HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
(On today's practice)
"Yeah, I thought it was a pretty solid practice – a good start to the week. I didn't think our running backs were particularly sharp today catching the ball. It started in warmups. We addressed it after practice and everybody's got to be ready to go. That was the only group – everybody else looked like they were ready to roll."
(On if RB Dare Ogunbowale has been reliable catching the ball out of the backfield)
"He has been so far."
(On how S Antoine Winfield Jr. has progressed)
"He just makes plays every day. [There is] a lot of volume of information passed to him – he handles it really well. He executes the defense, he has great instincts. You can't stay out of practice very long [or] you're going to get beat out by him."
(On if S Mike Edwards will be out for an extended period of time)
"He has an eye infection, so he has some sensitivity to light. Hopefully he'll get back out there quickly."
(On his assessment of the kickers and if he's had a conversation with K Matt Gay following the first week of padded practices)
"No, I have not had a conversation. They both missed one again today, so it really was a wash today. It'll take care of itself – I don't need to have any conversations."
(On what he's seen from RB LeSean McCoy)
"The same stuff we saw on film. He's quick, he's learning some nuances – especially in the passing game. He's just like all the rookies – he missed a lot of time. But, he's a very smart, veteran player, so it's not taking him long to catch up."
(On the performance of the running backs in Sunday's practice)
"They dropped too many balls today – simple. They can catch them, so it's unacceptable."
(On WR John Hurst's performance in training camp)
"A lot of speed, a lot of quickness. He's showing that it's not too big for him and his speed shows up every single day somewhere. He's doing a pretty good job as a gunner right now on special teams and that would help him a bunch if he could handle that job."
(On if QB Blaine Gabbert is solidified in the backup quarterback role)
"We have a lot of faith in Griff (Ryan Griffin), also, but Blaine knows this offense inside out. He made some great throws today and he's pretty much entrenched in it."
(On if TE O.J. Howard is becoming a more reliable receiver)
"He's had a great camp. He came back in great mental shape and physical shape. He's making plays every single day, so I can't say enough about him right now."
(On how QB Tom Brady performed in his first week against the defense)
"He looks fantastic. He made some great throws today – soft throws in zones. He knows where he's going with the ball. He's building trust with some of the wideouts now, so that ball he threw to Mike [Evans] down the middle was big time. He looks fine."
(On his comfort with the entire special teams unit)
"I think we're getting better and we continue to improve. Losing T.J. Logan hurt because he was one of our best special teams guys as a returner and a cover guy, so somebody's going to have to step in to that role. We've got enough capable guys to get it done. We're probably hitting more in special teams than we ever have for that reason."
RUNNING BACKS COACH TODD MCNAIR
(On the importance of the running backs in pass protection this season)
"Coming from college, they don't ask them to sort out the defenses and the looks and the identifications that they have to do on this level. This is much more sophisticated in deception. The bullets are flying, guys are rolling around [and] flying around. After that, you have to get to the actual combat phase part of protection. The difference between – I'm an old guy – when we played and how they play now, we would have live pass protection three times a week. [In] training camp, almost every day of the week and you learned – one, you've got to check your courage. Two, you've got so many different scenarios that can happen. You have eight linebackers on the other side of the running backs and you have eight different techniques, different moves and different rush styles. You get familiar with how to deal with it. These guys don't get that."
(On how RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn and RB Raymond Calais have performed)
"First thing, they're pretty sharp – both of them. They assimilated to the offense, they got a good grasp of the basic things of what we do through playing and practicing – the little details and stuff. I was pleased with how they picked it up – virtual learning the whole spring after the draft and then the summer. Ke'Shawn is doing well – he's got great vision, great feel inside and good contact balance – a lot of what we saw on tape. Ray is really twitchy, meaning he's super sudden and quick. They've both impressed at certain times. We're pleased with them."
(On how RB LeSean McCoy has looked in training camp and how he helps the younger running backs)
"A couple of things. One, Shady brings a lot of energy. He talks a lot, he bounces around a lot, he leads vocally encouraging the guys, picking them up and pushing them. He's good in the meeting rooms because they get to see [how] he just comes in during the week, studies his behind off and he's got the offense down pretty good. They need to see that. For him to be in his 12th season – he's not as light as he will be when he starts playing – and he runs around the field and he finishes down the field, that's good for them to see from a guy in his 12th year who works as hard as he does."
(On how QB Tom Brady commands the offense)
"You can't be the player of his status without knowing how to be a great leader. He leads vocally and commands the huddle. Having a feel for what's going on, the climate of practice – red zone, lock in and third down, lock in, stuff like that – just his presence. Guys look up in the huddle and it's Tom Brady looking at you calling the play. He's so much older than a lot of these guys – they grew up watching him and they can be in awe a little bit. But, it's good to have."
CORNERBACK SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING
(On how helpful competing against QB Tom Brady, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin and the rest of Tampa Bay's offense has been for the defense)
"It definitely helps us a lot, especially with disguises and stuff like that. Brady's able to distinguish what we're in really easily sometimes, and that just helps us and lets us know that we need to do a better job disguising that coverage and what we're doing. As far as going against Chris and Mike, it always helps with that. They're the two best receivers in the league, in my opinion, and going against them should make going against everybody else a lot easier. We just need to go 100 percent on those and hopefully it pays off."
(On adding weight this offseason to try and be more physical on the field)
"I feel good. I feel stronger than I've ever felt before for the most part. It's more so getting back into the groove of playing football and getting back in the groove of covering receivers and using my fluidity and my quickness to my advantage. At the end of the day, I vouch to be physical at all times. As far as in the run, I want to be able to fit more in the run and be more effective in the run support when we are in sub packages. Putting that weight on and bulking up can only help me."
