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12 August 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Day-After-Game Media Availability (8/12/17)

Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On how tough it was to waive kicker Roberto Aguayo)
“Anytime you have to let a draft pick go, it’s not something that you look forward to doing, but it’s a production business. We’ve been saying it – it’s unfortunate because Roberto is a good kid. He is trying to do the right thing, but again, it’s a production business. I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity and he’s just got to learn from this and move on. This allows us as a team to get behind Nick [Folk]. There’s pressure even in that. It will allow us, as a team, to support Nick and move forward.”
(On if Nick Folk has clinched the job or whether the team will look to add another kicker)
“Well we are going to bring in another kicker because we want to have another leg in camp. Anything can happen – a guy could pull a hamstring, twist an ankle. As long as we have room, we would like to have another guy that can kick the football. As of right now, Nick is going to be our kicker.”
(On quarterback Ryan Griffin’s health status)
“I can give you a little bit of an update in that it’s not great news He’s got an injury to his throwing shoulder. [He] had an MRI today. He’s going to be out for a while. I don’t know the exact medical term, [but] it’s not going to require surgery. It’s something that can heal, but it’s just going to take some time.”
(On whether Ryan Griffin will be out months or weeks)
(On if the team will bring in another quarterback)
“I don’t think we are going to need to do that. Sefo [Liufau] came in last night and did a nice job. As is always the case, you want competition and maybe too often some of these jobs are settled due to injuries. It’s not like there’s just a great selection of guys out there that you’re going to go out and get at this point that are going to come in and save the day. It is what it is. We don’t need to get in a panic mode. We’ve got two good quarterbacks and a young guy in Sefo that continues to train.”
(On what it would have to allow the kicking competition to play out longer)
“What would it have hurt? I don’t think it would necessarily have hurt anything other than I think just at some point the team wants to move forward – the team wants to move on. At any position, you just hope it plays itself out and there’s a clear-cut winner. Jason [Licht] and I – we’ve been talking about this since last year – we’ve been talking about this for a long time. I think just in general it’s time to make a move on from Roberto [Aguayo], let him have a chance with another team and we’re confident in Nick [Folk].
(On if he expected to make a decision like this after Roberto Aguayo’s recent 10/10 performance in training camp)
“Did I expect it? I didn’t really think of it like that. It is what it is. The thing that has haunted Roberto in his time here is just inconsistency. The team’s I’ve been on – you just don’t have to have that at that position. There’s enough other guys. Once again, it’s unfortunate. This doesn’t make Roberto a bad guy. He’s a terrific guy and we wish him the best. But at this point, we’re moving forward with Nick [Folk] and are happy about it.”
(On whether it is too much of a risk to go into a season with a question mark at the kicker position)
“Well, we saw what that movie was like last year. We’re just not going to go that direction anymore. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to ever miss a field goal again or miss an extra point again – just like your offensive linemen are going to miss blocks, your quarterbacks are going to miss open receivers and you are going to miss tackles – that’s part of the game. I think it’s safe to say we have just seen enough in our time here – on these fields out here and the other fields that we’ve played [on] – that right now we feel like we need to move toward a more consistent performance in that area.”
(On if Koetter is worried about continuing to chase new players at the kicker position)
“No, I don’t think I am because – as I said many times last year – your guys are your guys. I sank 100 percent of my belief in our guys and I hope they do the same for me.”
(On whether the team considered quarterback Jameis Winston’s thought on the kicker decision)
“No. You guys put way too much on how much Jameis affects our personnel decisions. Jameis is the face of our franchise and he’s a fantastic quarterback, [but] he doesn’t get involved in our personnel decisions.”
