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22 May 2018

Transcript: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Availability (5/22/18)

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today’s earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On the first day of OTAs)
“Well it’s always good to get back where we’re going 11-on-11 instead of 11-on bags and 11-on coaches. Finally we get to Phase Three where we can, not quite play football, but it’s the closest thing we can do right now. So that part was really good.”
(On player attendance)
“We did, we did have good attendance. We were missing a couple of guys, but that’s just the nature of where we’re at right now.”
(On if attendance is mandatory during OTAs)
“No, correct, not until minicamp.”
(On if the defense was slower than the offense today, due to the new defensive players)
“A little bit slower on defense. You have to really look close to notice it, but a little bit slower. They still did quite a bit of stuff today. That’s the one thing about the way the offseason is structured. They really went through it all the way in Phase Two and now they’re starting over. So, it should be a review but it’s just, because they haven’t been going against each other, the tempo of the guys is much faster.”
(On wide receiver Chris Godwin’s offseason)
“He’s had a really good offseason in general. Chris is a good player, so it’s not surprising. But he’s had a good offseason overall.”
(On injuries that kept wide receiver Justin Watson and safety Jordan Whitehead’s out of practice)
“They were both out there and not practicing. It’s not unusual to have some guys that can’t go on certain days for various things. Those guys are both there, nothing serious.”
(On cornerback Carlton Davis’ performance thus far)
“He’s off to a good start, he’s off to a really good start. He did take some reps with the first group today. Again, it’s day one of PhaseTthree, but where he was drafted, that’s for a reason. He’s showed up so far.”
(On if practice is different with Todd Monken no longer handling wide receivers, hands-on)
“It’s working out fine. This time of year really nothing is different except when the offense meets, he’s at the front of the room and I’m at the back of the room. Other than that, nothing really.”
(On Maurice Fleming practicing at safety)
“We drafted those corners. Maurice Fleming is a 207-pound guy and he did a good job when he was here for us last year, we wanted to give him a chance, his best chance, to stick around. So we’re giving him a look at safety right now. We added enough corners that that’s where we needed him to go His body type might fit that spot a little bit better anyway.”
(On how Monken can help the offense most)
“Todd’s an experienced coach and he’s a head coach, he’s been an offensive coordinator before, so now he has responsibility to all positions on offense instead of just to the wide receivers. So, if you notice, he travels with the quarterbacks early in practice and he was making some good points to the tight ends about route running today. Before, he would have just been down on the end of the field with the receivers. Also, he does all of the scripting now. That’s something that I used to do or we used to break it up. Scripting is a big job, it’s a time consuming job. It’s important because you have to keep track of what we’re doing against what looks as the install goes. So, that’s a huge load off of my plate to either let me go sit in on other meetings or be working on something else.”
(On number of reps quarterback Jameis Winston took today)
“It’s too early. I think Jameis only took something like 15 reps today just because the number of team reps that it is. It’s easy to see Jameis is excited to be out there. He’s talking and he’s always being real positive with the players, with the team and he’s anxious to get out there and work. That’s really what you want your quarterback to do and that’s all they can do at this point.”
(On running backs Ronald Jones and Shaun Wilson receiving punts and kickoffs on special teams)
“Possibly, I think we had about eight guys back there deep. There were a lot of guys taking turns back there. Justin Evans was back there, Adam Humphries was back there, Jacquizz [Rodgers] was back there, Charles Sims was back there. When you have 90 this time of year, you’re deep at every position. You’re looking for body types and guys with speed and those rookies are two guys that we’d love to get a look at.”
(On where DeSean Jackson and other receivers will line up on the field)
“DeSean will play more by scheme. All of our guys can play all of the positions. Those first four guys can all play inside and in certain spots he would but, [Chris] Godwin plays in there a lot and Mike plays in there some. Of those first four guys, those guys are all interchangeable. That’s the nice thing about those four, that they know all of the positions. So when one guy is nicked up or not practicing or if they have to miss a game or something, those guys are all interchangeable.”
