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07 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Cornerback Johnthan Banks
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
                  
(Opening statement)
“We are doing some good things. As I talk about good things, that’s saying that one side of the ball didn’t do as well, but that’s how training camp should go. Defensively we preach take the ball away of course, as much as anybody. It’s good to finally see us getting out some of the footballs, whether it be through interceptions, of course creating turnovers off of fumbles, whatever. A day like today, it’s about the time we’re going to be playing the Tennessee Titans to start our regular season so we need to get ready to go and fight through it when it gets a little hot this time of day. Injury-wise we have been in pretty good shape, injury-wise. In order to get better guys need to be practicing and were pretty much getting that right now.”
                
(On if he likes the way players are finishing on the defensive side of the ball)
“We don’t like it if we don’t see that at the end of every play. We tell our running backs all the way to the huddle coming back to secure the ball and we let our defenders, you can be on the sideline if you see a guy running by, we want them poking at the ball. That has to help our ball security on the offensive side. It’s about the turnover ratio.”
 
(On having rookie tackle Donovan Smith and guard Ali Marpet working with the first-team today)
“I’m back and forth. I haven’t seen the video yet, but I just know that our rookies have been doing pretty good. Donovan and Ali both have been, whether it be one-on-one drills where they are isolated (or) getting into the huddle, of course, with the ones. We’re bringing them along and they are coming along fairly quick.”
 
(On if defensive tackle Henry Melton has been a vocal leader on the defense)
“Yes he has. We don’t need anybody coming in and being very vocal. Mr. (defensive tackle Gerald) McCoy takes care of most of that inside. What we needed Henry to do – come in, give us some quality reps, especially in passing situations, but we want to be able to do more than that. We are pleased with how he has been so far. We know Henry can rush inside. Whether we play him a little three (technique) or wherever, we feel comfortable with him doing it.”
 
(On if he can see a progression in cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks in their  second year in the Tampa-2 defense)
“No doubt we have. Whether it be, Alterraun last year was nursing a hamstring coming off of it, missed a lot work, but he is out there now. He has excellent quickness, very bright, and when you are very bright and have a year to really dissect what we are asking him to do. Johnthan Banks, of course made some good plays last year. We like (cornerback) Mike Jenkins, what he has done and of course (cornerback) Sterling Moore. We are trying to be as deep as we possibly can. It’s just not about the guys that are starting – at least two deep where we feel good throughout our football team.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s learning curve)
“He gets it. Since him coming out we’ve talked a lot about how bright he is and all that. That’s the case. He knows what to do. That’s the first part for all players to get in position. Defensive guys – know your gaps, know what you are supposed to do Then you can play fast. Of course on the offensive side and with Jameis, he knows what to do. Now, that hard part of taking that next step. He’s thrown good passes, but he is still a rookie and we realize that. We just want him to improve on something each day and that is what he is doing.”
 
(On if Winston still has learning what to do in regards to his play recognition)
“Yeah, you are right. That’s a part of it also. It’s not like we are going to change everything he has done completely. You are always tweaking what somebody does. If you look at the NFL – 32 teams – every quarterback does something a little bit differently. We are fine-tuning some things with Jameis, but we are with Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, (linebacker) Lavonte David. I think that’s constant where you are looking to improve the technique where someone can be more productive.”
 
(On what he is seeing from his edge rush)
“We like what we’ve seen and of course in the offseason there is no contact. What you never get a chance to see, and you definitely won’t see it out here, is a defensive end finishing a play. I’m seeing them beat linemen from time to time, but it’s about, a lot of times, even though you could beat them, how do you get that quarterback down. Quarterbacks are getting bigger and bigger. To answer your question, we like where we are. You can never have too many good pass rushers.”  
 
(On how an experienced receiver like Vincent Jackson can help a rookie quarterback)
“When you’re a young player and you get in the huddle with him and you see that he has confidence in you and he’s doing everything possible to get you going, and then from there a veteran player like Vincent wants someone to be able to get him the football. Jameis can do that, but still, experience teaches you an awful lot. There are some things Vincent can help him with that we as coaches can’t, and that’s what they’re doing. But that’s why we’re talking about developing relationships in our locker room just in general. And as a whole, not only Vincent, but Alterraun Verner, Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy – there’s a lot that the defensive guys can do, so. And not just, again, helping Jameis, but helping all of our young players coming in.”
 
