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
Quarterback Jameis Winston
Inside Linebacker Devin White
Head Coach Bruce Arians
"I hope everybody is as excited as we are to get started. We'll get through these two days in shorts and start finding out what we've got. I know we've improved over the summer. Just looking at the guys who have been here the last couple of days, [they're] in great shape. Retention was outstanding, especially the young players. I'm looking forward to getting everybody out. Everybody else came in in great shape. We'll do the conditioning test today and it won't last long because I already know they're in good shape – and I don't want to run them too much anyway – but we'll go through the formality of it. No real answers as far as [injured] guys. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) is progressing, nothing new on his timeline. Justin Evans is still on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). We'll see how long that takes. Nick Fitzgerald pulled his hamstring playing beach volleyball, so he's got another week or so. We'll get those guys back out there, hopefully two of them, soon."
(On attendance for the first day of training camp)
"Everybody is here ready to roll."
(On what conditioning tests consist of)
"We usually run 20 60's (60-yard sprints), timed, with a break at 10. Each group has a different time."
(On his enthusiasm compared to training camps as Arizona Cardinals head coach)
"Probably higher than ever. I'm really excited about this team, about being back in it having been gone a year. I came back early. I usually come back the day before. I was here early to get started. I really enjoyed quarterback school. I thought we got a lot done. Especially seeing a guy like Cam Brate out there, flying around, looking good. That was really positive."
(On if he's been surprised by QB Jameis Winston's work ethic)
"Yeah. That's one thing you never have to question. Sometimes, you have to say 'Woah, slow down, don't overdo it,' because he is a workaholic and he wants to do everything possible to be successful. That's all you can ask for."
(On how physical training camp will be)
"Really physical. Really physical."
(On if there will be live tackling drills)
"We will have live tackling. That's the only way to learn how to tackle. You have to tackle some. Are we going to tackle a lot? No. Are we going to tackle certain guys? No. But we will tackle, yes."
(On if he would have come back to coaching if Jameis Winston were not the quarterback)
"It was a big part of it. To have all the pieces – ownership, general manager, quarterback, coaches. As that all fell into place, the excitement level got higher and higher. Even in my wife, who it wasn't hard convincing her. She knew how excited I was. That's a huge part of it."
(On the importance of depth)
"It's huge. One of the things I'll tell the guys tonight – don't look at where you're at on the depth chart. Find a role. The most valuable player on the team is the guy who has to take the place of somebody who is a starter and a heck of a player and play at that level. I always try to talk about Wally Pipp. The guys don't know who Wally Pipp [is]. They don't even know who Lou Gehrig was, so I got to find a new story."
(On competition on the offensive line)
"It'll be a good competition. I don't judge linemen until we put pads on. You can see how athletic they are, how smart they are in the spring, but you can't really see how physical they are. That's going to be a really fun battle to watch. We've got capable guys and I like where all of them are at. I think we should have solid depth. Whether we dress seven or eight on Sunday will depend on the health of the guys."
(On competing in the NFC South)
"It's an excellent division because of the quarterbacks. Very seldom will you have a division with four quarterbacks like these guys. They can beat anybody on any day. I think injuries, defenses have improved dramatically in the last three or four years – New Orleans, Atlanta. Atlanta's injuries last year took all their defensive players out, especially down the middle. It's staying healthy and winning at home. You've got to win at home."
(On his comfort level with outside pass rushers)
"Very. I think [outside linebacker] Shaq Barret is going to be outstanding. I think all those guys, Carl [Nassib], Noah [Spence] – he has flourished in what his role is now. I'm anxious to see him rush the passer in pads, because he was very effective in shorts. I think the interior guys are excellent blitzers. I think here in Tampa, you traditionally only think of four-man line pass rush. That's not who we are. It's been here for a long time, but it's not that way anymore."
(On how the team handles negative predictions)
"Don't listen to the noise. Go to work every day. I go back to my first year in Arizona, it was five, mostly six (predicted wins). We won 10, and we had injuries, but we won games in the last two minutes. When you go back and look at the 5-11 record, there were a lot of close games. We didn't play smart enough to win, or we missed a kick, or we had a penalty or busted assignment. It was Bucs beating Bucs. Eliminate that. It wasn't talent. It's just play better in the final two minutes of the half and the final two minutes of the game and they're at least 8-8. Make a kick."
