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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quotes: Koetter, Bajakian, Warhop

Quotes from Monday's media availabilities.


(On how Jameis Winston responded to his test during the evaluation process)
"He did really well. Mike (Bajakian) did a little install with him similar to what a day one install would be, say rookie minicamp. Tested him, Mike was flying. Mike was going fast. Took a little break, had lunch and met with some people. We went back into the room, put the tape on, no pictures just the tape and said 'What's this? What's this? What's this? What's this?' and he did very well. We were really impressed with him."

(On if there was a 'wow moment' for him when evaluating Winston)
"That was already pretty high for me. That point right there. We had already looked at every snap for two years on both guys. That point right there, because obviously both guys are very good football players, but I've been around some great guys and that was impressive, his recall."

(On how advanced Winston is coming into the NFL)
"That's one thing, even though I love watching spread football on TV, spread football doesn't necessarily prepare guys the best for the NFL. Aside from Jameis, when we were up there for Jameis's pro day, I was in the offensive line room and George (Warhop) was doing our install with the O-linemen we were working out from Florida State. There was a playbook sitting right there. It was their spring ball playbook. Their spring ball install. I'm going to lie and say I was bored when George was talking, so I picked up their playbook and I started looking at it. Heck, Florida State was probably installing more stuff per day than we do. I've known about Jimbo Fisher and his style of offense for a long time. They truly do run an NFL style system. They ask a lot of their guys mentally. I think, to get back to the point, Jameis is as well prepared as most any guy could be right now."

(On if Winston fits this offense of if Koetter tailored his offense knowing Winston was coming to Tampa)
"You should always tailor what you are doing based around your guys' strengths and weaknesses. That's not just the quarterback. It starts with the quarterback, but that goes throughout our whole team."

(On how reassuring have the first few days been regarding Winston processing information quickly)
"We have thrown a ton at him. We have to be realistic. Jameis has been here for three days. Jameis can process and that is reassuring, but we can't expect him, today for the veterans was install number five and it was the second time through it for them. For Jameis, he has been here three days. He is on five days of install and it's his first time through it. He's going to continue to get better. He can process and that's an important thing. Arm strength and all that stuff, you can see off the tape. You can't see that on tape, if a guy is processing."

(On what does Winston need to work on)
"I'm going to quote him on that. Everything. He's a rookie. He's a rookie quarterback. He needs to work on everything and we all do. We all do. He's not alone in that. There is a lot to learn. It's like when you go from high school to college and college to pro. The game is faster. The defenses are better. The players are better. The coaches make quick adjustments. There is a lot of volume. He needs to work on everything and the great thing is, he wants to work on everything."

(On if Winston needs to be afraid of certain passes)
"Absolutely. He absolutely does even though he doesn't think that. I think that. Love, Coach Smith, number one thing is turnover margins. That's the number one thing with winning games, we can't turn it over. Whether it be the Bucs or any other team. Turning it over at the quarterback position is the fastest way to lose games, so there are some throws we have to be afraid of."

(On his analysis of Winston's 18 interceptions last season)
"My quick analysis is that was 17 too many (laughs). No, we have a lot to work on. There are going to be interceptions. There's, all of a sudden a ball is batted, it's tipped, it hits a receiver right in the shoulder pads, pops up. I mean there is crazy stuff that is going to happen, but avoidable turnovers like unforced errors in tennis or something like that. We can't have unforced errors. We give away possessions, no good. Our defense is going to do a great job of taking away. We have to do a good job of protecting it."

(On if he knows how many of those 18 interceptions were unforced errors)
"I have it in my book upstairs, but I can't quote it off the top of my head. I'd be lying."

(On when to take risks throwing the ball)
"Absolutely, down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. That's when we have to cut it loose, but in the NFL, we can't get down three touchdowns in the first quarter because we turned it over the first three series. We can't be behind every game at halftime because we didn't do our job on offense. It's okay to punt and play defense. You are down two scores in the fourth quarter we have to go."

(On if it's encouraging to see Winston connect with wide receiver Kenny Bell on a deep pass)
"We were playing against a powerful defense in air. You know what, on Friday air beat us 7-6. We came back 17-14 and got the win on Saturday though."

