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19 March 2018

Transcript: Ryan Jensen & Vinny Curry Media Availability

CENTER RYAN JENSEN
 
(On why he chose to sign with the Buccaneers)
“It was a whirlwind experience the last week now, almost. There were quite a few other teams that had come in and wanted me to sign with them and stuff like that. Ultimately I chose Tampa because I felt like it was the best fit for me and I’m excited looking at the roster and stuff like that. I’m excited where this team could go and where I’m excited to lead this team.”
 
(On if playing center was a priority in his decision)
“There was a couple of different teams [offering different positions]. There was a mixture of stuff, but I felt my fit here was better.”
 
(On the Buccaneers’ facilities)
“It’s awesome. It’s a beautiful facility. Being in Baltimore the last five years, it’s very comparable. This building is beautiful and the facility is beautiful.”
 
(On free agency ‘recruiting’)
“Coming in to free agency, I had never gotten recruited before. I wanted to make sure I chose the best place for my family and ultimately it ended up being Tampa.”
 
(On his playing style)
“I see myself as a ‘tone setter’ up front and that’s the way I play the game. Some people say I play the game like they did back in the ‘80s and I take that as a compliment.”
 
(On how he modeled his game after)
“There’s a lot of guys. [Jon] Runyan who played for Philadelphia for a lot of years. Watching him and being with Juan Castillo for the first four years of my career, he would always go to him [Runyan]. He played that nasty type of game. That’s where I started my basis on how I wanted to play.”
 
(On why he was able to play at a higher level last season)
“There’s a lot of different things that go into that. This last year I really came into camp in the best shape of my life. I think that played a big part in it. I’m looking forward to stacking on top of that.”
 
(On ‘playing nasty’)
“The story with Haloti [Ngata] the first day of training camp, I just went in and it’s one of those things where you pick the fight with the biggest and baddest guy on the team and you go with it. I get that style from my college coach. I was an undersized guy going into college, 230 pounds my freshman year of college. I ended up having to start playing tackle at that weight. The only way I could survive was to play nasty and play physical and play through the whistle. That’s definitely where I kind of got that style from.”
 
(On the Buccaneers’ young talent)
“It’s a young team with a lot of talent, a lot of young talent from what I’ve seen. [We] just signed back Mike Evans, who is a playmaker. It was exciting. Looking at the offensive side of the ball, I feel like we could be a dangerous team.”
 
(On if he has had a chance to meet any of his teammates)
“I went to dinner with Ali [Marpet] and Donovan [Smith] on my trip and they seem like great guys. They’re on board with changing this thing and turning this thing around.”
 
(On if he and Ali discussed who would play center this season)
“It didn’t get brought up or anything, it seemed fine. I know Ali, from the short time I got to speak with him, he’s excited to get going and start winning some games.”
 
(On if anything in particular stood out to him about the Buccaneers during his free agency process)
“Each team I visited, there were different things. There wasn’t anything in particular with the recruiting that caught my mind. Like I was saying, looking at the roster and figuring out the best spot for me with a young team and getting it back on track and winning games [was most important].”
 
(On being diagnosed with sleep apnea)
“Like I said in a couple of articles I did, it changed my life. It might have saved my life, I don’t know. Sleep apnea is a very dangerous thing for people to deal with. My second year going into camp, I didn’t know that I had it at that time. My body was just falling apart. I was just a constant bruise, I wasn’t healing. I went from about 315 pounds to 290 in about two weeks. I didn’t know what was going on. After I got diagnosed with it and started my therapy, my body came back and it was life-changing for me to get diagnosed with. I know it’s in my family pretty rampantly. It’s such an easy thing to go get tested for. A lot of times you don’t have to do in-house testing. They can give you an at home test and you put a couple of little wires on and you just go to sleep. You take it in the next day and they’ll let you know if you have it or not.”
 
(On his physical improvement after receiving his sleep apnea diagnosis)
“My first night when I used it, I didn’t sleep very good having a mask on my face. It was weird. But after the second night, I felt it almost instantly. My mentality was better, my energy was better. To get back to where I was football-wise, it took about two or three weeks for me to really start feeling better again and getting my strength back.”
 
(On if he had any questions about the Buccaneers’ history before signing with the team)
“Not a ton of questions. Watching football throughout my whole life and watching Tampa Bay earlier on in my life with Gruden and everything like that, I didn’t have a ton of questions. Knowing the history of the league and stuff was big for me.”
 
(On how he reflects on his roots)
“You can’t forget where you’ve been. A great player that I talk to said that. I asked him one time, ‘Why do you play the way you play?’ He talked to me and goes, ‘When you come from where I came from, a bad situation, and you get to where you’re at, you never want to go back to that bad situation.’ So that’s how I see myself reflecting on my earlier career.”
 
(On playing with a chip on his shoulder)
“I’ve played with a chip on my shoulder my entire career. You know, [being a] Division II guy, a late-round draft pick, stuff like that, you can’t lose that chip on your shoulder. Once you get comfortable, that’s when things start to regress.”
 
(On protecting the quarterback against an increase of interior pressure from opposing defenses)
“I wouldn’t say there’s a ton more pressure. With Pittsburgh, they did that a lot this last year, a lot of double A [gap blitzing]. Cincinnati [too]. It’s one of those things that I’ve seen a lot. Putting those quicker, faster guys in there who get paid the big bucks to rush the passer, it presents a different challenge for sure.”
 
DEFENSIVE END VINNY CURRY
 
(Opening Statement)
“Hello, everyone. Sorry if I’m smiling too hard. That’s how you know the excitement I feel for this new beginning.”
 