(On kicker competition)
"It's best man wins. With [punter] Bradley [Pinion] being able to kick off, that part's out of it. Matt [Gay] can kick off, but Bradley, he's excellent at it. So, who's going to be the most accurate guy and who's got the distance to hit that game winner when you're 52 (yards out) or 55, consistently?"
(On reaction to CB Ryan Smith's suspension and if that influenced draft decisions)
"No. I wasn't aware until a little bit later. Those draft guys would've been taken anyway. I hate it for him. I think it was a dumb mistake, what happened. A lot of these guys put something in their body that they didn't get here, and that's the consequence. We'll live with that and hopefully he'll be back after those four games and still have a spot."
(On if he is against playing rookies)
"I was very against it in Arizona. We drafted some guys that we knew were going to redshirt because we didn't need them that year. This is probably the most mature group of rookies I've ever been around in my 20-something years in the NFL. These guys are serious men coming to work. They're not silly guys with a lot of money in their pocket. One of the things I think we learned in Arizona was that great talent that might be a tick immature, take the guy that's right next to him that is mature, because these guys have to play now."
(On ILB Devin White living up to expectations as a rookie)
"I think that was a big part of the evaluation process. How mature he was and the accolades from coaches that we really trust that were around him every day, and you hear Ed [Orgeron] now talk about how they can't replace him. So, the sky's the limit. Let's let him fail before we pull him back. See what he can't do. Right now he can do everything. So until he says 'Whoa, I can't learn all this stuff or I can't do that.' I don't think that's ever coming out of his mouth though, knowing him."
(On LB/S Deone Bucannon's performance and versatility)
"Yeah, he can play safety, he can play linebacker, he can play special teams. That ankle is finally healthy again, and he can run again. So yeah, he'll find his niche, because his position flexibility is so huge when you're putting those 53 guys together. If we want to play him as safety against a running team, we can do it. If we want to play him in a passing game in a nickle linebacker and a dollar linebacker, he can handle it. So he's a very versatile player. And he loves football."
(On Jameis Winston's early game turnovers)
"I think that's all the stuff we're still learning. Learning this offense, learning to dump it down, and when to take the shots. We talk a lot about that even two days ago, [Quarterback] Ryan (Griffin) took a shot on third down and I looked at him, and he said, 'I would've thrown it to [Tight End] Cam [Brate].' I said, 'What about first down". 'I'd have thrown a touchdown.' I said 'Exactly.' When to do it and when not to do it. Because in each play there's a short pass and a long pass. What's your match up? And learning that, we had Scotty [Miller] matched on the safety. And we took the safe pass when we had the touchdown. And we look on film and [says] 'whoo'. So you can't miss those matchups, and it's just that learning process. And still learning some guys Breshad [Perriman], Scotty, those guys you know."
(On the difficulty in not holding the QB back)
"Oh yeah, you don't want him playing scared. You want him playing smart. Big difference. I don't want any player playing scared. Play smart and play fast."
(On Winston's technique versus his mental game)
"I think about 70 percent is upstairs. He has improved, I think, dramatically - his footwork and stuff because he's worked so hard at it. And that helps, because that stops that high hot one down the middle. That high hot one down the middle doesn't have anything to do with your brain. It's your technique. That's usually where he gets in trouble, firing one down the middle that's high and hot. And we've worked a lot, talking about second base throws rather than where a guy has to reach above his head."
(On his confidence in the running backs)
"I am fine with what we have. I think Peyton [Barber] came in at 229 and looked fantastic. Is he going to hit home runs 70 yards? Probably not, but he's going to pound people, and that's what we like. Because that sets up the play exit pass, I'm really anxious to see Ronald Jones. He progressed so much through the spring. He looks in great shape, and I think he's hungry. He told me Todd McNair's done a great job with both of those guys. Andre Ellington is healthy for the first time and he adds a little something different. I'm fine with those guys. I think for what we like doing, I think Rojo can be really explosive, and I think Peyton is gonna be really steady. They're good pass blockers. Dare [Ogunbowale] is in that mix too, physical and a really good route runner."
(On OLB Jason Pierre Paul's surgery possibilities)
"I think it's ruled out. I can't swear to the doctors, but seeing him yesterday, he was in great spirits. It's improving. It's making progress, and I think everything is on course."
