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29 August 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Media Availability (8/29/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
(On if this was a good week to have a practice rainout)
“Yeah. Coaches, we don’t ever want to wash them out, but yeah.”
(On how long it will be before the team can use the indoor facility)
“Not sure, but not too long. We are not too far away. It will be great when we get it.”
(On if the upcoming preseason game is a nice test for the rookies)
“Yeah, it is. That’s kind of the schedule we were trying to go on. We were trying to do a mock Thursday night game week schedule, but with the weather we kind of got out of whack here.”
(On if current injuries could affect how the roster is put together)
“Yep, possibly. Jason [Licht] and myself have to be thinking about not only the very first game, but you’ve got to be thinking long term as well and you have to be thinking about the 46 [players] that would be up on September 10. Yeah, it’s a little tricky and it changes every day based on you practice today, you get a couple guys back, a couple other guys get nicked up and we’re playing a live game Thursday night, so again it could change.”
(On if it will be running back by committee until running back Doug Martin returns)
“I don’t think so, necessarily. I think we will have a role for the guys that are up and ready to go in Miami. I think it will sort itself out pretty clean, provided we stay healthy here through the next week.”
(On the ideal amount of carries for running back Jacquizz Rodgers)
“He could do whatever. I mean he had 30 the first game [with Tampa Bay last season]. He told me he just didn’t want 10 in the first drive. He told me he could do 30, but not 10 in the first drive.”
(On if there are positions where he can’t rest guys that he would like to because of a lack of depth)
“Yeah, possibly. That would be because of guys nicked up at that position. You’ve got to give [yourself] a chance to put on the best game we can with the guys we have, so you have to have some depth. You can’t get caught out there with not enough guys.”
(On how long he would like quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to play in the final preseason game)
“Not that much. We are going to use Sefo [Liufau] a lot in this game.”
(On if he will rest the starting offensive line)
“I’m going to just hold on that and we will let you know on Thursday on that part.”
(On how much the defense has improved from last season to this season)
“I think they’ve improved a lot because they’re doing more. They have more in their arsenal so to speak. Now all of it won’t be up every week – that’s where Smitty [Mike Smith] and the defensive coaches will decide what they need to pull for that particular game plan. I think just the fact that they have more tools in their tool belt – more scheme. The guy that’s quietly having a tremendous camp is Lavonte David. Lavonte didn’t have his best year he has ever had last year. He is really having a good camp right now. I think the fans will be able to see it when we start playing.”
(On what has led to the improvement of linebacker Lavonte David this season)
“I’m not sure. You guys have had plenty of speculation yourselves on that and I’m not sure why, but in my eyes, I’m seeing the guy out there that made the Pro Bowl before that.”
(On if he thinks David is a better player when he is attacking the quarterback)
“He does do a good job. He is a lot better blitzer than maybe he is given credit for.”
(On what goes into looking at fringe players from other teams)
“That’s a great question. I’m not involved in that at all. That is Jason [Licht] and his staff – they are very involved in that. That’s what they do this time of year. Like right after practice when we go up and watch the tape of what we just finished practicing, Jason and his guys not only watch our practice, but they’re watching all those preseason games and getting their grades on guys. They have projections on who might pop loose from other teams.”
(On how much it helps to have two tight ends who are both reliable blockers and pass-catchers)
“It’s a good thing. It’s still an execution game. I haven’t been in a game yet where we didn’t have enough plays. We’ve got plenty of plays – it’s how you execute those plays and getting them called at the right time against the right defense.”
(On if there are players who can benefit from there only being one cut period this season)
“I definitely think so. I know everyone has their projections on what it is, but I think most people would be surprised at how close it is for multiple spots. There are some spots where we want to see how these guys play in the game. That’s not only for roster spots on the 53 [man roster], but also guys we want to keep here on the practice squad. We look at practice squad as guys that we think have a chance to develop and play for us – and that’s proven that we have done it.”
(On if he feels the fourth preseason game is necessary)
“I think no matter what you do, when you get 10 days out from your opener, I think from a coaching standpoint and maybe even a little bit from a player standpoint – on your guys know they have it made – is there some paranoia. That’s the way I learned it when I first came in the league – get them healthy to the first game. And when you see not just our team – we started off really healthy and we got a little more nicked up here the last 10 days or so, but you just look around the league. We get a thing from the league every day that says the guys that are going on IR, the guys that are being waived-injured and it’s scary. It is.”
(On if he can name the positions where it will be tough for coaches to decide on roster spots)
“You guys are on top of them. You guys know what you’re talking about.”
(On playing preseason games)
"For me, the preseason is so much different than the regular season, not only with the speed of the game and maybe the caliber of players at times, but also just the preparation part of it. With each preseason game, you try to go into it looking at the other team – there's not a lot of scheming going on, but being prepared in that regard. [You are] preparing to kind of have a general feel for what's going to be coming in certain situations, whether it's third down or red zone. I think it just helps up ramp up the preparation a little bit, getting ready for the regular season."
(On if a gap between games affects the starters)
"Each team is different and each guy is different, really. I think the older you get, the more you understand what you need in order to be ready, whether it's actual game reps or whether it's doing some conditioning on the side or extra stuff after practice. I think the more you get involved into your NFL career the more you can understand what it takes for you individually to get ready."
(On how he feels about there still being four preseason games)
"Well, if the NFL didn't have four preseason games then I wouldn't be standing here right now. It's a great opportunity. I think extending the roster to 90 for that fourth game is awesome because it gives a lot of these guys a chance. I was one of those guys, not just for one or two years but for a lot of years, where in that fourth preseason game I was playing for a job. Everybody likes to complain now about the shortened offseason and all that stuff; well, this is a real chance for some of these guys who have been putting in a lot of work to show what they can do on tape, and not just audition for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but for everybody. It's one of those things, especially as a veteran, and all the starters that aren't going to play, you've got to stay into it because these are guys that are fighting. It's fun to watch that."
(On what is unique about quarterback Jameis Winston)
"Jameis does a great job in preparation. I think the thing that jumps out at me is just how much he loves football. He absolutely loves the grind of the game, whether it's meeting room, whether it's on the field, whether it's staying late, he does a great job with it. It's not just because that's what somebody should do at that position, it's because he loves to do it. I think that's pretty important."
(On Winston trying to extend and win plays)
"I haven't seen him play a ton of games, but that's a great part of his skillset. So it's a hard thing – you don't want to take that away from him because that's such a great skillset to have and some really big plays come out of it. That's something you can't coach. He's just got to make plays when they're there and then no when to eat it. I think he does a nice job of that."
(On if it's hard for him to prepare for a fourth preseason game as an established quarterback)
"Not hard at all. I love to be out there. I love playing and being the guy. The role that I'm in now asks me to do different things. I'm still going to prepare the best way that I know how. My role here is certainly different than it was the last two years in New York. It's the reality of the situation and so I just try to be professional every day and go about my business and try to do the best job that I can to prepare myself and help out the other guys. I'm just trying to add whenever and however I can some of the experience that I have."

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