(On if there are any NFL quarterbacks he will encourage Winston to study)
"Right now, because of my recent association with Matt Ryan, we are studying some Atlanta cutups. We are studying Atlanta cutups and we are studying Tampa cutups. He's seeing on tape every day a combination of Matt Ryan, Mike Glennon and Josh McCown. That's just what we are learning on. There are only so many hours in a day. Some of Jameis' progress is going to come down the road. I think him and Mike Bajakian are getting sick of seeing each other, they have been meeting so much. Eventually, when things settle down, Jameis will pick some guys, we'll give him some guys to study, but right now primarily Tampa Bay and Atlanta cutups."

(On if new rules on the amount of time coaches can spend with players hinders their development)
"Yeah, absolutely. Mike (Bajakian) and I were just talking about that the other day. In the not too distant past, before the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement you would be out in January. You would give those guys two weeks off and you would be having a quarterback school and those guys would be right back in. Now that wouldn't have helped Jameis, he wouldn't have been here yet. When you are a new coaching staff installing a new system, whether you are a new coaching staff or not, you are just behind. You're behind, as opposed to a team, Matt Ryan ran the same offense for eight or nine year in Atlanta. So yeah, that's a hindrance, but that is what it is and everyone is playing by the same rules."

(On the possibility of starting rookies this season)
"You try to get your best 11 guys out there. If we have rookies in the best 11, then it is what it is. Let's get them out there and let's go."

(On if he thinks his scheme will help improve the offensive line)
"First off, there is really no magic in anyone's scheme. Everyone in the NFL is running very similar offenses. Secondly, way too many sacks given up last year. I'm not criticizing anybody by saying that. That's just a fact. Where the Bucs, where we have to improve is first and foremost our quarterback play and second, we have to improve our offensive line play. As coaches, whatever scheme we end up putting out there, we have to do our best to give those guys the best chance to be successful. We'll do our best to try to help it. That's too many sacks. We can't have that many sacks. We can't have that many turnovers. Period.  That's not a promise. I just saying we need to improve if we want to be competitive and we plan on being competitive."

(On if it is hard to keep Winston away from One Buccaneer Place)
"He's here a lot. He's here a lot. He has a lot going on. He's living in a hotel, trying to find a place to live. He doesn't even have a car. Again, he has only been here three days, but everybody is enthused right now. Let's remember it's not a 100-yard dash. We have a marathon we are working on here."

(On if Winston showed leadership while working with veterans today)
"Oh yeah. That's just how Jameis is. There's nothing fake about Jameis. He is naturally gifted as a leader. He has a certain charisma about him, especially on the field. I think players are naturally attracted to him. I think players like playing with him. He comes out here and has a good time, but he's also learning and he is also a rookie."

(On his perspective of the depth at running back and who he favors)
"I like them all. I think running back is one of, if not, our deepest position on offense. I'm excited about all of those guys. You are going to need them all.  Running backs in the NFL take a pounding. We are going to need all those guys. It will shake itself out. What the depth chart is now, I don't now nor do I lose too much sleep over it. I've seen all three of those top guys make plays and I think all of them can be the guy."

(On if he has all the right pieces on offense and now it's just a matter of learning the scheme)
"It's a work in progress. Everything is a work in progress. Football is the greatest team game in the world. We have a part of it. The defense has a part of it. Special teams have a part of it. We have to figure out how to get one more point than the Titans at the end of the day. That's it. However it shakes out."

(On if he had any unique element in scouting Kenny Bell)
"No, nothing unique."


(On what impressed him most about quarterback Jameis Winston during the predraft evaluation process)
"He's got very good recall. He's very intelligent and you only have to tell him once and he absorbs it pretty quickly. I think part of that is his foundation is very strong. He understands the game of football, and, because of that, can translate it very quickly and retain it. But he works hard at it, too, so it's a credit to his work ethic."

(On working with Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter)
"It's been great. Coming in, obviously working under Coach (Lovie) Smith, who I've worked with before, and I've never worked with Coach Koetter before being here, but I'm absorbing as much as I can. Obviously he has his system, and I'm learning terminology and, boy, he's been great to work with. I like his frame of mind philosophically (and) I think offensively we come from similar backgrounds in terms of play calling and what we're trying to do on the field. I enjoy being around him; I think his leadership qualities are outstanding and, obviously, just looking to grow professionally (so) I'm enjoying the opportunity to work with him."