(On whether tough personnel decisions are harder to make with the presence of “Hard Knocks” cameras)
“No, it’s not. The cameras don’t make it harder. It’s hard because you’re dealing with a person’s career and a person’s life and whether it’s Roberto Aguayo or anyone else that we have to let go – I mean, I see what these guys go through. It’s one thing in any job if you were letting go of a guy that didn’t care or wasn’t trying to give you his best or wasn’t doing things the way you asked him, but that’s hardly ever the case. When these guys are out there and they are trying to do it the way we ask them and they’re giving it their all and it isn’t good enough sometimes, that’s difficult. I just always try to frame it with those guys when I talk to them is this doesn’t affect your manhood and I’ve been fired and you get over it and you learn from it and apply it to your next opportunity.”
(On whether he believes Aguayo felt more pressure because he was a second-round pick)
“I’m not sure. He and I never talked about that. That would be a question for him. This is a pressure-packed business and I’m not sure about that.”
(On if the strategy to kick a field goal at the end of the game helped to make the decision on waiving Aguayo)
“We weren’t thinking about helping us make a decision. That’s a strategy at the end of a game when you’re down two scores. Since you do need two scores, you’re trying to keep your chances alive as long as you can. When [Special Teams Coordinator] Nate [Kaczor] came to me there at the start of that last drive and brought it up, it does also add something to our kicking competition and we said going in, there might be a situation in the game that would add to that, but it was also the right call for that situation in the game. But, it’s the right call for that situation, you’ve got to make the field goal and then you’ve got to get the onside kick and then you have to get a touchdown.”
(On whether Griffin is a candidate for the PUP list)
“We’re still looking at our options on that. There’s some rules involved with that. This has happened so fast, we got back late. Based on the time of the injury, there’s some things that we’re working through and we’ll let you know as soon as we know some things. It’s a sprain of some sort in the AC joint and there’s a couple things going on there. It’s just unfortunate. He got hit from behind and when the guy fell on him and his body weight, it landed on his right shoulder, just a freak-type thing.”
(On whether the team planned on playing quarterback Sefo Liufau before Griffin’s injury)
“We were going to play him if we got a chance to play him at the very end, so he played more than we thought he would and he handled it well. He hadn’t been in a two-minute situation before, so he rose up and did a nice job there.”
(On any other players that may have significant injuries from the game)
“We’re getting some guys evaluated today. I believe [running back] Russell Hansbrough is in the concussion protocol and probably will not be available this week and if he’s in the protocol, that’s all handled by them. [Linebacker Devante] Bond had an MRI today as well and it looks like he might be out for a little while as well.”
(On if former kicker John Lunsford, with Tampa Bay earlier this offseason, had enough time to prove himself)
“I really can’t say on that, but we are going to bring a couple guys in to work out tomorrow after practice and we are going to try to add another leg here before we go to Jacksonville tomorrow.”
(On whether cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah is going to undergo knee surgery)
“He is. They were waiting for a second opinion, he got it. He is going to have the surgery tomorrow and I’ll be able to give you more of an update on the roster status of that in the next 48 hours or so. But, it’s unfortunate for Jude. It’s the same injury that he had last year. They tried – his rehab and we thought he was past it. Again, it’s an unfortunate part of the game for him. It wasn’t even really much of a contact injury when it happened here this second time and it’s just unfortunate for him.”
(On if linebacker Kendell Beckwith will move over to replace Bond at strong-side linebacker)
“Yeah, Kendell will move over and play the Sam spot. That’s only about 20 percent play time, but we’re still going to get Kendell reps inside when we are in sub-defense, when we are in nickel defense. That was great. I think the most anyone played last night was 35 plays and he was around 30 himself. Coming off the knee surgery, I think getting him in live contact was good. I think he’ll do nothing, but get better.”
(On cornerback Ryan Smith’s performance in the game)
“I take that back. I said the most anybody played – Ryan actually did play the most. He played 51 snaps and he needs every one of those. It was great work for him. He made some really nice plays and some not so nice plays, which is exactly what you would expect of a young guy playing corner out there in live football in the NFL for the first time. Across the board, everybody will be getting their grades in the morning and we’ve got a lot to work on at almost every position.”