(On Ndamukong Suh's leadership role)
"For [Defensive Linemen] (Ndamukong) Suh, just be you. You know, you don't have to come in here and be a 'rah-rah' guy and all. Just be you, play hard like you always do and guys will follow you. He's already helping guys and giving them tips. You know, to me that's leading. When you're helping your room get better, that's leading. I always go back to Jerome Bettis. He taught Willie Parker how to play to take his job, and that was the Steeler way. Your veteran guys coached your young guys to help us win. If they'd take your job eventually, so be it. Heinz Ward did the same thing for me as a receiver room. I think people add that to our room."
(On when S Justin Evans is coming back)
"I have no idea. No Idea."
(On how big of a concern that is)
"If he would have practiced all Spring and was penciled in as a starter, I'd be concerned. But I haven't seen him play. So I've seen all the other guys play, and I'm okay. If we get him back and he's what I hope he is, that's adding to the picture."
(On there being no drama with the team)
"Yeah everybody just drove in the building. I've been around some really good entries though over the years. It's great, that's what it's all about. You know, we had the tragedy of the accident early with JPP. Everything else has been just smooth. And these guys put their heads down and just go to work. And as a coach that's all you can ask for."
(On Pierre - Paul's timeline for being back around September or October)
"He is such a freak healer, I wouldn't put it past him to be ready then. The doctors still say October. He's on his original time, so no setbacks, knock on wood."
(On importance of advocating for the QB)
"Ben [Roethlisberger] asked me that when I took over as the coordinator of Pittsburgh. He said, 'Are you going to holler at me like you do at the receivers?' I said, 'I hope not. You're a quarterback.' So each and every guy is different, they learn different. I think this coaching staff is experienced and mature enough to handle each guy differently. Some guys have learning disabilities, some don't. Some guys learn on the board, some have to walk through, so our job is to get them taught. Whatever it takes to get them taught. I'm very, very excited about this coaching staff. I think it's one of the best there's ever been."
(On his message to fans)
"Come have fun. We're going to have fun. It's going to be different when we put the pads on. There will be a lot of hollering and screaming and there won't be any damn music. So you'll hear some things. You know, maybe put some earplugs on the kids."
(On Coach Arians' health)
"Well, I didn't gain any weight over the summer. Now I can go back on my diet now that the chef is working again, and maybe try to lose 10 or 15 before the first game. That first 25 was hard to get rid of, but I feel great. I had a great physical again, so I'm ready to roll."
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On not having former teammate Gerald McCoy in the locker room with him)
"I know I personally am going to miss Gerald McCoy and I know we as a team are going to miss him, but he's an opponent of ours now. Just for the love of the game, we're going to be going against each other now, but he is a great brother of mine. I love him and I wish the best for him."
(On if he's connected with the rookie receivers)
"Yeah, absolutely. I think it's very critical that you connect with all your receivers. I've been playing with Mike [Evans] going on four years now – we have a great rapport. But, I'm definitely excited to work with these new guys and get the show on the road."
(On his reasoning for going back to Florida State to work out over the summer)
"I think one thing is just going back to my school and working out in their facilities and spending some time with their coaches. Another thing is just taking the players out of this atmosphere, going down to Tallahassee, stepping away from Tampa and just spending some quality time together."
(On what he has learned from Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich and Quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen)
"Every coach brings something different. I'm just really excited to get to work with them. Obviously, we'll get to know each other more now that it's training camp time. I think one thing from Byron is just that he played this game, so I know he's going to bring me a lot of great information. Coach Clyde ['s resume] speaks for itself, with the quarterbacks that he had the opportunity to coach, so I'm excited for him and he's just a wonderful man. I love them both."
(On his comfort level with this offense)
"I'm just excited. I'm pumped to be back in this room with my guys and getting ready to get out there and execute and play some football."
(On if this training camp feels more exciting than previous years)
"Every time you step back into football, it's exciting. This is what we do. It's cool. Y'all get excited. Y'all get to see us every day."
(On where he stands after his progression last season)
"I've just got to do my job. The better I do my job, the better chance we give this team a chance to win. That's just it. Not looking back on last year, but I think I did a good job of doing my job toward the end of the year."
(On what he's learned about Head Coach Bruce Arians)
"He's going to shoot it to you straight. He has incredible swag and incredible confidence, and that's why he's been a successful coach in this league for so many years. Also, he gets his energy from the amount of work that he puts in with his coaches. He loves his coaches just like he loves his players, and that's a good feeling to be around. So many of his coaches had the opportunity to play for him, so as a player you can feel the energy that they got when he coached them, and it just multiplies."
