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22 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Quarterbacks Coach Mike Bajakian
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“(Facing) the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night. We had a great game – I guess on their part it was a great game – last year. I thought we played hard. We know what type of football team they are. It’s good to play a football team like this: tough football team, committed to the run, plays defense. We realize we haven’t won a home game around here in a long time. The guys had a good week of practice. Good practice today. I’ve been in Tampa a few years, this is about as hot as I’ve ever seen it around here, but the guys made it through.”
                              
(On the report that Smith will assume defensive play-calling responsibilities this season)
“I’ve been involved defensively every year I’ve been a head football coach. Some years, I’m more involved than others. Kind of as simple as that. I’ve been in the same role, been doing the same thing since training camp started, so I don’t really see that being much of a story.”
 
(On if Smith calling the defensive plays this season is a change from last season)
“I’ve been involved in some form every year I’ve been a head football coach, some years more so than others. This year, with our situation on the offensive side, I can be a little bit more involved on the defensive side.”
 
(On how much playing time the starters will get in Monday night’s game against Cincinnati)
“The first game, you want to play them a little bit. We played our offense a little bit more this past week (against Minnesota). For the second game, traditionally, we play into the second quarter, so most of our guys will play at least into the second quarter. Again, since we don’t do a lot of tackling in our practices out here, we use those preseason games that way. So at least about that (length of playing time for Monday).”
 
(On if the team and quarterback Jameis Winston need to have a better start against Cincinnati)
“Yes, Roy (Cummings, Tampa Tribune reporter), we’ve been around each other for a while, I can see. You’ve got the ‘start fast’ down. And that’s what we want to do. We have to as a team. Of course Jameis is a part of that. Last time we played Cincinnati (last season), we had a fast start defensively – got a takeaway on the first play of the game. So, yes, as a football team, we need to start faster. We had one turnover last (week). We don’t want to have any turnovers on the offensive side. We want to really win that turnover ratio.”
 
(On how much playing time tackle Gosder Cherilus will get against Cincinnati)
“Realistically, being a veteran, we’re going to play him some. He won’t start probably for us, but we want to get him some reps, just like the first day that he was here. We put him in there and got him into the mix. We’ll kind of see what type of condition he’s in as we’re going through, but we want to get him some quality reps with our ‘ones’ (starters).”
 
(On getting younger players more playing time against Cincinnati)
“First we want to get our starters, the guys that are at the top of the depth chart, we want to get them the extra reps. From there, with our top guys getting as many as they’re going to get, we’ll kind of see how it goes for the rest of the players.”
 
(On who will replaced injured defensive end Jacquies Smith in the starting lineup)
“Who will more than likely (start)? We’re kind of working through that right now. We have somebody in mind, but I haven’t told him, so I’ll wait. Are we talking tomorrow? No? You’ll see him at the game then.”
                     
(On any changes in the special teams unit)
“Yes, we’re planning on – and really it’s that way for everybody that we have. If there’s competition at a position, we want to give everybody the same opportunity, so we’ll play those guys an equal amount of time – at any position, special teams and all. We need to definitely make improvements on our special teams from last week.”
 
(On linebacker Bruce Carter playing outside linebacker)
“He is more comfortable out there. What we’ve seen (is a) veteran guy that looks like – it’s not like it was a big deal moving out there. It’s not like he was out of his element, being outside. He’s a skilled athlete. When you have new players, you have to just kind of work to try to get them in the best spot, so we’re going to give that a look. He and Danny Lansanah will both play with the ‘ones.’”
 
(On linebacker Danny Lansanah’s interception to end practice)
“That’s what he normally does. He’s of course intercepted more passes than anybody, I think, since I’ve been around here. In situations like that, you need to come up with a big play. For us, as a football team, we didn’t finish enough games last year. That’s good, finishing – if you’re on the defensive side of the ball.”
 
(On wide receiver Rannell Hall)
“He’s an undrafted free agent – it seems like every day he’s practiced, though, he’s done something that we’ve liked. He had a hamstring injury earlier that held him back a little bit, but we’re ready to get him out there and see what he can do.”
 
(On the improving timing between Jameis Winston and wide receiver Vincent Jackson)
“I’ve noticed that. Every day, for Jameis, there’s a lot he needs to see and a lot of balls he needs to throw between them. It seems like he gets a little bit better (each practice). Jameis is more and more comfortable in the pocket. Again, we need to give him some protection and we think he can do some things.”
 
(On Winston’s connection with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“Yes, all three of our receiver (positions) and we don’t want to forget about the running backs  - we have a lot of good options if we can get into position and get more plays: third-down conversions, converting on the offensive side and the defensively of course getting the ball back.”
 
(On how Seferian-Jenkins has improved since last season)
“I’ll just say overall growth in all areas. First, coming in and being healthy, being able to improve on some of those things. He’s worked his body to get in pretty good shape. Then, if you’re a good football player and you’re healthy and you take coaching – which he does – the sky is the limit. We’ve seen him improve. He’s had a couple drops, most guys do, but he’s a better blocker and we really feel like he can be a good pass-catcher in this league.”
 
(On linebacker Kwon Alexander and how comfortable Smith is with him as the starter)
“We put him out there with the starting unit. We’re not going to put anybody out there we don’t feel comfortable playing. Kwon has done everything we’ve asked him to do, but he’s a rookie. There are a lot of plays he needs to see. Step two (is) coming up.”
 
QUARTERBACKS COACH MIKE BAJAKIAN
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston’s first preseason game)
“How he managed the line of scrimmage, how he managed the offense was what we asked him to do. Obviously you would like to have a couple of the throws back and the interception, but overall his communication with the rest of the offense, his command – like we talked about since day one – of the huddle, of the line of scrimmage was very good. Then obviously he bounced back after throwing the interception. He led that drive down for a touchdown and scored with a good play.”
 
(On what he wants to see from Winston during the second preseason game)
“Progress. Again, making some of the throws that he missed and being on the same page with his wide receivers and tight ends. Things like that and playing the pitch and catch game. Obviously, continued progress in management of the offense and just overall, general improvement. (There’s) a couple things physically he can improve, but again, every day he’s coming out to work. Every day he’s getting better.”
 
(On how impressed he was of how Winston handled the fast-paced offense at the end of the half)
“He’s sharp. Going up tempo, going two-minute, going no huddle, that’s not an issue for him, because he can process information very quickly.”
 
(On how fast Winston has picked up the offense)
“He works hard at it. I would say, again, I don’t really have a baseline to compare it to but I would say compared to other guys, he’s picked up the offense quicker than I anticipated he would.”   
 
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