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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quotes: Bucs' First Mini-Camp Practice

HC Lovie Smith, OT Demar Dotson, QB Jameis Winston and TE Tim Wright spoke to the media following Tuesday's mini-camp practice.



(Opening statement)
"It's always kind of good to get to the minicamp part though. Long offseason we've had. I know the guys are anxious and everybody has plans, but it's about finishing the job. We got a lot of work done. We've seen marked improvement from so many of our players. We've are right on track. I think every time I've talked to you, I've talked about that. I feel like that's where were are at right now. We are going to be a good football team. I mean that's our statement and before long, when we get back together, it will be for real. Then the depth chart counts. Where guys are getting reps counts. Right now, it's just about everybody getting reps at different positions. I'll take your questions."

(On the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup run)
"I loved it. Loved it. Being a Tampa guy , supporting all of our teams, baseball team is going great, the hockey team had an unbelievable year. Everyone would like to be champions, but it was an unbelievable year. I haven't gone to a lot of hockey games, but I'm becoming a hockey fan. I know a little bit more than just scoring pucks now. Is that what you say? Seriously, it's been fun watching them play. Hopefully we can build on that momentum."


(On the difficulty of preparing a rookie quarterback like Jameis Winston)**
"You would like a lot more (time), but that's how it's always been. I know just talking about our rookie quarterback; he has come a long way in a short period of time. I'm very impressed with the amount of knowledge he has now about our offense. Some of us are leaving and will be leaving. Jameis (Winston) is one of the last guys each day. (Quarterbacks coach) Mike Bajakian has done an unbelievable job with him. Again, I'll make the statement again, he's right on track."

(On giving Winston as many reps as possible)
"He's gotten that. You guys come out here every once and a while and you see he's gotten plenty of reps. (Defensive tackle) Gerald McCoy is getting every rep. It's a long football season. We have a plan. I have a plan and a part of that plan is for Jameis to get a certain amount of reps with certain guys. He's gone with the ones, he's gone with the twos. At the same time it's not just about Jameis. We need to get our backup quarterback ready too. We are getting a lot of guys reps right now on the plan that we had as we set it up initially."

(On if splitting reps at quarterback will continue into training camp)
"No, to me you go through the offseason. It kind of lets you know the rotation you are going to have. Once we get to training camp, and that's what we are working through, to me it's not what group – you are working with different guys, receivers, quarterbacks throwing to all the receivers throughout. We want a lot of different combinations. We don't know what who our starting line-up would be right now as far as who he is working with and who all of our guys are. Again, we're seeing the players we need to. Once we come back for training camp, then the depth chart will matter. That's where we are trying to get to that point."

(On the impact of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter)
"I'm very pleased with everything Dirk has done, but I kind of knew that coming in. What he has done, like the way the guy picked-up the offense which has been new, not just for our quarterback, it has been for all of our players. Picking it up, there has been good competition. I like what we have done on the other side of the ball too. We need to play good defense. Again, we are getting good reps and proving it today."

(On the acquisition of tight end Tim Wright)
"We got to see that. We look at the waiver wire and any player that's available that we think can improve our ball club we're going to jump on it. That was an easy decision to make on Tim. We liked him then. We decided to go in a different direction, but where we are at right now, we are a stronger football team with Tim on our team. It's good to see him back."

(On having tackle Demar Dotson back and 100% participation at minicamp)
"Yeah, well mandatory camp, it better be, you assume it will be 100 percent participation. It's good to have him back out. He need to be. Every rep that you can get, you need to take advantage of in the offseason. You can't live in the past. That was voluntary work. The players all have to be here and they all are here. It's just good to see Demar back out there with the group."

(On the amount of takeaways the defense has produced during minicamp and OTAs)
"You like it, but again this is all setting up how we are going to play in the fall. We are trying to create a culture where that's expected and I tend to think we are doing that. Some guys like (linebacker) Danny Lansanah did it last year. He continues to do it right now. Defensively, we've seen a lot of good things that we like right now. It will be good competition in training camp. What  you really can't do though is get too high or too low when nobody is in pads. Again, we just want to get in position and we have some players getting in position for playing, you know for training camp."

(On how hard it is to evaluate a quarterback when you are not in pads)
"I think you have to be careful about it, again getting too high or too low on anyone. For a quarterback you are not hitting. He knows that. He can hold the ball until whenever. You have to keep all that in mind, but we are doing the same thing with others. How hard is it to evaluate linemen when you can't have any contact? What you can do, I think there can be some separation in the group a little bit and that's what you are looking for."