(On if he sees a balanced attack coming together)
“I see it coming together, but in order for us to win games you have to have a philosophy on how you want to win games – and the run has to be a big part of that. To be a tough, physical football team it has to be about the run, and not trick-em runs – you see us running ‘Power O’, leads – there’s no trick-em involved in that. We’re coming right at you. Of course, every day we’re in pads you’ll see us go a 9-on-7 drill. Defense knows we’re running so you’re going to see that every time. The only way you develop toughness is to keep doing that. They’re going to be times when the defense knows we’re going to run the football and we have to be able to do it.”
 
(On if he’s noticed Winston’s work ethic rub off on fellow rookies)
“I don’t think they know any different. As a rookie, you don’t set the tone at all. It’s based on what the veterans and what our locker room is about beforehand, and they don’t have a choice. As far as a rookie we haven’t noticed him – and that’s a good thing, for the most part. Besides them standing up and singing in front of the group from time to time, we don’t really know that they’re here, at least (as far as) being a rookie (is concerned).”
 
(On playing music at practice and who makes the song selections)
“Evidently, you didn’t like the selection today (laughs). The reason why – most games, you know, they’re not played in silence and we have to be able to concentrate when there’s noise around us. Also, sometimes you need something to get you going a little bit, so whether it’s The Mamas and the Papas or Tupac, starting off with California Dreaming – first song of the offseason – to California Love – Tupac, to Otis Redding – Change Is Gonna Come – it kind of gets you going a little bit. And who picks it out? Like we do most things, our captains pick it. If you didn’t like the music today talk to Vincent Jackson.”
 
(On wide receiver Robert Herron)
“Robert has excellent speed and quickness, you notice that right away. He’s had nagging injuries but he’s out there making plays. Yesterday, he had a couple great plays. He’s a good slot player – it’s a tough combination when you’re not quick and fast (on defense). In the past maybe you’d like for him to hold on to a few more balls, but that’s what he’s doing. Again, second year anywhere, in the system – whatever – you should see marked improvement and we’re seeing that with Robert.”
 
(On having more national media at training camp this year and if he sees it as a distraction or that the team is on the radar)
“We’re on the radar and as far as a distraction, no. You know, as I talk about the music, we want that. You need to have noise around you and still be able to focus and once we start doing what we’re supposed to do, there should be more attention placed on us and we need to be able to handle it. For us it’s just going to practice, trying to have a successful play and whoever’s there we’re excited about them being here to see us.”
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On bouncing back from interceptions)
“It’s not about that. It’s about learning. It’s about getting better every single day. Sometimes you have to make mistakes to get better from them. Luckily, this is practice and that’s what practice is for.”
 
(On his interception early in the practice session and what he saw with that)
“Just single high. I gave my man a shot and the other guy – I mean, those guys are good over there. But like I said, it’s not about that. It’s about going out there and competing, it’s about getting better. Obviously it was three, two and one, and, you know, hopefully it’s zero.”
 
(On getting into a rhythm after mistakes)
“You know, it’s competition, so if you make a mistake you have to bounce back. That’s one thing about being a good quarterback; you know, snap and clear. I never let one thing hold me down. It’s about moving forward. It’s about the guys seeing me bounce back, what are they going to say? ‘This guy, he’s ready, he’s going to fight for us.’”
 
(On whether he feels he is improving on a daily basis)
“Absolutely. I have no choice. We are installing new plays every single day. Different reads, different progressions and I’m throwing to different people all the time. So I have no choice but to get better every day. If I chose to take a day off, it wouldn’t be smart.”
 
(On how quarterback-friendly he would consider Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter’s offense to be)
“Very. It’s very quarterback(-friendly). It’s about explosiveness. Obviously Coach Koetter, his resume speaks for itself. He’s had a couple great quarterbacks in David Garrard and Matt Ryan and some other guys and, especially Matt Ryan, that guy is amazing. So, definitely, I would love to follow in his footsteps.”
 
(On pressure living up to the standard set by Matt Ryan in Koetter’s offense)
“No pressure at all. That’s the thing about this game. You have to compete, you have to apply yourself and you have to go out there and play. That’s the fun part that y’all don’t get to experience, is the playing part. When we’re out there playing, we’re out there enjoying it and loving every second of it.”
 
(On working on opening his hips and improving his mechanics as a quarterback)
“Well, just mechanics, opening up (my) hips so I can get my shoulder open on throws to the left. I’m just working on everything specifically, you know. You can’t really jump on something right now. I’m just trying to get better and better every single day. One thing might be my drop, another thing might be hip and another thing might be having my ball up. As a quarterback, you have to continue to want to get better and continue to improve on things just so I can be at the higher level of playing.”
 
