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01 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
                
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
Quarterback Jameis Winston
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“Not ideal conditions to start off training camp, but as I told the football team, the odds are we’re going to play a wet football game this coming season. So it’s always good – it’s different when you have to carry and throw a wet football, but it was a start. We set, not necessarily the tempo, but the standard, I guess you could say, (with) this first (practice). Saw some good things from a lot of players. We’re anxious to get back out on the football field tomorrow.”
 
(On facing adversity with the weather challenges to start camp)
“Whenever you have a wet ball, of course, it kind of goes with the territory a little bit, but again, the odds are we’re going to have to deal with these types of conditions this coming season.”
 
(On whether fitting in a late practice due to weather delays helps the team stay on schedule)
“In Tampa this time of year, you have to be flexible. You know, things we needed to get done – we got our meetings. We switched our meetings and ended up getting our practice in right now. We’re thankful to USF for letting us use their facilities tonight. And, again, tomorrow we’re right back on our schedule, so (we have) one day of training camp under our belt.”
 
(On what the first practice accomplished, even with the weather)
“I think in training camp, you would like for them to go through some adversity – that’s a part of it. You don’t expect to be Tennessee-ready the first practice. We’re not there. But we did get some good video, so you can start your evaluation. Everybody was out here performing under the same conditions, so you can get a lot done today.”
 
(On what a team can accomplish with practices prior to using pads)
“It’s the same as the offseason. You have to use this the best you possibly can. We know now, though, the difference from the offseason is that in a couple days, we’ll be in the pads and of course you’ll be able to find out a lot more then.”
 
(On whether Tampa Bay needs an indoor practice facility)
“In an ideal world, of course, you would have that, but we have never had an indoor facility. (The weather) is just a part of it. During the course of the year, you have to be ready. I’ve been in games where you’ve stopped the game (due to weather) and guys have to know how to stop and then come back and win a football game. That’s Tampa and we’ll deal with it.”
 
(On the performances of quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Mike Glennon)
“I thought both guys were able to do some things. The ball, of course, was on the ground entirely too much, but we start coaching from things that happened tonight.”
 
(On whether the team might return to USF to practice if the rain continues)
“This is a good option for us if we can’t use our facility. I mean, we were close (to using the facilities at One Buccaneer Place). As much as not having a facility, running out of daylight a little bit is really what kind of got us today. We’ll just keep all options open. The odds are we’ll get our practice in some kind of way tomorrow, though.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On what the team was doing during today’s rain delay)
“We were working. We were in meetings. We went back to meetings. If we would have practiced at the right time, we would have meetings afterwards, so we took that meeting time and put it ahead. That’s all we did.”
 
(On his offseason workout program)
“It’s legal (laughs).”
 
(On coming into training camp at his target weight)
“For me, one thing our coach does, Coach (Joe) Cullen, our d-line coach is he breaks every player down and he tells us what we need to do to have a career year, or what we need to do to help this team out. He told me, who I am to this team, who I am to this defense, I have to be in the best shape of my life. I just took that to heart and tried to come back in the best shape I could.”
 
(On if he still believes in Coach Lovie Smith after the team struggled in 2014)
“Oh yeah, of course. It [was] the first season, things happen. Some things didn’t go as we thought they would, with some of our offseason pickups [last year]. Things happen. But that doesn’t take away from his vision and what we see moving forward.”
 
(On what he has seen from defensive end Jacquies Smith over the last year)
“He’s a lot more relaxed now. Last year he did a lot of thinking and he still had the impact he did. He’s a lot more relaxed. He kind of has more of a vet feel to him and he’s ready to go, man. He truly believes he can be ‘that guy’ and I do as well, with his skillset and how hard he works, but only time will tell.”
 
(On Jameis Winston being named the starting quarterback)
“We did draft the guy No. 1 overall. We addressed the biggest issue we felt we had with the first overall pick. You draft a guy at that spot, I don’t think you draft him to not play. We’ll see what happens.”
 
(On how having a year in Lovie Smith’s defensive system will help the team improve this season)
“It’s huge. Any of the great teams or teams that win, they have a great foundation and a great group of leaders who can put everybody in place. The young guys have somebody to look up to and know how to do things. With us having a year under our belt, the young guys are the guys who were not here. Now they can look up to us and we know exactly what he wants and how he wants it. Not just on the field, but off the field – that’s in meeting rooms, the cafeteria. Then he brought in a lot of guys this offseason who have either played for him or played in this system. So they can hit the ground running too. That’s definitely an advantage, going into this year.”
 
(On his message about contract negotiations to linebacker Lavonte David)
“Come to work. Just come to work. It’ll take care of itself.”
 
(On if he still communicates with former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp)
“Yeah.”
 
(On if he feels urgency to get into the postseason after having not done so yet in his career)
“Yeah, I do. When I was young, I was allowed to be young – well not really, but I was young. I’m not there anymore and I’m going into my sixth year and I truly believe this team will only go as far as I go. You have a dominant guy in the middle, it helps everything out around him, which is our defense. You have a great defense – most of these teams that are winning, usually [have] a great defense. That’s another reason why I had to come in in great shape, because you know it’s not really any more talking. I’m going into my sixth year – I haven’t been to the playoffs. Enough is enough. I definitely feel the urgency – it’s time to get it done.”
 