(On younger offensive linemen)
“Cole Gardner is a young guy that we had in here last year and he had a shoulder surgery and had to miss the year and then Brad Seaton, a guy that was on our practice squad later in the year last season, they’re getting a lot of reps right now. If we were in the season, Caleb [Benenoch] could also rotate out there. But, we’re trying hard to leave Caleb in one spot. We move him so often that we’re trying to leave him in one spot and let him get some work. But, that’s just part of O-line play, you have to have some flexibility. [Alex] Cappa is another guy that could go out there and play tackle but we’re trying to start him as a guard for right now.”
(On number of reps taken by players)
“We only ran 30 team plays, not counting ‘pass skelly’ or anything. But there were only 30 team plays and you have three groups working. The percentages, 1s, 2s, 3s, have the least. But, some were around 15 with 11-on-11.”
(On the most important things players can show at this time of year)
“It’s different for every guy. Every guy, this time of year when you’re not playing actual football, every guy is at a different place. What Mike Evans is going to show is a lot different than what Bobo Wilson is going to show. What Kwon Alexander is going to show is different than what Jack Cichy is going to show. So, you have some guys that, the tempo of practice was overwhelming to them today because it was fast and for other guys, it’s just old hat. For the new players, especially on defense, we have a lot more new guys and for rookies in general on both sides, they’re just fighting to learn terminology. When we were going fast today, Beau Allen, for example, who’s been here every day in the offseason program, has been working his tail off, but when the tempo was going fast in no huddle, I heard him asking Gerald a couple of times, ‘What’s the call?’ It’s different. It’s not like he doesn’t know how to play football, but it’s just a different terminology. That’s why we try to work. When we can’t really do everything football-wise, tackling to the ground, blocking, that sort of thing, you’re trying to at least work on the live communication part and the tempo part of the game. So, 90 guys, some guys fighting for survival, fighting to just hang on. Other guys are trying to make improvements every day. All the guys that were here last year have been talked to by their coaches about specific things they need to do at their position to improve.”
(On if defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul or defensive back Brent Grimes will be at OTAs)
“I’m not sure about that. We’d love to have everybody here. That’s a perfect world and we don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately.”
(On if they plan on using the indoor practice facility for OTAs)
“The thing about the indoor is that it’s an awesome facility. I think you’ll see the indoor take weather out of the picture because that’s why you have an indoor in the first place. I think where you’ll see that utilized is once we cut down to 53 guys. When you talk about 90 players plus all of the coaches, trainers, managers, you saw how many people were out there on that field. It’s hard, even if you had one field with a lot of room around it. But it’s pretty crowded out there. If you noticed, we had multiple drills going on a lot of the times. At one point I think we had five different drills going on at the same time. So, you’re trying to give 90 guys a chance to improve and get reps and it’s just hard to get that many guys on one field. So it has nothing to do with the indoor-it’s a fantastic facility-but I think we’ll definitely use it for walkthrough every day. We’ll use it for weather issues. I think they’re going to be putting out a memo on how training camp is going to flow. I think they’re going to be putting a press release out on that shortly.”
(On Houston school shooting)
“Sante Fe was in my school district my last year, my senior year, played against them in football and basketball twice. I had a couple friends that went to that school. My thoughts and prayers are with their families. Hopefully one day in America, we will figure it out, but it’s been happening forever, so hopefully one day, we can figure it out and do something about it, but my thoughts and prayers are with their community and their families. Shout out to J.J. Watt for doing a tremendous thing for the families.”
(On start of OTAs)
“I think the receivers and the quarterbacks get more out of it than anybody else. We get the timing down and the rhythm. Every year, it seems like the offseason goes by really fast, but it really doesn’t, especially when you don’t make the playoffs. We get like three months off, get time for our bodies to heal. You kind of miss it after a while. I have fun in the offseason with my family and my friends and things like that, but I love to get back and be with my teammates and get ready for the season.”
