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29 July 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Training Camp Media Availability (7/29/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Linebacker Lavonte David
(On how the second day of camp went)
"Well, first off, the fans, it was awesome for the fans. The players love it when the fans are out here, so that's great. It's good work for us to work in the rain. It's really good work for us. We didn't handle it great on offense, had a couple issues, but that's part of training camp. Vernon Hargreaves did a really nice job punching the ball out a few times today. DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin made some big plays. But it's day two, it's a process. We've just got to keep rolling along."
(On what he learned about Keith Tandy last year and where Tandy is in the safety mix)
"What we learned about Keith is that he does a great job with his preparation and he made plays. He made plays – that's what you want from everybody. Keith's working with the first group right now and he's going to be a hard guy to get out of there."
(On wide receiver DeSean Jackson making several big plays downfield)
"I didn't have a great view of those plays but based on what the crowd was doing I would say they must have been good. Again, it was a little sloppy because of the weather. Those weren't the most perfect passes I've ever seen in my life. But we need playmakers. We talk about explosive plays and he made a couple today."
(On quarterback Jameis Winston wearing a brace on his left knee during practice)
"So, Jameis was going to start wearing that brace yesterday; the brace that they sent didn't fit right so they had to get a new one sent in. We're demo-ing it out. A lot of quarterbacks in the league wear knee braces on one leg. That's the latest and greatest technology. He's demo-ing it out to see how it goes. It has nothing to do – he doesn't have any injury, there's nothing there. It's all preventive and precautionary and we'll see how it goes."
(On Winston wearing the brace on his left knee because that leg is more vulnerable)
"Yeah, on a lot of those guys, especially those big guys, when they stride into it they lock out that front leg. That could be a problem."
(On if Winston will continue to wear the brace)
"Don't go crazy on it. This isn't your story of the day, that Jameis had a knee brace on, okay? We'll see how it goes, like I said. He's just trying it out."
(On which positions he expects to have the most competition)
"Well, probably kicker. Safety's a good one, depth at wide receiver, depth at tight end, depth at linebacker. Those are all good ones. We've got a lot of competition."
(On safety J.J. Wilcox)
"It's great to see him out here running around healthy. He made a couple plays on the ball today, getting it out. You can tell – he about took D.D.'s [Donteea Dye's] head off on one of those last ones – that he's a big hitter. That's not going to show up for a few days but I'm sure it will show up at some point. It's good to have both him and Justin Evans out here working again."
(On safety Justin Evans)
"What we liked on Justin coming out of college was his range, his ball skills. He's also a big hitter. When the pads go on, we need to see him be a consistent tackler, but we can't really work on that right now."
(On if the slot corner position is up for grabs)
"It is. No, it is – good competition there – Jude [Adjei-Barimah]. We've got three guys that have all started at slot corner in this league between Jude, Javien Elliott and Bobby Mac [Robert McClain], and they're all battling right now. I should have mentioned that."
(On if the second-half improvement by the defense in 2016 is carrying over into 2017)
"Yeah, well that's confidence. Our defense believes they can take the ball away and they feed off each other and today it was Vernon Hargreaves. He got it out a couple times and it fires the other guys up. They're working on it every day. It's great for our offense, for them to be so good at it, but yet the offense has to be a little smarter about putting the ball away. I thought we tried to force too many balls down the middle to the tight ends today, and any time you're forcing it down the middle and it gets tipped in the air it's going to get intercepted a lot. It's a Catch 22 – good for the defense, offense needs to learn their lessons."
(On if the team will put on pads Sunday)
"We're in shells tomorrow. Shoulder pads tomorrow, per NFL rules. You've got to go two days in shorts, one day in shoulder pads and then Monday morning, full pads."
(On if he would have taken the team into the indoor facility when it rained if it was available)
"If there's not lightning and the fields aren't in danger of ruining the fields, we'll probably stay out, just because this is South Florida, right? This is Miami. We have preseason games. We need the work. We can pump in artificial crowd noise, we can do a lot of situations. We can't do artificial rain, so it's good work. Hopefully not every day."
