Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Former Defensive End Simeon Rice
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
"It's a warm one out here, a warm one."
(On how practice went)
"So-so. Hot. It's what you'd expect after a late-night game and then a day off, a little bit sluggish."
(On if practice was sloppy)
(On cornerback depth behind the starters)
"Well, right now we've got Ryan Smith working outside and Bobby Mac [Robert McClain] and Javien Elliott working inside and outside. So those would be our top five right now."
(On if defensive Noah Spence is providing what the team expects)
"He's giving us great effort, that's what we expect from everybody. He's playing hard. He played a little bit more in the second half in run situations, trying to get some work in some first and second-down [situations], not just playing in sub defense. That's what preseason games are for, you're working on stuff."
(On how Spence did in that base defense work)
"He graded out, I think he was a B or a C, I can't remember off the top of my head. He did fine."
(On the right tackle situation)
"I think that will clear itself up here in the next few days after we get the medical report back on Dot [Demar Dotson]. You always have to have backup plans in this league. It can change fast. All the sudden in that game the other night we were down three tackles in a series of about five plays, we lost three tackles. Of course we always have contingency plans."
(On how the young running backs are doing)
"[Jeremy] McNichols looks like a rookie, he's learning, he's making rookie mistakes, playing a little bit tentative but how a rookie should be. McNichols reminds me a lot of where Peyton Barber was last year at this time. Peyton Barber looks like a guy who played last year and has a little confidence and some experience under his belt. I think Charles Sims has had an outstanding camp and Doug [Martin] has had a real good camp. Jacquizz [Rodgers] hasn't got very many chances; we'll try to give him some more chances this week against Cleveland."
(On how Peyton Barber has been as a pass-catcher)
"Much better. Much improved."
(On if cornerback Brent Grimes is expected to play in the next game)
"I would say doubtful but he is going to start moving around this week. He got some of his stitches out yesterday, not all of them. It's looking a lot better. He's foaming at the mouth to get out there and go. I think if there was a real game there's no question he'd be out there, but there's no use risking it for a guy like him with that type of injury. We don't need to make it back open again."
(On if he's looking for more explosive plays on offense)
"Yeah, every day we are. Every day we're looking for more explosives; that's how you win."
(On if explosive plays are scripted in practice)
"You don't script them. You make them, you don't script them. It's hard to script them because there's a defense out there. The thing you have to remember now is in practice, we still – today was install number 11 for the offense. So you're still trying to install your package of stuff. It's your encyclopedia of stuff that you're going to pull from during the regular season. We probably have enough volume installed for five or six gameplans, and we'll pull back out of this as we get to the season. We've got one more day of install tomorrow and then we can start to polish some things up after that."
(On if guard Kevin Pamphile was getting a day of rest)
"He's a little dinged up from the game. You saw who we held out today, most of those are day-to-day."
(On if getting a Buccaneer pass-rusher to 10 sacks for the first time since 2005 is important)
"It seems to be – to you guys. You sure talk about it a lot. The last I heard, the object of the game was to win the game. Seems like that 10-sack number…if you win the game, who cares? I just told Simeon Rice, though, we'd suit him up if he thought he could get 10. He said he could get us five. He'll get us five and teach those young guys how to get some."
(On how important the pass-rush is)
"Very important. We had a good pass-rush, we just didn't get any sacks. The other thing you have to remember, because we practiced against them for two days and some of you were there, we had an excellent pass-rush during the week against Jacksonville. So they came out [and] the first two third downs they went quick-count to try to catch us off guard and the third third-down of the game it was third-and-17 and they ran a slant route. They went quick-game. Third-and-17 and a slant route, that's respect for your pass-rush. That means we've got to get the ball out of our hand fast. It's going to be hard to get a first down."
(On receivers fighting for the last spot)
"All those guys that are battling have had days where we're saying, 'Yeah, that's our guy, that's our guy.' They've had other days where you're saying, 'Maybe that's our guy.' [Bernard] Reedy's definitely shown in the return game, really shown up in the two preseason games. Freddie Martino's more of a do-the-dirty-work stuff, he does some things behind the scenes. Josh Huff has had some nice plays; we're looking for a little bit more consistency. And then Donteea Dye's been out for a while with a foot injury. We've got three weeks left. We've got three weeks left 'til Miami and that's one of the better competitions, along with the starting nickel."
(On if running back Doug Martin's pending absence affects how the third preseason game will be played)
"I wouldn't worry a whole lot about that 'dress rehearsal' word but it does change the way we're going to do it, yeah. As I mentioned before, we're going to try to get Quizz some more touches."
(On what the advantage of moving Ali Marpet to center is)
"So, your center and your guards are responsible for solidifying the front of the pocket and then the tackles set the width of the pocket. I'm a huge Joe Hawley fan, but Joe played most of last year at 280. He's up now in the 290s but Ali's a 305-pound guy and he just gives you a stouter guy in center of the line. Every player out there has different strengths and weaknesses. We felt like we needed to get firmer. We always talk about this: You're going to get your best guys out there. We're always ready to juggle them if we need to and there's a million combinations. But when we actually get down to game day there's not 15, there's seven."
(On the maturation of tackle Donovan Smith)
"He's the only guy on offense that hasn't missed a snap in two years. He comes to work every day and tries to get better. Donovan is physically gifted, and when he is able to focus for the whole 64-play game he's going to be one of the top left tackles in the league."
