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16 June 2016

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016 Mini-Camp Media Availability (6/16/16)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Offensive Lineman Caleb Benenoch
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III

(On the emotion shown at practice)
“Well, we want emotion right? Don’t we want to have an emotional team? I do.”
(On players controlling their emotions)
“Look, if you guys just watched a two-hour practice and that’s what you got out of it, then you’re in the wrong spot. If that’s your lead story, you’re in the wrong spot. It’s hot as hell out here, these guys are working their tail off, emotions get heated and guess what? That’s football practice. Get over it.”
(On what the team has accomplished this offseason)
“Well, what we accomplished number one is we put in a whole new defensive scheme, a whole new special teams scheme, we integrated 24 rookies and five or six free agents into our system, we continued to develop our offensive scheme. When you’re going against each other every day, you’re going to have happy [and] sad days. Again, for every good play on one side of the ball, the other side of the ball is mad. The other thing when you’re playing underwear football, that’s what gets guys testy out there because the blocking is not live, so if guy is going a little faster than he should and beats his guy, of course that guy’s pride is going to rear its ugly head and a guy is going to compete. I want a team full of competitors. I want a bunch of guys that are going to play emotional, hard-nosed football. I don’t think we should be backing down from anything and again, if you think that it’s not going to get a little heated out there, we’re kidding ourselves. We’re happy with where we’re at, very happy with the way the new coaching staff and the players have mixed together. A lot of learning has gone on and we’re excited to get back right after vacation.”
(On the rookies that have impressed him during the offseason)
“Sure. At different days, all those guys have. We have the tight ends, the running backs, the defensive linemen, Luke [Rhodes] at middle linebacker has moved up the depth chart a little bit. These guys are all working hard and it’s a long way from 90 to that final 53, but I love the way they’re working.”
(On cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and his potential playing time this season)
“He’s going to play. Like you said, the guy has made plays every single day. Vernon is a football player, everything we thought when we drafted him. He’s going to play. It will all fall in place. A lot of that will be determined by health, but I’m very confident that Vernon can either play inside at the nickel or play outside. For whoever doesn’t know the difference, the nickel corner plays over the slot and regular corners play outside on the wide out and Vernon can play both.”
(On if he has concerns at a lack of depth at any position)
“You’re never exactly where you want to be. Every team has depth at some positions and not at others. We’re looking to add some pieces at a couple of spots, but you’re not going to add them this time of year. Some of those things aren’t going to happen until final cut-downs. Think about it, when you start going down from 90 to 53 and every team lets about 40 guys go, that’s a lot of good football players on the streets and there will be some guys out there at that time. Of course we have a couple of spots, but for now our guys are our guys and we’re going to coach them up and they’re doing a good job of soaking it in.”
(On what his biggest challenge this offseason has been)
“The biggest challenge is just the way I segment my day a little bit different now. I’m still trying to be involved in the offense and doing the head coaching thing. Shoot, when I was the offensive coordinator and a fight broke out I just got out of the way. Today I almost got trampled, so that’s a little bit new. It’s just when any of you people change jobs. I mean, different responsibilities and I have to do better and I have to keep learning myself.”
(On if he is ever surprised by what comes across his desk)
“Sometimes, yeah there are some surprises, but all good, all good things. We’re going to have a good football team and you can see by the turn out today with the fans – hey we need all these fans. Let’s fill that stadium behind me, let’s fill that bad boy up. I know we don’t get it until Week 3, but let’s fill it up when we get our eight chances.”
(On tight end Cameron Brate’s performance in the red zone)
“Yeah, Cam, he’s got an uncanny ability to show up in the red zone and did so again today. Defense also made a lot of good plays. One of the best things about today, if you were paying attention early, before the fights – I know you all have that short attention span – in the two-minute drill, unbelievable situations. In two-minute the first group scored a touchdown, they called us for an illegal pick. The second group, we had a penalty in there too, so penalties on the offense and then we tried to get a hurry-up field goal there at the end with the third group. You can’t manufacture enough of those game-ending situations. Even if we screw them up – and we do – to be able to go in and show them to the guys on tape and learn from them because when they come up in real life, we have to a little better than we did today.”
