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20 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Tackle Demar Dotson
Wide Receiver Louis Murphy
Center Evan Smith
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“I know the players probably feel like they have been in camp for a long time. It’s definitely the case. We are starting to wind down a little bit. When you know you only have a couple more opportunities going through the schedule of training camp, you are trying to finish strong as much as anything. The last couple of days have been pretty competitive. It has been pretty competitive throughout camp, but seems like the further along we get you are seeing more and more competition. Guys realizing in the end we have 90 guys here and we have to get down to 53, so you need to do something to prove that you belong around here. Good work we are getting in. Of course, we can’t wait to play the second preseason game to see marked improvement in all areas.”
 
(On if injuries on the defensive line are a concern)
“There is concern when guys aren’t practicing, but they are just nicks which, I guess, is a positive. They’re not going to be out for long. The guys we have out, (defensive ends) (Jacquies) Smith, T.J. Fatinikun, those guys need to be out there practicing, but that’s training camp. You just have to build in your thoughts that we are going to have some guys that are going to miss some time. Keep them in it mentally, which players are doing, and they will be back before long.”
 
(On if there are defensive interior linemen who can play on the edge if need be)
“Yeah, but we’re just filling in when we do that. There’s a reason why we have those guys inside. They are not exactly what we are looking for on the outside. Their strong suit is playing inside. At the same time, on game day we normally dress about seven linemen. You need someone to be able to swing. That’s what we are doing now. You take an opportunity, if you have a couple injuries during the game, this might have to happen. Just like with the rain. We might have to come in. All these things you practice knowing that during the course of the year you are probably going to have to use this plan.”
 
(On what it meant to have service members at practice today)
“It was great of course. Being in Tampa, you know where they are and know what they do for us. Whenever we can says thanks and just let them come out, enjoy – they protect us always and now we get a chance to entertain them. We look forward to that though. We take the national anthem seriously, when we stand at attention to start games. We are trying to practice everything that we are going to go through throughout the course of a year. It was good to have them out there and hopefully they enjoyed it. It seemed like they did.”
 
(On the message he gave in the huddle after intensity picked up between the offensive and defensive lines)
“The message I gave to the team - it’s training camp. A few little things happened. It’s not even worth talking about. Too much is being talked about little things like that. I’m talking to the team always.”
 
(On running back Bobby Rainey getting a few more carries at practice and if Smith saw anything special form him)
“No, I think it’s the same thing you normally get is what we saw from Bobby today. He’s pretty consistent, whether it be ‘Bobby go back, return punts’ or out of the backfield run the ball first and second down. He can do an awful lot for us. I like him being on our football team.”
 
(On if Rainey fumbled more than Smith would like last season and if he has shown improvement this year)
“Any fumble is one too many, so yes. Of course, we can’t have those fumbles. If we were thinking about the past an awful lot, we could be pretty upset with that. Since we’re going forward, we like what Bobby is doing right now.”
 
(On cornerbacks Sterling Moore and Isaiah Frey rotating between nickelback and outside corner)
“If you are the nickel, same as we talked about with some of the defensive linemen, you need to be (versatile) with the nickel positon too. Nickel can also play a little bit of corner. Right now, Sterling has done both. We want to let Isaiah do it. (Cornerback) Leonard (Johnson) has done both too. Again, we are just trying to get as many good combinations as we can and let it play out that way. We have been pleased with what Sterling has done there. Yesterday, of course, he showed up a lot more. In the first week you are there you get a couple picks, we take notice at that.”
 
(On what it meant to have former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp at practice today)
“It’s always good to have one of our all-time greats, one of our Hall of Famers back. It’s good for the guys to see him. He normally heads toward the defensive linemen. Again, when you are a Hall of Famer who loves this team it’s always good when he shows up around here. Hopefully he kind of likes what we are doing around here.”
 
(On when the team will start watching film on Cincinnati)
“For the preseason as a whole when we say game plan everything we do is getting ready for Tennessee. When we say game plan, yeah we will look at them a little bit. It’s not like we are going to spend five or six days going over the Bengals. We know them. We played them last year. Right now in training camp it’s just about reading your keys and playing ball, winning the one-on-one battles. We are going to focus on that. We talk about game planning, it’s more of that what we are talking about a little bit. You like playing a football team like the Bengals in the preseason because they are committed to the run and some of the things I think you need to do to be fundamentally sound heading into the season. We can’t wait to play them and I think (reporter) Ira (Kaufman) let me know that we haven’t won a home game yet around here, so we’re excited to try do something about that also.”
 
