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19 August 2015

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2015

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
 
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Defensive Tackle Clinton McDonald
Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Safety D.J. Swearinger
 
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
 
(Opening statement)
“I thought that was our best practice. Overall, good work. It was the longest practice we’ve had. We needed to makeup some of the plays we missed yesterday. Great work all over the field, really – finishing up with red zone work and goal line work. The guys are focused, locked in and are doing a lot of things well. We know we have a game coming up. We need one more practice and then of course, we’ll start game planning a little bit. We can’t wait to play another game.”
 
(On the intensity of practice today)
“Yeah, a little chippy, not even enough to really talk about. Didn’t know you all would even notice it. It’s good physical play as much as anything. We have to be a physical football team. We talked about running the ball offensively. Once you get down on the goal line, we know what’s coming and the defensive side, of course, knows what the offense is doing. It’s good to see our players in a situation like that.”
 
(On safety D.J. Swearinger making a case to be a starter)
“He has been making plays maybe three days in a row or so. He had a good strip attempt in the game. D.J. is a good football player. It’s one thing for us to say you are a good football player. We do need to see production on the field and we are taking notice.”
 
(On the defense causing turnovers and playing more of his style of football)
“Yes, getting closer. As long as we see attempts as far as stripping the ball we’ll get our share. When the ball is in the air you just have to make sure you catch it and we had opportunities to intercept the ball a few times today and the guys finished the play. We have to win the turnover ratio. It’s as simple as that. It starts on the defensive side of course with taking the ball away.”
 
(On cornerback Alterraun Verner not practicing today and if it is injury related)
“No, he is excused for personal reasons. He’ll be back for sure tomorrow and he can go over exactly what is happening in his life then.”
 
(On the potential of quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans becoming a great duo)
“Well first, to talk about a tandem like that you have to have talent from both ends and we feel like, of course, Jameis and Mike have that. They need to play together for a while too. For these two guys to start off together at a young age and grow together, it’s going to be fun watching it all play out. Both are competitive and we have a good system, we feel like, to highlight some of their strengths. Again, they are a young combination just starting, but I’m anxious to see them take steps together.”
 
(On cornerback Sterling Moore playing nickelback and what he is expecting to get from the position)
“Through my time, the nickel position is at the center of the action a lot of times, so you need a playmaker. I know we need a playmaker at every position, but that position we ask him to do a lot. He’s part linebacker at times, part safety, part defensive back. You need to have a skill set that is pretty unique and he has that with his corner background. He’ll hit you. There’s another guy that made plays today. Again, you are going to get chances in there. You have to be able to make them when you get an opportunity. We haven’t been pleased with the amount of production we have gotten from the nickel position. That’s why we are looking for some different options in there also. In the past, we’ve had a nickel get five interceptions. He’ll have opportunities. They will have opportunities.”
 
(On tackle Reid Fragel and leaving practice because of heat related issues)
“I don’t know exactly what it was, but yes heat related. I don’t know exactly how bad it was, but shouldn’t be much. He made it through most of practice.”
 
(On tackle Gosder Cherilus in his second day of practice)
“I just know now that we are going to like him more and more each day. Yesterday, for a guy who had been out of football for a while, stepped right in. He’s going to bring good play at the tackle position. Also, the guys, (tackle) Donovan Smith has a veteran that he’s seeing how a guy that has been around the game prepares (and) how he plays. It has been all good. He’s blended right in with our football team.”   
 
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
 
(On if the chemistry between him and Jameis Winston is growing)
“It is. If we don’t hit something in practice, we’ll get it after practice. He’s been a great leader so far and he’s really adjusted well to the NFL so far. I’m excited.”
 
(On if he is excited to play at Raymond James Stadium on Monday Night Football)
“Absolutely I’m excited. Even though it’s a preseason game, it’s Monday night, we’re going to be in front of our fans, we get to put on a good display, get a good game-feel to start the regular season. I’m excited about this Monday night game.”
 
(On what he is hoping to improve on in the second preseason game)
“Maybe catch the ball or get open (laughs) – just getting the offense down more. We’ve got it down pretty good, we’ve got three more games to polish it up, but that’s pretty much it.”
 
(On his expectations for this season)
“To be much better than last year. I think we will be much, much better than last year.
 
(On if the improvements will be team-based or individual)
“Team first, then individually, I can definitely be better. (I can) make more plays. Last year I left some plays on the field. This year, I’m going to try to do better to make those plays.”
 
(On seeing his banner on the side of Raymond James Stadium)
“It’s a surreal moment. I didn’t know it was up there until one of our PR guys told me and I rolled home that way. I’ve seen it and it’s humbling. It’s great – I’m blessed, there’s nothing else to really say about it.”
 
(On how he is evaluating Winston)
“He showed in the preseason game (at Minnesota) that he’s very resilient. I think he’s NFL-ready and I think he’ll be a great player in this league.”
 
(On how good he and Winston can be)
“We can be special. If we put in the work and stay healthy, God-willing, then it’s possible. We could be great.”
 
(On how much more comfortable with the offense he is now as compared to the start of camp)
“Much more. We’ve got a preseason game under our belt. We’ve been here for two, two-and-a-half weeks, something like that and I’m feeling good about the season. I’m feeling good about this offense.”
 