(On what Godwin does to make him a successful wide receiver)
"Chris is really shifty. A lot of people probably don't think so because he's so big, but he's really shifty. He uses his speed really wisely because he can beat you over the top. But, he's a very precise route runner with a wide catch radius. You can think you have him covered for 10 yards and he gets open and makes the catch. You can think you've got him tackled down and he'll bounce off your first tackle, bounce off your second tackle and get 15-20 extra yards. That's just what Chris does – he's been doing it since college. When I was in college, I was able to watch how he was in college and doing the same things. He's just a really good vet, a really good guy to go against. He takes care of his body very properly and he gives advice all the time. If I'm covering him a certain way, he'll tell me, 'I read this because you did that.' He just makes me better each and every day. Every time we practice against each other and go against each other, he just makes me a better player."
(On what having success against Brady in practice does for Tampa Bay's secondary)
"It builds confidence. We have to play with high confidence, especially as a secondary, because confidence is everything, really. If you don't have any confidence, you aren't going to make a lot of the plays you think you're going to make. You have to have that swagger and that confidence to be the defensive back that you want to be and to stay on top and be consistent. Obviously making plays on him, everybody is hyped up and everybody is happy about it and excited about it because it's the G.O.A.T. that you're going against. It's not just a regular person or a regular quarterback, it's a guy that's won six championships. It brings confidence, it brings intensity and it lets you know that you can make that play against anybody if you can make it against him."
(On if he finds the defense is able to play quicker in the second year of the defensive scheme)
"Definitely. It makes it a lot easier when you know what you're doing, you know your responsibility and where you have to be – you play a lot faster. That's just being in the system for another year and being able to add on to what we already did. Last year we had certain plays and certain ways we had to do things. This year, we know what we have to do, so we can disguise it differently, we can show different things. But ultimately, we know our responsibility will be something else. It makes a lot of things easier because we can move through training camp and move through our training camp and installs more quickly than we could last year because we don't have to linger on certain mistakes that we're consistently making. The main thing now is to execute and be consistent – effort, attitude and being accountable for one another."
RUNNING BACK DARE OGUNBOWALE
(On the advice QB Tom Brady has given the running backs)
"Just trust ourselves. We're all smart players – just make sure we trust ourselves, trust our instincts and be able to play fast because of it.
(On being seemingly unphased by the team bringing in additional running backs)
"That's just kind of been the way I've been. It's the story of my career. I've always been in a competition, that's the way it's always been. I see everything as a competition. Us bringing in more running backs, that's just more people to compete with, but even before that I had competition on my mind. That's just the way I've always been."
(On how good the defense can be this season after going against them in practice)
"The defense can be great – I mean they already are great. They're just a bunch of hungry, hungry players on that side of the ball and they all know how to make plays. Obviously last year, it was a new defense and a new staff, so that was probably the reason for the slow start. Now that they've got the comfort, now that they know the calls, now that they know what they're doing and how to play off each other, they are a scary group. I'm excited to see what they do, especially with the way we are playing offense, as well."
(On the development of RB Ronald Jones II)
"He's looking good. He's always obviously been explosive, but now that he's getting his mentality where it needs to be and getting more and more comfortable in his second year with this staff, I feel like he's poised and ready to have a big season. I'm excited to watch him play [and] excited to see how he has grown. I'm excited for him. That's my boy and I look forward to seeing him make some plays this year."
(On being in the huddle with QB Tom Brady)
"It's great. Not only just from a football history standpoint with what he has done, but also just having that comfort in the huddle, knowing that this guy knows exactly what he's doing. He knows what he wants and he's going to make the right decision with the ball, and probably make a spectacular play, too. It's pretty special being able to be in the huddle with him and get the call from him. Obviously, that just heightens our awareness, just to make sure we're making plays for Tom."
SAFETY ANTOINE WINFIELD JR.
(On his experience after a full week of practice in the NFL)
"So far it's been an awesome experience. Everything is new coming in, so I'm learning new things every single day. I'm still working on getting better in all my areas of my game, but it's been a great experience so far."
(On his positional versatility and how challenging it has been to learn multiple positions)
"It's difficult, but that's part of the job. My goal is to study and be the most prepared as I can be. I have to do two different jobs, and I'm going to go home and study every day to make sure I get those jobs done. It's difficult, but it's part of the work."
(On taking the field against QB Tom Brady)
"It's been a crazy experience. Going up and practicing against him every day is wild to me still. It's great work and it's getting me better, so I'm enjoying it."
(On if there are things his father told him about the NFL that have been true through his first week of practice)
"One thing that he always told me is that the game is faster [in the NFL]. Coming out from college to the pros, the speed is different, so I would say he was right about that. He also just tells me to continue focus working on my technique, learning the plays, learning the system and just continue to keep playing hard and everything will all work out at the end."
(On how he is overcoming the reps he lost due to OTAs and mini camps being cancelled)
"I would just say that every time I'm out there, I'm giving it my all. I know that we haven't been able to get as many reps as we would have, but just basically being able to take mental reps when I'm not in – seeing what the defense is doing when I'm not in, I feel like is a big part of taking those extra mental reps to get myself prepared."
(On the importance of players using their voice and platform to promote social justice)
"It's very comforting. As athletes, we've got to use our platform as our voice and reach out and hit as many people as we can. It's great for athletes and anybody that's an idol to people to go out there and reach out, say something and speak up and use their voice. I think it's great that we're allowed to do that."
(On QB Tom Brady still performing at a high level at this point in his career)
"It's crazy. He's been in the league as long as I've been alive. I'm 22 years old – he's pretty much been in the league my entire life. It's crazy that he's still able to do what he does at his age. It's ridiculous."