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30 July 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Training Camp Media Availability (7/30/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Tight End Cam Brate
Running Back Doug Martin
Safety J.J. Wilcox
(On the defense continuing to cause turnovers)
"They're doing a great job. Turnovers is the deal. Our 'D' is doing a great job; our 'O' needs to put the ball away. It's that simple. Good job by the 'D,' though."
(On how rookie running back Jeremy McNichols looks in his first chance to practice since the draft)
"I think it's still just a little bit early. We've got two or three guys coming off surgeries, first day putting the shoulder pads on. In what we're doing, Jeremy looks fine but it's just probably a little early yet. We're happy he's out there working."
(On tight end Antony Auclair)
"He's doing really good. We feel like we got a real hidden gem, if you will, being able to get him as a free agent. He's a guy that weighs 265, we like those big tight ends. We like tight ends that can block and catch. So far, he's another guy off to a good start."
(On how kickers Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk performed in the field goal drill)
"I had them both four out of five. I had both guys four out of five, but I'll be honest, I was kind of watching the alignment up front. We'll look at the tape. Like I said, I didn't watch it that close. I thought they both missed their last one, but I could be wrong."
(On safety Chris Conte)
"First off, Chris is really athletic. Chris almost is as athletic as a corner. He can really run, he's long, I think Chris’ confidence is up right now. He, maybe in the past, would get down on himself a little too much, for no reason in my opinion. I think Chris is doing well, but it's also been good with keeping Chris working with that first group, J.J. [Wilcox] and Justin Evans have really showed. Justin Evans is another like McNichols that missed some time in the spring. Three days in, three days in."
(On if Conte is one of the team's best pure athletes)
"He's up there. Yeah, he's up there. He is a good athlete."
(On if it helps a player to make some game-changing plays like Conte did last season)
"We're talking to these guys all the time about making your plays, making your plays, making your plays. You can't make plays just willy-nilly, running around the field with your head cut off. When your opportunity comes, you've got to make it. Chris, any player, when they make a good play it raises their confidence level, just like it raises the team's confidence level. I think you'll hear the guys talking about that. That's part of practice – a guy makes a play, that side of the ball tends to feed off it."
(On if Donteea Dye and Josh Huff are top candidates for the last receiver spots)
"I think it's way too early to be saying who's at what spot. We preach competition. I'm sure all the guys you didn't name wouldn't be too happy about that. You watch a couple plays and you think that means they did everything right that day. It's rarely like that. Everybody's making some plays, everybody's making some mistakes."
(On how important it is to take 'mental reps')
"It's important. It's hard. The fact that it's not blazing hot out here helps those guys concentrate a little bit more. Let's face it, when you're 22, 23-years-old and you're not in there, you've got plenty of distractions out here, it's all part of it but that's not easy. They're supposed to be doing that but I think we'd be kidding ourselves if we thought they did a perfect job of that."
(On wide receiver Adam Humphries)
"Solid. Everyone tries to beat Adam down: 'He's not a quality player.' Adam's been a quality player since he got here and continues to be. He's a little bit underappreciated, maybe. That guy's a good football player."
(On telling the young players to be ready for their opportunities)
"That's a great question. Because the message to all of our rookies that I talk a lot about is opportunity. Everybody has opportunity, but it's not equal opportunity. You can't sugarcoat it. We're not going to give every single guy the same opportunity that Mike Evans or Kwon Alexander gets. That's just not how it works. But there is opportunity. We put the schedule up and we showed the preseason game in Cincinnati, typically everybody that's healthy plays in that game. You have an opportunity. Maybe you only get four or five reps a day, you also have time to prove – you see how many cameras are out here. Every single thing these guys do is filmed and analyzed by coaches. The coaches are watching them all day."
(On what changes when the players put on pads Monday)
"Just a couple of the drills we do. When the pads go on there will be some more drills. They did some one-on-one run-blocking down in the corner today, and they did some pass-rush drills. You could really see the intensity in the team drills today because the defensive line really had good push. The quarterbacks have to get used to those guys right in their face. But when they're over there working in one-on-one and two-on-two, those are pretty much live pass-rushes because they don't have to worry about hitting Jameis [Winston]. The main thing that changes is just the nature of some of the drills."
(On what running back Charles Sims's role will be)
"Well, I'll just say it's maybe a little early to define anybody's role. If I stood up here today and said, 'I'm going to skinny this guy into this tiny role right here' – these guys, they want to be on the field every play and right now that's what competing is. That's what training camp's about. The role-play thing will work itself out. At the very least – at the very least – Charles is a really good third-down back. He's great in protection, really good on the perimeter, an excellent receiver, and you saw that today. He got loose in the flat a couple times, and he can do something with it once he gets out there."