(On defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and their discussions prior to signing Curry’s contract)
“The first thing that sticks out to me is the hire of Coach Buck. When I talked to him on the phone, it seemed like he had a manual out on me. It was like, ‘Okay, this guy understands Vinny Curry.’ The way he presented, the way he wants guys to rush and wants his D-Line room to be, his coaching staff, I thought it suited me best. It gives me that opportunity to go out there and earn the right to be an every-down player and not just roll here, roll there. It was a great fit. He definitely knows what he’s talking about. This was on the phone; I hadn’t even gotten to meet him yet. Today I met him in person. But on the phone, the way he presented his style of coaching, I was like, ‘Yeah.’ Whether it’s key match ups, the one thing he said was, ‘I can get you to the water but I can’t make you drink.’ It was a great opportunity for me. I’m excited to be here, especially with the history here on the defensive end, spotlighting on the defensive line. There’s something special brewing here. I’m glad to be a part of it and I wanted to be a part of it.”
 
(On being an Eagles fan during the 2003 NFC Championship game between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay)
“I was the only person in my household that game, I had the sad face look on my face. My brother and them were running around the house [yelling]. You know how that goes. I remember that game.”
 
(On his Super Bowl experience as a member of the Eagles’ team)
“The whole Super Bowl run, I was telling some of the coaches that that’s addictive. Let me tell you, that’s contagious and very addictive. That whole run was a great experience. To win it, that was the ultimate of feelings your body or mind. If you’re in this sport, the ultimate feeling is winning that world championship. The confetti is coming down in your team colors and you see everyone in the building, from the chefs to the custodians, just crying and enjoying that moment together. There’s nothing like that ever. That’s one of the things that I know how I feel and I know that I’m going to pride myself and do the best to my ability to work as hard as I can to help this team and contribute in the best way I can. If it was up to me, every player needs to experience that. There’s nothing like it.”
 
(On his favorite Super Bowl moment)
“When Tom Brady dropped back to throw that Hail Mary pass and it was incomplete, it was packed. We were in a whole different state and it was packed with a lot of Eagles fans, almost all Eagles fans. Going against Tom Brady, who is arguably the best quarterback in our game and we won. Usually when he steps back like that, different miracles happen. When he dropped it, I don’t think I had a voice for about six days.”
 
(On having everyone on the defensive line working as a unit)
“You really have to check your ego at the door. Playing defensive line, rushing the passer, it’s really hard to check your ego at the door because everybody wants to get at the quarterback. Everybody wants to rush the passer. We had nine or 10 guys that could do it and were household names. I think everyone understood that and everyone took on whatever they could contribute. That was one of the things in our room that we kept selling. Me personally, I know I can play on third down but at the end of the day, who am I to be upset if we’re winning and we all have one goal in mind which is to win the Lombardi Trophy.”
 
(On the importance of stopping the run)
“I’m going to speak from the D-line room. In our D-line room, tackles for loss are almost as good as getting a sack. When you’re hunting and you can tackle a running back behind the line of scrimmage, that’s just another tally to put on the board to be proud of in our room, as a defense. That trickled down. Our secondary, they pride themselves, they were calling themselves the ‘No Fly Zone,’ so they didn’t want to let passes get caught on them. We didn’t want any running back to have over 100 yards on us and it was preached around the whole building. It kind of trickled down through all three groups from the secondary to the linebackers and our d-line.”
 
(On his three sacks in 2017 and the importance of being a team player)
“When you look at that, you have to understand and ask yourself, ‘How many times was I on the field when the quarterback was drop-back passing?’ That was one of the things where you have to check your ego at the door. There were a couple of times I was itching to get out there and I knew I only had three [sacks] but at the same time, you have to put the team before yourself. Anybody will tell you in Philadelphia that I’m a straight team player. I could have whined and complained about it but I didn’t. I just tried to do what I could do and do my part, which was to help our defense become one of the top rush defenses in the entire league.”
 
(On joining former Eagles teammates Beau Allen in Tampa Bay)
“It helped me a lot. Beau Allen is the smartest football player I’ve ever played with. The way he can break a team down is [incredible.] I tell him all the time, ‘Man you’re going to be a defensive coordinator one day,’ the way he can do it. That’s very exciting for us. Another familiar face is DeSean [Jackson]. When I first got to Philadelphia as a rookie, he kind of took me under his wing a little bit. He was a great example for us young kids to see. Even getting ready for the Super Bowl, he was texting everybody good luck and everything because he’s a great teammate. It was good to have some familiar faces in the building.”
 
(On how the Buccaneers’ struggles at defensive line inspire him)
“I look at it as an opportunity and a great challenge for me. I play hard. I’m a hard worker. At the end of the day, I’m hungry. I’m hungry to be great personally and I’m hungry for this team to have a shot at the [Lombardi] Trophy and being in the tournament this year by making the playoffs.”
 
(On watching Buccaneers game film in Philadelphia)
“We didn’t watch this year’s Bucs tape. He [Beau Allen] was talking about when our staff first got there two years ago, [the Buccaneers defense] rushed the passer pretty good. The way you guys were always on the same page game running, Coach Pederson was using it as a ‘teach tape’ for us.”
 
(On how he’ll adjust to the humidity of Tampa Bay)
“At the end of the day, you guys probably know better than me, I’ve heard you can’t prepare for this humidity. So I’m looking forward to it. At the end of the day, to answer your question, [I need to] hydrate more, [drink] a lot of Pedialyte.”

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