – a guy going into his third year – to have that kind of maturity and that transition so soon.”
(On focusing on not losing your cool when opposing defensive backs start to get more physical)
“Bigger guys like us, we’re going to get called for more of the offensive stuff and then of course the defensive guys are going to get away with a little bit more with us, but that’s okay. Our size is our advantage and we have to take the good and the bad with that. I just try to teach him to continue to work on being a polished receiver. Don’t just use your size and think that everybody is going to be smaller than you and you can just out-muscle them, out-athleticize them. Work on being a polished receiver. Run good routes, create separation and he won’t have to worry about all of those altercations.”
(On how he plans to watch the NFL Draft)
“I’ll probably just be at home, hanging out seeing if it’s tuned in. If I’m out I’ll definitely have it on my ticker on my phone.”
(On if he enjoys the Draft)
“Of course. It’s a great experience for these young men, this exciting time. I mean, even 12 years – it flew by for me, but I still remember the days leading up to the draft and preparing for the draft and all the excitement for the family and the friends. It’s a moment for them to enjoy, but again, once they get in here it’s time to go to work.”
(On if he’s more comfortable this year)
“Yeah, repetition is everything. It’s the same exact offense, so I’m very confident in this offense this year.”
(On his impressions of the elevating the offense under Head Coach Dirk Koetter)
“We just have to come out here and do our job. We have to make the easy plays. It’s just the beginning. I’m just happy everybody is out here, excited, running around. We have a sense of urgency, but we’re definitely looking forward to actually getting a chance to really compete against each other and show these teams what we can do.”
(On if he’s noticed a difference in his performance from last year)
“Yeah, like I said, the more repetitions you get the better you become.”
(On how he has matured mentally as a football player)
“Well, preparation is always the key. It definitely helps that this is not my first year learning the offense, so I can actually spend a lot of time worrying about other defenses and handling that aspect of the game instead of trying to see what my job is on the offensive side.”
(On the how different this offseason had been compared to last year)
“It’s been a great offseason. I got a chance to work on my body, I got a chance to get some mental work in, and I actually got a chance to rest my body as well, because I was always jumping into baseball or last year jumping into the combine, so it’s been a great offseason.”
(On the importance of camaraderie among teammates)
“It’s very important because teamwork makes the dream work and we definitely ride by that, so we have to be close, we have to be brothers and that’s how we get things going.“
(On if he knows any quarterbacks in this year’s draft)
“I actually worked with Connor Cook out there with George Whitfield. He’s a great quarterback. I’m anxious to see who’s going to pick him up. He’s definitely a guy that I would’ve thought would have been ranked higher than he is now.”
(On what he saw on film that he liked about his play last season)
“My biggest thing that I took from last year is just, at the end of the season I stopped turning the ball over. That’s something that we take pride in here and I was very happy. I went on a good stretch where I didn’t have any interceptions, so that’s a good thing. When I didn’t have any interceptions we went on a good run, so it just shows you that taking care of the football is big.”
(On what he learned at the Pro Bowl outside of physical preperation)
“I think that was the biggest part because I’ve always been a competitor. I always knew that being a great preparer will lead you to having some success. That was the main thing. Mentally I felt I’ve always been pretty good at that because I’m a very confident guy and I know I put in the work. But just my physique, the way that I carry myself, the way that you carry yourself as a quarterback and I’ve got to commend Teddy Bridgewater and Russell Wilson because they are two winning quarterbacks and you just see how they talk to the guys and see how they do things. It was very good for me to see.”
(On if part of his physical transformations was diet)
“You know, diet is not really anything because I’m going to eat what I want to eat anyway. This has been my first offseason. I don’t think people understand how hard it is being a quarterback and then going to throw pitches on the mound, so I don’t even think about my diet at all. I feel like I have a good diet. I wasn’t out of shape – I just had a little extra weight on me. I believe as you get older and as you get a routine you start to see how your body works. I’m still a young guy, so in the next couple of years I’m going to be looking like Vincent Jackson out here.”
(On cornerback Johnathan Banks saying Winston looked like a defensive back)
“Well yeah, I feel that I look good. Confidence is the key. If you look good you play good.”
(On if Winston’s work ethic is ‘rubbing off’ on any of his teammates)
“It just sets the tone. Guys like Peyton Manning – he’s the hardest worker in the weight room. The quarterback has to show these guys that you’re working. I didn’t want to come back and these guy like, ’Oh, Jameis looks the exact same.’ I had to give them something to talk about, right?”
(On how much control he will have at the line of scrimmage this year)
“I think I’m just blessed to be in a great offense. The way that Coach Koetter calls the plays – I’m going to trust him with anything that I do. Obviously, we might be able to expand the playbook a little bit more, but I feel like it’s going to be very similar to last year.”
(On if he met any of the potential draft picks that came to One Buc Place)
“You know, I’m very good friends with [potential draft pick] Noah Spence. We played in the Under Armour All-American Game coming out of high school, so it was good. When he came in town he was telling me that he was talking to the coaches and stuff, so I was very happy for him.”
(On if he tried to sell Noah Spence to the coaches)
“Well, you know, I can’t really do much because at the end of the day my opinion really doesn’t matter. I know the guys upstairs are going to do a great job. I mean look what they did with us last year. Just these past two rookie classes have been very good for our organization, with me, Mike [Evans], Ali [Marpet], Donovan [Smith], so it was pretty good.”
(On Spence’s off the field concerns)
“I just know he’s a great guy. He works his tail off and you just see how all of that stuff is behind him. I don’t even know his situation, but I know he’s a great person. I know his dad personally and he’s just always been a great friend of mine.”
(On his advice to draft prospects)
“The only advice I can give somebody is just to put it behind you and keep moving forward and keep working hard because your character speaks for itself. Character is what you do when no one is watching, so keep being yourself and if you have to fix something, fix it. But at the end of the day work hard and just be a good man.”
(On the most exciting moment of his draft process)
“The most exciting moment was draft day. I got a chance to spend it with my family. I didn’t get a chance to go up to Chicago because my grandmother couldn’t necessarily travel, so I think that was the biggest thing – being able to spend time with my family and being able to share that moment with them. And not just eight or nine of them being in the green room with me. I got a chance to spend it with all of them and that really made their year. I go back home and people talk about draft day all the time. My uncles talk about it because they got free beer, but other than that everyone just – it was a great moment for my family.”
(On how far in advance he knew he would be a Buccaneer)
“I was just hoping that I would get a chance and I was very fortunate that Coach Lovie Smith and Mr. Jason Licht and the Glazers gave me that chance and I try my best to take advantage of it.”

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