(On if he likes the way cornerback Sterling Moore handles himself as a corner)
"Mainly he has. Again you guys are here sometimes with us. That's why we brought him in, because he can do both. And that's what he has been doing for us. You want guys that can do a few different things. Versatility, he has that. Most of the time we are going to dress five corners and it would be good if you have a couple that can play a couple things."


(On how he feels after the first minicamp practice)
"It felt good. I'm a little tired, hot, but other than that I feel good."

(On what made him decide to attend the minicamp after missing OTA workouts)
"I didn't want to lose any money. It's like $100,000 and I got some good advice that you don't want to lose that money. I don't have $100,000 to lose, so I wanted to keep my money. And that was the only way to keep negotiations going throughout these six weeks going into training camp."

(On if he feels coming to minicamp will help move along contract negotiations)
"I hope so. They weren't going to negotiate with me staying out, so I think that was the best move I had to do."

(On whether contract negotiations have started back up)
"I don't think we have started yet, but I think it's going to be real soon."

(On whether it was difficult to stay away from OTAs)
"It was hard, because I knew all the guys were out here working and every day that I was not here I felt bad. It felt almost like letting your team down. But I want to get this thing behind me and help this football team win."

(On whether he feels that his teammates understand why he wasn't at OTAs)
"We don't talk about it much, but I think they're understanding. I hope so. They know that this is a business just like I know it's a business, so I think they understand it."

(On the offensive line this season as opposed to last season)
"I think we've got a mindset that we want to be good. Hop (Offensive Line Coach George Warhop), from the first day he said that we're not going to be the same group that we were last year. We're not going to do the same dumb stuff that we did last year. We're going to weed out all the bad stuff. A guy like Logan, he's taken a leadership (role) to make sure that we don't go down that same path that we went last year. I think that every guy that's in here is a good guy, is a good guy in the locker room, is a guy that likes to work. Coach (Lovie Smith), he only wanted good guys on his football team, and I think every guy on this offensive line is a good guy, so I think we've all got a mindset to work and we don't want a repeat of last year. So I think that we're going to do whatever it takes to make sure we don't go through that repeat."

(On his preference between playing right or left tackle)
"Oh, of course right. I've been there my whole career. I wouldn't lie to you (laughing)."


(On how the process has been thus far)
"Like I told the guys earlier, this is the last week you get to put in some work and play this great game of football. You have to enjoy it. It's a little humid out here, but I'm from Alabama and we love the heat."

(On how comfortable he is getting with the playbook and offense)
"I feel better every day. That was one of my goals of OTAs and now minicamp was to get better every day and earn everything you get."

(On if red zone offense was the best part of practice today)
"Absolutely, because in the red zone coverages get tighter and you like to score."

(On if he is frustrated with splitting first team reps with quarterback Mike Glennon)
"I'm not frustrated at all. In this world you have to earn everything that you get and I'm so blessed to play this great game of football and be out here with these guys. This is my last week to enjoy this game for a long time."

(On if he is going to take some time off before training camp or if he will still be studying the playbook)
"It's not really going to be a lot of time off, but I am going to spend some time with my family. This whole process has been long with the draft and Combine and everything like that so I'm going to take a couple days off."

(On if he feels he is getting enough work in with wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and against the first-team defense)
"Absolutely, it's a privilege to get to go against those guys. We alternate day-in and day-out, but it's just great to be with them."

(On how tough it is to stay in control while pushing the pace during the two-minute drill)
"I was groomed well at Florida State with Coach Jimbo Fisher. That was a big thing of his offense. Obviously in the NFL two-minute situations are the clutch time situations and what quarterbacks are remembered for so you have to put faith in them."

(On what are the tough parts of the offense right now)
"I don't see many tough parts. I'm learning and as long as I'm learning, I'm getting better. I don't really think about tough situations."

(On the difference in comfort level from his first day on the field to today)
"When I'm playing football I'm comfortable. Obviously, I'm going to make a few mistakes here and there, but as long as I'm blessed to play this great game, I love it."

(On if he has minimized his mistakes since he first started at rookie camp)
"Absolutely, you have to get better every single day and I feel like I have done that."

(On what he thinks he is doing well)
"One thing I've gotten better at is just controlling the line of scrimmage. We do a lot of no-huddle things and the way I communicate that to the offense is clutch."

