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06 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Guard Ali Marpet
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
                  
(Opening statement)
“These last couple of days, that’s not Tampa. Now today, that’s typical Tampa out there. These are the elements we play in. I thought the guys did a good job of staying focused, keeping their discipline. Sometimes you get a little tired, that’s not the case, but I thought we did some good things. We protected the football a lot better today, which is a good thing. On the other side though, defensively, these are the kind of days that you have to be able to come up with some big plays. Some of our young linemen, (guard) Ali Marpet, (tackle) Donovan Smith, each rep is helping them and we’re seeing progress each day.”
 
(On if there is a point when young players get it or is it always a slow process)
“It’s a slow process, but yeah, at different stages, different days, different times. What you want as a coach, when that light (comes on) and they finally get it, that (they) stay up there. That you don’t want flash. We don’t want a flash guy. There is a progression that we go through when we install things. We just don’t put everything in day one. Of course, today we were  able to put some of our move the ball stuff, calling it from different calls based on the down and distances that we didn’t know. All of this is to bring the guys along.”
 
(On if wide receiver Rannell Hall has made an impression)
“Yes he has. We’re calling him Speedy. Whenever you get a nickname and you are a free agent coming in, that’s a pretty good thing. We have noticed him, not just today, every day seems like he’s doing something – catching the ball. The more things you do, of course, it helps you. We’ve also see him back, as a returner, catching punts. We have noticed him.”
 
(On if it is expected for rookie quarterback Jameis Winston to have ups and downs during training camp)
“I think you can use any rookie’s name in that sentence. That’s part of it. Of course it is a lot harder at the quarterback position. He did some good things today. Again, every day we are giving him something different and it is all part of the progression he needs to go through. We are pleased with where he is.”
 
(On the addition of linebacker Sammuel Lamur who has played in the arena league)
“Outside the box thinking, when you have a little success with that you kind of go back to it a little bit – like (defensive end) T.J. Fatinikun, an arena league player. We are always looking – (General Manager Jason Licht), (Director of Player Personnel) Jon Robinson, the guys, our personnel guys are always looking for athletes that we think can fit in, so we are giving him a look.”
 
(On Marpet working with the first team today)
“Yes, just like we talk about Jameis or any of the young players, that’s a part of it, but it’s for us though, to get these guys reps. For Ali, there is no better place for him, I mean (defensive tackle) Gerald McCoy is on the other side. He’s having to get up the pace pretty quick. He did some good things out there today. I’m very pleased with where he is. Definitely not too big for him.”
 
(On center Josh Allen having wearing a boot at practice)
“At training camp everything is day-to-day. As we go forward we communicate the right way;, everything is day-to-day, he’s day-to-day. In a boot, of course, that is not a good sign. I don’t feel like it’s serious, but he’ll be out for a while.”
 
(On if having too much time to prepare can be a hindrance)
“Well, it’s definitely not a hindrance. We’ve known we are opening the season with them. You have an initial game plan for all your opponents you are going to play. Of course they are our first and you are paying attention a little bit, but right now we aren’t really paying attention to our opponents. It’s just us. We are trying to get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers better and that’s a fulltime job in itself. In time we will move to them.”
 
(On using radios and referees to simulate a more realistic game situation)
“It was OK, but you have to start that process a little bit too. That’s big, getting the plays out there, the communication, getting personnel, You are trying to get game ready and it’s a little bit harder at practice, as far, as take the defense, it’s hard to see the personnel and things like that. Just for the players coming on and off, listening, communication and not having your coach there giving you advice. We did, a situation like this, we want to see how guys handle it when they are out there by themselves. So we will learn a lot from this video.”
 
(On if he is expecting to show more things in the preseason because he has a rookie starting quarterback)
“As a general rule, I can’t really talk about what we are going to do or anything like that. You know that. I think just in general, we don’t do an awful lot. What we are trying to do in the preseason is get ready for the year. Part of that is being able to get a good evaluation and let us see exactly who players are. You can’t do a lot of game planning when you do that. We don’t want them to think an awful lot. Yeah, we’ll be pretty vanilla throughout.”
 
(On how much of the fan turnout has to do with Winston and how much has to do with the team in general)
“I think it’s a combination of both. There should be a lot of excitement when you have the first pick in the draft coming in, a local guy. There is a lot of Florida State people, a lot of Tampa Bay jersey, a lot of Florida State jerseys. A lot of it is Jameis, but I think it’s our football team too. I feel like there is a lot to be excited about. We are going to be a better team. That’s what we are saying and that’s what we’re going to do. We have educated fans. They see that also. There is a reason why there is excitement around here.”
 