(On Head Coach Bruce Arians being an advocate for quarterbacks)
"Yeah, absolutely. That's his position and that's what he's known for. I just think he's an amazing coach for how he's able to relate to the player. I think he expects a lot from his players and he gets the most out of them."
(On the confidence he gets from Head Coach Bruce Arian's belief in him)
"I'm going to go to work regardless, but it's always a plus when your head coach believes in you."
(On virtual reality technology he's using this year)
"I think it's awesome. I think STRIVR is doing an excellent job. They now have a more accessible system where literally I had it at home with me, and it's good. You just don't have to be up here all day and use it. It's great. It's very unique to see how the game is changing to this virtual way. You actually can be in there. You got guys flying all around you. You can feel some hits sometimes. It's pretty cool."
(On his chemistry with WR Chris Godwin)
"[I'm] excited for Chris Godwin. He's such a workaholic. He does his job. When you do your job and you find a way to get open, somehow you get the football. I think the rest of them are all going to try to do that too. There is going to be a lot of competition out there, possibly more competition than we expected – that's a good thing. Everyone is going to push themselves. The more we can compete against each other, the more prepared we're going to be against other teams."
(On how similar Head Coach Bruce Arians' offense compares to what he's been running in past years)
"It's really just playing to our particular strengths. I like to throw the ball downfield and we're going to call some plays to throw the ball downfield. We've got guys that can stretch the field vertically, so we've got to put them in the best possible position and we're going to do that."
(On if the team is mature enough to handle accountability)
"Absolutely, the game of football has always been like that. Coaches are always going to coach and players are always going to play. When you have a head coach that expects that from you and finds a way to get it out [of] you, that's how you have success."
(On what he sees from the rookie class)
"I just see hunger. When you see hunger and not complacency from a rookie class, you know you've got a good thing. Those guys are coming in willing to work, and it heads with Devin White. That guy is a hard worker and he's a great leader, so they're going to follow his footsteps. There's no age limit on leadership, so we definitely bring him on in, come be a [leader] day one and do what you do best. Those other guys are going to follow suit and just do their job the best they possibly can."
(On his message for fans)
"Hashtag Go Bucs, baby – that's why they should be optimistic. Come out here – an exciting time – it's football season. One, there's nothing else to watch on TV right now but football, so let's get into it, let's get behind us right now and we're going to play well for you."
(On if a less-is-more approach may be more effective)
"I think you've just got to do your job, whatever that requires. If it's putting up numbers or if it's not. Doing your job and finding a way to win is how you're going to be judged at this position and that's what we have to do."
(On balancing taking time away from football while getting accustomed to a new offense)
"You work at everything you do. You work at being a father, you work at being a quarterback, you work at being a husband, you work at being an all-time puzzle maker. You work at putting together playhouses and toys – that's very difficult to do. I'm consistently learning and working, so a 'workaholic' is a good definition."
(On what he's learned from fatherhood)
"It's just a privilege to be a father to my son. He's pretty good. He's everywhere, but he's pretty good. I think since we got the house [baby]-proofed, we've been pretty safe around him."
(On if he tried to do too much in the past)
"I think as a winner, we're all trying to do things to help win football games. Once we start winning and do that, it's going to be less of that. We have to have that passion. Everyone has to have that passion to try to do whatever it takes to win football games. The easiest thing is to do your job, keep it simple and let it ride."
(On improvements he's seen from RB Ronald Jones)
"I think he's just peaceful. He's excited. He's executing on all cylinders. He did in OTA's and I expect the same here. I'm just happy to see him being himself, smiling and being a great football player that God blessed him to be."
(On what makes Head Coach Bruce Arians relatable to players)
"I think it's his essence. When the guy walks in a room, he's approachable. You know you can talk to him at any time. I think that's just a good quality to have as a head coach. That's the same way with the quarterback position. You have to be approachable. Your teammates [have] to like you. They don't [have] to like you, but they've got to respect you in some sense and feel like they can come talk to you about anything. I feel like I'm an approachable guy."
(On what area of his game he is emphasizing this year)
"Footwork – consistently footwork. You can never get too good at footwork. I've got to continue to hone in on that and deliver the ball on time, and that's it."
