Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Select Quotes: Friday, May 31, 2019

Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today's earlier media availability. Full video of press conferences can be found on Buccaneers.com.

Head Coach Bruce Arians

Defensive Lineman Ndamukong Suh

Head Coach Bruce Arians

(Intro)

"I think we accomplished everything that was set out to accomplish this OTA. I like where we're at. Obviously, we need a lot more work. Not a finished product by any stretch. Next week will be fun. We'll add some faces – some veteran tryout guys and some other people to see how we get to 90 to go to camp and to continue to grow as a team. Like I tell our guys, we're not the Bucs right now. We won't be the Bucs until we get to 53. There's 90 guys looking for a job. So, we'll just keep churning that roster until we find the best 53."

(On if Arians is looking forward to seeing DL Ndamukong Suh in action)

"Yeah, finally got everything done and the whole defensive line went and played golf today. So, I told him he'd have to get every rep, so he took a long time getting his physical – smart guy. Looking forward to getting him in the mix and getting to know the calls and everything."

(On the golf outing the defensive line went on)

"I allowed anybody that wanted to play. Wanted to support Mike [Alstott] first of all and his foundation. My whole goal all along was to cancel this practice totally, but we just weren't far enough along. So, I went over and talked to him last night. Great fundraiser and I'm hoping those guys have a good time. Had a bunch of young guys that were scared to go play and they probably should be. Veterans, that's okay."

(On what it's like for Arians coaching OTAs again)

"It's been fun. Just the molding of the team from the draft to the first game and even a little bit after that. You'll probably have your team by Thanksgiving and that's always been the fun part. Working with Jason [Licht] and all our scouts and our coaches. Building a team and an identity – people want to say culture, I call it an identity – that's the most fun in this business. Building relationships – you saw all those kids from Temple from back in the 80s that we're still really close to. So, building relationships is what I missed the most when I wasn't coaching and I'm really looking forward to it."

(On how the changes Arians wanted to make are going so far)

"So far so good. It's just a matter of the tempo in which we practice is different, the way we practice is different, the two fields, [and] getting everybody on film. The guys acclimated extremely well to it and I was really pleased. Couldn't ask for any more effort or enthusiasm. Maybe better execution, but we'll get to that."

(On K Matt Gay having to make a field goal to end practice)

"That's about the only way we can put pressure on a kicker this time of year. So, you put it back there at 50 and if you make it OTAs are over, if not we've got two more periods."

(On the aggressiveness of the team so far)

"That part's really hard. We talk about being smart, fast, and physical – the physical part will have to wait. You can only do so much in shorts. But, I like the attitude and what we're practicing, and I see that transferring over to pads very, very [well]."

(On if Arians' impression of WR Chris Godwin has changed)

"It really hasn't. I had high expectations and they're even higher now. So, he hasn't done anything to diminish what I thought he would be and as he learns to play in that slot and read things a little bit more – he's made great progress. I think I'll stand by my 100-catch announcement."

(On who has impressed Arians so far)

"There's so many it's hard to single them out. Offensively I'd say from when I got here and what I'd heard about Ronald Jones, he's been outstanding. Scotty Miller for a rookie has jumped in there. Ali [Marpet] - that whole front group of guys - how tight they are up front. Defensively, just throw the rookies out the window, because their exceeding expectations already. But, Lavonte [David], Vita [Vea], I could go on and on. It'd be more like who am I disappointed in, which is nobody."

(On ex-players returning as coaching interns)

"We have pretty much all [of] our interns. One guy couldn't make it, because of his business. [Warren] Sapp will probably come in for a day or two and work with D-linemen. I'll have those guys around as much as possible, but we pretty much have five guys now that are helping out – Nate Washington, George Foster, Kimbell Anders. Those guys are all here as interns right now, they'll go all the way through camp and we'll probably add another on defense."

(On if there's a position group that Arians has been pleasantly surprised by)

"Probably secondary. I think we're really, really good. With Carlton [Davis] and Vernon [Hargreaves], we knew we had two solid corners, now we've got five solid corners. I think Ryan [Smith] came a long way. So, yeah, I think – earmark does a problem set back in January, that's totally fixed. Let's knock on wood they stay healthy."

(On S Kentrell Brice)

"He's smart. Now is he physical? That's the part we've got to find out. For safeties, it's tackling, but if you put yourself in the right position, that's 90 percent of the battle."

