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12 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Running Back Doug Martin
Wide Receiver Louis Murphy
Safety D.J. Swearinger
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“Today was kind of a hump day a little bit. Tomorrow we will look at Minnesota a little bit. Traditionally this day in training camp, guys kind of look forward to it a little bit. We pushed them pretty good. It was probably the longest practice we’ve had. The most team reps we have given them to try and simulate the game a little bit more – hitting situations (and) finishing-up, of course, with the two-minute drive at the end. We are making progress. Injury-wise, we have a couple of bumps and bruises, but since I don’t have to give an injury report or anything like that I won’t go into detail.”
 
(On the defense looking good at practice today)
“For periods of time yes, anytime you can take the ball away. (Linebacker) Danny (Lansanah) had an opportunity to probably get three (interceptions). He got one. We will talk to him about those other two. It’s about taking the ball away. I thought our offense rebounded well at the end.”
 
(On if he would like quarterback Jameis Winston to have an opportunity to execute a two-minute drive the first preseason game)
“In a perfect world, yes. In a perfect world, some time. We have other preseason games. It’s not (that) we want to get it all in the first one, but he will hopefully get a two-minute drive in sometime during this preseason. You can’t script it completely, but that’s why you have to put him in situations like this. We see when there is a sack or something like that. (It’s about) operation, as much as anything. He did make some good throws. He’s put together a few good days. It seems like he’s taken a step to being a little bit closer to where we want him to be.”
 
(On if Winston is the type of player who corrects himself before a coach has to)
“No doubt. Most quarterbacks though do. Very seldom do you find an NFL quarterback that doesn’t know whether he should have held the ball. Sometimes you try to force balls in there, but for the most part they do know. That is definitely the case with him. It’s hard being perfect at the quarterback position. I like to think if that’s happening – I’m more on the defensive side than congratulating a guy and making a good play.”
 
(On if he would like to see Winston be more conservative)
“We want him to just execute the plays. Sometimes there is more risk involved to it. You’re not going to play quarterback if you are not willing to let it go. Sometimes you have to let it go into tight pockets, tight windows, but you have to be willing to do that. We just want him to execute our plays and he is doing that.”
 
(On third-team players who have impressed him this week)
“I try not to talk a lot about individual guys. We’ve had different guys make plays. We’ve talked about the receivers down the line. All of them have had their days. Running back, when you are not finishing plays is kind of hard with them even though we only really have one young running back. For our linemen we have discussed them each day. They go one-on-one each day, so we see them in situations we need to. As a defensive back, you get your opportunity. There is a group of young players that we would like to see and you will see them get some quality reps this first game.”
 
(On guard Ali Marpet taking reps at center before practice and the importance of being able to slide over to center as a guard in the league)
“More things you can do. We are going to dress seven (offensive) linemen and it’s good. The more guys you have that can do things, play multiple positions that’s going to help the team. Ali, when you are a young player you don’t know all the things you can do. It’s about us giving him an opportunity to see what he can handle. Right now, everything we have given him he’s been able to handle it. We are pleased with our young guys.”
 
(On what he wants to see from running back Doug Martin as the regular season gets closer)
“We would just like for him to continue what he has been doing. We have all taken notice. It seems like he has a little bit more bounce to his step, running with more confidence and he needs to. It’s an important year for Doug, for our football team, for us to establish the run game. Doug is our starting tailback. We talked about the commitment to the run. He’s done it before, there is no reason that he can’t do it again.”
 
(On punter Karl Schmitz getting extra reps and why the team brought in another punter)
“I’ve always talked about if someone is available we want to bring him in and compare him to what we have. We need to improve our kicking game. Our punting hasn’t been what it needs to be, so we will continue to look at different guys. At the same time, (punter) Mike (Koenen) has done some good things for us. We have an idea what Mike can do. We want to see what else is available out there. When we bring a guy in, we want to put him kicking against the wind for quite a few, kicking with the wind. We’ll keep putting him in those types of situations.”
 
(On how frustrating it was not being able to use tight end Brandon Myers last season)
“Last season, what wasn’t frustrating? Keep in mind too, Brandon is a good football player. We have some weapons over there and (tight end) Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a heck of a player. There are only so many balls that can go around. Everybody has a role. His role is to be in the background a little bit and whatever we ask him to do – whether that be the single tight end in passing situations, in-line tight end, special teams work – he is just a valuable player that can do a lot of things for us.”
 
