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04 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Quarterback Jameis Winston
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
                  
(Opening statement)
“As you can see we changed up the practice schedule a little bit with a 9 o’clock practice. Eventually you are going to get a little bit of heat around here. Before the guys have a day off we wanted to give them a longer block to recover afterwards.  We continued to put in situations. We got some of our third and short-yardage situations in today. Just looking at practice overall, good by the defense of course, you get a couple more take-aways. Offensively, we will continue to talk about protecting the football more.”
 
(On the defense during the run period)
“They had their moments, but offensively we did too. If we’re going to be a good running football team, we have to keep their emphasis on it. We have new guys – Bruce Carter moving to our Mike linebacker position. There are a lot of fits he has to get on. We are getting some things taken care of.”
 
(On Carter moving to middle linebacker)
“When you say the term didn’t play middle linebacker – they’re pretty similar. You have two guys at, pretty much, A-gap or B-gap. They’re basically inside linebackers. We talk about our Will and our Mike linebackers and again most of the stuff we’re doing he’s familiar. He’s had to flip the terminology a little bit. Once you get in position, you know what you are doing. He has range, he can catch the football, so we are going to call on all those things.”
 
(On cornerback Alterraun Verner being healthy in camp this year)
“That’s the key. Last year he got behind a little bit with the injury. He’s got his weight down. He’s in good shape. The injuries aren’t an issue. Now we are just able to see the good football player that he is. He has good hands, great quickness, and again another year in the system of him knowing exactly what we want him to do, so it was good to see him finishing a play.”
 
(On tackle Donovan Smith taking first-team reps today and what the team wants him to continue to work on)
“We think, in time, run blocking and of course one of the reasons why we drafted him is his athletic ability to play that left tackle position. You have to have a special guy doing that. I was with seven-on-seven drills and I didn’t actually see the one-on-one work today, but I’m told that he did pretty good with that. In time he will get better and better each day. With our young players, especially with the linemen, we’ll be rotating different guys in and eventually want to be kind of solidified on what five we are going to go with.”
 
(On his first impression of safety D.J. Swearinger in pads)
“He’s been okay, but keep in mind we’re not doing a lot of finishing of the play. I’m talking about tackling and things like that. It was good to see D.J. get a pick yesterday. I think it’s on record that he’ll hit you and we think we have an idea of what he’ll do once we get to that point. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and we’re taking notice.”
 
(On if getting Swearinger is almost like having an extra draft pick)
“Well, he was a higher draft pick and he’s a young football player. You can never have too many good football players, especially at the safety position. The way we play our safeties in the box, I think just about every year I’ve been coaching, about our fourth safety has started a game. You need good players at that position. We feel like we have two we feel comfortable with.”
 
(On the competition at the safety position)
“Just heating up right now, starting out. It’s hurting Chris Conte not being out there, but that will play out. You want to go to training camp and have a few guys at every position that you like. It’s like that with a couple guys. The safety competition is moving right along.”
 
(On safety Bradley McDougald and why he smiles whenever McDouglad is mentioned)
“I’m going to have to watch myself when I (smile) now. I didn’t realize I was doing that. I get excited about good safety play. (Former Buccaneers safety) John Lynch has spoiled me on that. We think McDougald, in time, can be a pretty good player. We like the way he finished at the end. He had a good interception during the last game of the season. I like the way he played man coverage against New Orleans, against (tight end Jimmy) Graham at the end. We think he can do a lot of things, but he’ll need to pick up right where he left off last year.”
 
(On quarterback Jameis Winston playing more conservative after throwing two interceptions)
“As a general rule, you always want to push the ball down the field, but if it’s not open there’s a second and possibly third read to go to. The checkdown is normally part of that. As we continue to go, that’s what we will want our quarterbacks to do every snap – if it’s not there and you don’t feel like you can get it in there, live to play another down, check it down. There is nothing wrong with getting positive yards. Young quarterbacks – as a general rule – positive yards are a good thing. In time all those things will come. We talk about Jameis and a lot of talk about him today, he needs to go through all of this. We are giving him different looks every day. We’re asking him to do different plays every day and he is bouncing back. You saw the Ronda Rousey fight. Most of those fights, both (fighters), you are going to get hit. You’ll hit some and you’re going to get hit some. That’s how it goes. It’s a quarterback. That’s life.”
 