(On if he likes the no-huddle offense)

(On if he is starting to see the season getting closer)
"I'm visualizing every single moment, because I cannot wait to put on that Bucs uniform and go out there and perform. Like I said, it's the last week of football. You have to live it up. You have to enjoy it and I'm pretty sure the rest of the team is feeling the same way."

(On if he loves to practice even in the Tampa heat)
"I'm a guy that loves playing football. It has always been my dream to be an NFL quarterback and I have reached my dream. I just want to get better and be great one day."

(On if he feels like he has earned the respect of the veteran players so far)
"Yeah, absolutely. I'm just laying low, being myself. Real recognizes real. These guys have been great. (Wide receiver) Vincent (Jackson) and (guard) Logan (Mankins) and (defensive tackle) Gerald (McCoy) have been great to me. I'm accepting my role right now.

(On if any of the veterans have taken him under their wing)
"Not yet, but me and Gerald talk more than me and my receiver Vincent, but Gerald is just such a good guy. He is always looking to help in any way. Even Evan (Smith), the center, he's helped us out a lot this whole camp."

(On if he is preparing to split first-team reps with Mike Glennon during training camp)
"I'm just excited to play. Right now it doesn't matter. What matters is this team gets better every single day and I learn every single day and I get the playbook down pat."

(On the importance to have a mentor who has been a top pick)
"It's very important. It's good to have a big-time guy like that to just take the time out and try to mentor a young guy like me. It means a lot and that's why I respect him so much."

(On what advice McCoy has given him)
"Lay low."

(On if he has visualized the day he takes over as the starting quarterback and how soon would he like that to happen)
"As soon as I earn it. With this camp being the last week, I feel like I've had great practices day-in and day-out. I'm just enjoying it."

(On if he thinks he has earned the starting position yet)
"I haven't earned it until I get it."

(On his shooting the arrow gesture during practice)
"We were just having fun. When it's hot like this guys tend to be down, so you have to lift them up and have some fun. I put the arrow out and throw a strike or so. Quarterbacks were on fire today."

(On tight end Tim Wright)
"Man, he is amazing. I prayed for him during the stretches. I had to thank God for having Tim right here. I made him laugh and just accepted him."


(On what he learned during his time with New England)
"Just going out there every day and optimizing the job, putting the team first and you second. Just any way you could contribute and get that edge, that's what it's all about."

(On his feelings about the Tampa Bay offense)
"It's something I'm pretty familiar with, some of the conceptual things. We've got some guys in place that can make some plays and when we all just put our efforts together as a collective group on offense, we can do some things."

(On returning to Tampa Bay)
"Some familiar faces, the same type of facilities. Everything just flew right back into what it was. I'm pretty happy about that transition and being able to step in and contribute right away."

(On current Tampa Bay Head Coach Lovie Smith as compared to former Head Coach Greg Schiano)
"Two guys, different coaching styles. They bring different things to the table of what they feel can get the job done."

(On whether he was surprised that he was waived by New England)
"You know, it's the business. You can't control that. Whatever opportunity you get, you've just got to take advantage of it."

(On whether he has shown off his Super Bowl ring to Logan Mankins)
"No, not yet (laughter). We just introduced ourselves for the first time today. It was a cool feeling and I'm sure it's going to come, but it's all about stepping out onto the field and trying to get that every year, so I'm pretty sure he's happy about it for me."

(On learning from the Super Bowl experience last season)
"You just have to come to work every day. You never can relax. Every day you can get better. If you're not trying to get better, obviously you'll get worse. It's going out there and contributing and doing your job."

(On the weight that he will play at for Tampa Bay)
"I'm not sure. I'm sure they'll relay that message once we break and I'll come back at whatever they ask."

(On whether he is lighter now than he was last season)
"I'm not sure. I'm out here playing, running full speed. That's what it's all about."

(On how he improved during his year with New England)
"I just got wiser, a little (more) mature in the game. It's going into my third year, so I've seen some things but I've got a long way ahead of me to get better."

(On building a rapport with teammates)
"Every time you step on the field you go out there and try to achieve greatness. Guys paying attention in the meeting room and just applying what they're learning in there, applying it on the field. That's how you let things click and that's how it happens."

(On whether he kept in touch with any Tampa Bay players last season)
"Some of the guys that I came in with. There are a lot of guys still here and that's what's important. We're all trying to race and compete every day to get that title."

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