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25 May 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 OTA Media Availability (5/25/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Running Back Doug Martin
Guard J.R. Sweezy
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(Opening statement)
“First before we get started with your questions today, I want to make sure on behalf of the Bucs organization that I apologize to the Falcons for whatever that was supposed to be that went out on social media yesterday. That’s not what our organization is about. That was totally unprofessional and not smart on our part, whoever’s responsible for that. Heck, we want to be playing in the Super Bowl and we were home sitting on our butt while they were playing. We’ve got no room to be making fun of anybody that was in the Super Bowl, whether they won or not. With that being said, let’s talk about today.”
(On the injury suffered by defensive end George Johnson during practice)
“I’m not sure about that. I’m sure I’ll get an update pretty quick.”
(On what he’s seeing from rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin)
“Yeah, Chris is off to a fast start. Like I said the other day, Chris and O.J. [Howard] as we got – some of those other guys aren’t practicing – but Chris and O.J. are both doing fine. O.J. has showed up probably a little bit more as a blocker than a receiver the first couple days. But Chris is – a couple small mental blips but the physical stuff is there, for sure.”
(On if he’s happy with where the team is right now at this point in OTAs)
“We have so much more to do. We’re three practices in shorts in. I think the main thing for our team is we’ve got to keep working. Everybody’s telling us how great we are right now and we haven’t done a damn thing. We haven’t done anything. No one cares about last year, no one cares about the guys. There’s 31 other teams that got better. There’s plenty of mistakes out there every single day the coaches are correcting. I’d say we’re nowhere close to where we need to be.”
(On guard J.R. Sweezy participating in OTAs and what he’s seen from him)
“Yeah, that’s been fantastic. Again, many people have said that we didn’t do anything to address our O-line. I would flip that around and say one of our top free agent gets from the year before – he was out all last year, he’s looked awesome out here. We talked about this the other day, J.R. on the offensive line and George Johnson – like I said, not sure what happened to him today – But that’s two linemen that we’re getting back that have shown they can play in this league. J.R. is off to a fast start. Again, a guard is going to have a tough time being too dominant in shorts practices.”
(On cornerback Vernon Hargreaves’ interception in practice)
“Vernon had an interception today and Adarius Glanton also had an interception today. Two too many but nice by them. Vernon actually had a nice interception yesterday as well, so that’s two in two days for him. We challenged Vernon to take the ball away more this year and he’s done that these first couple days.”
(On if kickers Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk made all their kicks today)
“I think there was a miss in there. You noticed we were on the other end today, the wind was tricky.”
(On if selecting a kicker will come down to a ‘gut feeling’)
“Last year when we had the punter competition I was kind of nervous about that. Just what you said, is it going to come down to one punt? But just as time went on, even though it was a close competition it did sort of work itself out. When you think about how many kicks a guy gets in a year, really the difference between a 85 percent kicker and a 75 percent over the course of a season, it’s probably a couple kicks. They all matter. The competition has definitely started, I know everybody feels it. There’s a little tension when we’re going through that, but that’s a good thing. This is pro football, there’s supposed to be competition.”
(On if he trusts that when running back Doug Martin returns he’ll be the same player)
“I think just from my own experience, when Doug is practicing like this, when he’s finishing plays, when he’s got that burst, got that pep in his step, it’s carried over to the field. We have a ways to go, we’ve got to get through preseason. We’ve got to get through preseason games healthy, Doug has got to stay healthy. There’s more things that have to happen. Again, time is on our side. I know everyone wants to know, they’re anxious to know. There’s just nothing to know right now, we’ve just got to wait this out.”
(On what he has learned about himself the past couple months)
“It was a journey these past few months with the statement and having to go get help. It was a good journey of self-development and I learned a lot about myself and I got stronger. I’ve had the support of my family, friends and fans and my teammates all around and I’m happy to be back here.”
(On being away from teammates and not being able to use a phone)
“No, I did not have a phone, but it was definitely hard to be away from my friends and family, but I found strength in the people I was with [and] around at the time. It was definitely worth it. I definitely turned a negative into a positive and I’m out here and I’m definitely a stronger person because of it.”
(On how long he was in treatment)
“I was there long enough, I was there long enough. I was there to the point where I’m strong now, mentally strong and physically strong.”
(On his hamstring)
“The hamstring feels good. I did have that injury last year and then I reaggravated it about two, three weeks into the recovery and I was out another three weeks. But, it feels good right now. I’m not worried about it. I’m keeping tracking of it and making sure I am stretching it out and making sure that I’m hydrated and it feels good.”
(On whether his hamstring is back to how it was pre-injury)
“Yeah, I felt better a long time ago when I was training in the offseason.”
(On what he wants Bucs fans to know about him and his journey)
“That I am a stronger person individually, mentally and physically, better on and off the field.”
(On his thoughts on the organization for standing behind him)
“It makes me feel great. I had a lot of support with my teammates and with Jameis [Winston] and Gerald [McCoy]. They did a great job of rallying behind me. [Also], [Head] Coach [Dirk Koetter] and [General Manger] Jason [Licht] as well. I’d like to thank them for staying behind me and having the support, as well as the fans.”
(On whether it is nerve-racking jumping back into the day-to-day stresses of football)
“Not at all, not at all. I was fine because when I went through treatment, they prepared me for everything that I’m dealing with right now and it’s a piece of cake right now.”
(On the cause of him seeking treatment)
“I’m not going into detail right now about it, but I can tell you that I am a lot better right now.”
(On if he spoke to teammates about treatment)
“No, there’s a few guys on and off the field that I talked to about it. We do a good job of supporting each other and making sure that we’re good, so there’s a few people.”
(On his relationship with running back Jeremy McNichols)
“We have a good relationship, same school. He has a similar running style, a hard runner. I’ve seen him run and seen his film and he’s an awesome player. He is going to work well for us.”
(On if he believes his problems are behind him)
“It’s behind me. It is definitely behind me. I’m just coming out here and just doing what I do. So, I am just coming out here and just practicing, my best and doing my best to help this team.”
(On how he prepares to miss the first three weeks of the season)
“Right now, I am just doing what everybody else is doing, just coming out here in the OTAs. For the three games that I’m not playing, I’m just going to continue to stay in shape. I might go somewhere to a special trainer and train with them and just keep studying my playbook.”
(On whether there has been any contract talks)
“No, there hasn’t.”
(On finishing the season without being able to be a part of the team)
“It was tough. I wanted to be with them, but it was a decision that I had to make for myself as well as for me in the future.”
(On not being able to play last season)
“It was the hardest year of my life, just not to play football and be with a new team – it’s pretty much the worst possible scenario. But it taught me a lot about patience and I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter, she was born last year. So it was a blessing in disguise. I’m just glad to be back.”
(On if the year not playing helped him gain mental reps)
“I guess so. I’d rather be playing, obviously, but just seeing how the guys on this team interact with each other and how they play, I’m’ just glad to be in it again.”
(On if being back on the field makes him feel like a rookie again)
“No, not at all [laughs]. It’s just getting back into the swing of things is the hardest part right now, but again, just super excited to be back out here.”
(On how he would describe his on-field personality)
“I’ve got my teammates’ backs, so when we go to play, whatever happens happens. I’ve got their back and they’ve got mine. We’re going to do what it takes to get the ‘W.’

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