Print Friendly Version Convert to PDF Convert to RTF Related Assets
02 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2015

HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“The weather cooperated with us today, so it was good to get in a second practice. I thought we did some decent things last night, but today we were able to go through a full practice, grade individual work. We have a long ways to go. Offensively of course, I know most of you want to talk about (quarterback) Jameis (Winston). I thought he had a good first day. You can’t ask for a whole lot more from a rookie, his first true practice outside. I thought the receivers caught the ball well. We did some good things on the offensive side. Same thing with the defense. We made some plays. Guys were flying around with energy, which you would like. Great crowd. We appreciate that, the support we’ve gotten. Something to get our fans excited early on. It was a decent day to get it all started.”
 
(On plans for an indoor practice facility)
“We’ve had great facilities. Of course we are in a great facility right now. Our owners are always trying to make it easy for us to improve our ball club. I knew that was the case and in time we will get it. In the meantime though, we’re just kind of happy where we are.”
 
(On the importance of having an indoor facility especially with the weather)
“True. The weather won’t affect us at all then once we get our indoor facility, so of course that will be big once we do get it.”
 
(On if he is involved in any of the indoor facility plans)
“No, I coach our football team. I’m not involved in any of those. I trust our ownership group to take care of that and they trust me with our football team.”
 
(On when the team will practice in pads)
“A couple days. Today is what, Sunday? Once you get going with training camp, it’s a couple days we have to be in shorts and then we’ll get in pads. One more day and then we’ll go. We are always anxious to get in pads, but in time you do get in them. You need to go through this routine a little bit to kind of gradually work ourselves into that. Guys have wanted to hit for a long time. We wanted to see our players for a long time. That will come up before long.”
 
(On wide receiver Kenny Bell)
“Productive in college. We brought Kenny here because of some of that production. His speed, you are able to see some of it on some of the passes that he caught. Kenny can also do some things in the kicking game, whether it be returning punts or a gunner on our special teams. Like we talked a little bit about Jameis, is really his first true practice and he showed up. We always talk to our players about doing something to be noticed, and we noticed Kenny today.”
 
(On what running back Doug Martin can do to be the player he was in 2012)
“I don’t know about 2012 – and last year none of us performed the way we needed to. I just know Doug has been great through the offseason program. Seems like he is running hard out there right now. No complaints. Again, he, like the rest of us, plan on performing a lot better this year and he’ll get an opportunity to.”
 
(On if Martin will be a key factor to the offense)
“Definitely a key for us. We talked about being able to establish the run. Doug will be the lead guy doing that, so it’s very important that we open up some holes and let him do his thing.”
 
(On safety Chris Conte’s injury status)
“I should’ve talked, went over the injuries a little bit. I think Conte is the only. Nicked his hamstring a little bit. Shouldn’t be anything major, but we’ll hold him out for a while.”
 
(On cornerback Mike Jenkins’ injury status)
“Guys always deal with different things. Of course Mike dealt with a few injuries last year, but we’re just trying to get Mike back to Pro Bowl form. Mike has been a Pro Bowl player. He has excellent quickness, changes direction, he is a tough football player, and he’ll tackle. We ask a lot from our cornerbacks and we’re just excited to get Mike back on the football field. We thought he was really making progress last year. All season we saw improvement and he is getting off to a good start now.”
 
(On bringing back defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers and if he has seen a change in him)
“Again, it’s early. Once we get the pads on we’ll be really watching then. I know once you have something and it’s taken away from you and you get another opportunity, normally you see the best of someone and I like Da’Quan when he was he in the past. He had a couple games where he really showed up. We are giving him an opportunity. We are kind of locking him in position wise a little bit, playing him more inside, which we think will suit his talents a little more. Again, anxious to see him take the steps too.”
 
(On if he feels like he has the right edge rushers to be effective)
“We are always looking for players, but we like the group we have right now. You mentioned, (defensive end) Jack (Jacquies Smith). We didn’t know a lot about him. Of course, we picked him up late. We are looking for speed rushers, guys who can play on the edge, whether it be Jack, (defensive end), Larry English did some good things last year. We brought back (defensive end) George Johnson of course. He’s made plays and (defensive end) T.J. Fatinikun, when he got an opportunity last year. (Defensive end) Lawrence Sidbury (Jr.) we have here too. We have some guys that we would like to see exactly what they can do. They have traits that we look for and we think we are going to be okay at the position, but we never stop looking for players.”
 
(On if the defense can work if the majority of the pass-rush comes from the interior line instead of the edge)
“We need both of them. Just talking about our inside guys, we do have players that have played at a high level inside. We love what (defensive tackle) Clinton McDonald brings to the table. We just talked a little bit about Da’Quan. (Defensive tackle) Henry Melton: I’ve seen Henry play at a Pro Bowl-level. Of course, the face of our franchise in (defensive tackle) Gerald (McCoy). We feel very good about what we’re going to get, push-wise, playing the run, everything with it. That should still help the guys on the outside, also. No matter what, inside, outside, we need to be able to get pressure with those four guys and we think we’ll be able to.”
 
