HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
(On if he has a go-to run play for short distances on third down)
"I think sometimes it's, 'We're going to run the ball right here – come stop us.' It's an attitude thing – you've got to know your matchups. The running game is so matchup oriented now, especially if you're getting into short yardage stuff. We've got a couple bread-and-butter plays that we run over 150 times during the season from a bunch of different formations, but it's the same blocking scheme. That's where we hang our hat."
(On what he's seen from OLB Quinton Bell so far)
"A lot of speed. [He's] learning the position – it's totally new to him. He was a wide receiver and now he's 250 or 260 [pounds] but he still runs a 4.4 [second 40-yard dash]. The thing for him is to continue to develop a pass-rush skill more than one move – speed isn't just enough. Shaq [Barrett] is helping him a lot with that because they're similar type, slippery guys. He should make a niche on special teams with that speed."
(On ILB Chapelle Russell)
"He came in great condition. He's one of those guys that's been through a lot in college with injuries, but he's in great shape, he's a very bright guy. He obviously did a great job with all the virtual learning. Some guys can't learn that way, others can. He was one that could. He came in knowing the defense pretty solidly and he's been able to show up on the field."
(On his impression of the team's execution in the red zone during Wednesday's practice)
"It was a good, solid period. It was a whole day of red zone. A lot of times when they're dropping eight – one time they dropped nine – it's hard to find somebody open. But, there's nobody rushing, either. It's give and take, but I thought the execution of both sides was pretty good."
(On if QB Tom Brady knows where he wants to go with the ball pre-snap and finds that spot during the play)
"I think the defense dictates where the ball goes. You can say you have a matchup, but they can double him. A couple times they went double-double – doubled Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] and we have to find the other guys. Tom's really good at finding that. We had some new things that we didn't run last year that we looked at today and we were a little slow with finding where the open spots were. They're going to be on tape and we'll see where the open spots were. One of them was actually an interception, but it's just something that we're learning from."
(On Brady's preference for the center to keep the ball dry)
"I've had a number of guys who could not stand to have sweat on the ball. Tom's got a very unique way with the towels and the talcum powder. Ryan [Jensen] is a center, so he's buying in. They kind of got that worked out over at Berkeley [Preparatory School]. When we're outside, it's hard to keep them dry – there's a lot of sweat going on. It's fun, but sooner or later it's going to be wet when you have to throw it. Tom gets pissed if it's not a spiral, but that's going to happen sometimes."
(On if he thought C Ryan Jensen played well in 2019)
"I thought he played really, really solid. He eliminated all those penalties and I thought he was the leader of the offensive line last year."
(On how the secondary has performed against Brady)
"I think the secondary is doing a good job. They got their hands on some balls on all the quarterbacks and [they are] doing a good job of when they have a possible interception, of catching it and breaking plays up. We have a very physical bunch of young guys back there and they're making it hard. It's not an easy chore when you have Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] over there playing man-to-man, but they're doing a heck of a job."
(On defending against Brady's quick decisions and ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly)
"It's the same thing we're going to see with [Saints QB] Drew Brees, so it's a real good learning process."
(On CB Parnell Motley's performance in camp)
"He's done a real good job. He's very, very quick and he can catch the ball. So, he's not one of those DBs that's batting it down – he's catching it. It's going to be tough. Special teams will determine it for him, battling those guys like Ryan Smith, who is a stud on special teams, and maybe getting into that fifth or sixth corner. Whether it's a fifth safety or a fifth corner – whoever it is – special teams will determine his slot."
(On what he's looking for in the special teams period from younger players looking to make the roster)
"Well, if you can't be blocked as a gunner, that's number one. If they can't block you and you're down there making fair catches, that's a pretty solid job for you if you can do that. The other thing is [being] a core player. You have to be able to play in four or five phases to be able to make the ballclub on Sunday."
(On ILB Devin White's performance to end the 2019 season)
"He had a great understanding of what he was doing. He was playing extremely fast, obviously making a bunch of splash plays with the fumble recoveries, the touchdowns, interceptions, the things he's capable of doing. I thought he ran the show very well and did a heck of a job of tackling better the second half of the season than he did in the first. The knee brace was really hard for him to play with, and once he got that off, we saw what we were looking for."
(On if White is one of the bigger trash talkers on the defense)
"He's just a fiery guy. He's not talking a lot of trash to the offense – Nacho (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) is the leader of that. He's the best trash talker we've got on defense right now. Some of the DBs, but Nacho (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) does the best job over there."