(On whether red zone efficiency has been an emphasis this offseason)
“Yeah, I mean it’s emphasized every single year. We’ve just got to go do it and we didn’t do it well at all. Since I’ve been here, we’ve always had penalties and setbacks on our own. The defense wouldn’t do anything to beat us. We beat ourselves before we even got a chance, so if we don’t beat ourselves, we have a good shot.”
(On why he believes last year was his worst so far)
“As far as YAC (yards after catch), it wasnt my worst year playing, maybe my second worse, but YAC, my yards after catch wasn’t as good. I don’t know what it was. I guess my awareness wasn’t where it should’ve been. I’ve just got to work on it more in practice and get more reps at it.”
(On Todd Monken’s new role as strictly the offensive coordinator)
“You guys know I love Coach Monk. He’s still in our ear here and there, not as hands on as he was, but [Wide Receivers] Coach Skyler [Fulton] has done a great job. He was under him for two years. It’s a little different, but it’s what we have to do.”
(On new additions to the defensive line)
“It’s great, man. You always want to welcome new guys whether they are a rookie like Vita [Vea] or Super Bowl champions in JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Vinny [Curry] and Beau [Allen] and Mitch [Unrein] has played on a Super Bowl team, so we have a lot of experience. That is what we need. Me going into my ninth year, we need more experience in the room and I am excited about it. It’s going to be good. Here’s the thing, the media, you guys see names and you immediately get excited. There is a lot of work to be done. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve seen people come in and people go out and I am excited for the names, which is great, [but] so much work to be done. I look at things a little different. I look at it like now we have guys where we don’t have to lay a foundation. They have the foundation because of all the experience that they have, but so much work to be done. Today is the first day of OTAs. We had phase one and Phase Two where we learned new techniques from [Defensive Line] Coach Buck (Brentson Buckner). But, so much work to be done. I don’t all get all hype like that. Too much work to be done, so I’m excited for the names, but so much work.”
(On Brentson Buckner)
“The thing I like about Buck is he played the game. He played at a high level. I think Coach Buck played in three Super Bowls. That’s some experience there and that’s playing at a high level. You’re not playing your regular level of playing of playing the regular season. If you’re going to the Super Bowl, you are going all the way and he did it three times. So, he knows what it takes to get there, especially at our position as a D-lineman and I just love his energy. He just keeps it as real as it gets. There was a day in Phase Two where he challenged me. It was all positive. He was talking to me and talking to me and chattering at me in my ear just to push me because there is no vet. There is no Pro Bowl. Everybody is on the same plane and that’s what I love about him. He doesn’t care about who you are or what you’ve done. He has been brought here for a job and that is what he is going to do. I love that about him. He just keeps it real. He doesn’t care how you feel. He is going to tell you how it is, he is going to coach you and it’s onto the next. If you don’t like it, you shrug, ‘Ok, whatever.’ I am here to do a job and I am going to do it. I love that about Buck.”
(On whether he feels like he is the ‘Superman’ of the defense after a quote by Coach Buckner)
“No, I try to do my job to the best of my ability and that’s all I’ve ever tried to do. I think the point he is trying to make is he doesn’t want me to try to do too much. He wants me to do my job to the best of my ability and hold everybody accountable to doing their job. Don’t try to do his job, don’t try to do his job, don’t try and do this and go outside the defense because you feel like you have to do more. Just be myself and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, bring energy every day and that’s it. That’s what he is talking about and when you do that, everybody follows your lead and then like I said, you start stacking those good days.”