(On if the defense has to continue growing and improving)
“It’s still a process, because it’s not the same group. Same defense – we changed a couple things, but not much. But it’s still a process. You have to take it day by day. You don’t want to hit your peak in Week 3 of the preseason and then that’s all you’ve got. The best defenses in history, they keep growing each week and by the time [it’s] the end of the season and playoffs hit, these defenses are rolling. It’s just a process, we’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”
 
(On how linebacker Bruce Carter is going to fit in with the defense)
“It’s going to take some time. He’s definitely stepping in as best as he can, for what we’ve done. In the time he’s been with us, he’s rehabbed a lot. But we’ll see. Haven’t seen enough yet.”
 
(On Jacquies Smith and George Johnson)
“’Jack is what we call Jacquies. He was in Buffalo. We watched them play. The crazy thing is, when we watched film – they played Carolina, I think, the week before us last year – then they played us and he kept standing out. In our room, we kept saying ‘Who is this guy?’ Well, when we brought him in, Coach (Cullen) said “Hey, that’s that guy we were watching on tape.’ He always had something to him. Once he got comfortable and he stopped thinking so much he was able to produce the way he did. He’s only going to get better. Now he’s really relaxed. He puts all the same work in – works even harder – now he’s’ comfortable out there, so he’s only going to get better.
George, he was here my first year here, so this is my second go-around with George. He’s always been able to rush the passer. When George couldn’t do [anything] else, when he got here he could rush the passer. He’s done nothing but mature and he’s just going to keep growing. He carries himself completely different from what I remember. And that’s a good thing, because he’s ready to roll.”
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On being named the starter)
"I was excited. It was a blessing. But I'm ready to play now. Ready to practice, ready to get things going."
 
(On how disappointed he was not to get to practice Saturday afternoon)
"I'm not disappointed at all. We're just overcoming adversity, getting some mental reps, and we're going to be ready. It's going to be even more fun. The rain's just holding us back right now."
 
(On using virtual reality)
"Well, I'm a very visual learner, and I use it some but I haven't used it that much. It's a great thing, especially for right now."
 
(On what it takes to be a starting quarterback in the NFL)
"You've just got to be able to compete. You've got to have the will the win, and you've got to fight. You've got to have your teammates behind you. It's one thing getting players to play with you…it's getting players to play for you. So, I've just got to keep competing, keep getting better every single day. I'm not perfect, but I will compete my butt off."
 
(On how Mike Glennon reacted to the news that Winston would start)
"The whole quarterback room, we're a family because it starts with us. At the end of the day, our main goal in that quarterback room is for us to win football games. No discrimination, no hatred, we love each other. We have a great team. And it's not about us, it's about this whole team."
 
(On Dirk Koetter's offense)
"I love Coach Koetter's offense. I can't wait to practice so you all can get some clips or something. It's a great offense. The concepts are very similar to the ones we had at Florida State. I say all the time, I'm blessed to have played at Florida State, but Coach Koetter's offense is just amazing."
 
(On walking a fine line between taking over a leadership role and being a rookie)
"Well, right now on this team I'm just accepting my role. We have a lot of veterans – Vincent [Jackson], Gerald [McCoy]. Those guys are our leaders. My job right now is just to play quarterback."
 
(On his defensive teammates saying they need to test him)
"I love that. That's how you have success. When the ones and the ones are competing, that's the thing about football, it's the competitive atmosphere. You've got to love it, you've got to love the fight."
 
(On how much of the offense he's picked up)
"I've come a long way. Like I said, I've got to get better every single day. You could play for 20 years and you're still going to keep getting better every day. You can't stop getting better."
 
(On comparing his first day as an FSU quarterback to his first day of Bucs camp)
"I've matured since I was an 18-year-old kid just getting into mischievous things. Now, you know, I love this opportunity that I've been given. It's a blessing, and the best thing about it is, my dream was always to be a professional quarterback. And I've achieved that dream."
 
(On thinking ahead to a Week One matchup against Marcus Mariota)
"It's one day at a time. Right now we're focusing on the Tampa Bay Bucs, getting our team better and being successful to ourselves."
 
(On knowing who he's playing against Week One)
"We're playing against the Tennessee Titans."
 
(On if he's encouraged by other young quarterbacks having success in the NFL)
"Absolutely. One thing I've learned: If you can play, it (doesn’t) matter what age you are. It doesn't matter. I believe we have a great team in place for success, and I'm looking forward to this season. I can't wait."
 
(On the Bucs' tight ends)
"When I look at this team, I see everyone as targets. Just naming our tight ends, with Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] and Luke [Stocker] and Brandon [Myers] and the addition of Tim Wright. We even have Cameron [Brate], and those guys are good. That's why they're on this team. Like I said, it's a lot of things in position for us to succeed."
 
(On forging a relationship on Logan Mankins)
"That's what you have to do as a quarterback, because your job depends on it and they're job depends on protecting you. I love those guys. Obviously, relationships are going to build. I've been here for four months, so those guys are feeling me out and I'm feeling them out. But at the end of the day, now, training camp, we get to be on the football field and that's how you bond faster, when we start fighting together, when we go to war together."
 
(On if he's excited to see the speed of defensive players in the NFL)
"I'm just eager to play football, man. I just want to play. The game of football is the game of football. Obviously, competition is part of this sport."
 
(On if it helps to know from the beginning that he's the starter)
"It's not about that. It's about making this team better, all together. There's no one specific person. It's not taking pressure off me because I'm going to compete, I'm a competitor, and my job right now is to be the quarterback of this team."
 
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