(On if he thinks there's hope for a successful season)

"I don't think there's any doubt. When you're talking about a 53-man roster and probably a 25-man turnover every year, it's just getting the right fits. Then you've got to stay healthy. If you look at the teams that win, they don't have 15 guys on IR (injured reserve). So, that's a major part of it. Staying healthy and always have a little luck. But, it's an easy turnaround anymore. It's a field goal. If you look back at some of the games that we lost in our division last year, they were close games. A play here, a play there. Those things, when you waste those you're a contender, you're not a pretender."

(On coaching the players)

"That's coaching. That's our job is to put them in enough scenarios that they don't get surprised by it. It's just all habit. If you see us do these must wins every day, put them in a really hard situation, so it's not a surprise for them next year."

(On if Arians gets the sense that the players will find ways to lose games)

"Not whatsoever, because I don't feel that way. There's no start at the top. If I feel that way, it's going to put me down for sure. But, no I don't feel that way at all. We're going to be a smart team that wins those close games, like we always have."

(On how Arians feels about signing 'splash' players)

"It's not as big as about splashes. Splashes I guess are selling tickets. We're just trying to build a football team that wins, and I know that sells tickets. So, we'll put the best roster we can put together and go play smartly and see how they fall. But, I'm not about making splashes."

(On if DT Ndamukong Suh will be at practice next week)

"Yes."

(On how Arians judges a good running game)

"Being able to run when you want to run. You have to be able to run the football. All games you'd like to be 50/50 for the first three quarters. Now you look at the scoreboard, are we down 10? We're throwing it. Are we up 10? We've got to be able to run the football and convert third downs. Get yourself to manage third downs. So, to me that's when if you're a good running team in the fourth quarter with a lead, then you might have only run 20 times in the game. You've got to be able to get yourself in third-and-five or less. Two runs has got to be third-and-five or less."

(On Arians' opinion on OL Evan Smith and DT Ndamukong Suh being in the same locker room)

"They were hugging coming down the hallway together, so I don't think there's any problem. We're all here to win and once you're in the same locker room, you can forget all the past stuff. Some of that stuff happened a long time ago and I don't really care. That doesn't bother me. I like the way he plays football, I like that. So, he's a good fit for us."

(On the defense playing like Suh)

"It's already happened. He's just going to fit in with the rest of the guys right now, because they're playing that way."

(On Suh getting engaged last week)

"Heck yeah, and he did it the right way. He obviously has really good taste in how to do things. So, he picked us, and he picked her, so great week."

(On what excites Arians about the leadership of ILB Lavonte David and DT Ndamukong Suh)

"It's just adding more pieces to the puzzle. We're not out seeking leaders to show up. Guys don't follow anybody just because they show up, you've got to prove it. You got to get on the field and earn it. So, leadership's a thing. Devin [White] didn't show up here as a leader, he became one real fast and the locker room followed him real fast. So, they don't always follow everybody. They know who's a [con] artist and who's not. When you talk a game and when you play a game, two different things."

(On what the key is to get the most out of the offensive lineman)

"I think just fundamentally and playing cohesively and staying healthy. If we could play with five or six guys and put the quarterback in positions where he's not dropping back seven steps and playing from behind. You've got to run the football. You've got to play manageable third downs and get the ball out of your hand, but you can still take shots down the field, so stay cohesive. They're plenty good enough. There's a lot of money invested in that left side and the center so, they're going to play better. I can see it. I can see the competition growing and they're a nice tight group of guys which I like. They're very, very smart."

Defensive Lineman Ndamukong Suh

(On what the free agency process has been like for Suh)

"I think it's understandable what my family wanted to do, what I wanted to do and continue playing football was the first piece. Figuring that piece out and then analyzing the teams that were after me. I wanted to sit down with my agent as well as figuring out what's the right place for me and have an opportunity to play at a high level."

(On what made Suh want to play for the Buccaneers and Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles)

"I think the biggest thing – you hit it right there on the head with Todd Bowles. Having conversations with him over the last couple years, especially when he was with the Jets last year. I looked at going there and made the decision that I did, but wanted to team up with him and see how him and Kacy Rodgers could help me continue to grow. I think as professionals we always want to find ways to continue to grow and meet great people and I met Todd probably like three or four years ago via somebody I highly respect in this game, Jim Washburn."