(On Winston's mechanics now as compared to at his Pro Day workout)
"It's a little unfair to make a comparison, because obviously the Pro Day workout is vastly different than the things we're putting him through now and in rookie mini-camp. He trained and had been through a script many times and was very polished (at the Pro Day). When you throw as much at him as we have, obviously there is a step back mechanically and, sure, there are certain things that are a little rusty. But I think as he picks it up mentally and starts to process the information more quickly, the mechanics will clean back up. So, yeah, there are things across the board – mentally and physically – that he needs to work on, but in due time, as he masters all the traits and all the tools we're asking him to master, it will all improve, both mentally and physically."

(On the line between perfect mechanics and letting a player perform how they are most comfortable)
"Well, we're always, always, always going to stress protecting the football, and I think accuracy in throwing the ball is definitely related to your technique and to your mechanics. So we're always going to work to clean up those things and, yes, there are certain things that a lot of guys like a Brett Favre do well, making off-balance throws and having an uncanny ability to be accurate despite maybe not having their feet set or something like that. But he could be even more accurate if he's able to set his feet and do those things. So we're always going to stress the mechanics, mostly for the purpose of protecting the football and improving our accuracy."

(On whether he had a 'wow' moment during the evaluation process with Winston)
"I would say the things that I saw on video – obviously he's very good in pressure situations. I had heard a lot about him mentally. But one of the things – so I can't say I was surprised by his recall – one of the things that struck me when I evaluated all the video was his ability to keep his eyes up in the face of pressure. I think he does a good job of that and that's something you can work on, but there's definitely a natural instinct and a natural inclination to have the ability. Despite guys coming off and free hats coming, he did a great job of keeping his vision up and staying in the pocket and also moving in the pocket or moving out of the pocket and still keeping his eyes up. I thought that was really good."

(On Winston's interceptions during the 2014 season at Florida State)
"There's the whole gamut of reasons. Some are timing, some are mechanical, some are maybe him trying to make a play when he shouldn't have. Again, oftentimes interceptions are the result of poor decision making, but there are often those times where it is an inaccurate pass with a good decision or sometimes tipped passes. So, there were, in those 18 interceptions last year, boy, you could have every single one of those reasons with them."

(On the new offense being called up tempo and whether that fits Winston's playing style)
"The tempo, I would say, is just one aspect of this offense. Obviously for what we're able to accomplish out here on the field without having a defense in front of us and going on air, that's one of the things that we've been working on. But there are so many more facets to this offense that we'll cover as we get into OTAs and into training camp and all that. I do think he has that ability to play in an up-tempo system and to move fast, because he does process information quickly, so I do think that would suit him if we decided that that's how we were going to play consistently."

(On Winston's football IQ)
"He understands concepts in general. He understands the concepts of all the different types of protections we've installed and, again, that's a credit to his football background as much as it is a credit to his work ethic. Because obviously he's been taught those concepts as he's been brought up in, you name it, pee-wee, high school, college football. But he's able to translate those quickly and understand that, OK, this protection in our offense he used to call X, Y, or Z in his previous offense and retain it more quickly. So I do think it's a credit to his background."

(On whether that football IQ and advanced background makes Winston's transition to the NFL easier)
"I think there's always a transition that needs to be made for rookies. Number one to the speed of the game, number two to the complexity of the game. Obviously at the college level you're limited on how much time you could spend with a coaching staff, and in your preparation you're going to class, you're doing all those other things. There's always going to be an adjustment to the speed of the game. So, sure, maybe he might be better suited than some other college quarterbacks because of (his background and ability to retain information), but, make no mistake about it, there's always a transition that needs to be made."

(On whether he has seen Winston's study habits coming through in practice)
"In the meetings for sure. Sure, we were able to cover some stuff in the evaluation process – I'd meet with him and install certain concepts and certain protections and things like that – so his recall was very good there. What I've noticed is (that) he studied. We gave him the playbook information the day after we drafted him and he's worked hard to comprehend that. I know what I've covered with him prior to him being here, in the evaluation process, while he's already got a very firm grasp of things that we've never covered. So, yeah, he has been working. I've emphasized to him make sure you're working, make sure you're getting your sleep, make sure you're taking care of your body, all those things. So I've seen it, definitely more so in the meeting room than on the field. He's been able to answer a lot of questions."