(On what stands out about the performances of cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean during training camp practices)
"Progression from last year. They came in and there's no drop off from where they left the season when they were playing at an extremely high level. They're both bright players, they study the heck out of the game and just continue to improve. It's easy to improve when you're going against the quality of receivers that we have. It's an all-day chore every day when you get out there, but they're improving steadily – especially their knowledge of the game, pattern reading and everything else."
(On if the rain forcing the team indoors impacts his evaluation of the team and if he had says indoors scheduled)
"We could have went outside [but] we needed the air conditioning today. We've had some pretty hot days in a row. Just get the rehydration, staying in air conditioning. It was a red zone day anyway and we didn't need anybody slipping out there and pulling a muscle."
(On if he's scheduled more official scrimmages to make up for the lack of preseason games)
"We'll have at least one or two a week, but we're going to have a game in the stadium. Two of them, actually, so that we're in the stadium, the lights are on and everything is game ready so we can know the stadium is ready, too. To get in that atmosphere and play a game live, special teams live, offense, defense – we'll try to do two of those."
(On OLB Jason Pierre-Paul and DL Ndamukong Suh not participating in Wednesday's practice)
"Just scheduled days off for those guys. Especially in spiders, they don't need that work today."
(On if he sees any decline in play from ILB Lavonte David at this point in his career)
"No, he looks like he's 25. It's amazing what he can do and his diagnose ability of plays and using his speed – there's no drop off whatsoever. He takes great care of himself."
(On if he's discussed incorporating concepts into the offense that make Brady most comfortable)
"We did that a long time ago. His biggest thing was learning what we do, learning our language. Then he and I sat down a while back [and discussed] what were his favorite concepts. We probably had most of them already in our offense, we just called them something different. That's been a good collaboration so far, but that took place way back."
(On how RB LeSean McCoy looks in practice)
"I think he looks fantastic. When you look at his tape from last September [and] October, he was still Shady. He looks like the same guy. He made a couple of great moves today, especially on a pass route one-on-one versus a linebacker. He looks good, we just have to make sure we keep him fresh."
(On if he's looking forward to having an extended practice squad to get a better look at younger players)
"That's definitely where they're going to get their look and to continue to grow and learn the game. They just missed so much time – not just on the field time, but meeting time and situational football time that we preach so much. It's a good rule and hopefully we can continue it in the future."
(On the reserve tackle role)
"Josh Wells looks really good. He put on 20 pounds and he looks really good. Joe Haeg – we're very solid at tackle. That's not a concern of mine. We've got four pretty solid tackles."
(On which running backs have stood out in pass protection and how RB Ronald Jones II has stood out in that role)
"RoJo (Ronald Jones II) has done a great job so far. All of them, they're not afraid to put their face in the fan and jump in there. We're not turning guys loose. I'm impressed with where we're at right now and we haven't been in pads enough to have a really good backs on backers drill like we normally do. That's always the toughest drill in camp. We'll have that probably next week."
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/RUN GAME COORDINATOR HAROLD GOODWIN
(On his memories of being with QB Tom Brady at the University of Michigan)
"Looking at him now, it's kind of the same person. You see that fire, that determination, a guy that's always working to get better every day. He's a guy that's always kind of been in that heavy, goal-oriented mindset. You see it play through now. It's good to have on our team right now. He's definitely been a leader – that's what he was back at Michigan, even in his younger days, a guy that studies the game."
(On determining how hard to push rookie T Tristan Wirfs)
"When we first came back, I asked B.A. (Bruce Arians) how he wanted to handle him. He said, 'Take the kid's gloves off and let him play.' We're trying our best to push him every day. He's done an excellent job of learning our offense and understanding what we're trying to do from a schematic standpoint. He's physical, he's strong and he's a kid that's probably going to be pretty good here if we keep coaching him the right way and don't screw him up."
(On Brady's reputation of yelling at teammates and coaches and how the team will respond to that)
"I think they will respond because at the end of the day, we're all trying to do the same thing – win. They know what kind of competitor he is – that's why we're excited to have him on our team. The expectations are high – we all know that. We don't want to let him down, he doesn't want to let us down. He's welcome to come into my huddle at any time and yell at my guys. If he gets on me, I know it's coming from a good place. Just like B.A. yelling at anybody on the team, it's not personal it's about the business of getting your job done."
(On how he can ensure Wirfs is confident going into the regular season)
"Right now, we've been letting him get all of the snaps with the first team [with] our good versus good. That's probably the only test he's going to get. Other than that, we just have to make sure from a protection standpoint, if we need to help him [and] slide the protection that way. Right now, I don't foresee that because I can think he can handle his own. Will he get beat from time to time? Well, they all do. But, for the most part, I think he has the opportunity to hold up one-on-one."