(On how much J.R. Sweezy can help the offensive line now that he's healthy)
"Well we hope J.R. continues to be healthy. We're real excited about J.R. Getting him back is a bonus, coming back after missing all of last year. As the pads go on, that plays to J.R.'s strength, so we'll see how that goes."
(On if defensive tackle Chris Baker sustained an injury in practice)
"I'm not sure. I'm not sure what happened. Every day guys get some little bumps and bruises out here. It's a long season and we're trying to get these guys to take care of their bodies. I don't think he got anything serious, but I'm really not sure."
(On if he wanted another rainy practice)
"No. I'd like some heat, but this is okay. I'm glad we got it in. I think it's supposed to be rainy all day, it’s good to get it in."
(On the height of the tight ends)
“Yeah, well we are all pretty tall, but we’ve got Austin Johnson too. He is in the tight end room now, so he brings our average height down a little bit. But yeah, I would say we are a pretty big group.”
(On the two-tight end sets and if teams will be forced to play nickel in those situations)
“I think so, yeah. It will be tough to stay in base. Whether they stay in base, or go nickel, it’s going to be good for us to run the ball or pass the ball. Whatever they decide to do, they can’t defend everything. We’re really excited about that formation group.”
(On whether this is the most talented tight end unit he’s been a part of)
“I think so, yeah. Adding a guy like O.J. [Howard] brings the talent level up quite a bit. He’s a great athlete. He’s made some great plays so far at camp and hopefully we can just build on what we’ve started in there.”
(On getting tight end O.J. Howard in the draft)
“I didn’t say, ‘Wow’ [laughs] but, it’s awesome for us. We probably didn’t think he was going to fall that far, but just to add a talent like him – it’s going to help out a ton.”
(On the Buccaneers’ defense so far in training camp)
“I think it’s a little easier for the defense at the start of camp. Offense – we’re not really in rhythm yet. Once we get a couple more days under us, hopefully we will pick things up a little bit. But, the defense has been making a lot of good plays whether it be interceptions, forcing fumbles – I think the defense has been looking really good so far.”
(On how he has changed from last season)
“I think I’m more confident going into my third year under Coach Koetter, my fourth year in the NFL. I feel -- obviously I know I can play -- I feel like I’ve pretty much seen everything a defense can throw at me – using that experience to help me out, you know, little tricks I can use to get open or block a defensive end – I just think I’m more well equipped going into my fourth year for that.”
(On the size of the offense and whether wide receiver DeSean Jackson provides the speed)
“Yeah, I think so. Me, O.J. and Mike [Evans] would argue we are a little fast too, but no, having a guy like DeSean is going to help us out a ton.”
(On what it means to be a guy his teammates can rely on)
“It’s huge, you know, to be able to bring that to the table. Me and Adam [Humphries], we’ve been in this offense for three years now and we’ve pretty much got the playbook down, so it’s just having that trust in the quarterback – and that trust only comes with reps – so I usually try to stick after, work with Jameis a little bit, just so me and him are always on the same page. When the clock is ticking, when the guys are coming at Jameis in the pocket, he knows where I’m going to be.”
(On the biggest change from being a rookie in training camp to being a veteran in camp)
“Just confidence. Coming from a smaller school, the first year I really didn’t know if I could hang. I didn’t really know how to block coming in, so I would say that’s a big change, but I’m just a lot more confident now.”
(On putting the pads on for the first time this season)
“Whenever you put the pads on for the first time, everyone is really excited, especially the defensive guys. They’ve been itching to hit the offensive guys for a while now, so we expect tomorrow to be the same way as we go full pads.”
(On if his approach to training camp is the same as usual, despite knowing he will miss the first three games)
“Yes, it’s exactly what you said I have to approach this like any other season. I will be out those three games, that’s the reality of the situation. During those three weeks, I’m going to prepare myself to get my legs back under me and get ready to play. But, definitely like you said, just prepare like any other season.”
(On how he plans to stay in shape during his suspension)
“We’re getting there, we still have to get through fall camp. Me and my people are going to come up with a regimen on what needs to be done during those three weeks.”
(On if he believes there is a possibility of slowing down after camp waiting to come back from suspension)
“This is my first time doing it and my last time. We’re definitely going to make sure my regimen is equal to the amount of work that should be done. We’re going to get it right, I’m going to get it right for the season when I come back from the suspension.”
(On what he has done differently this offseason)
“You know, I have a chip on my shoulder. I just went out during the offseason and worked my butt off. I know this is going to be a big year for us. I have a lot to owe to this team and I can’t wait to get back out there.”