(On bringing three quarterbacks to camp as opposed to four)
“You know how a lot of teams do it. If you just look at how we and why we do it this way. Jameis will get the majority of the reps. Mike (Glennon) needs to get every other rep and our third quarterback will get a few. To us three is more than enough.”
 
(On if the defensive end position sometimes takes time and multiple chances before players can be productive)
“Now that’s how it normally turns out. Every player coming in isn’t a high pick that you know about and you expect him to be a really good defensive end in the league right away. I’d say most of them come through it the other way, where you don’t know a lot about them, you put them out there and you see that they kind of takeoff. When we’ve T.J. Fatinikun a lot of reps, he has really come through. Go back and look at that Detroit game last year. I just think in time, he can be a pretty good rush on the outside and when you have the flexibility to play some special teams too, you can see him being on our roster.”
 
(On if the additions in free agency will help the pass rush)
“It should help us. We talk about the T.J. Fatinikun’s and the (defensive end) (Jacquies) Smith’s, but I know what (defensive tackle) Henry Melton can do. (Defensive end) George (Johnson), that same Detroit game, it’s vivid the way he played against us. Those are good football players added to a pretty good line so we expect and not just expect it, we have to have it. The pressure is on our defensive line. We talk about that always. For them, they need to play dominating ball. We think we will be able to do that.”
 
(On if incorporating blitz packages in earlier than usual is just as much for the defense as it is for Winston)
“It’s great that it’s for Jameis as a quarterback, but we’re doing that – I’m talking about blitzes and things – just to get our packages going, to play the type of defense that we need to see. We need to play of course. We got to see it out at practice. We have a couple periods each day where it’s just blitz stuff coming at them which can be tough. As far as the line movement and things like that, you just look at the type of athletes we play with. We don’t have a lot of big guys, so it’s about speed and quickness and letting all of our defensive linemen, every snap has a possible three-way go. Yes, you should see quite a bit of that. We think they will be pretty good at it.”
 
(On the leaders that are emerging on the team)
“Yes, every team has to have leaders come to the front and that normally is the case. I think, specifically, you have to have a defensive lineman and an offensive lineman be leaders that you talk about. That’s why we have such a good locker room, because we have (defensive tackle) Gerald McCoy on the defensive side and we have (guard) Logan Mankins on the other side. It starts with them and it trickles down from there. Yes, as coaches we are in a leadership role, but it’s about the players and that group. Starting off with those guys, we are going to be a certain way.”
 
(On if 10 sacks by a player is an important goal for this team)
“Yes, I’m kind of looking that way, because I hadn’t really thought an awful lot about it and that’s totally unacceptable for us. When we talk about getting pressure with our four-man rush, a part of that normally says that one of our outside guys has to have 10-plus (sacks). That’s the standard for an outside pass rusher – 10 plus sacks. We haven’t played the type of defense we need to. As we become a better defense that will change. We have some guys capable of doing that though.”
 
(On if he and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier sat down after last season and looked at what they could implement to this year’s defense to get more pressure)
“Well, you evaluate what you do every year. We, Coach Frazier, our defensive staff did that of course, like we normally do. Again, how are we going to get more sacks first is the four-man rush. From that we can do an awful lot of things. Yes and of course I can’t really talk about what we are going to do, but trust me, we realize we didn’t get enough pressure last year and we’re going to do some things to make it better this year, whatever we need to do.”
 
(On why it’s so important to get leadership from the offensive and defensive lines)
“They are the enforcers. First you talk about being a physical football team. It starts upfront with the line with everything we do. Guys want to talk a lot about Jameis, but it’s about protection him being able to sit in the pocket. Everything, running the football starts with the line, up front. Defensively, you’ve heard me. I haven’t talk a lot about the back end. I’m talking about pass rush – four-man pressure. That’s why it’s important. They are the big guys. They are the toughest guys are on our team, so it’s natural that they would be the main leaders.”
 
QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
 
(On how the first days of Training Camp are going)
“It’s going good. We’re overcoming adversity. It’s the first day we’ve had the sun out here behind us. Today was a very energetic practice.”
 
(On not letting interceptions affect his practice)
“You have to get better every single day. No one is perfect and that’s the thing about football. You have to find your corrections and make adjustments.”
 
(On if he plays conservatively after throwing interceptions)
“It’s snap and clear. Snap and clear. It’s football.”
 
