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22 December 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (12/22/17)

BUC BIT OF THE DAY: WR Mike Evans has 4,417 career receiving yards and need eight more to pass Odell Beckham (4,424 from 2014-17) for eighth-most, 71 more to pass DeAndre Hopkins (4,487 from 2013-16) for seventh-most, 128 more to pass Larry Fitzgerald (4,544 from 2004-07) for sixth-most and 189 more to pass Anquan Boldin (4,605 from 2003-06) for the fifth-most receiving yards in a players’ first four seasons since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger. With 161 more receiving yards this season, he will have his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, joining A.J. Green and Randy Moss as the only three players in NFL history to have 1,000 yard receiving seasons in each of their first four years.
Below is a transcript of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s earlier media availability:
(On how pleased he is with his team’s effort this week in practice despite all the injuries its suffered)
“Yeah, these guys did a good job. You [have] a short week coming off of physical game – they will be ready to go. These guys will be ready to come out and give us what they’ve got.”
(On if it is easier or harder to have to make personnel changes late in the season)
“It’s harder for sure because when you are bringing new guys in, they don’t know your system. That is why you see teams many times bring back guys that they’ve had before. We’ve done that too because you just don’t have enough hours in the day to teach them even in the language that you are speaking.”
(On if defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David have a chance to play on Sunday)
“Yeah, they are both possible. Of course, we’d love to have them back – two excellent players.”
(On if wide receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive end Robert Ayers will both be out on Sunday)
“Yeah, it looks like – when the injury report comes out – it looks like those two guys are going to be pretty doubtful.”
(On tight end Antony Auclair’s progression into a bigger role)
“Yeah with O.J. [Howard] down, definitely [he will have a larger role]. Antony is a good story. He is an excellent story. From the first time we saw him on Canadian tape and then when we saw him over at the East-West Shrine game and saw him at practice over there – then after we drafted O.J. we were thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, we are never going to get this guy to come as a free agent.’ We had a draft grade on him, so [he] is a huge bonus. We love our tight ends and we love tight ends who can do multiple things. For a guy that has made the transition from going from how they play in Canada to how they play here, he is a good student, works at it, tries [and] plays physical. He had a couple nice plays last week where he finished right to the whistle. You can usually tell a guy that finishes by if the other team is taking a swipe at him after the play. That usually means he is a good finisher. We are real happy with Antony.”
(On how much of a plus it is that Auclair has been able to ease his way onto the field and into a bigger role in the offense)
“You don’t always have that luxury to do that. When you come out of training camp and you are having to make those final cuts, there [are] always some guys that you are saying, ‘If we could hold onto this guy, in a few weeks he is going to make it.’ Jason [Licht] always has to make some tough decisions on what positions are we going to do that [with]. Who really has the best chance to stick? Then when you are sitting there and you might have needs at other positions and you are carrying that guy on your 53 [man roster], you are always going, ‘Did we make the right move,’ – even though we really thought Antony had a chance.”
(On not having the ability to redshirt a player in the NFL)
“You wish you did. There [are] guys every year that you technically wish you could redshirt him or hide him out for a year.”
(On talk of having a minor league to the NFL where coaches would have the ability to keep players around without them being on the team’s active roster)
“Yeah, there is talk about that all the time. Shoot, there is talk about the, ‘Big Basketball Baller League’ too. There is talk about a lot of stuff. I still think I’ve got a chance on that [laughs].”

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