(On the possibility of seeing increased nickel looks from opposing defenses this year)
“Yeah, all the running backs are looking forward to that. But yeah, we have a lot of weapons. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do. You see what they’ve been doing in practice. It’s definitely going to spread defenses out and we’ll be able to run that rock, so I can’t wait.”
(On if adding wide receiver DeSean Jackson might lead to more underneath throws being open)
“Oh, definitely. DeSean Jackson is a very talented player and I’m happy to have him on our team. I just heard the rumors before he got here. Just to see it is unbelievable and he’s an awesome player.”
(On the details of his offseason regimen)
“It was training six days a week. I was up there in Thousand Oaks, California. Proactive was the facility I was training at, they do a good job of getting us right for the season.”
(On if his diet is has changed over the offseason)
“Yeah, definitely. I have less fatty foods and just making sure that I have four or five meals a day. Just making sure my diet is right.”
(On the foods that were difficult to cut out of his diet)
“Just sweets and heavy carbs. I’m a pizza fan, I love pizza. I’ve been staying away from that. Chinese food was hard for me.”
(On if getting back to playing football was a relief for him)
“It’s a real relief. Just thinking back on it is a little surreal to me. Like, “Wow, did that actually happen?” But, it did and it happened for the better. I’m glad to be back out here and I’m ready to move forward from that and show everybody out here what I came to do.”
(On missing the physical contact of padded practice)
“Yeah, it’s been a while. It’s fall camp and everybody is excited to put the pads on and start hitting again. It’s been a long time. I invite a lot of contact, that’s just my style. I just can’t wait to get the full pads on, so we’ll see.”
(On what his playing weight is and if it is the same the team wants him at)
“It’s about the same. They don’t really want me at a ‘weight’ as long as I’m fast. Fast, agile and elusive. It’s around the same weight.”
(On if there is a weight change from last year to this year)
“No, it’s less body fat. Less body fat and more muscle mass.”
(On how much body fat he’s lost from last season)
“About two percent. Down to about six percent body fat. It’s all in my cheeks, though.”
(On increased volume of screen plays worked on during camp)
“It’s just something that we’re working on, but it’s definitely in our game plan.  We have a lot of guys who are talented and able to run and able to make guys miss in space. You’ve got Chuck [Charles Sims III] and DeSean [Jackson], and the other running backs as well. It’s definitely in our game plan.”
(On whether he’s forgotten about the presence of Hard Knocks)
“Yeah, you kind of look past it. I’m kind of used to it back when I was with my old organization [Dallas], you know, cameras everywhere, lights everywhere, so you have to know what your job is and what’s your main goal for being here. I know we’re here to get better and the cameras and stuff [are] all on the sidelines. You’ve got to keep playing and keep getting better.”
(On Coach Koetter’s and his coaching style)
“He’s a great coach. He is one of the best coaches I’ve been around. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. He does a great job. Even when I came here on my visit, that’s part of the reason why I came, because of the way he welcomed me, the way he talks about his team, the direction he has his team going. He has everybody believing in him. The way he talks and motivates us makes us want to run through a brick wall, so it’s great.”
(On how he is feeling after day three of camp)
“I’m trying to get my legs back. I didn’t get a chance to go at OTAs like I wanted to and be out there with my team, so I’m just trying to come out here and earn the respect of my teammates each and every day.”
(On his relationships with his new teammates)
“It’s been good. It’s good because you have to step your game up when you have All-Pros around you – [Lavonte] David, [Gerald] McCoy, [Brent] Grimes – guys who have been doing it for a long time. You have got to step your game up and get on the level with those guys, so those guys in front of me and on the side of me help my game to another level.”
(On the safety competition)
“I wouldn’t say it’s a competition. Like I said, those guys deserve the right to be where they’re at. So like I said, I’m the new kid. I have to come earn my stripes. Those guys did a great job welcoming me in with the playbook. When I first got here, they both shook my hand and told me, ‘Hey, if you need anything,’ and we exchanged numbers. It’s been great. I know it’s the NFL, I know it’s a business and at the same time they’re going to put the best players out there [who] deserve to be out there.”
(On his impressions of the Buccaneers last year and if he sees them as an up-and-coming team)
“Yeah, I do. They [were] one game away last year. I thought for sure they [were] going to be in the playoffs, but like I said, that’s part of the reason that I came here – just the young, thriving team that’s hungry, ambitious and on the right path to greatness. I’m lucky I’ve been a part of some great teams in Dallas and I kind of feel and sense the same thing here.”

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