(On the potential percentage of defensive plays split between ‘base’ and ‘nickel’ defense)
“I think the Giants last year were the highest in the league. The Giants were 92 percent ‘11’ personnel; the Dolphins were 76 percent, so there’s two of our first five games. It’s getting up there, and then, of course, you guys are all over the fact that we’re playing some three-safety defense, so that diminishes the time you’re in base defense as well.”
(On when the team made the decision to waive Aguayo)
“This morning.”
(On if both he and General Manager Jason Licht were in the room for the discussion with Aguayo)
“Yes. Me, Jason and Hard Knocks.”
(On if he informed Aguayo of the decision yesterday or today)
“This morning.”
(On the play of quarterback Jameis Winston in Friday night’s preseason game)
“Yeah, Jameis did fine. Took care of the football, moved around in the pocket, maybe had one or two throws he’d like to have back – that last third down he was in there – but fine, overall. We need to finish that first drive with a touchdown. Good job getting off our own goal line and that’s something we need to work on.”
(On the play of wide receiver Bernard Reedy)
“Yeah, he did some good things. I mean, we had two ‘explosives’ in the return game which doesn’t happen every day. Josh Huff had one on a kickoff return and Bernard Reedy had one on a punt return and that’s nice to see on both those guys that they did something with the ball in their hands. Bernard did a good job on the offensive side. That No. 5 spot at wide receiver right now, different day, different guy so that’s some really good competition we’ve got going on there.”
(On what he’s hoping to get out of the upcoming joint practices in Jacksonville)
“Similar to last night, like last night, I think our first defense played 12 or 13 plays, our first offense played 21 plays – when you, like Jacksonville on Monday will be a full pads practice, on Tuesday it’ll be a shells practice but it’ll be similar reps – just getting reps against different competition instead of the 12 to 13 days we’ve gone against our own defense, that’s worth everything. That’s gold to go against different guys, different looks. We really don’t know exactly what they’re going to do on defense and offense. We saw what they did against New England in their preseason game, but they’re still installing, we’re installing. It’s just good work because it’s a little bit unpredictable. So much of what we do out on that field is scripted and a lot of the evaluation process in the preseason has to come from how well guys can adjust when their coaches [aren’t] right in their ear telling them what to do every play. And that’s one thing last night, I thought we didn’t have a lot of mental errors. We had plenty of errors, but we didn’t have a lot of mental errors last night. So anyway, the Jacksonville [trip], we look forward to it. It’s also a little bit of a chance where we’re all out of town, nobody’s family’s around, we’re in a different hotel. I thought as a team we grew and benefitted from that last year and hopefully that happens again this year.”
(On if he approaches the roster decisions believing right now they’ll only keep five receivers)
“We’re going to get together – Jason [and I] – we’ll get together and find out, pick out the best 53 that we think can help our team. We’ve got projected numbers but special teams will come into play, injuries certainly will come into play there. And sometimes you’re going to steal one from one position because you feel like you need to keep one at another position and that’s what training camp is all about.”
(On how much special teams is going to play into the battle at receiver)
“Your fourth and fifth receiver have to be special teams players. There’s just no way around it. I mean, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson aren’t going to be playing special teams. Adam Humphries will be in the return game. Chris Godwin can play across the board in special teams but your fourth and fifth receives, you need them. They’ve got to play.”
(On how he would grade rookie tight end O.J. Howard’s performance last night)
“I think his grade was in the ‘B’ range and he really did a nice job in the running game. His physical play showed up. He held the point of attack, opened some holes for us. We had him open a couple times, more with the second group. He played a series or two with the second offense and right when the quarterback was going to him the quarterback got hit or had to move and get off of him. It’s not like we weren’t trying to get to him, it just worked out that way. You know, you never go into a game saying you want ‘this guy’ to get so many catches. It kind of depends on the defense but for his first game, O.J. did fine.”

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