(On special teams)
"We've been up and down a little bit. Usually our punt team is lights out. We weren't – we didn't cover punts as well this last game, we lost contain and gave up a big play. Our return game, we've had three explosives in two games, which is a lot, and that's one place we're looking to improve. Like everything else, it's progressing but not where it needs to be."
(On if wide receiver Mike Evans is poised for a fabulous season)
"I think he's had two fabulous ones already. Mike's a fabulous player."
(On if the addition of DeSean Jackson will help Evans)
"It should be, on paper. We'll see."
(On if he would consider an incomplete pass to Evans a drop in the last game)
"Mike's one of the elite wide receivers in the world, so what do you think? Ask him. He said it. He knows it: Great players make great plays. And Mike's made a lot of them."
FORMER DEFENSIVE END SIMEON RICE
(On if spending time with defensive end Noah Spence after practice and if it brings back memories of his playing days)
“It does. [Noah Spence] reminds me very much of myself. He has the talent. He has the capabilities. He has to allow it to shine now – don’t hide it from the world. Be what you are capable of being, do what you are capable of doing. It’s interesting to see because I’m like watching him after practice and they’re working. I’m like, ‘Yo, this kid wants to be special. This kid is going to be special.’ If you search for it long enough, you will find it.”
(On if he had to find his own way of playing and carrying himself with his rare athleticism)
“I did. I came in the league with a high sense of confidence – you know, rookie of the year, a little brash sometimes, rubbed people the wrong way sometimes – but it’s all because I really believed in what I was putting on the field. Right out of the gate I believed in what I was capable of doing, becoming what I was capable of being and I truly wanted to be the best. I had a ‘psycho-mentality’ about being different.”
(On why the Buccaneers haven’t had a player record a double-digit sack total since Rice)
“They don’t come around – it’s a generational thing to have that type of ability. If you look at an NFL roster, great players come around – there’s only going to be one J.J. Watt in the NFL, there’s only going to be one Warren Sapp in the NFL, there’s only going to be one player similar to myself. It’s a once in a lifetime situation – you’ve got to take advantage of it. I truly believe that with the ability that Noah [Spence] has, that he has something that he hasn’t shown the world yet that he’s capable of being. He could be in a very select group.”
(On if he could stay play and get five sacks)
“It’s a mindset, you know. Could I play physically? Yes, but it’s not where I am mentally anymore. I take great pleasure in seeing the next generation coming into their own.”
(On reaching his potential as a director)
“That’s what I’m doing right now – I’m working right now. I’m working on some scripts right now that I like, that I enjoy, that I get a lot of peace out of and joy to see the things from a creative space develop. Soon – right now I’m working on a documentary, so we’ve got to crawl before we walk. We will see how this documentary goes.”
(On if the current Buccaneers team has a quality pass edge rusher on it)
“I think so. I think Noah [Spence] could be something special – I truly do. I think he can. He has to believe in himself, he has to believe in his abilities, but I think he has the capabilities of doing something different – doing something unique. I really do. I see him working after practice – much like myself when I played here – and I can’t help but to harken my thoughts back to those nostalgic moments of greatness. I think he has it in him.”
(On the feeling of getting to a quarterback as a pass rusher)
“Routine, come on man [laughs]. It’s routine. When you could do it in your sleep, it becomes routine. It’s effervescent. It’s something that you work for. But you have to keep in mind, I knew I was special. I’m just being honest with you. I worked hard and it was a payoff. At a certain point, it was my job to be special, it was my job to be a playmaker, it was my job to be different, it was my job to cause sack fumbles. From the moment I got in this league my position coach was ‘Mean Joe Greene’ of the Steel Curtain – the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers He told me after my rookie year, ‘Simeon, once you show you’re special, you can never be normal again.’ That’s what he told me as a 22-year-old rookie in the NFL. He was like, ‘Simeon, you’re special. You could never be an average player again’ – and I never was.”
(On whether he would’ve gotten air time during ‘Hard Knocks’)
“You put me and [Warren] Sapp, I mean come on. Without a doubt. It would’ve been must-see TV – on the field and off, you know, lifestyle, the whole nine. This was Hollywood south. This is where it was at when we were playing here.”
(On how much the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor matters)
“It matters, but it doesn’t matter as much as it used to because I know what I was. When you rule your decade, that’s what it is. It mattered so much more when my parents were alive. My pops passed away this past year, so it doesn’t have the same luster. I wanted him to be able to enjoy that moment. That’s what it was about. I am my father’s legacy. I’m my mother’s legacy. They’re not going to be able to enjoy that moment. That’s a moment that you always give to your family – you give the shout out and you talk about those moments when you first embarked into the sport. I wanted to let them know that their investment paid off – in a physical form.”
(On why he wants to share his knowledge with the young players)
“Because I was young once. There is no greater gratification [than] to be able to see these guys become something that they’re capable of becoming. I take great pleasure in seeing people rise. I take great pleasure out of seeing people become great. I was telling them, I’ll never forget when I was playing here, Rod Marinelli gave me the rookies – those were the guys I worked with because I took a special appreciation and liking to them and I knew they looked up to me, so I wanted to in part what it took to be a champion, what it took to be great.”
(On the documentary he is working on)
“It’s about me – about my playing career. It’s got comedy in it [laughs].”