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28 July 2017

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Training Camp Media Availability (7/28/17)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
(On lack of fights at practice)
“Yeah well, day one. They’re not too grouchy yet.”
(On the first day of practice)
“Yeah so, day one was about what you would expect. I mean, we looked like we’ve been off for six weeks. We looked a little rusty. Too many balls on the ground, too many guys on the ground, but both sides made plays which is what you’ve got to do right now. Sometimes the defense is going to make plays. Sometimes the offense [will]. It was good to get out here. It’s great to have the fans out here. It’s good to just get started. When you’re starting training camp, you’ve got 10,000 meetings and hoops you’ve got to jump through. It’s great to get on the grass and get started. We are a long way away, but it’s good to be out here.”
(On what he hopes to accomplish the first three days of camp before the players put on the pads)
“Well, we really don’t look at it as three days and then pads. We are installing and you’ve got a teaching progression that the coaches go through. You know, you are just starting and building on it every day, trying to get a little bit better.”
(On the passing attack with DeSean Jackson in the mix)
“Yeah, I mean, DeSean made three or four plays today when he ran a simple hook route. You could see DeSean flash. The guy is a vet. He’s been a playmaker in this league. We are just a long way away from that, but we brought him here to be a playmaker and you saw it today.”
(On Chris Godwin showing out at training camp)
“Yeah, he did in OTAs as well. Again, it’s day one. Let’s not set our course for the whole season based on an hour and a half in shorts.”
(On the defense’s performance at practice)
“We are in shorts. It’s hard for the defense to show up. Bobby made a nice play on the interception. We are supposed to be staying away from the quarterback right now, so we had that one snafu on that play. But when we get going in pads, the defense will have some one-on-one pass rush, some one-on-one run blocking and that will all start to take shape.”

(On handling the added attention of Hard Knocks and cameras following the players around all the time)
“Just look right here, there’s plenty of cameras here; that’s every day. Even if Hard Knocks wasn’t here, all you folks would still be here, so these guys are used to having cameras. It’s part of it.”
(On sensing the buzz around this team and in the town after the playoff drought)
“We’re excited too. It’s way too early to be talking about the playoffs. We know it’s been 10 years. We are aware of that, but right now it’s just getting better every day. Guys are on different levels. Some guys fighting for jobs. Some guys trying to become starters, trying to get playing time. It’s a process. Again, this is day one of a process.”
(On previously injured players being ready for camp)
“Yeah, we are real healthy. We are fortunate to be in a good spot health wise, other than Jacquies Smith. I mean, he had a setback. He’s going to have a little procedure done this afternoon done on his knee, and he is [going to] be out here for a few weeks. We hope to get him back at some point.”
(On if he feels there is a lack of respect for Gerald McCoy outside of the team and organization)
“No, absolutely not. The players vote on the Pro Bowl and I think he has been voted to five in a row. Gerald is a heck of a football player. Sometime he [has] the inevitable comparisons to Warren Sapp. Any player that is compared to someone else, I mean, they are not him. He’s a different player, and he’s a really good football player.
(On the player’s fitness levels heading into camp)
“It’s hard to say. You know, I haven’t looked at the tape. I can’t watch everybody. One thing we do when we come to training camp, compared to OTAs, is we give the one’s a few more reps and cut the three’s back a little bit. So, there was a couple guys on the first group, on both sides, I thought were a little bit winded, but that’s to be expected. They don’t have to ready full-go until September 10. I mean, they are not going to play a full game until then, so we are a ways away from that.”
(On the center-quarterback exchange)
“So far, so good on that. We should be able to get that. This is pro football. Hopefully we can get it.”
(On whether there is added importance of the third year for a quarterback)
“There has been a lot said and written about that third-year thing. Even though I have coached for a long time, it’s not like you have a lot of guys [that you] coach for three years, so I don’t really know that. I just think the way Jameis works, Jameis is going to get better and better. I go back to this all the time, Tom Brady, 38; Drew Brees, 37; Matt Ryan, 32; Jameis Winston, 23. He’s going to get better. I don’t know how much this year, or how much next year, but he is going to get better.”
(On preparedness of the rookies)
“Again, it’s one day and we have had a couple rookie practices. For day one, everyone is about where they should be.”
(On if interceptions are the most important thing for Winston to improve on)
 “Yep, that’s something that is high on our list.”
(On whether there was a specific message that Coach Koetter gave his guys when they reported to camp)
“Yes, there is, but, that’s [between] me and the team so hopefully they got the message.”
