Head Coach Lovie Smith
Linebacker Kwon Alexander
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
“It was good to get back on the practice field. (It was a) warm day, Tampa weather for us. We have all the situations in, but adding new plays, looking at different things we are going to do in all three phases. Beyond that, again, I thought the guys fought through it and finished up fairly well.”
(On the possible addition of right tackle Gosder Cherilus)
“Keep in mind, for me, we had him in for a visit. I went on to the practice field and now I’m getting off the practice field. I can’t talk an awful lot about him right now. I know you guys do a great job doing your work. You know all about him. He’s in for a visit. (Tackle) Demar (Dotson) went down. We needed some offensive line help. It’s good that a player like that is available. From my time in Chicago, we did a lot of research on him when he came out. Of course, I had a chance to play against him for quite a few years. Tomorrow I should be able to talk a little more about him.”
(On Dotson’s injury)
“Yes, we have the medical reports in, but I’m just not going into detail on things like that. He’s out. We brought another player in. You saw Demar is on crutches right now. He’s not playing this week. He is going to be out for a period of time. Hopefully not a long period of time, but he will be out for a while. To be truthful that’s about all I really know. Of course I know what the injury is and all that, but as far as what you guys need to know, he’s not going to be playing for a while and we have to move on.”
(On if Dotson’s injury requires surgery)
“No, now we are getting into more details. No, he doesn’t. Really, I don’t want to talk about Demar anymore. He is not going to require surgery. He is out.”
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander taking first-team reps at practice today and what he showed during the game on Saturday)
“Yeah, I did talk a lot and we have been talking about him for quite a while really. What happens when you make plays? You get an opportunity to get more plays. We are looking at different combinations. It’s what we are doing. We wanted to see him working with the different groups today. That’s what we got. We are very pleased with what he has done as a rookie. Rookies though have a long way to go to start. He’s doing some things to make us notice.”
(On the importance of bringing in a veteran right tackle)
“(It is) very important. We have a very good tackle that is down – veteran tackle that is down for a while. I feel like we need to replace him. That said, I think yesterday or maybe even today too, it was good for us that there was a player like (Cherilus) that that’s possibly available. Again, I can’t wait to leave you guys and ladies and go and have a conversation with (Cherilus), but it’s good to have a player like that still available.”
(On tackle Kevin Pamphile not practicing)
“Everybody that wasn’t working out there has some type of injury or something. Kevin has a sore tricep. It’s what kept him out. I think (Jacquies) Smith has a sore shoulder. From a game like that we have some bumps and bruises. Nothing serious for many of the guys, but if we held them out they have something that they are nursing. Hopefully they will be back before long.”
(On if Cherilus will come in as the automatic starter at right tackle)
“Again, you have to let me talk to him a little bit. I talked to him earlier. I want to talk to him, talk to our coaches a little bit more before I talk to you all. Tomorrow I’ll be able to talk a lot more. Right now I think you can see why I can’t say an awful lot.”
(On the young offensive linemen on the team)
“You have to have a first game for (tackle) Donovan Smith. He played against a good outside rusher. He got beat early on a (move) most tackle would get beat on that move – a great spin move by a 4-5 rusher. That’s tough duty, but I thought from there he played well. You need to see things for the first time. (Guard) Ali (Marpet), has been playing a lot against (defensive tackle) Gerald (McCoy). That’s helped him an awful lot, but you need to get to that first game and get those first game jitters out and see that you kind of belong a little bit. They are making progress. Again, the rookies, we like (them) and they are getting better each rep.”
(On helping safety Keith Tandy after having a death in his family)
“Of course he didn’t have to ask. We say we are about family. We were just concerned about Keith. Whenever you lose someone close like that, (it’s) tragic. I didn’t actually know him personally, but I know Keith. We just wanted to be there like we’ll be there if anyone in our program in times when they need support. I’m talking the entire team. Life has to go on. It was good to get Keith back here. Probably good for him right now to get back around his team.”