(On his approach to mentoring younger players)
“That’s my M.O. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so if you have no weak links, how strong can you be? That is my philosophy. That is how I see it. Any young guy that comes in, I have mandatory extra while it’s allowed. We can’t do extra now, but when we can, it is mandatory. I don’t give you an option because I’m getting better and so are you. You’re already behind the eight ball because we’re vets, we’ve been doing this. Now you’re coming in and learning a new brand of football, how the NFL game goes. I didn’t have that. I didn’t get that and I always told myself if I ever have the opportunity once I get to that point, I’m not going to be that guy that I do what I do and then I walk off. No, let me teach you something. Let me help you because I want everybody to be successful, not just for this team, but in life in general. We worked too hard to get to this point. It wasn’t just my dream to be in the NFL. Everybody who comes in this building, it’s their dream to play in the NFL. So, I want you to be as successful as possible. You only get it for a short period and especially if you want to be a part of this team, we need everybody to be at their best. I don’t give you an option, it’s mandatory. In Vita’s mandatory rookie duties, you can mark it, I told him he has to tell my children that he is Maui from Moana. When he introduces himself to my kids, that’s the only rookie duty I am going to give him. There is no dinner, there is none of that. You make sure when you introduce yourself to my kids, you introduce yourself as Maui, no questions asked. He doesn’t get an option.”
(On being able to practice 11-on-11 during OTAs and how that helps the team)
“I just think the energy, overall. A lot of guys came ready and excited, as they should. Any time you get back to that competitive stage, a lot of talking goes [on], but especially when you’ve got that friendly competition going you’ve got to love that. So, I’m happy that when guys are talking you can tell how comfortable they are in their schemes. It was exciting just to see how comfortable everybody was today.”
(On how helpful OTAs are for the quarterbacks and receivers, in particular)
“Yeah, you’ve got to cherish every opportunity because you want the young guys to get their reps and obviously we want us to get our reps. But it’s typical – we get about 15 reps of ‘team’ [period] every single day and we put in some walkthrough reps as well, but the main thing is about understanding the concepts and executing.”
(On how wide receiver Bobo Wilson has progressed and what he brings to the offense)
“Just grit. I call him, ‘Young Antonio Brown’ because of just his work ethic. He’s constantly working, he’s constantly processing and growing. I’m blessed to have him here with me because we had a good connection at Florida State so just to see him out there doing his thing, I’m very proud of him. But as we all know, this is the NFL so everyone has to compete. Everyone has to get better. He definitely takes on that challenge because he’s going to compete with the best.”
(On what rookie running back Ronald Jones II can bring to the offense)
“I like that he’s a great kid. He has a great perspective on everything and he works hard. Anybody that comes in here willing to work, willing to apply themselves and get better, they’re definitely received. That’s what he’s coming here and doing and he’s going to bring that electric side to our offense. Watching some clips on him just to see how explosive he is out of the backfield is very impressive, so I can’t wait to see him break some long touchdown runs for us.”
(On working with wide receiver DeSean Jackson at OTAs today)
“Any time that he’s here, he’s coming here to work his tail off so we definitely have got to take advantage of that opportunity and I know ‘D-Jack’, he’s been doing it for a long time so he’s equipped. He’s always going to come back ready, he’s always going to come back to be the fastest man in the league and always ready to get his YAC (yards after catch) so I’m just happy to have him here today and I know he’s going to be here, in and out, throughout the OTA process. I trust that guy.”
(On if he has watched film of center Ryan Jensen and how his transition is going)
“Absolutely I watched some film on Ryan Jensen. I’m excited to have one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers out there. He’s definitely a joy of a teammate and, like I said, we receive him. Anybody that’s coming here with a positive attitude to make us better, and that’s what Ryan has definitely made us – better – just by his presence and his mentality.”
(On what it means to have a player like Jensen who is known as being ‘an enforcer’)
“Well my offensive line, they all have my back. I think that’s the mentality that Coach Warhop has created in that room. But having a guy like Ryan, that’s just him. His toughness, his grit, is all in his play. So definitely having a guy like that who’s your center, your main horse leading the pack, it’s helpful. We had guys like Logan Mankins, who was a hoss, and Gosder Cherilus who was a vet guy, but again, having Jensen in there it just adds a lot to the offensive line and I think it helps us.”

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