(On the most important battles going into camp)
“Well, all these guys are competing for jobs, but I mean the obvious ones are: safety, because two of the guys weren’t here in the spring, kicker, wide receiver depth, the backup linebackers, how the tight ends sort out [and] how the defensive ends sort out.”
(On the kicking situation if the kickers have the same number of makes and misses)
“Yeah, we will worry about that down the road. You guys are asking me questions on day one. We don’t have to make that decision today.”
(On his impressions of the team on the first day of Training Camp)
“Well, you know we strive for perfection. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s exciting to be out here. It’s exciting to be back, it’s exciting to have the fans cheering your name. It was electric out here.
(On defensive end Gerald McCoy forcing a turnover on Winston)
“When you the best defensive tackle in the league, you’re going to sack the quarterback sometimes. So, he got to me. I don’t think it was a pick, I think it was a fumble. But, he caught it. But, Gerald is the best. So, I got to get out of there.”
(On McCoy apologizing to him for forcing a turnover)
“He doesn’t have to apologize. You can’t apologize for being great.”
(On the additions of offensive weapons)
“It’s fun. It’s fun just taking the snap and analyzing the field and seeing that you have guys that can go get it everywhere.”
(On what he has told his teammates from a position of leadership coming into this season)
“Strive for perfection. The message is clear. Everyone has the same common goal and that’s winning the Super Bowl. So we have to do everything in our power to achieve that.”
(On McCoy’s recent tweets)
“I haven’t seen those tweets, but we have a lot to earn and that’s what we’re here for. We have a lot of things to earn. We’ve got to go out there and execute and play football.”
(On if he thinks McCoy is respected by others around the league)
“Gerald is one of the best in the game and I think everyone knows that. The whole world knows he’s one of the best in the game. He just consistently shows up. So, no matter what people say, actions speak way louder than words.”
(On how much the current roster can help him improve as a quarterback)
“You know, this roster is amazing. It makes this whole team better. It’s not just about me because as they go, I go. As I go, we go. So, it’s complementary football.”
(On the mental strength of kicker Roberto Aguayo competing with kicker Nick Folk for starting job)
“Roberto is one of the greatest kickers of all time if you look at statistics. I don’t know much about the kicking competition, but I have confidence in both of our guys. Both of those guys are going to be successful no matter what and I have trust in both of those guys.”
(On how he plans strive for perfection this season)
“Work hard every day. It’s never a part of my development where I will feel like I have arrived. So, every little part. If I read something that you guys wrote and you said I’m bad at it, I’m going to be working at it because I believe that learning is huge in my life. So, I want to learn from everyone. Even you guys critiquing me. I want to get better.”
(On if decision making with the football is one of his major point of improvement this season)
“I believe protecting the football is always a must. That’s your opinion, again. So, I’m going to get better at that.”
(On what message he had for his teammates when they arrived to camp)
“I just gave them Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do, with all your heart, give it your all for the Lord and not for man. We’re going to go through a lot this season, but make sure we’re playing for a purpose. My purpose is Jesus Christ and when whoever has a purpose, they want to play for something that’s bigger than us because it’s not about you. It’s about us.”
(On buzz surrounding the team from his rookie season to now)
“It’s different. Well, you know everything is a process and everyone loves winners. When you win, this community just jumps behind you and there’s no telling how good we can be with them behind us. We love our fans. I always think about that Seattle game. The games later in the season when that stadium when that stadium got packed. When we look up there and we see everybody behind us, we’re just like ‘Ok, we can’t let these people down.’ If we play a game and the other team has more fans than us, we’re like, ‘Is this a home game or is this an away game?’ Our fans play a big part in it and definitely having this community around us makes us strive harder.”
(On impressions of wide receiver Chris Godwin)
“Chris Godwin is a great talent and we have a lot of great guys out there. But I tell him, being a rookie is just a class. It’s what people call you. You don’t have to define yourself as being a rookie. Go out there and play hard, study and prepare. The sky is the limit for Chris Godwin and he is a great player.”
(On tempering the high expectations coming into the season)
“We work harder. Like I said, we have never arrived. So, no matter the expectation, at the end of the day we still have to go out there and execute. We’ve got to win football games.”
(On if he feels there is something different about him coming into his third season)
“Like I said, every year my goal is to get better. I can’t speak on what history has proven, but I just know I want to be a great leader to this team. I want to serve my teammates and I want to have success because it’s is a complimentary game. I go, we go. We go, I go.”