(On what advice he would give his young players who may get star-struck during their first preseason game)
“There is no great advice you can give them except ‘There is a reason why you are here.’ They prepared themselves the best they can for this opportunity. Now, you have to be able to perform in the NFL. I think coming here they know. They work pretty hard to get to this (point). Normally, if you know what you are doing, your talents eventually take over in that game. From what I have heard from most players during their first game they get out there and it’s football. We have been playing it and we have had success playing it throughout our lives and that should continue as long as you know what you are doing. For rookies it’s more about the mental part of knowing what you are doing so we can see exactly who you are.”
 
RUNNING BACK DOUG MARTIN
 
(On the last time he has felt as healthy as he does now)
“In my rookie year.”
 
(On what he can do to have a successful season)
“I just have to take care of my body. If I take care of my body and stay in my playbook, I’m going to be just fine.”
 
(On what he sees for the year ahead)
“The sky’s the limit. We have a lot of potential going through this year with this team and we have a lot of weapons and a lot of guys with fire in them who want to be successful. I just can’t wait to get out there with them.”
 
(On having so many fellow offensive playmakers around him)
“It feels really good. All the weapons on the field, who wouldn’t want that? It’s just, like I said, a lot of guys with fire and a lot of passion for the game. Guys who want to come out here and get better every day, and (those are) the guys I want to go to war with, so I can’t wait.”
 
(On what he expects for the preseason)
“Preseason? Well, we get to play against another team, so no (holding) back. We’re not playing against each other so that’s going to be fun.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER LOUIS MURPHY
 
(On if missing time set him back)
"As far as conditioning-wise, yes. But other than that, I feel good. I was training real hard this offseason. Unfortunately an accident happened but you've got to roll with the punches."
 
(On depth at the receiver position)
"I think we've been working really hard this offseason with our coach, Coach [Andrew Hayes-]Stoker, and I think a lot of guys are buying into the system that Dirk [Koetter] has. I will say that our group is much stronger."
 
(On playing the slot position)
"In this offense, everybody can make a play, from the running backs to the tight ends to all three receivers. Sometimes we spread it out and go four receivers, or five with empty sets, too. It's a very explosive offense. Dirk Koetter is one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL."
 
(On the size advantage of the Bucs' receivers)
"I think it's a big advantage, especially with smaller DBs. Mike [Evans] is 6-5, Vince [Jackson] is 6-5, I'm 6-3…I think it is a big advantage for us going against 5-10, 5-11 DBs. It is definitely an advantage."
 
(On how to succeed as a slot receiver)
"You have to be very dependable on third down, because they're trying to double-bracket guys on the outside and they leave the middle of the field open, thinking that the third receiver the weaker receiver. So you have to be keyed into blitzes, pressures, knowing if you're hot or not hot, and just being a playmaker. You might not get a chance on first or second down, you might come in on third down, but you've got to be ready to go."
 
SAFETY D.J. SWEARINGER
 
(On how his camp is going so far)
"It's going well, every day, taking one day at a time. I'm jelling well with the defense, getting right with my defenders, my defensive teammates and all the offense. We're just trying to get better as a whole team, and we're doing a good job of it."
 
(On being the quarterback of the secondary)
"It's the safety's job, period, free safety or strong safety. You're the last line of defense and you've got to be that safety valve. You've got to let everybody know what's going on. You've got to let them know all the alerts because you can see everything that deep. That's something that a safety has to be. It's just being the last line of defense, knowing things before they happen or alerting [others] to things when they come up."
 
(On if he felt behind coming in off waivers)
"It's all football. This is the third year I've played and this is my third defense, so it's been like this every year for me, just learning the defense and getting comfortable with it. That's what practice is. Your study habits have to be at an all-time high and you've really got to critique yourself and listen to your coach."
 
(On if it takes a while to get comfortable in the defense)
"You've just got to take it one day at a time. I've got a lot of things to work on but I've also done well on a lot of things. You've just got to keep going."
 
(On being able to show he's a hard-hitter more in games)
"Most definitely more than in practice. You want to hit, but you've got to protect your teammates. Saturday, a lot of guys will be able to see a lot of hitting and a lot of contact. I'm just ready to play real football."
 
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