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 Dirk Koetter
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
(On what he needs to see defensive ends William Gholston and Carl Nassib do to step up)
"I don't really need to see anything. Your guys are your guys. Whoever you have, whoever you've got going, they're going. That's just life in the NFL for every team that has injury issues. Whoever you've got up, they're playing."
(On what he hopes to see from defensive end Noah Spence)
"Noah has worked extremely hard to get back. That guy's as hard of a worker as there is.
He puts effort into every single day. When he does get back out there, I think we just need to see more consistency and detail of assignment."
(On the biggest challenges of winning with a rookie quarterback)
"Once you've committed to playing any quarterback, for whatever reason: winning the job, veteran quarterback, quarterback injured you're playing another guy – whatever the reason, once that quarterback's your starter just like we talked about with D-Ends, he's your guy. You build a game plan to attack your opponent and then you have to always base your play-calling on what you see in practice on how your quarterback can execute that plan. You're either going to add to it and give more or you're going to pull back a little based on trust is built and how you execute in practice. And then also how a guy after he plays, what his track record it."
(On if rookies may be more prepared now than in the past)
"I just think if you draft a guy high, they're expecting you're going to play them. There's exceptions to that. Aaron Rodgers, first round pick, sits for a few years. It depends on your situation and I also think that's where – I didn't [scout] any of the quarterbacks coming out last year – but I think that's also where people have to do their homework on how ready do they think a guy is to come in and play and then what's your current quarterback situation? Are you going to make him the guy when he first comes in? My own opinion is if you draft a guy that high, on the job training is best."
(On if Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is a player that can be dangerous if he escapes the pocket)
"Yeah I think so – throw or run. I think he's a thrower first, but he's already proven that he can hurt also hurt you with his legs. I didn't do any work on him because I knew we weren't going to pick a quarterback. What I've seen him do in the NFL – forget college – in the NFL I've been really impressed. I've been impressed with mainly his timing – how quick he gets it out. He hits the back of his drop, he knows where he's going, and he gets the ball out on time."
(On how he game plans for Mayfield, a player with few starts in the NFL)
"You would start off by game planning for their scheme. You would game plan for – first of all, Cleveland is a run first football team. They're fourth in the league in rushing. They've got the three-headed attack at running back – three really good running backs. I think Carlos Hyde is definitely having his best year since coming over from the Niners. We've talked in here about our own offense. If you can run the ball successfully, then you're going to take your play-action game off of that. In the NFL, third down is third down. You've got your third down game plan, your red zone game plan, your two-minute game plan. I think it start with our defense. We have to start with how are we stopping the run and how are we – the plays the concepts that Cleveland runs they run on a consistent basis – how are you going to try to attack those?"
(On how he feels about the run defense overall)
"Yeah, good. We've done a good job running it, but no one that we've played to date has really been a run-first team. New Orleans in that first game, maybe because of their running back situation they ran it some, but not as much as I think that they will as the year goes on with both their backs. Nobody's tried to consistently pound the ball at us."
(On what he sees from how Cleveland gets the ball out)
"Going back to our New Orleans game, in really three of our games this year, that's really been it. Maybe more than that, but at least three off the top of my head. If you are in a high-scoring game, those possessions are going to matter a lot and Cleveland is doing a really good job of taking the ball away right now. Third-down defense and takeaways are their best things."
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
(On how quarterback Jameis Winston played against Atlanta)
"I thought he really played well. I mean really when you think about missing three weeks. When we were preparing for Chicago, Fitz took the majority of the reps anticipating he would start and we threw [Winston] to the fire, trying to get him some work. And then really having one week –
because in the Bye Week we didn't practice, guys were off – I thought he played really well."
(On what changes have led to increased scoring around the NFL)
"Well we've answered this before, but I'll touch on it just briefly. There a lot of different things – rules, space, athletic tailbacks, more athletic Ys, from a match up stand point. A lot of that you're seeing much more tempo, so again space creates those opportunities.
(On the improvement in the running game)
"Had a couple explosive runs, but the explosives were one half of it. The other was there was also a number of 7-yard runs, 6-yard runs, a 4-yard run a 5-yard run and those are just as important. The toughest part is an explosive and three or four runs that are one and two yards and now your average looks the same, but your situation in terms of the chains is different – in terms of how you call it. To me, that was every bit as important was the explosives we got and then the middle runs.'
(On what he's like from running back Ronald Jones)
"It's hard because you talk about skilled players and you talk about production, so it's hard to say like, 'Ok, well, what did you like about' – it's like a wide out had two catches for 10 yards – what did you like?' I like that he's getting better. I like that he's continuing to improve. Probably as much as anything we haven't seen it yet in terms of a run that broke or a catch down the field. He continues to get better. I think he's only going to get better because he has talent."
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On what's changed around the NFL that makes things easier to throw for more touchdowns)
"We've just got really good guys to throw to, and it's really tough for defensive backs to cover those real good guys that are out there. I mean, we've got pass catching tight ends, we've got running back that can run and catch the ball at the backfield. You have wide receivers like Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeSean Jackson – it's tough."
(On what stands out about the Browns)
"They have a lot of different look and some good players. They've got great personnel, so it's going to be a good matchup with our guys. We've just got to go out there and execute."
(On what is it about his game that allows him to be successful under pressure)
"We always have a good plan in place. Just knowing where you want to go with the ball and the guys outside being able to execute. Most of the time with heavy pressure teams, they're not as sound in coverage, so you've got to find your matchups and complete the football."
(On what it means to him to play his first home game of the season)
"Yeah, I'm excited to get back out there in Ray Jay. It's been a long time for me being in Ray Jay, so we've got to bring home a win for them. Last time we were there we were on Monday Night Football. Since then, it's been a month since as a team we've been in Ray Jay. It's definitely going to be exciting to get out there and get that whole atmosphere with the fans. Even watching on TV, I heard we have a beach (Bucs Beach) at Ray Jay now. Even though I'm not going to be able to participate in beach activities, it'll be cool."
(On how he has improved as a quarterback over the past year)
"The only thing that I can say I'm better at is improving every year. That's definitely my goal, and as long as I'm getting better every year, making strides whether it's coverage identification, whether it's making specific throws, I'm trying to be the best I can possibly be and I'm happy with that."