(On wide receiver Mike Evans’ self-grading of on his first three years in the league and what Evans need to do to be an ‘A’ receiver)
“Mike is an ‘A++’ to me. But, that’s the mentality that we have as a football team. Like I said, strive for perfection. Mike is a perfectionist. He wants to be the best receiver. I believe he is the best receiver in the league. I’m biased, but it is what it is. But, he wants to get better every year like we all do. Everyone wants to get better. No wants to just feel like they arrived.”
(On if he and Evans can become best combination in the league)
“I felt that we already were, you know. But, we have to continue to get better. If we haven’t achieved something, obviously we want to achieve more together and that will open up other opportunities for other guys. One thing about Mike is he is a very selfless individual. So, if he gets five touches and gets his touchdowns, he’s ok if [wide receiver] Adam Humphries has eight touches for 115 yards and we won the game because that’s what it’s all about. Teamwork makes the dream work.”
(On if his success in the postseason is what he will ultimately be judged on)
“Absolutely. It’s definitely about putting your team in a situation to be in the playoffs and give yourself that chance. This game is about creating opportunities, and who know what happens when you get in the playoffs. Anything can happen. You think about all the Wild Card teams that barely got in that end up winning a Super Bowl. That’s just a goal, the goal is to get there. Then after we get there, the goal is to win the Super Bowl.”
(On the outfit he wore to veteran report day)
“Well, I had to get the Kimono, man. I went over to Tokyo and Kyoto, and then I went to Hong Kong. I [saw] people walking up and down the street and I was saying, ‘I’m stealing all y’all’s swag and I’m taking it to One Buc.’ It had to make it to One Buc. I just like it. It was comfortable. It feels much better than the bathrobe, I promise you that.”
(On whether the sizes over in Asia ran a little small for his size)
“Well, when I went in they [were] like, ‘Eh, we don’t know if we have anything that will fit you.’ I said, ‘You give me the biggest thing you’ve got and I’ll make it work. Those sandals I had on, they hurt really bad, but they looked really good.”
(On fashion being painful)
“Seriously, man. I’m telling you, you see a beautiful woman walking in heels, she’s gorgeous, but I guarantee you her feet hurt. I’m telling y’all, I looked good in it, but it was painful.”
(On the reception of his outfit from teammates)
“They loved it. Listen, don’t be afraid to be different. It’s just me, man. I’m just having a good time.”
(On how he feels about the team)
“I love this team, every part of it. From the owners, to the GM, to the head coach and all the way down, man, all of the free agents we brought in, the rookies, the undrafted guys, the D-line, O-line, everybody. I just love this team. I love the environment. I love the atmosphere and I love where we’re going. I think it’s without question, this is the closest-knit team I have ever been on. Guys hang out outside the building. Everybody has a group text going on. Guys hang out in the offseason. Guys are working out together. I really love it.”
(On McCoy’s recent tweets)
“Well, sometimes you’ve just got to say what you’ve got to say. Whatever y’all think it means is what it means. I’m going to let y’all decide what it means and write whatever you want.”
(On who the tweets were directed to)
“Whoever you think it was directed to. Whoever crossed your mind when you read that, that’s who it was directed to.”
(On if the tweets were directed at former Buccaneer Rondé Barber)
“If you think it was directed to Rondé, but I never said that.”
(On receiving criticism)
“Listen, since I’ve been drafted to Tampa, I’ve been receiving criticism because you’ve got Lee Roy Selmon and you’ve got Warren Sapp and now it’s me. I’m supposed to be the next coming of whatever. If you don’t live up to whatever everybody expects you to be then you’re going to get criticism. But that’s not just me, that’s Jameis, it’s Doug, it’s Mike, it’s D-Jack [DeSean Jackson], it’s OJ [Howard] now, it’s whoever. Everybody wants you to be a certain way and if you aren’t what they think you should be then it’s not enough. But, as long as everyone in this building cares about each other and we are enough to each other, that’s all that matters.”
(On whether he uses the criticism as fuel)
“Yeah, I mean, sort of. I’m going to give you a rundown. First thing’s first, God has given me this gift in the ability to play this game. When I slack or take a rep off or don’t give it my all, ‘Eh, I don’t really appreciate the gift you gave me,’ so that’s one. I play as hard as I can just to honor God first. Second, I’ve got a family to take care of. I’ve got a wife, four kids, we want more kids. I’ve got to make sure my family is set. I don’t want them to want for anything. And then third is a group of a lot of things. I’ve got the Glazer’s - who gave me an opportunity to play this game – to live out my dream. I’ve got my teammates – who depend on me to do my job – and the coaches. Then you’ve got the fans, you’ve got my family back home, you’ve got my teammates from back home that are all depending on me to do my job. The joy they get from watching me perform or be at my best, so whether that’s criticism or fans supporting me or my family or whatever it is, that’s kind of the rundown of what motivates me.”