(On balancing his rookie responsibilities with also being the starting quarterback)
“The main part is play football. Just because you are a rookie doesn’t mean you can’t play football. Obviously, you have to have a positive attitude and you have to know your role with the veterans and respect them, but again, we are out here to play football.”
 
(On taking command in the huddle)
“With the guys it’s all respect. When I get in the huddle guys calm down. After the plays we might chat it up a little bit to see the type of adjustments we need to make. Other than that we are just out here having fun. It’s Day 4. We’re excited and we’re ready to get into the season.”
 
(On if he gets the feeling that this is his team)
“No sir, I don’t believe it’s my team. It’s our team. It’s my role to play quarterback for this team right now. We have some great leaders and we have some great guys surrounding me. That’s the only individual part that I can play. I play quarterback right now, but we have a great team. This is a ‘we’ team, not a ‘my’ team.”
 
(On how much of a learning experience it has been for him so far)
“You have to learn every day. You just don’t learn on certain things. You learn every day. Even good plays you learn. Obviously, the goal is to get better every single day and make adjustments – get better off your mistakes, and even get better off your accomplishments.”
 
(On adding in blitz packages early on during training camp)
“Absolutely, that’s football. One area of my game that I think I have been good at is against blitz. These guys are flying around. First day of pads, yesterday, was very exciting. We were happy the rain was able to hold off for us and just get after it.”
 
(On the difference in the last couple of days with blitz packages)
“It’s just new. Coming out here, excited. You are going to make some mistakes. The thing is to bounce back and to keep moving forward. You don’t think on the negaitves. It’s about getting better every single day.”
 
(On who on defense has stood out to him)
“Everyone is good. That’s why it’s the NFL. It’s not about the negatives, it’s about the positives.. It’s about getting better every single day. It’s about the wide receiver connection. It’s about jelling with the offensive line. It’s about getting the protections right and becoming a complete football team.”
 
(On if the speed of the game is what he expected)
“Absolutely, it’s football.”
 
(On the biggest adjustment he has had to make thus far)
“The biggest adjustment is just checking the ball down. Sometimes you have to nickel and dime down the field and make quick decisions.”
 
(On the importance of getting the majority of reps)
“The more reps you can get, the better you can become. I think that we’ve been getting better. On every single down and distance we get better and the situations I’m able to get by getting the majority of the snaps helps me out a lot.”
 
(On his chemistry with the receivers)
“I just have to get it off to the receivers first, because there are so many guys in different packages. We have a couple rookies out there going with the ones and they are playing all these different types of positions. It’s more difficult on them than it is on me. The fact that they are able to learn all the routes and the concepts playing different positions is very impressive.”
 
(On interacting with young fans)
“One of my big motivations is I have a seven-year-old brother who is about to be eight in a couple of weeks. Those little kids, it’s fun to impact them and be able to affect them in a positive way. Being out here, being energetic, being a kid myself, kids can relate to that. I know that because I have a little brother and we all were kids (once). It’s exciting to see someone that you look up to have fun with you and be able to kind of connect with you.”
 
(On his relationship with wide receiver Kenny Bell)
“Kenny Bell is my roommate. I think me and Kenny Bell probably have two incompletions this whole camp. Obviously it’s great to have your (teammate) staying with you, that way we can study together, we can prepare together and make explosive plays on the field.”
 
(On who has been the most impressive player out here)
“It’s everybody. I have to give it out to the offensive line and the wide receivers, because they are learning so many things at a fast pace, whereas quarterbacks we sit in out meeting room and go over and over and over, but these guys make adjustments. Some guys get mixed in with the ones – thrown into the fire. Those receivers, man, all the rookie receivers: Kaelin Clay, Donteea Dye, even Rannell Hall and Kenny Bell. Those guys are doing great. Even Adam Humphries. For them to be able to play the X, the Y, the Z, the F – everywhere on the field – it’s very impressive.”
 
(On watching Peyton Manning)
“One thing about Peyton Manning is he is very effective and he is very consistent. Anytime I can be able to watch a prolific quarterback as he is, it means a lot to me. It helps me actually view what greatness is.”
 
(On what he is studying when watching Peyton Manning)
“I’m studying everything. I’m studying everything, whether it is tendencies or right now we’re preparing against our defense. Obviously game preparation will be different. I’m just trying to get better every day and I’m out here enjoying myself. I’m having fun and trying to compete the best I possibly can.”
 
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