(On what he hopes the players will work on before training camp)
“That’s a great question. They have six weeks; actually six weeks from today will be our next time on this field, six weeks from today. Every one of these guys has some things that they’re going to be working on. Some if it is just working on their body, working on their conditioning level, working on their strength, working on their flexibility. Some of them, it’s definitely playbook work. On both sides of the ball, some guys will be studying up, but they’ve been 10 straight weeks – for our vets – they’ve been 10 straight weeks of work. They definitely need some time off and for the veterans; they have a pretty good idea of where they need to be when they come back. For the rookies, they still have a few more days here with the rookie symposium and then we’re back at it after that.”
(On being back at practice after having to wait for graduation at UCLA to participate)
“I’m so excited. It’s been the most fun I’ve had in a while. I’m back to football, so I’m happy.
(On how quickly he can learn the offense)
“The crazy thing – I’ve learned more in these three days on the field than I did in the five weeks just going over it over the phone and stuff. That’s the biggest thing for me is just getting out here and getting to run the plays with the guys and that’s what the thing about this rule is, that it’s just so unfair having guys who get a job, who just one to live their dream out and [don’t] let them come out here and work with their teammates, so I’m glad I was able to pick it up as fast as I did out here on the field. Every day I got better, so I’m happy about that.”
(On his favorite part of the offense)
“Everything. Just playing with the guys, this is such a fun environment, we have a close room, all of the older guys are helping me out a lot. ‘Gos’ [Gosder Cherilus] has been in my ear almost every play along with Ali [Marpet] and all those guys, so just playing with those guys has been a lot of fun.”
(On how comfortable he is playing inside)
“I’m fairly comfortable. Not all the way comfortable as I am outside. It’s new – new position, new techniques and things I need to learn, so it’s a learning process, but I’m enjoying it.”
(On if he enjoys mixing it up as the inside corner)
“Oh yeah. The closer you are to the ball, the more times you can touch the ball, so I’m happy about moving inside, of course.”
(On if any teammate has taken him under their wing)
“You know, we have a group of great vets. All of the guys in the locker room, they all take care of the rookies extremely well. They’re not steering us wrong. We have no egos on this team, that’s one thing I did notice. Not a lot of egos and just guys that really care for one another and guys that want to win.”
(On what he has learned from cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner about being an undersized corner)
“It’s more than just being athletic. Those guys are extremely smart. They know what’s coming before it’s coming and that’s why they’re good and that’s why they are who they are, that’s why they’re Pro Bowlers. Just learning from them, taking bits of information from them every day, staying in their ear, staying [on] their hip, bugging them, and keep asking them questions. That’s how I learn the best and that’s what I’m doing and they’re doing a great job of helping me.”
(On the benefit of lining up against the receivers at practice)
“We have big receivers, small receivers, fast receivers – it’s great. This is what I need to become the best player I can become.”
(On what he needs to do before training camp)
“You have to stay in shape, you have to stay in that football shape, you have to stay hydrated. You know, taking care of your body. That’s the biggest thing, taking care of your body because that’s what’s going to get you through those 17 weeks.”
(On if he’s tired of people talking about his size)
“They can keep talking about it, it’s all good. It doesn’t bother me.”
(On the benefit of getting away from One Buc for a few weeks)
“It’s not really away for me. I live 30 minutes away from here [laughs]. It’s going to be great, these six weeks off, but like I said, you still have to stay focused, even when I’m off from work. It’s going to be fun though. A nice relaxing time for a little bit, hanging out with the fam. Kind of take it all in for a little bit then it’s back to training camp.”
(On what it means to him to already be making plays in practice)
“That’s what they drafted me for. I’m supposed to make plays. Not necessarily too big of a deal, I just have to keep making them.”

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