(On Coach Koetter’s comment that he feels McCoy is respected due to his five-straight Pro Bowls)
“I just try to give it my all. I always say respect is earned. Every year is an audition. It’s just about what type of performance you’re going to put on. I just try and reinvent myself every year. It’s hard to do this at this position year in and year out. I do have a parameter. I don’t know if I’ve ever said this, maybe I have, but 99 [Warren Sapp] is my parameter. Six All-Pros, seven-straight Pro Bowls, all of this was in a row. He played 13 years, so how long does Gerald want to play? Well, 99 is the parameter because that’s my mentor. So, 13 years? I’ve got to hit 13. Seven Pro Bowls? I’m trying to hit seven. Six All-Pros? I’m trying to hit six All-Pros. All his sack numbers – that’s where I’m trying to get. So, he always teaches me to chase the ghosts of the game, so you always have to know who came before you to get to where you want to get. He is one of the five only first-ballot D-tackle Hall-of-Famers, so why wouldn’t you look up to him? Why wouldn’t he be a parameter, you know what I’m saying? So, I just keep trying to step it up every year.”
(On the importance of making the playoffs to McCoy)
“You can’t get to the ultimate goal unless you get to the tournament. Playoffs will come. We’ve just got to go day-by-day and this is day one. I think we had a good first day. There was no shortage of sun. There was no shortage of humidity, but there was also no shortage of fun. We had a blast today. My cleats look good. My socks look good. My teammates look good. We all look good, man. We are having a good time.”
(On McCoy’s incidental contact with quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Absolutely, man. Oh my gosh, man. I almost teared up going to the next rep. Three is the franchise. Forget 93, forget 13, 11 and 1 – I don’t know what number he is going to be on any given day – 91, 98, 54, 58. 3, 3 is the one. If 3 ain’t out there, eh. But when I did that, I was ugh, eh, yeah.”
(On Jameis’ response to the incidental contact)
“Once he saw it was me, it was like, ‘Ah, alright.’ But at the same time, I did the same thing, ‘Ah, ugh, uh.’ Then Dirk gave me that eye and I was like, ‘Shoot, that’s an office visit later. I’ll be in the principal’s office.”
(On video of former Buccaneers’ defensive tackle, Brian Price running through a glass door)
“Oh, BP man – we came in together. We played a couple years together. We’ve stayed in contact since then, so to see that, it hurt me to my heart. Not just me, but my wife. I talked to Mike Bennett about it. I talked to Roy Miller about it – even George [Johnson] was here with BP. I don’t know if you remember Frank Okam, all of those guys man, we all played together. Just to see that – it hurts you to your heart. If that is the case, it is scary. I would be lying if I said CTE isn’t scary, but when you sign up to play this game, you know what you are signing up for. All you can do is live it day-by-day and try to protect yourself as best you can. We have a great medical staff and they don’t take any chances with us. They do the best I’ve ever seen around here. They always try to take care of us, but you sign up at your own risk. When it comes to my kids, if they want to play football, they’ll play football. If they don’t then they don’t. I’m going to let them decide what they want to do. I will be cautious about it and let them know, ‘Hey look, there’s a risk in doing this.’ But to see BP like that, man, it hurt me.”
(On if he had spoken to Price since seeing the video)
“No, I haven’t spoken to him yet. You know, you have to let the smoke clear with stuff like that. I’m sure he got bombarded with texts and calls. I just wanted to let the smoke clear and then call and check up on him. But I hate to see him like that.”
(On thinking about his life after football while he is still an active player)
“Well, you know, I just play the game while I’m playing right now and whatever happens, happens, man. I do my best to protect myself. I have a brand new helmet. My helmet has a lot of extra cushion in it to help protect my brain. Just hat in hands, man. You have to protect yourself at all times and you’ve got to use the right technique. If you use the right techniques, you can really protect yourself. You can’t go head-first into things and just play the game the right way.
(On former defensive end Warren Sapp admitting to having issue with head trauma)
“Sapp has been crazy his whole life, man. So, I don’t know.”

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