(On potentially cross-training coaches to instruct different positions should one be forced to miss time due to COVID)
"We're fortunate enough that we have a bunch of coaches. We probably have two coaches at every position, so we're fortunate that way. We talked about it, just making sure that me and Coach [Joe] Gilbert – we try not to hang out together too much in case one of us goes down, the other guy's available. B.A. and Byron [Leftwich] have a lot of knowledge – they can coach that position in my room if they needed to, or any position on the field. We talked about it that way. We have Rick Christophel in the tight ends room and then we have John Van Dam who has been cross-training as far as helping coach the tight ends, so we're pretty much covered everywhere. When Coach [Todd] McNair went out, [Mike Chuirco], who's one of our guys that helps out B.A., he was able to help out a little bit coaching that position. We're flexible that way, so I think we'll be all right."
(On getting the offensive line working effectively with only 14 practices in pads)
"It's very hard because we all know how big the offensive line is. To me, personally, it's the foundation of the team offensively. Without those guysm, we can't run or protect. We want pads on more – obviously with the new CBA rules and COVID, it's been hard. Especially when you talk about picking up all the games and the twists you get from our defense or coming off of the run-game as far as the double teams, that kind of thing. It's been really hard. We missed the OTAs, we missed all those general technique things you would talk about in the offseason and get worked on. You're trying to rush to get all that done now, so it's been a little bit difficult."
CENTER RYAN JENSEN
(On the importance of the relationship between the center and the quarterback)
"From a football standpoint, the C-Q (center-quarterback) relationship is huge. Coming back a little bit earlier and getting some time with him (QB Tom Brady) and learning how he processes the game and looks at defenses – that's huge for me because I can kind of know what he's thinking when we come up to the line of scrimmage and how I'm going to make my MIKE (middle linebacker) point and stuff like that. That's been a huge advantage coming into camp without a spring football."
(On getting to know QB Tom Brady)
"I didn't know what to expect at first, but when [I] first met him, he's a down to earth guy. One of the boys in the locker room – that's who he is and it's nice for sure."
(On the intensity level during the first days of padded practices)
"The first couple days of pads are always kind of a feeler. But, the first couple days of actual training camp have been very intense and that's awesome to see. A ton of competition from offense to defense to special teams. It's been refreshing that there's no lack of competition between the offense and defense. It's made for really good, competitive practices. Iron sharpens iron, so you've got a really good defense going against a really good offense. All that's going to do is make us better."
(On reducing his penalties in 2019 while keeping his aggressive style of play)
"In 2018 I was trying too much to have that persona and I wasn't playing smart football. Going into last year, that was something I really worked on – keeping my composure. I think I had four or five personal fouls in 2018 and a ton of other penalties. That's just not smart football and if you don't play smart football, you won't stay around very long. That's something I just wanted to attack last year – to knock down those stupid and selfish penalties. Just being smarter and playing smarter football is what I would say attributed to that."
(On Head Coach Bruce Arians calling him the leader of the offensive line)
"As a center, I always tell young centers, 'Whether you want to be or you don't want to be, you're usually the leader of the group in some form.' It's awesome to get the recognition and see that he sees me as that leader. It's a cool feeling, but I'm kind of the silent leader that makes sure everybody's staying on track and staying focused."
LINEBACKER CHAPELLE RUSSELL
(On competing for a roster spot)
"I'm just going to stick to my process. I'm going to come in every day and I'm going to work – that's all I know I how to do. I'm going to come in and work and learn from the older guys. I've got a good group of guys in my room as far as Lavonte David, Kevin Minter, Jack Cichy – I lean on all of [those] guys to kind of show me the ropes and how to address things at this level now. I'm meeting with my special teams coordinator, as well, so I'm trying to take that extra initiative just to make sure I'm putting as much work in on the defensive side of the ball as well as the special teams side. I'm just giving it my all in all three phases of the field and we'll just take it from there."
(On being teammates with QB Tom Brady)
"When we first met, it was real mutual. It wasn't anything too exaggerated as far as social media tried to portray. It was just a simple, 'What's up?' When he walked away, I just thought to myself in my head like, 'Woah, that's Tom Brady that just said what's up to me.' [It was] like, wow, I'm really here now, I'm really in Tampa, I'm really part of the [organization], I'm really a team member. It felt crazy. You've got to realize you can't be starstruck once you get here. He's not just another guy, but he's my teammate. I just look at him as somebody that's going to be a resource and help the team. I'm going to take him in and hopefully he takes me in, as well. Hopefully we have more of a relationship than just, 'What's up' here and there one day, but it feels great just to have that greatness on the team. The way he leads, his charisma on the field and the way he affects people out there. You just feel his energy when you're out there. It's just great being around greatness and I'm just going to fall in line."