(On tackle Gosder Cherilus after his first few days with the team)
“We’re very pleased with adding a player like that. At the same time, this is his first week of training camp. That’s how we are looking at it for him. He’s a pro. He’s a veteran who has been around the game. He knows how to prepare. He knows what is at stake and how long he has to get himself ready for Tennessee. Just a good addition to our locker room and our football team.”
 
(On Cherilus’ conditioning)
“(It’s) pretty good. Pretty good. I told him we don’t have a dome around here. That’s the only place Gosder has played. He was working out and you can tell that. He hasn’t had any problems as far as the heat or anything out there right now.”
 
(On if Cherilus has had any problems with his knees)
“How long has he been playing? No more (problems) than any other linemen that has been in the league. Your knees hurt you every once in a while, but he’s practiced every day we’ve been out there and he’s not on the injury list, so we are pleased with that.”
 
(On the importance of facing strong defensive lines in the preseason when evaluating his young offensive line)
“I think that speeds up the process quite a bit. Keep in mind what we have. Of course (Bengals defensive tackle) Geno Atkins is a great player coming in here this week, but our guards go against a great player every day. To go against a different style, a different lineman with different moves, yes all of that helps you. That’s why in the preseason we don’t do a lot of all-out tackling here. We want to get that type of work to prepare for the season from our preseason game. As you can see we are playing more in the preseason than we probably played in the past.”
 
(On how he will feel about the tackle position once Demar Dotson is healthy and with the addition of Cherilus)
“I’m feeling a lot better about it. If we are dressing 46 or whatever, we want to be able to feel good about all of them playing and us not dropping off. We liked our tackle position before when everybody was healthy and to add a player like that has to strengthen our club. That’s the case. We will always continue to look for players. If we see someone that we think is an upgrade we will go with it. He’s an upgrade.”  
 
TACKLE DEMAR DOTSON
 
(On how he's feeling)
"I'm doing better. It's not an ACL tear; that's good news. I was afraid of that. But a lot of people have prayed and I appreciate everybody's prayers. That's good news, and hopefully I get a chance to come back out here within six weeks or so. That's the plan, and I'll be rehabbing like crazy so I can come back here and finish the season."
 
(On his rehab)
"It's really light right now because I can't put a whole lot of pressure on it. It's just been like icing and leg lifts, things like that. I think next week we're going to start getting into the pool and start walking on it."
 
(On the swelling on his knee)
"It's going down. It's much better than it was when it happened. It's still swollen now but it's coming down."
 
(On how he can help Gosder Cherilus get up to speed)
"I think Gosder, he's working so hard. He's meeting every morning with the assistant O-Line coach. He's putting the time in, he's putting the effort in. He's a pro. He's been around for a long time – I think it's like his eighth year – so he's going to do what it takes to get himself prepared to go out there and play at a high level. He's doing everything that he's got to do, and I think Gosder's going to be okay."
 
(On his emotions just after he injured his knee)
"It was tough, but I really thought it was going to be worse than what it was. But I'm a guy that's strong in faith, so whatever would have happened, I would have been okay. It's just good news to me that it's not a whole-season deal. I get a chance to come back out here and see what happens."
 
(On what Jameis Winston did well in the game)
"He was competing. A lot of things didn't go his way, but the one thing that he kept doing was being positives, even through mistakes. And our offensive line didn't always do great, but he stayed positive. That's the one thing that you see about him that he is: Even through any mistake, he's going to come back to the huddle and be positive and believe in himself that he can go back and make a play."
 
(On Winston bouncing back from a sack to make a nice throw)
"That's the kind of kid he is. He's going to always be positive no matter what mistake that he makes. He's going to be able to come back and believe in himself that he can make a play. We've got much confidence in him and he's got confidence in himself. That's the main thing."
 