(On Gerald McCoy mentioning that he has seen Evans watching films of other receivers)
“I’m mad he told my secrets! (Laughs) If I’m waiting, if I’ve got a couple of minutes of extra time, I’ll go in and watch other receivers games. Calvin Johnson, Dez (Bryant), I watch all the receivers. Things I can pick up, things to see what they did and see what I would have done in that situation.”
 
(On working out with former All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss this offseason)
“It’s a dream come true. He’s my favorite receiver growing up, so I had to go work out with him, I couldn’t say no. He knows a lot about the game, small stuff that receivers need to know. He taught me things that I already knew, but he enhanced it. I can’t really get into too much detail, but he helped me a lot.”
 
(On if he ever steps back and looks at where he is in his career)
“Yeah man, it’s crazy. It’s surreal, like I said. Seeing (Randy Moss) and working out with him, I just want to be surrounded by greatness and take all the knowledge that I can get.”
 
(On how important being great is to him)
“It’s very important, for my family, for myself. I’ve got the ability, God gave me this ability and I’m supposed to make the most of it. I want to be a great player to help this team, first and foremost. That’s pretty much it. I’ve got the tools, I just need to go get it.”
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLE CLINTON MCDONALD
 
(On if he can’t wait to get off the practice field and get back to game situations)
“Well, you always want to get in game situations but this is a part of it. A lot of people think it’s just a Sunday thing or a Thursday or Monday thing, but a lot of what we do on the field on those days involves these days here – getting our practice in and getting our film study in. So this is a big part of what we need to do.”
 
(On Coach Lovie Smith saying that changing practice schedules helps them deal with adversity)
“You do. You hop right out of the bed, get breakfast and come right over here and work. In the mornings it’s not a likely time to go out there and hit anybody, so getting our minds set on football early in the morning like that is a big strategy for us.”
 
(On practicing wet football drills in the rain and replicating that in practice)
“No, you can’t replicate that on a day like this – it’s a beautiful day right now – but that’s the type of games we’re going to run into, especially being down here in Florida and you never know where else we’ll travel where it happens to be a rainy or a wet or a muddy day.”
 
TIGHT END AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS
 
(On forging a connection with QB Jameis Winston)
"Yeah, it's a work in progress, me and Jameis are still working. I think you guys forget, he just got here and he's still working. We did a good job today and we're finding some chemistry, but we're still working. What is this, the second week, third week of training camp? I don't know, I've lost count. It's really early and we're just working all together, all just trying to get chemistry. All the guys that are in there are trying to get chemistry together when we're in there, so we know when we've got routes, we've got different concepts, what do we need to do for each other?"
 
(On if Demar Dotson's injury means more responsibility for him)
"No. We're all grown men. I'm pretty sure the guys who are to the right of me, or whoever's the right tackle, I'm pretty sure they're older than me. I'm pretty sure they've been here for a while. They're professionals too. Like I was saying earlier, we just all got here. This is a new offense we're all learning together still, and the guys that just got here or guys that need to step up in new roles are going to be guys that we gather around and help them do whatever they need to do and help them learn. But they're all intelligent guys, so we really haven't had to worry about that. It really wasn't that big of a deal. Unfortunately Dot's hurt. We really don't want Dot out; he's the guy. But those guys that are under him are working hard to."
 
(On how he's different this year)
"I think more so than anything I just feel more comfortable. I understand how to take care of my body, how to eat right. Just being on a routine – that's something my coach preached to me, getting on a routine and sticking to that routine and trying to capitalize [on it] and put days together where you're doing good stuff. You're not going to be perfect, but if you're making good positive plays and stacking them day after day after day…that's why I'm doing the same routine over and over again."
 
(On how he feels)
"I'm feeling good, man, I'm feeling good. I feel as good as anyone else that's been out here after that deal. But it feels good – shoot, it's 11 o'clock now and really the day's done with the physical activity part of it. We've got some time off and then we're going to hit meetings and a walk-through later, so we're good."
 
(On the role he expects to have in Dirk Koetter's offense)
"I'm not going to expect anything. The only thing I'm going to expect is that I come out there and play hard. I'm not worried about anything else, just play hard. Everything else will fall in place."
 
SAFETY D.J. SWEARINGER
 
(On what he brings to the team)
“Just bring hard work. I’m going to work hard every day, in the classroom and out here on the field. I’m going to jell with my teammates well and I’m going to try my best to lead and be an example for everybody.”
 
(On what he’s hoping for this year)
“I’m hoping for a successful season. Super Bowl is the main goal, but you’ve got to take one day at a time. Every day we’ve got to get better and as a full team, full group we’ve got to strive for excellence.”
 
(On if he sees himself kind of as a ball hawk)
“Not kind of as a ball hawk, I am a ball hawk. I see myself as a playmaker, first and foremost, whether it’s taking the ball out of the running back’s hands, jarring the ball loose or having to go get an interception, you’ve got to be a playmaker in this league.”
 
(On if his game applies to what Lovie wants in taking the ball away)
“Yes sir. And as a defender, that’s what you want to do. The coach shouldn’t even be having to tell you to take the ball away. If you want to be a great player, you have to take the ball away.”
 
(On if coming to Tampa has been a hard transition)
“Not at all. Football is football, whether you’re in this defense, that defense or the next defense. You’ve just got to take the coaching, study hard in the playbook and you can adjust to any defense.”
 
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