(On the mental preparation work he did this offseason to get ready for training camp)
"As far as my process, I just knew this game is nothing to play with. It can be taken away from you any day. I just come in every day ready to work. I knew coming in I had to take advantage of this pandemic and quarantine situation. For me that was just to have the opportunity to go through the defense installs with guys that were already on the team and just talk through it with them. When we had those scheduled meetings it just allowed me to get a step ahead, just hearing it at least. It's not even that I had to fully understand it and get a good grasp of it when we installed it before. Just hearing it before allowed me to be kind of a step ahead when I got here because since I had already heard it, it was kind of a refresher now. So the first couple installs were definitely fresh in my head. Honestly I was just grateful for that because without the pandemic, it would've just been flying bullets. You would've came in here running installs and going around the field and doing it. To have the opportunity to learn before even coming to Tampa just allowed me to play a little faster."
(On the speed of linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White)
"Man, [those] boys are fast. Just watching them from the sideline you can just tell that veteran presence that they have being on the field – how fast they key and how fast they move and how efficient they are on the field. That's what I pay attention to when I'm watching film – the way they move and how fast they're keying things. Once they know what they've got to do, they're doing it full speed. I'm learning from them and I'm going to pick it up day by day [and] hopefully get on their level."
LINEBACKER DEVIN WHITE
(On how much faster he is able to play heading into his second season)
"I think for me I can play ten times faster than what I did last year. One because I don't have that brace on and two because I knew the scheme last year, but me knowing the scheme now and knowing where my hip is, who I'm using in the run game, whether it's Lavonte [David] or the down safety or even if we're spilling it back to the corner, like if it's a nub side. I'm knowing more and more now with just the Zoom meetings we were having in the offseason, and this just being my only focus. I'm good. And then it's the same plays, and the new plays he [Todd Bowles] put in, they're built off the last year's plays, so I don't have a new playbook in front of me. Everything's just moving just fine for me."
(On being inspired by how good Lavonte David looks heading into his ninth season)
"Yeah, I'm really thankful for everything that he brings to the team, especially his veteran [presence]. With him out there competing like that a lot of guys around different organizations get vet days and this dude don't take vet days. Last year all training camp he was there every step of the way. When we first got here this time, he was out there competing with me. Even on that video it was only 10 yards and I still beat him – just letting everybody know. I'm just proud of everything the brings. The guys has a winning mentality and hasn't made the playoffs yet. It's bigger goals for us, even that Top 100. I was more mad than he was, but at the end of the day he said that's not his main focus. His main focus is winning the division, getting to the playoffs and winning the whole thing. As long as we just keep that mindset and don't worry about the outside distractions, such as little stuff like that, I think everything will take care of itself, especially for him, myself and the linebacker room."
(On what it is like going against QB Tom Brady everyday)
"It's great. Everything's always on a string, which means you really don't have room for nothing when you're going against him. If you're in the wrong defense or he sees something, he's going to try to hit or he's going to try to call a pass play, just to be a beater for whatever coverage we're in. At the end of the day we've got great guys on our side of the ball too and if I had to put the game on the line I'd rather my defense be out there than him and the offense, so that just lets you know. But he's really making us better. We're getting better every day we go out there and compete against him. And I think a great thing is I'm able to go to him after practice and see the things that he's seeing that we need to improve on on defense to make us even better. Like, 'Hey man, I'm picking you all apart when you're on your toes a lot or just any little thing that he picked up on. I'm going to him and getting advice because he's seeing it every day, so I know another team is going to look for it on film and try to pick us apart with it in a game. If we fix it right now in training camp, we don't have to worry about it."
(On what he learned about himself after coming back from injury last year)
"Having to wear that brace, it was challenging. I felt like a robot and felt like I needed extra help. I think it just told me that the man up above, he was just letting me know that he was guiding me, he was my strength. I think it just made me more patient. My patience level it's not good. I always want to be on the field. I always want to be right in the midst of everything with my teammates, and I always want to be helping them get to a victory. I wasn't able to do that, and it was the first time ever in my life having to sit out games or even miss practice, and I've been playing ball since I was five years old. That just lets you know. At the end of the day it boosted my confidence level up because I was so ready to get back. I had so much time not to be on the field but just to be studying and it made me a better player. So, when I came back, it was all about playmaking. I think I went out there and I showed being able to win Defensive Rookie of the Month two months in a row – that was just a blessing, just letting me know it was all God's timing, even though I didn't start off so well, but I finished great."