(On what struck Suh about Todd Bowles as a coach)

"His personality, the way he looks at things, the way he wants to attack. I think Coach Arians also mentioned in the press conference the other day about being able to attack, be very aggressive, play up the field. Obviously, people have their responsibilities and whatnot, but I've always enjoyed being in an attack-style defense."

(On Suh being able to play multiple positions)

"To me, as long I'm on the football field I'm happy and really from that standpoint if you want to look back at last year I played every single position and I pride myself being able to play three-technique, nose, end, nine, seven, six – whatever you need me to do. I think it's important for me as a professional [to] continue to grow and evolve in that space."

(On the line of scrimmage being a big force)

"I think just an aggressive and very intended force of changes of the line of scrimmage. That's something that I learned at a very early age, when I was with Bo Pelini at Nebraska. I think he changed my game from allowing me to prove that I could play in this league and then kind of going from there. So, I think as a collective group when you have four guys and really your front seven just attacking and moving that line of scrimmage back into the offense's lap, you're doing your job and you're being a big force."

(On Suh's impression of DL Vita Vea and if he's watched film of him at all)

"I've watched a little bit of film. I got a chance to get on xOS and check him out a little bit. He definitely can move. Excited to team up with him. I have to meet him first and obviously get to know him, but exciting opportunity. Obviously, being able to play with first rounders or really any talented defensive linemen, it's always an exciting piece."

(On how much interaction Suh has had with ILB Lavonte David)

"We've known each other over the years. We obviously didn't play with each other [at Nebraska]. Obviously, the Nebraska connection is very tight and [I] look forward to obviously getting a chance to have him behind me. He's very, very talented and he's proved that throughout the years."

(On if he's learned to balance his aggression with his experience)

"I think the proof is in the pudding. If you go back and look at the track record it speaks for itself."

(On Suh being perceived as one of NFL's dirtiest players)

"I think when you look at people in general, you've got to get to know them. You've got to get to have face time with them. You've got to be able to have the opportunity to interact with them. So, before you pass judgement on somebody I always take the time to get to know them, meet them, have coffee with them, whatever it may be and then be able to go from there. I think when people have seen blips of me, as you mentioned, it's been in a negative light, rather than a positive light and that's due to outlets of media, social media, whatever it may be. So, I can deal with that, because I know who I am as a person. I know who my parents are, what kind of child they brought up and it's irrelevant in my life. I think the people that know me the best see me always in a good light and see the troubles and tribulations that I've gone through as any human being goes through in their life. So, being on a list is good and bad – whatever you want to continue to look at it as, but I've been very lucky and very blessed in this league to play at a high level and I want to continue to do that."

(On what Suh hopes to bring to the Buccaneers to move the team forward)

"I think the most important thing to bring to this team is being able to play against some elite defenses. Break records, as I did in Detroit. Played at a very high level in Miami as well as in LA. I've gone to the Super Bowl – unfortunately didn't win – but I've been pretty much through the gamut. So, to be able to bring that experience and be able to bring some different views on things, but at the same time understand it all needs to be collective – we all need to have one vision and that's winning."

(On if Suh is looking forward to taking on a leadership role)

"I think I've always been a leader in my own particular right. Whether I was a rookie in Detroit or being a ninth-year guy in LA, I've always been a leader of action and I think actions speak louder than words and I've always prided myself on that. So, however that kind of involves in itself, I think coach Arians is going to be the person to lead that and then we follow behind him as he's head coach. Obviously, that trickles down to coach Bowles and then guys like myself. So, I'm happy to lead in anyway that's best for me and at the same time what's best for the team."

(On what Suh's plans in Tampa for getting involved in the community)

"I've always been a big person in community. Whether I was in Detroit, Miami, even in L.A. for the short period of time, but I spent a lot of time in L.A., so I know a lot of people there. I've always been a big person to be charitable and involved in certain things. I have backpack programs that I've done in the part and then obviously just case-by-case situations that I can see that I can help be the advantage to other people. So, I'm very open to it and I have to get my bearings first and foremost before I can start to help."

(On playing in the heat)

"It's a great advantage, to be honest with you. If we can get ourselves as a team playing at a very high level within the heat and being able to go across the country wherever we need to go whether it's London or onto the west coast it's a huge advantage for us. I've always enjoyed playing in the heat and I've played in Mississippi with my sister when she was in college there and training in that heat, and I look forward to being down here in Tampa and training in that heat. I've seen great success with it and it's always good on the body."