(On the which major rule change concerns him the most)
“I can’t say ‘concerns’ us an awful lot. I think when you change what’s been done for years, I’m talking about the extra point – moving it back to the 15 yard line – having a defensive background, being able to score on the defensive side. You could never figure out why you couldn’t. In college you can. In high school I guess you can. The pros you can’t, so that little element should add a little more excitement to that play. People may not leave and go to the concession stand quite as soon now.”
 
(On the growth of tight end Austion Seferian-Jenkins)
“A lot. Last year when he came in he was injured, but we saw flashes. Whenever he’s been healthy, we’ve loved his play. That’s where we are at right now. He’s a big target. When we look for, nowadays tight ends it’s, ‘OK, can he catch?’ and it’s about how many passes. Austin can catch the ball, we split him out whether he is inline or out, but when he’s in, he can block. He’s a big man and he’s a big target. We’re excited. I know (offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter) is really excited and (tight ends coach) Jon Embree. We’re excited about what we are going to be able to do with him.”
 
 
(On if blocking is becoming a strength of Seferian-Jenkins)
“I think it has always been a pretty good strength for him. Again, times when he has been healthy, we’ve been able to see him and put him in those roles. We feel like, again, whether it’s outside or in. There are not a lot of true wide tight ends that can catch the ball out there anymore.”
 
(On defense tackle Henry Melton working as an edge rusher)
“No, same thing, training camp guys are going to be a lot of places. I think our defensive ends needed a blow.  That’s probably why we did that. Don’t look too much into that. Henry is an inside player for us.” 
 
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LESLIE FRAZIER
 
(On move-the-ball drills during practice)
"We had a move-the-ball period for our defense, our offense, I think for all of our team just to get in the flow of what a game situation will actually be like for some of our players. We'll just keep progressing that way. It's good to see some of our young players coming around, see a Kwon Alexander making some improvements, taking a look at a Jamal Young and some of the other players that are coming. Hopefully those guys will be able to help us."
 
(On if rookie DE Jamal Young is doing well)
"He's done some good things. Quayshawne Buckley as well, he's done some good things, Ryan Delaire. A lot of those young guys are fighting, and when you're undrafted like some of them are, it's a challenge to make the football team. But they're doing everything they can to make an impression."
 
(On if the young defensive ends have a real opportunity to make the team)
"Yeah, when you consider – and this was one of the selling points when we talked to free agents – we had one draft pick [on defense] this season, there's a chance for some of those guys to come in and make our roster. It was legitimate when we talked to their agents right after the draft."
 
(On if rookie LB Kwon Alexander has impressed)
"He has. We've really been impressed with how hard he studies and the way he prepares. He's done some good things here in practice, as well. From the point that we put the pads on we've seen improvement all the way through. Hopefully he'll just keep improving and we'll get a chance to evaluate him in our first preseason game in a few days."
 
(On if Alexander is one of the more athletic linebackers on the team)
"He's a very good athlete. He shows good range. The thing that's impressed us is his ability to play man coverage as well. He's not just a guy who can drop in zone. We think we'll be able to match him up sometimes on tight ends and running backs as well, and that's always a plus the way people spread you out today in the NFL. He's got some good athletic ability."
 
(On the options at safety)
"The fact that we added Chris [Conte], who's a proven veteran, a guy who's been a starter in this league, once he gets healthy the competition will really ramp up. Returning Bradley McDougald, McDougald will have another year under his belt. Right now he's pegged to start and we'll see what happens. Even picking up D.J. [Swearinger], D.J.'s done a good job for us, coming over from the Texans. We've really been impressed with his attitude, his work ethic. Major [Wright], of course, he was with us a season ago; he's working as hard as he can to work for a starting position. We've got some guys who should upgrade our safety position and who have a real good feel of what we're trying to get accomplished."
 
(On Sterling Moore currently practicing with the outside cornerbacks and not the nickel backs)
"Well, we're concerned about our depth at corner, so we wanted to create competition along with depth. He's played both. He started at nickel, he played a lot of corner a season ago, so he's capable of doing both. But right now we need the competition, we need the depth at corner."
 
(On CB Johnthan Banks)
"Johnthan really came on for us late in the [2014] season; he's kind of picked up where he left off over the offseason program and here in training camp as well. So we're hoping and expecting big things from Johnthan as he takes another step in the maturation process. He's doing some good things and we'll just see how he continues to develop."
 