(On who is the fastest receiver on the team)
"It's tough. I'm not going to be on record saying that because I'm not going to have anybody mad at me. They're all electric, so if you want to set up a race, go ahead. I'd love to see it, baby."
(On no music at training camp)
"That should inspire our fans to be louder at training camp. When we make a big play, let's hear an uproar. We've got to get used to that. We've got to get used to [fans] cheering us on when we're making big plays. That's going to be exciting. It's not necessarily new. We create our own energy, and that'll be good. The fans will be able to hear us talking jive at each other a little bit more. They won't have to hear the music. It's going to be fun."
(On where he likes where he is in football and in life)
"I'm blessed to have the opportunity to be the quarterback for the Bucs. I'm blessed to have a beautiful family and the opportunity to be a quarterback in the NFL. I'm grateful for this organization, for these owners, and that's all. All those other guys (in the NFC South), I'm sure they will say the same. I have to be the best Jameis. They have to be the best them. I'm grateful."
(On the excitement of training camp getting underway)
"It's exciting to be back with the guys, and I'm sure everyone else feels that way. A lot of people say we need to get away, we need to do this, but this is our getaway. This is our sanctuary. We're going to have some fun in training camp and it's going to be a sight."
Inside Linebacker Devin White
(On the passing of his horse, Daisy Mae, and how he is dealing with it)
"I mean, we were just getting ready to come back here. We were in Louisiana on our last trail ride, and by 7:30 that evening - you know we're in my hometown, and we had a trail ride that weekend - I guess it was just so humid out there, she just got overheated. That's all I can say. You know, we tried our best, and we cooled her down - we had fans on her. I rushed her to the hospital that night and stayed with her until probably midnight. And then you know, she just didn't make it. And I mean, I caught a flight here at 5 am ready to play football."
(On what stands out about QB Jameis Winston)
"I say the thing that strikes me most about Jameis is his care for other people. You know he's always willing to go above and beyond for everybody else and put everybody before himself. And just, how much he puts the team before himself, because even with us being here for the quarterback school, Jameis, when I get here he is like the first one in the building and when I leave - I called him the other day to use his truck to be able to transport some TVs and stuff from the store, and I was like, ' Where you at, are you coming from your house?' He was like, 'No. I'm still at the facility.' So that lets you know how much he cares and how much he wants this team to succeed. He knows it starts with him because he's the quarterback of the offense. So, I love seeing that approach from him, and it kind of let me know where I need to be as player too, being the quarterback of the defense."
(On the overall maturity of the rookies)
"I mean, I think the coaching staff did a great job of hand picking the players they wanted and looking for that certain trait. But another thing, you know when we sit around and talk about how important it's going to be for us to play this year, you know you've got to grow up early. And you know, just being in the NFL you see people who don't do as [well], and they don't stay with that team long. We know we want to stay with this team, so we know we've got to be on our best."
(On learning Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles' defensive schemes)
"I mean, I felt great at OTAs and stuff, and mini camp with the vets. You know I was out there calling the defense and flying around making plays. I give all the credit to him because it's a great defense. It just lets everybody, not just me, but everybody on the defense be themselves and you don't have to do something that you [aren't] so good at because his defense helps everybody else out. The only thing you've got to do is play fast."
(On embracing his own responsibility role)
"I've always been in big roles in my life. Everything I did, I always kind of grew up faster than probably what I should've and I think it kind of helped me. I wasn't a guy who sat around and played video games all day. I was a guy who was working, trying to make my own cash and stuff. I always have been that guy, and I am going to keep being that guy. I've always had a lot of pressure on me and I always did [well] with it. I am very comfortable with myself and knowing my abilities. So, you know, the minute [Bruce Arians] told me after rookie mini camp, 'Alright, the vets come Monday, and I'm going to put the green dot on your helmet.' I didn't know what a green dot was, and then once I put the helmet on I heard Coach Todd [Bowles] talking through the helmet. I was like, 'Aw man, they did put a lot of responsibility on me.' But, I feel like I asked for it, and I feel like I can handle it. I never shy away from [anything], because I don't feel like there is [anything] in the world that is too big for myself. With a great coaching staff and Coach Caldwell, he is going to make sure I'm on it even if I have to stand here extra just to get it. You know, it's my job to get it, and I am going to make sure I get it for the guys around me."