(On if his opinion of who should start at the guard positions has changed over the past few days)
“No, it hasn’t changed. It’s the same as when we started our offseason program. Same guys – we drafted Ali (Marpet) to come in and compete. Kadeem Edwards was there, didn’t get an opportunity to do an awful lot last year. Of course we have Logan (Mankins), Garrett Gilkey – we have different guys looking in. We have a group of players we like to see and again, lineman-wise, it doesn’t do me a lot of good to talk about them right now. They know what they’re doing and they run around and they’re athletic. We do need to get to pads and we’ll know a lot more. The positions and the depth charts will really make a lot more sense and mean something once we do that.”
 
(On if there is anything a player can do to change his position on the depth chart before the team is practicing in pads)
“Not really. (Knowing the plays) helps you get on the field. Offseason work, whether it be whenever you’re out of pads, you just put yourself in position to get on the field and show us what you can do once we get in pads. You have to be really bad – if we have you here right now, we want to get everybody and let them get into a position to do that. It’s just not the teamwork. We’re going to go one-on-one. Our offensive and defensive line every day will have work together. We video everything that they do, so we feel like we’ll be able to pick out exactly who should start, who should stay and we think in time, both of our lines will be productive.”
 
(On if any of the defensive tackles might play at the defensive end position in specific situations)
“I think it has to be a unique person that can do both of those things. Most quarterbacks can’t play running back and we just think, for us, I’m not going to ask Gerald McCoy to play outside an awful lot. Not going to ask (defensive ends) George Johnson and Jack (Jacquies Smith) and some of those guys to go inside, so we’re just going to try inside-outside guys and go from there.”
 
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DIRK KOETTER
 
(On how Jameis Winston is coming along)
"He's been working on everything.  I mean he's a rookie – he's working on everything. He's making progress. Remember, this is our second practice; we haven't even put pads on one time yet. Jameis is getting better all the time, he's working hard, he's going to be fine."
 
(On what he can see in Winston before the pads go on)
"Well, I'm really not too worried about him putting on the pads, but just learning everything, learning the system, command of the huddle. We're doing a lot of audibling, a lot of no-huddle. He's got to know a lot, and he's a rook, but he's handled it great so far."
 
(On rookie WR Kenny Bell)
"We really like what we see from Kenny. We like all those young receivers. I mean, how about Rannell Hall out there today? Rannell was making plays left and right. Those rookie receivers, we've got some good young guys. They're going to push those older guys for jobs here."
 
(On what he wants to see from Winston when he's in the huddle)
"Run the show. I want to see him run the show. I want to see him tell Evan Smith to shut up a couple times. [Laughs.] Not yet, but I'm pushing him to. No, Evan's a great leader in there, as is Logan Mankins. Just his command of it. Can he get it from the coach-to-quarterback system, can he get it in his ear, step in that huddle and run it like an NFL quarterback? He's off to a great start."
 
(On if it was important to make Winston the starter so he could take command)
"Yeah, and the other thing is our starters get about twice as many reps, so it's a rep situation. But that's important, that he's in a leadership position right off the bat. Even though he doesn't have to be our best leader, he has to be a leader because of the position he plays."
 
(On Winston balancing between avoiding mistakes but still firing away)
"Well, a 'gunslinger mentality' is good. It's a good thing to have. What we have to also have though is great judgment, because turnovers get you beat. So that's the fine line. We all have seen those quarterbacks that are going to check it down every time no matter what. We don't want that either, because turnovers get you beat the fastest but explosive plays help you win the fastest. It's a fine line right there; we're working on it."
 
(On if any players impressed him on Sunday)
"I was impressed – I'll say it again – I was impressed with Rannell Hall. Number 16 was my MVP today. But the running backs, I like all the running backs. They didn't get many chances today just because of how we were installing. And I think our tight end group is strong right now. Getting Tim Wright back, that's a strong group."
 
(On Tim Wright being a good third-down target with the Buccaneers in 2013)
"I wasn't aware of that, but like I said we also have Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] too. It's just a good group. We haven't really sorted out their roles yet. We have to see who makes it first."
 
(On Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
"I tell you, if Austin is healthy, he reminds me…I coached Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career. Our tight ends coach, Jon Embree, had Tony in Kansas City. Austin's talented. He can't have little nicks – now back surgery, that's not a nick, but soft-tissue injuries. If Austin can stay healthy we have very high expectations, and so does he."
 
(On Winston's willingness to ask questions)
"We meet with these quarterbacks forever, forever. So when we're on the field, and you saw we're practicing fast-tempo, I try not to say a whole lot to those guys. I'm trying to let them play. All of that stuff is in the meeting room, and Mike Bajakian, our quarterback coach, he's asking those guys questions. He's asking those guys 9,000 questions a day and doing the quizzing – 'What if this? What if this? What if this? What if this?' When they're out there, we like to play fast and then coach off the tape, so we don't say a whole lot to them on the field."
 
