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13 June 2018

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mini-Camp Media Availability (6/13/18)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Linebacker Lavonte David
Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson
(On the indoor facility)
“Today’s a great example. So, 10 minutes before we came out, the lightning horn went off. So, if we didn’t have the indoor, that’s an automatic wait for 30 minutes. You have to wait for 30 minutes until the lightning clears. Right when that 30 minutes was up, we got another lightning so we would have been back inside for another 30 minutes. So what happens when you don’t have an indoor is you just keep getting pushed back and we don’t have lights either. So if we were practicing in the afternoon, we might miss a whole day of practice. So we just come inside and keep working. Everybody’s happy. It’s a great facility. We got to see first-hand today how awesome this thing is with the air conditioning. We can still get the scoreboards, we have the cameras. It’s a really great facility.”
(On how the rookies are adjusting)
“I think pretty good. Our young guys are all doing well. For the rookies, they’ve been here five weeks and this will be their first time off. So they’re all headed their separate ways tomorrow afternoon. They have to handle their business while they’re gone. Some of them have to make certain body weights when they come back. But, I think they’re all doing fine right now.”
(On what jumps out to him about rookie safety Jordan Whitehead)
“I’d say his quickness is the thing that jumps out. He plays safety but he probably moves a little bit more like a corner. He does pack a punch like a safety. We’ll see more when we get the pads on. I wish we could have had him for more practices, but his quickness is definitely what sticks out.”
(On his message to rookies while they’re away)
“We just call it the five-week plan. Everybody is working on their five-week plan; how they’re going to get better, how they’re going to come back ready to start training camp. Now I’m not going to lie, the veterans have been here for nine weeks and there’s some vacation days mixed in there too. But you can’t take nine weeks for the vets or five weeks for the rookies and do nothing for five weeks and expect to come back at that level. Don’t put the work you’ve done so far to waste, try to carry it over.”
(On if he’s satisfied with how the offense has performed in the red zone)
“We weren’t great in the red zone today. The defense did a good job in the red zone today. You have to remember, when you’re practicing, especially when you’re practicing in shorts, you really can’t run the ball, every play is a pass. Our defense may not play the defense, that we’re working on the concepts for. So, I’d say from an offensive stand point, we’re not satisfied, but again, it’s not like panic time or anything like that. We have plenty of time to fix it.”
(On tight end O.J. Howard’s strong performance during mini-camp)
“You saw two good examples of O.J. right there at the end. He made the great catch in the end zone yesterday. He made that beautiful catch in the seam and then like five plays hater we threw the screen to him. I mean, O.J.’s incredible athleticism just jumps out at you. I think with him knowing more what to expect with the 16 game schedule and six weeks of training camp, I think it’s just easy to see-anyone who watched those plays could see why the guy was a first-round draft pick.”
(On if Howard wore down last year)
“I would say maybe a little bit on the mental side but not like he was making huge ‘MEs’ [mental errors]. It’s just tough to stay mentally focused for that long.
(On undrafted rookies that have impressed him so far)
“Undrafted, 38 (Shaun Wilson) would be one. 64 (Cole Boozer), the left tackle on offense. The two defensive ends (Demone Harris and Evan Perrizo), both of those defensive ends are hard chargers. I’m not prepared to answer that question.”
(On depth at wide receiver)
“We have a good group at wide out. Those first four guys are really good. They complement each other well. I think our second level guys, Freddie Martino and Bobo Wilson have really upped their games. That gets you to six. I would have liked to have seen Justin Watson. He’s going to have a lot of catching up to do come fall camp.”
(On what it’s going to take for wide receiver Mike Evans to reach an elite level such as Julio Jones and Antonio Brown)
“I think he probably is considered with those guys [Julio Jones and Antonio Brown]. The guys you’re talking about are the elite of the elite in the league and I think Mike is right there. Mike’s not the only guy we try to throw the ball to. He has been that guy before, he has been the guy we try to throw the ball to. But we’ve got other guys. The bottom line is we have to figure out ways to win. I’m not one bit worried about if Mike Evans is going to do his part. He’s going to do his part)
(On chemistry with Jason Pierre-Paul)
“Jason, we had that same kind of chemistry back in junior college. I played behind him a lot so there had to be a lot of communication going on. So, it just turned over into now. Nothing really changed. Throughout the process, he asks me about a play or whatever and I just told him, ‘Look man, just let me know before you do it and it will all work out for the both of us.’ So, that just goes to show that the chemistry is already there. So, that’s probably one person I can scratch off of my chemistry list.”
