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01 June 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 OTA Media Availability (6/1/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Wide Receiver Chris Godwin
Offensive Lineman Ali Marpet
(On how offensive lineman Ali Marpet is doing in his transition to center)
“Oh yeah, Ali is full speed ahead. He’s doing fine, center is one of our deepest positions right now. Again, as we’ve said all along, trying to get our best five out there. Once the season starts you’ve got to be able to move guys around. They’ve got to be able to go to multiple spots.”
(On how the overall pace of OTAs has been)
“The pace is fine. Within the rules, it’s just tough on the O-line and the D-line because you’re supposed to have no contact. These are grown men trying to earn jobs in some cases, young guys trying to learn what they’re doing. It’s hard to get better if you’re not going full speed, yet we can’t. It’s a contact sport but the pace is fine. As good as it can be in Phase Three.”
(On the competition at the safety position)
“Well, right now it’s not a battle. Not a battle at all right now because of health. J.J. [Wilcox] hasn’t been able to be out there and Justin Evans hasn’t been able to be out there. Not mad, not good, not bad. There’s no competition when guys aren’t healthy. Right now, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy are out there practicing and they’re doing a nice job.”
(On how defensive back Ryan Smith has looked so far)
“He’s not playing nickel, he’s playing all outside. Ryan is playing all outside as our third corner right now and he’s getting better. He’s getting a lot of reps. Brent Grimes is back this week, looked like he never missed a step. Vernon [Hargreaves] has been here every day until today, Vernon has really been taking the ball away. We’re happy with Ryan, he just needs to catch up in experience.”
(On how defensive end George Johnson has looked so far)
“He’s doing good, George is doing fine. He’s got to get that hip warmed up everyday but he’s doing well. We’re happy with where he is at right now.”
(On where wide receiver Chris Godwin fits in to the offense)
“Well, wideouts is really the same as the O-line. You’re going to get your best guys out there and you’re going to move them around matchup-wise. We haven’t had very many days where we’ve had all of our receivers here on the same day. The most consistent guys since we’ve been out here have been Godwin and Adam [Humphries]. Those two guys have been making plays everyday. Real happy with what Chris is doing, but he could play in or out, either one.”
(On how linebacker Devante Bond has been doing)
“Yeah, really good. Devante has done fine. We’re a little banged up at linebacker so he’s getting some reps inside as well. The other thing he’s done is he’s shown a lot as a blitzer. He’s a little bit slippery, he’s got a nice little burst.”
(On if he’s mixed anything up about OTAs or if he keeps it the same year-to-year)
“Well, you’re trying to keep it as fresh as you can because these guys get bored fast. But the routine is somewhat the same. You’ve always got different things that you’re focusing on, offense, defense, special teams. We’re trying to present the material to them as fresh as you can, but football is football.”
(On if anything stood out in practices the media was not present at)
“A lot of guys have stood out. Start on defense, Vernon Hargreaves has stood out. Chris Conte and Keith Tandy at safety, Lavonte David. It’s tough for the D-line to do much. Those guys are doing fine, they just don’t get many chances. Offensively, [Chris] Godwin definitely stood out. Adam Humphries, ‘DD’ [Donteea Dye Jr.], has stood out, done really well. Tough for the running backs, but Doug Martin continues to do well. Jameis [Winston] had his best day of the week today. Tight ends have all looked good, that tight end group is – we’re deep at tight end. Good looking group right now, Cam Brate has had a good camp.”
(On if he’s noticing more precision between quarterback Jameis Winston and the receiving corps’ timing)
“Well, again, Mike [Evans] has been out. DeSean [Jackson] has been in and out so we’re not where we need to be there. But when guys are here and they’re working with Jameis, you can definitely see potential. Potential looks nice on paper.”
(On what he’s seen from cornerback Vernon Hargreaves)
“Our challenge to Vernon was to take the ball away more and he’s done it almost every day. He had an issue today and couldn’t be here, but he’s gotten a takeaway almost every single day that we’ve been out here. That’s encouraging because we know Brent [Grimes] can take it away on the other side.”
(On if the balls thrown behind tight end O.J. Howard today were due to quarterbacks not being used to his speed yet)
“It’s not – I mean, there were some balls thrown behind him. I don’t think it’s an adjustment of speed even though O.J. can run. I think it was in the first team period, Jameis [Winston] hit him on a beautiful post route that he might’ve scored on that. He might’ve split those safeties and been off to the races. The one that you saw there at the end, that was just thrown late more than anything. Those are just timing issues, they work themselves out, but he can definitely run.”
(On signing his contract today)
“Yeah, it’s definitely a nice day. It feels good to really kind of make it official and just focus on football now.”
(On his ability to make plays and picking up on the Buccaneers offense)
“I definitely feel like I’ve been making progress. Obviously, it’s a lot to learn. It’s a lot to kind of take in, but the veteran guys, they’ve been doing a great job of helping not only myself, but the rest of the rookies kind of get acclimated. So, just having their help and having their confidence in me has allowed me to really come in and kind of make plays and be comfortable doing what I do.”
(On the most challenging part of picking up on the Buccaneers offense so far)
“Honestly, probably just learning all the plays, the plays are so complex. Just learning all the positions, learning the whole concept as opposed to just focusing on one spot and just trying to get a full understanding of the offense in general.”
(On his opinion on quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Honestly, my first impression is the same as it is now. When you first get here, he is very personable, he is very charismatic. As you guys can see him from the outside, that is exactly how he is on the inside. He’s a great leader and he’s definitely team first in whatever it is that can make the team better and all of that has held true.”
(On his progress at transitioning to center)
“So much, considering this is the sixth OTA or something like that. I feel a lot better in just a short amount of time, which feels pretty good.”
(On how difficult OTAs are for linemen because of limitations on contact)
“It’s hard, especially for the rookies because they’re not able to get real reps. So, in certain pass sets or something where they think they might get a win, they might actually lose, so it’s really hard on them.”
(On the cohesiveness with the line and having guard J.R. Sweezy)
“It’s improved a lot in a short amount of time I think. Obviously, we’re not where we need to be, but for six days or whatever it is in OTAs, it’s pretty darn good.”
(On the toughest part of his transition to center)
“It’s being able to process a lot of information in a really short amount of time and then get the information out and communicate it out to everybody, so that’s it.”

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