(On how disappointed he is to be missing time due to injury)
"I don't know if it's disappointing because it's something that I couldn't control. I know God's got a plan for it and I've got nothing but trust in Him. It's not really disappointing for me because I know that something good's going to come out of it. That's what I believe. Whatever it takes, that's what I'm going to do to get back on this field."
 
WIDE RECEIVER LOUIS MURPHY
 
(On what he's looking for in the second preseason game)
"You're looking for if we make some major jumps, just improve in all areas. That's a big game for us, just to see that improvement from Game One to Game Two."
                                                       
(On what Military Appreciation Day at camp means to him)
"It means a lot. I grew up in a military home, my dad's a marine, a retired marine. It just means a lot [to honor] all the guys and women that serve our country, that give us our everyday life."
 
(On if having military guests puts things in perspective)
"Yeah, it puts everything in perspective, especially when you saw the guys come out today when we did the national anthem. Some guys lost their legs; there were like three guys with one leg. I'm a fan of those guys, for them putting their lives on the line for us every day."
 
(On what the offense wants to improve)
"Just execution-wise, as far as no mental errors on our behalf, and just going out and playing a clean game. We want to come out and play a clean game and really execute our game plan that we put in place."
 
(On if he is eager to see how Jameis Winston 'rebounds' from Game One)
"I'm just anxious to see him play at all times. I don't know what you mean by 'rebound;' I don't think he had a bad game at all."
 
CENTER EVAN SMITH
 
(On how the line has come together with the lineup that was out there today)
“We’re doing well. We’re down some numbers right now, so we are getting a lot of rotation. A lot of guys are getting a lot of reps. It’s good for everybody to get out there and get all those reps, get all that work. We had a pretty good day yesterday. We had a pretty good day today. We still need to clean up some mental stuff, but physically we are going out here and getting better every day.”
 
(On what made the last couple of days good)
“You guys know how hot it is. Guys are out here. It’s hot. We’ve been fighting through it. Like I said, our numbers are down a little bit so everybody is going to have to take a little bit more reps. I know everybody has to get ready to play in the game, but this early on in camp it’s tough when all of a sudden your numbers get that low. Like I said, physically everybody has been improving. The mental part, we’re getting there. It’s getting better and we have been working on it every day.”
 
(On if he expects to play more on Monday given the depth at this point with players out)
“I’ll leave that up to the coaches. I’ll just go out there and hit people until they tell me to stop.”
 
(On guard Ali Marpet’s progression)
“He’s doing good. For me, I remember when I first got in the league and I was a (Divison) 1-AA player, kind of coming in to better competition and stuff like that. Once you start playing and he gets to play against (defensive tackle) Gerald (McCoy), he can realize he can play at this level. The game was good for him to go out there and play too, because you get live game reps. It’s just that experience is only going to help him. He’s doing a good job with making things better every day. Like I said, the physical part we’ve been coming out here and everybody is getting better at something every day. The mental part is the part where everybody needs to start picking it up a little bit more.”
 
(On tackle Gosder Cherilus)
“(He’s) a big experienced veteran. The guy has played a lot of football – first round draft pick. He knows what he is doing out there it’s just mentally he has to catch up on all the installs, he has to catch up on the offense. When he goes out there he does a good job. That’s what you expect from a guy of his caliber. For what he is bringing to the table we really enjoy it. It’s a really nice change-up to have somebody come in and show some of the young guys what a veteran looks like – some veteran stuff. In that aspect I’m really enjoying having Gosder around and then he’s a really good teammate.”
 
(On if it was encouraging seeing tackle Demar Dotson on the sidelines)
“I see him every day. Yeah, it’s encouraging. He’s in good spirits. He’s working hard. We all wish him the best and we hope to see him back soon.”
 
(On how responsible does he feel to help Marpet get comfortable at the right guard position)
“A lot. One thing as a guard is you have to trust your center. As a center you have to trust your guards. Right now we are working on that rapport. He’s been doing a really good job, but I think he’s coming to learn that when I say I’m going to be where I’m going to be he can trust me to be there. The more comfortable he gets with that the easier it’s going to make it for him to play. He’s been doing a good job with all that.”
 
(On setting the tone at home on Monday night)
“Since I’ve been here I don’t think we have won a home game. That’s something I want to change really quick. It’s something that I have talked to my guys about and it’s something the fans deserve to have.”    
 
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