(On how quickly the rookies and new players have caught on)
“Believe it or not, from the young guys to the older guys, guys caught on really fast, especially the young guys. Those guys stepped in right away. There’s not a lot of mental errors, not a lot of mistakes that are getting made. Guys come in and are taking this thing seriously. Everybody is focusing. I think the whole thing that helped all of that out was Coach [Mike] Smith coming in in the offseason and demanding that everybody knows what they’re supposed to do, knows their job. [He] puts people on the spot and has them come up to the board to draw up not only their position but [he wants you] knowing what everyone else is doing around you. I think that’s why you see a lot of guys out there making plays right now.”
(On what he hopes to get out of mini-camp and how much fun the team is having being back in practice)
“Me individually, I’m just trying to build a bond with the guys; some of the new guys, some of the old guys, getting even tighter with guys. Like I said, it’s been really great so far being able to talk to guys and just knowing where their mindset is at and how they feel about different things and how they feel about the defense. There’s guys you can talk to and then we can get on the same page when we’re out there on the field. As a team, we’re just starting slow, man. We’re starting slow, taking it one day at a time. We’re trying to be the best we can be. We’re competing with each other. We’re out here having fun. It’s crazy, I don’t think we’ve had this much fun in a while when we’re out here. It’s competitive, guys are out here having fun. We’re making plays and we’re just trying to make each other better. When he first got here, Dirk [Koetter] said, ‘It’s competing but at the same time, have fun.’ All we’re doing right now is trying to make each other better and trying to build for the season.”
(On if there is an added sense of urgency this offseason)
“I think so. I think last year we weren’t really being real with ourselves. Everybody on the outside had these certain expectations about us, but we weren’t really looking in the mirror and focused on ourselves. This year, we really focused on that. I think Coach Koetter and his staff did a great job on that, focusing on getting that out of our past. Basically, saying that we were poor last year, we were terrible. We weren’t where we needed to be and we need to change that, we need to get better. From that day forward, everybody has been hitting the ground running. Everyone has been focusing on what they need to be focusing on, not worrying about anything but going out there head first and trying to better themselves and better the team. We’re just trying to get to that ultimate goal.”
(On how much work he got with quarterback Jameis Winston in the offseason)
“A good, fair amount. We got some good work in this offseason so I’m just trying to build leading up to this upcoming season. I have a lot going on right now, my lady is pregnant and all. So, I’m just trying to spend time with the family and still be here and be able to work as well.”
(On what wide receiver Chris Godwin brings to the receiving corps)
“Since last year, Chris came in and was making plays. He’s a big, physical receiver. He can get open and create space. This is year two for him. He’s probably a little more confident. I’ve liked him since last year, too. He’s a good addition to have with me, Hump [Adam Humphries] and Mike [Evans]. I think he’ll be able to make a big impact as well this year.”
(On what he hopes to get out of mini-camp)
“The hot weather, the sun. It feels great out here. Honestly, just gelling together with the guys, kind of building. Obviously last year was a tough year for us and we were very disappointed and upset about that. I think everyone has a job and objective to do which is to just come in this year and try to take advantage of our opportunities. We felt last year that we got behind the eight ball and it was tough to fight through that. But, this year we have a fresh start. Hopefully everyone can come together collectively and start fresh and feeling strong.”
(On if this team has a sense of urgency to win)
“When your record is 5-11, I would think everybody in the building has a sense of urgency to want to go out there and change that perspective, showing that our roster definitely doesn’t match up to our record. So, I think everybody has a responsibility to do, including myself. We’ll go out there and put the work in and hopefully it shows this season.”
(On what he wants to improve on)
“Any time I get an opportunity to get the ball in my hands and make a play, it’s what I live and strive for. So, just trying to take advantage of the opportunities and make more out of my opportunities when I do have a chance to either lock the score up or make a big play, that’s what I want to contribute and bring to this team. That’s my objective, that’s what I want to do, just continue to be a complete player, a complete receiver and just help the young guys that probably don’t know things or are asking to learn or whatever it is. If I could help or teach – I’ve played a lot of football and like I said, going on year 11, I know a lot about this game. So, whatever it is I’m asked or called on to do, that’s what I’m here for.

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