(On Suh taking DT Gerald McCoy's spot here in Tampa)

"I'm definitely not taking Gerald's spot. Gerald set the stone at this franchise for many, many years. Very successful. Played at a very high level. I've got a great relationship with him. The last time we actually spoke was at the Super Bowl, him wishing me best of luck. So, our relationship is good as far as I know and the last time we spoke. I wish him all the best in his endeavors. I'm not here to replace him, I'm here to kind of make my own path alongside this team and be a shining emblem of some sort to help get to a winning successful situation."

(On if Suh spoke to McCoy about playing in Tampa)

"In years past I have. This year, no.

(On Suh having fewer personal foul penalties in recent seasons)

"I think statistics speak for themselves. They're pretty consistent if I may say. When the time is needed in big games, that's when I like to show up and I think I've pretty much proven that throughout my years."

(On Suh's trip to France)

"Yeah, it was great. I had a previous plan already made over to France. Many things to do. See my best friend who plays basketball over there during his playoff days and obviously get to Bordeaux. Nobody knew that I was going to propose so, it was a good surprise. She was elated, which is most important. I'm glad she didn't say no. But, other than that it was just a great trip. I'm glad I got to go over there and enjoy that and at the same time it was a big week to be able to become a Buc. Very excited [for] the future of our household and family in general." 

(On if Suh was stressed planning the proposal on top of free agency)

"There was no stress. I've grown up in a very fortunate life. Both of my parents come from third-world countries. My stress is nowhere near compared to what they've gone through."

(On how much longer Suh wants to play in the NFL)

"I will go back to a Jim Rome interview with Tony Gonzalez and I will never forget these words Tony Gonzalez said, 'Mentally and physically are the two things that are going to allow me to continue to play this game at a high level, but mentally is where I'm going to find myself wanting to retire.' And so, for me physically I can play as long as I want to, and I think the team that I have, that works with me day-in and day-out affords me that, as well as the hard work that I've put in in the offseason. So, it's from a mental aspect and really having aspirations that I have outside of sports and that's really in the business world. I've been fortunate to have some amazing mentors and so it's when I decide I'm really looking for an opportunity to kind of move in a different direction and have my main focus in life being business and entrepreneurship and whatnot."

(On if he's watched any Buccaneers' offensive lineman on film through the years)

"I'd probably say Carl Nicks. He's another Nebraska guy. We had many battles at school and then obviously had some times here with the Bucs. In general, I think I've only played against the Bucs maybe once or twice or maybe three times over my career. So, not a lot in general. But, nothing that really kind of sticks out in my mind. I know I've had some challenges of getting to the quarterback, but I've also had some wins at getting to the quarterback and plan on being on the latter."

(On what Suh's number is going to be)

"Hopefully 93. It's been what I've been wearing in the last few years. Really since I left Detroit and my days in 90. I don't look forward to taking JPP[Jason Pierre-Paul's] spot. So, that's how I look at it."

(On how much Suh thinks coaching matters at the pro level)

"I think coaching staff is very important and being able to buy into what their speaking and really just laying it out on the table for us as players and professionals to soak up. So, I think it's an intricate piece, but at the same time, you've got to have ownership in yourself. I think you can't just look at the head coach and the staff and say it's their team. It has to be a collective group that understands its our team and we all need to have accountability in that and take ownership to be successful."

(On if Suh still has the 'fire in his eyes,' as Coach Bruce Arians reference)

"Fire in my eyes? If I'm on that football field between those white lines, there's lots of fire. I've been very, very blessed to have tunnel vision, focus and the drive to understand where I want to get and be able to bring people alongside with me at the same time. Do it on my own, but I mean the one thing about this game is it's the most team-oriented game you'll ever play. Having watched tennis – some great tennis players this last weekend and seeing how their all by themselves. They've got their own nuances. You've got to have guys to play with. So, I'm excited with the team that w have here and seeing where we can get to."

(On the aftermath with OL Evan Smith from an incident a few years ago)

"There's really no aftermath. I think that was in the past and will remain in the past. We've interacted with each other multiple times throughout. He was actually the second guy I got to speak to when I got here today. So, I don't see any issues with it. I think people want to make it bigger than what it is. I'll leave it at that."

-BUCCANEERS-

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