(On if center Ali Marpet got a lot out of working in the rain)
"I'm sure he got a lot out of it. One of those first ones, it came out of his hand wrong. He's got to concentrate on it. So again, that's one of those guys it was good for."
(On how Marpet is doing on the mental part of converting to center)
"Oh, fine. He's doing fine. The mental thing won't be an issue at all."
(On if the defense looked similar today to how it looked last season getting hands on the football)
“It certainly does. It’s encouraging growing our confidence early and that’s what we need to start the season off fast, finishing training camp on a good note and then going to the preseason. You know, start the season off right the right way. Not trying to be down like how we were last year with our head in our hands. We’re trying to start fast and the sky is the limit for us. Just trying to keep making plays out there.”
(On if the rain at the end of practice was a relief)
“Nah, not really. It was cool all day, it was pretty all right. But I think yesterday when the sun was out for the most part, everybody looks good. Everybody had a great offseason working out and everybody came back ready and in shape to get this thing rolling.”
(On where he thinks the defense is at this point in training camp)
“Oh man, we are a lot further than we were at this point last year. It’s amazing the progress that we’ve had from last year to now. You can tell guys are communicating and getting compliments from the coaches and saying, “You guys have done a great job, we want you to keep it up.” Last year the way the defense rolled, everybody got to talk and basically over-communicating. So that’s what we try to do. Everybody from the D-Line, from the front end to the back end, everybody is talking to the boss. That’s the way we’re trying to get this thing rolling. Make sure everybody is on the same page.”
(On if non-contact practice was harder for the defense)
“It’s very hard. When you are out there on defense, you are just trying to impose your will. We go out there and try to play physical and, like I said, try to impose your will the very first play because that’s what we do. It’s hard right now, the way the league is being run right now, but we’ve got smart guys who go out there and play the same the right way and do it the way we want to do it.”
(On Vernon Hargreaves)
“I always tell Vernon after making a play, ‘Just do what you do, man-pass breakups, interceptions, tackles – no matter what it is.’ The swag, the energy he brings, it excites all of us. After every breakup I see him dancing and I go right over to him and tell him that I love his swag. It brings energy to the football team and you can tell out there.”
(On confidence in Noah Spence??)
“I see it as him just learning the defense. That’s how it is with everybody. As a rookie coming in, getting all this stuff thrown at you, you start right away, you’ve got to learn different positions. Now, he’s getting settled down and playing the way he plays and you’re seeing it. He’s learning the defense real well just like everybody else. It’s amazing.”
(On the importance of being familiar with the defensive scheme)
“Oh, it’s very important. In this day and age you have a lot of offenses that do hurry-ups. It’s on us to learn what we are supposed to do. Whether it’s an automatic call or a call that coach just brings in the communication aspect off of it. Once everybody gets lined up, we are able to play football no matter what.”
(On who makes the pre-snap, on-field adjustments)
“Kwon [Alexander] makes them and then everybody echoes Kwon’s call. The Mike is the leader of this defense and whatever he says, goes. So if he’s wrong – everybody is wrong. If he’s right - everybody is right and we are in a good situation.”
(On being an under the radar linebacker group when it comes to national attention)
“I don’t really care about that. All we can do right now is just focus on our play. We feel like we [David and Kwon Alexander] the best duo in the league. We talk about it every day. We try to be the best that we can be every time, so it doesn’t really matter what everybody else thinks. As long as we go out there and do our jobs the right way and we put [our stamp] on the game as much as we can.”
(On what he works on outside of camp)
“Personally, just being more communicative. You know, just working on small things. You don’t get a lot of chance to tackle when you’re in camp. You don’t tackle against the offense, so I’m trying to work on my tackling more, pursuit angles, turnovers. Everything I can think of, you know, hat-in-hand, small things like that, that transpire over to a football game.”
(On whether the defense has placed emphasis on punching the ball out)
“Yeah it’s an extra emphasis. You know, guys attacking the football. That’s the way our defense plays – we’ve got to attack the football, create turnovers and create punch-outs.”

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