(On how quarterback Jameis Winston did at practice today)
“Out here today? He did some good things. Really most practices you are going to say he did some good things and there are some things that you would like to have back. That’s going to be pretty typical for most guys though at every position, especially at the quarterback position. Every time something isn’t happening that’s good for Jameis, there is something happening really good on the other side of the ball. I think we took the ball away three times in the game Saturday, but we didn’t have an interception and that’s not a good thing.”
(On ball security)
“A receiver occasionally dropping the ball, that’s going to happen. Once you secure it, that’s a different thing. We can’t have that. Looking on the other side though, I’m really pleased with how guys are going after the football. We had three the other night and they were all takeaways. We initiated it and it has to start out there on the practice field. Our offensive players know that. That’s why that shouldn’t happen.”
(On who is the second cornerback)
“Well, we have a group of guys. You just have to look at the group of guys we had there today. Right now, Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks are there. Mike Jenkins is getting the next reps and then from there, there are a group of other players we are looking at a little bit. Sterling (Moore) has done enough things on the outside to warrant getting a look and being able to compete at the nickel position. We wanted to get to a game and see where we are and then we wanted to start moving guys in hopefully their rightful position and he has deserved that.”
(On if he is working on improving special teams and how important the unit is to a team)
“Every day yes it can. I thought we had a couple decent punts the other day, but that phase of the game hasn’t been exactly what we wanted it to be. We would like to pin them down there and get field position and, of course, get us out of bad field position when that is the case. Return game-wise is too, that’s something we will continue to work on. We need to get more than we have gotten from it. The first game was average at best, but we’ll continue to work guys. We are working a lot of younger players back there right now. (Running back) Bobby Rainey can always return punts for us. We know exactly what he can do.”
(On who has a leadership presence on the team)
“You really want to talk about a lot of different guys, but on our football team you can pick out Gerald (McCoy), and (linebacker) Lavonte (David). You know why those two guys – I can tell you right now they will be voted captains again for us. When you have two in that leadership role, that is really good. From there you just everybody to do their job and lead when it’s their time. On the other side, no doubt it’s the reason why (guard) Logan (Mankins) is there and (wide receiver) Vincent Jackson. Those guys have been around, so the leadership has been established. From there, again everybody will take turns leading. If you are doing something good that someone is taking notice of, you are leading.”
LINEBACKER KWON ALEXANDER
(On his performance in Saturday's game)
"I had a pretty good game. I've always got a chance to get better. I'm just coming out to practice to get better. Today I was with the ones. So I'm out here grinding, man, trying to get my role and make the team better. That's it."
(On if practicing with the first team was different)
"Not that different. Usually I'm out there with the second team, so I was out there with different people. You're out there with all the veterans, people that have been playing the game. It's no different. I kind of fit in. You feel like you can fit in because you've got help out there, people talking. It's a good feeling."
(On if he watched Lavonte David's rookie season)
"No, I really didn't pay attention to NFL football when I was [in college]. I was just trying to get here. I was just trying to play my hardest and get here. Now I'm here and I'm working with all the vets out there and Lavonte is helping me every time I need help. With him, I'm glad he's like a brother figure to me and he's helping me."
(On whether inside or outside linebacker suits him better)
"I can play either one. Wherever coach wants me to play, I'm going to play. But the middle is harder because you're the key of the defense. You've got to call everything out so everybody knows their roles. Just talking is the key to the defense."
(On if he's surprised to be promoted to practicing with the first team after one game)
"I'm just happy to be out here, man, just happy to be a part of this team and playing NFL football. I'm just happy."
(On how much he wants to embrace it if he gets more chances to play with the first team)
"It's a blessing just to be with the ones. It's my dream – I wanted to come up here and start. I'm still trying to start, because the decision is not made. I'm just out here working, trying to grind and get better and better every day."
(On how the Bucs' scheme fits his skills)
"It fits very well. I love it. I love this defense and I'm glad I'm getting to play in it."