GUARD ALI MARPET
 
(On getting his first chance in camp to play with the first-team offensive line)
"Yeah, today was my first time with the first team. I thought I did pretty well. It was a good change of pace."
 
(On if there's a noticeable difference between practicing with the first team and the second team)
"Yeah, going against Gerald [McCoy] was something else. If you can block him you're going to be able to block a lot of other guys in the league, so it's awesome having a guy like him against you every play."
 
(On practicing against Gerald McCoy)
"It is pretty huge. He got me a whole lot, but knowing that I can get him if I am technically sound is huge for me."
 
(On the process leading up to his running with the first team)
"I think it was a smooth transition. I know moving forward we're still going to be rotating at right guard and I know the position is up for grabs, but it was a smooth transition to start with the twos and then finally getting reps with the ones today. And again, I still have a lot of things to work on."
 
(On his chemistry with Jameis Winston)
"It's awesome having him in the huddle. He's such a competitive guy, such a positive guy. I'm dying, I'm sweating, I'm breathing heavy, and he's like, 'Come on, come on, get up, get up.' It's awesome having him in the huddle. He's a super-positive guy and it's awesome to have that."
 
(On coping with the heat)
"Today was the first bad day for me. I'm trying to drink as much as I can, but then I'm feeling water-logged. I'm getting used to it but it's definitely something else."
 
(On playing next to the six-foot-nine Demar Dotson)
"Having 'Dot' there is awesome and he's a terrific player. And having Evan [Smith] at center, he's such a smart player too, so having him talking to me is also huge."
 
(On the difference of the level of play at the NFL level)
"The biggest difference, again, is the quickness. The strength I've been able to handle, but everything is so quick, the whole game. It's just a lot faster."
 
(On if Gerald McCoy has helped him)
"He corrects some things. There are a lot of things technically that I need to clean up. Sometimes my base gets a little wide, and he's told me to shorten that up a little bit. He's been encouraging, and even though we're competing, he's still helping me out, which is awesome to have."
 
(On looking to Logan Mankins for guidance)
"He's been doing it for so long, he can anticipate everything. He can see the defense, and that's just something that comes with experience. If I can get inside his head a little bit and learn from him, that would be huge, because I would be able to anticipate a lot more and play a lot faster."
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
 
(On rookie offensive lineman Ali Marpet’s performance practicing against starters today)
“I think he has all the makings to be a really good guard in this league. Obviously he made some rookie mistakes, but that’s to be expected. Overall, he definitely has what it takes to be a starting guard in the league.”
 
(On what he has seen out of the team that he finds encouraging)
“Young guys just stepping in, not complaining, not worrying about making mistakes, just doing what’s necessary to get Ws. And as far as the vets, just leading by example with how they practice, how they come in and come to work every day and, honestly, nobody’s complaining. Just showing up and going to work and going home. That’s what we do.”
 
(On when he began studying the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line in preparation for Week 1)
“When the schedule was released. That’s when you start studying. You can never start too early.”
 
(On the competition for the second starting defensive tackle spot)
“Competition next to me? I mean, it’s a competition across the whole line. Nobody has a starting spot. It’s just day-in and day-out the rotation switches. We even saw (defensive tackle) Henry Melton play some (defensive) end today. It’s just – you try to see who can do what and guys who are hybrids, it’s going to be huge for us. In the Tampa 2, especially under the Lovie Smith, that’s been huge, ends that can play outside and inside, inside guys that can play inside but then go outside if necessary. So the competition has been pretty good, just going back and forth with everybody competing.”
 
(On safety Bradley McDougald)
“I mean, Doog, he comes to work every day. He’s one of those people on the defense that you need. (He doesn’t) mind throwing his face in there whenever necessary and always willing to do extra. Never complains, just goes to work, and you can see him improving every day.”
 
(On his impression of quarterback Jameis Winston thus far)
“Jameis is Jameis. I mean, he’s been that since he was in high school. People have been saying he’s going to be a star for the longest (time), and he proved it in high school, came in, did it at Florida State – he’s not going to do anything different in the league. Every day I come in – I come in pretty early, in between 6:30 and 7:00 – he’s already in the locker room, working on his abs, doing his core work with one of our strength coaches. I mean, already. That means when I walk in, he’s already in the (middle) of it, that means he’s already been in, changed clothes, done everything necessary. Then he gets to meetings early, does everything he’s asked off the field as well as on the field. He puts in all the work necessary and has all the tools to be a great quarterback, so I think he’s going to do the same thing he’s been doing, and that’s be successful.”
 
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