(On interacting with the young people who come out to training camp)
“I love it. I have a seven-year-old brother who is about to be eight next week, so I love just giving back, seeing the smile on their face. I know if I was a young buck at this age, I would love to come out here and get Gerald McCoy’s autograph, my autograph, Vincent’s (Jackson), and all the other guys’ autographs, so it’s exciting.”
 
(On how he feels the area has embraced him since being drafted to Tampa Bay)
“I’m very pleased, but it’s my job to keep doing good and it’s my job to keep the fans loving us. Obviously I love this city, I love being here. It’s very exciting; this is an insane time for me right now. I’m 21 years old, living my dream and getting a chance to play great football in a great city.”
 
(On developing chemistry with the receivers)
“That’s really what it’s about. I’m not throwing to Mike (Evans) and Vincent (Jackson) every single rep, you know? It’s about getting other guys, giving them opportunities to be able to make this team. Those guys, obviously, are great guys, and you can’t really develop the chemistry you need to with one person because everybody’s getting thrown into different positions. That’s why I always have to commend the receivers on that aspect of them learning every single route, every single concept and going out there and trying to perform their best.”
 
(On the tight end group)
“It’s always great, surrounded with the explosive guys we have on the outside, to have great tight ends like Austin (Seferian-Jenkins), Brandon (Myers), Luke (Stocker), Cam (Brate) and Tim (Wright). When you have five great tight ends, it’s good to matriculate the ball to everybody around you. So that’s exciting.”
 
(On having rookie wide receiver Kenny Bell as a roommate)
“It’s amazing. Late night I have him up studying. We have to go over that (practice) script before we go to sleep. He’s a great learner. He’s always try to learn something from me, he’s always trying to learn the concepts and not only his route. That’s why I always commend the young receivers. These rookie receivers and even the veterans who are new to offense as well, are learning different positions where they probably would have never learned those positions in another offense.”
 
(On what he feels he needs to work on to prepare for the first preseason game)
“You know, everything. One thing about the preseason that we as a team are excited about is that we get to play football against someone else. That’s always going to be exciting, to go and compete against someone else. Right now, we’re thudding, we’re being as physical as we can, but at the end of the day we don’t want to hurt anyone out here, so when it’s time to play preseason, that’s when everyone will be flying around and energetic.”
 
(On how late he stays up studying)
“It depends. Like tonight we will probably stay up until 11:30 because we get up early, but, other than that, I’m probably up until 1:30 unless I have to get some sleep.”
 
CORNERBACK JOHNTHAN BANKS
 
(On if he has carried his 2014 improvement over into this year's training camp)
"I think I have. I'm growing. I'm still growing, learning how to ball. I'm just buying into the system and coming out here and having fun. I'm confident in myself and my abilities and that's carrying over, allowing me to make plays and letting me be successful in this game."
 
(On how his camp has gone)
"I think I've had a good camp. I've been out here competing. I got an interception today. I've been out here competing every day, and that's all I can do, just come out here and work. That's all I know; it's instilled in me – come out here and compete and have fun."
 
(On his interception)
"I kind of misjudged the ball a little bit. I had the guys stacked, but Jameis has a big arm man. You can misjudge his balls. It kind of went over my head but I'm a long, tall, lanky guy. God blessed me with these long arms and I was able to make a play. I think I made a great play on the ball."
 
(On if Jameis Winston telegraphs his throws)
"Oh, no. Jameis, from Day One of OTAs to now, Jameis has gotten so much better. I was telling the boys in the locker room that he looks like a totally different guy. I'm confident in him and confident in his abilities. He's a smart kid. He's a 20, 21-year-old kid out here competing with 24-year-old guys. I think he's doing an outstanding job and he's going to help us win a lot of ballgames."
 
(On how much more he understands the defense now as compared to a year ago)
"It's so different from this training camp to last year. I know the defense, I know what Coach (Leslie) Frazier, Coach (Gill) Byrd, Coach Lovie (Smith), I know what they expect from the defense, I know what they want. It's just so much easier to come out here and actually compete, have fun, fly around and make plays."
 
(On if this camp is fun)
"It is. I'm having a lot of fun. I told my wife, 'Honestly, I've never had fun in a training camp before.' Training camp's not supposed to be fun. I'm an older guy now, I know what to expect. I know how to come out here and I know what I'm doing. I want to win a championship. I'm having fun with it. It's not a right that I get to play, it's a privilege and I take that to heart. I just thank God every day for blessing me to be able to do this."
 
(On how he feels after making a good play in practice)
"That's a confidence builder, coming out here and picking off these guys. That builds confidence, gives you hope, gives you a little swagger about yourself. Coming out here getting picks against guys like Mike (Evans), VJax (Vincent Jackson), first-tier guys, that gives you a lot of confidence."
 
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