(More on Kenny Bell)
"Kenny's doing good. Kenny's off to a good start. That whole rookie wide receiver class is doing a good job."
 
(On if he can do things as a coordinator to protect young offensive linemen)
"Yes, absolutely. Whether they're young O-Linemen or old O-Linemen, if we need to protect them, you can't do anything if the QB is on his back. So that's something we'll work on. Now, right now we're just installing. We're not game-planning, we're not really helping anybody, but yeah, we can definitely do some things."
 
(On the right guard position)
"We're working three or four different guys. That right guard is an open competition. Garrett Gilkey is working with the ones right now but Ali's in there, Ali Marpet's in there. And Kadeem [Edwards] is also in there, 73. Those three guys are kind of battling for that spot right now."
 
WIDE RECEIVER KENNY BELL
 
(On if today’s performance in camp gives him confidence)
“Obviously, when you have a good day you get some confidence going, but like I’ve said this entire process, this is my first training camp. It’s my second day, really, practicing at camp in the NFL so I would never be boastful about it. I’ve got to go back tonight – I made mistakes, I’ve got to go prepare harder for tomorrow.”
 
(On if he felt chemistry with the quarterbacks)
“Anytime you spend 14 hours a day every single day with guys, you’re going to feel great chemistry with a lot of guys. So I’ve got faith – whether Jameis is throwing it or whether Mike or Seth are throwing it – I’ve got faith in everybody.”
 
(On hustling into the end zone to score a touchdown at the end of a play today)
“I think that’s just a Tampa Bay Buccaneer thing. I think that everybody on this team is determined to win football games so everyone’s willing to do that extra step and finish through the end zone, finish through the play.”
 
(On if he is comfortable catching passes in traffic)
“I have to be. If I want to make this football team, I have to be. The NFL's not just, ‘line a guy up and run as fast you can down the sideline.’ There's a lot of things I need to improve on. Catching balls in traffic is something that I would like to work on, and it's something I got a little better at today.”
 
GUARD LOGAN MANKINS
 
(On commanding more of a leadership role this year)
“I don't try to command it really, it just comes. It's nice that the whole group's been together for awhile now. We had a whole offseason together and now we're getting a whole training camp together. It just feels a lot better than last year.”
 
(On if he was motivated by a 2-14 season)
“Last year definitely motivates me, but I think it was just the whole process, to be here for the whole offseason, be with the guys, know the offense and be able to put everything I had into conditioning. I didn't have to worry about learning everything, about anything else except football, so it was a lot different.”
 
TIGHT END AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS
 
(On how he feels about the second day of training camp practice)
“You know, I’m just getting back in the feel of things and working hard. I’m just trying to keep getting better each day. And like Coach (Dirk) Koetter and Lovie Smith and Jameis and all guys on the team are preaching, it’s just keep getting better each day and being the better version of yourself and being better than the guy you were yesterday. So I’m getting back in the groove of things and I’m excited to be out here tomorrow in full pads as I’m sure you guys are, I’m sure the fans are, so it’s going to be an exciting time tomorrow.”
 
(On where he is at today as compared to this time last season)
“I’m 22 years old now. Last year I was 21. I was just coming in to play in the NFL; I had never played against NFL-caliber players. I’ve played against them for a year now, so I’m feeling a lot more comfortable. It was definitely a learning process last year in understanding how to take care of your body, how to do a lot of different things, how to pick up an offense and those little nuances of it, technique and whatnot. Now, if I do make a mistake, when I make a mistake, I can come back and make the right corrections, not next practice (but) next rep, you know what I’m saying? That’s part about being a pro and understanding how to develop, not just within the next practice, but within that (same) practice, taking coaching and (applying) it to the next play.”
 
(On having dealt with injuries last season)
“Injuries are injuries, you know? We play football, so everyone is going to get injured, so I’m not really going to talk about injuries. But I’m healthy and I’m working hard. I’m just working hard and having a good time. Things are going to happen: we’re playing football.”
 
(On whether he is excited that Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter places importance on the tight end position)
“Absolutely. I came into an offense in college where the tight end was really important. The tight end is going to be important; we have to make our plays, though. I don’t care how important a tight end is in the offense, you have to make your plays. When we have the opportunity to make plays as a group, we need to make them. So I’m excited about the opportunity we have and I’m relishing it and I’m enjoying it.”
 
(On the difficulties faced last season)
“Injuries is one part of it. Losing like the way we lost is the toughest part about it and you can’t be out there and you’re not yourself (due to injuries); you’re not the player you know you are. It’s frustrating going out there knowing you’re not the player you are at that point. I feel back to myself, I feel good, I’m excited.”
 
(On his impressions of quarterback Jameis Winston)
“He’s doing really well. It’s only Day 2. He’s going to keep working hard. He’s the first one in here, he’s the last one out. I have no doubt that Jameis is going to do his job and the all the rest of the quarterbacks are going to do their job to get prepared and get ready to play against Tennessee.”
 
###
 

< back