(On whether quarterbacks transitioning from college to the NFL need to learn to be more cautious in making throws)
"You better be. There are certain passes you don't want to make. Maybe that's part of why (Winston) had the 18 interceptions in college. Maybe certain passes he should have been afraid to make. But overall we're just going to emphasize the decision-making process while we're cleaning up the mechanics. I think he can make all the throws on the field: the deep, the intermediate, the short passes, the throws on the run, the touch passes in the screen game. But it's the emphasis on making the right decisions at the right time that we're going to place."

(On how long it takes for mechanics to become natural)
"Again, the faster he understands it, the faster the mechanics will come with it. And they have. Shoot, he's much better today than he was day one of rookie mini-camp, mechanically. Now, again, we're going to continue to throw. It's not like the entire offense is in already; we're going to continue to throw a bunch of stuff at him. So it's going to be a process as we keep going."

(On quarterback Mike Glennon, including his interaction with Winston)
"Very limited – this morning was (Glennon and Winston's) only interaction. But I've been impressed with Mike since day one. Again, he's a processional. He works really hard to understand everything himself and to really refine the mental approach. I like the command presence he has on the field and with his teammates and I've been impressed with him since the day I arrived. He's obviously got a very strong arm and can make all the throws also, so I like the work that Mike's been doing a lot."


(On today's practice)
"It was good. Last week was good. This week, so far, the start of it has been very good."

(On Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet)
"I like them.  I think they will help us. They bring some things to the table that we like. We want athletic guys. They are both extremely athletic. We want bright guys. They are both extremely bright. They will come in and compete right away and we'll see where it goes from there."

(On what makes Smith and Marpet capable of starting as rookies)
"We drafted them in the second round. We wouldn't have drafted them so high if we didn't think they could compete and contribute this year."

(On Marpet transitioning from tackle to guard)
"That started a while ago. In the Senior Bowl he played guard and he really did a nice job. The first day there he was at tackle, the rest of the way he was at guard and he did a nice job. That's one reason we were encouraged by him. So far here, he has done a nice job with it."

(On Marpet successfully transitioning from Division III football to the NFL)
"It's interesting. I'll bring up the Senior Bowl again. As a Division III player, he goes to the Senior Bowl – that's the best of the best of the college guys. You couldn't tell he wasn't a Division I player. There was no drop off with him and he was actually playing better than some of the higher ranked players that were at the Senior Bowl."

(On the challenges Smith faces playing left tackle in the NFL)
"It is definitely a big challenging position. For your left tackle, you want a guy that is smart, you want a guy with size, a guy with range, you want a guy with athleticism. The best guys I've been around have all had that. He's got size. He's very, very bright. He's very athletic. We are putting in a lot of stuff. I don't know about a true mistake he has made so far. So far he has a good start, but Kevin Pamphile is in front of him. He has to beat Kevin out to be the starter at this point."

(On the intangibles Smith has that will enable him to play left tackle)
"When you watch his college tape, when he played against the good players, he played better than good. I mean he played really well. The better the competition the better he played. He is going to see that every week. Some of these guys that were high draft picks that he went against in this draft, he got after them very well, so we are excited about it. He's not going to back off in those situations."

(On if Smith playing well top level players was a key factor in drafting him)
"It's part of it. That's part of the whole process. We worked him out. We went up and grinded him in the meeting room. We put him through the ringer, as all these guys. At the end of the day he came out with flying colors. We were really impressed."

(On which guards will cross-train at center)
"Ali will do a little bit in terms of snapping, but we won't make him play center. As I go through it, Josh Allen, (Garrett) Gilkey will do it. Jeremiah Warren will do it. Really, everyone, but Logan (Mankins), Ali and Kadeem (Edwards). We won't cross train Kadeem. Those are the only three players we won't cross-train at center."

(On Matthew Masifilo playing on the offensive line)
"Matt is hungry and he is like a sponge. Every day he comes out here he gets a little bit better. We know it's going to take some time, so we are patient with him. I like the fact that he shows up every day and wants to get better. He doesn't shrink to criticism. If you say 'You are doing this wrong. You need to try that.' He says 'Okay, I'm going to do it.' If he goes about it that way , he will progress quickly."

(On if he has had players successfully switch from defense to offense in the NFL)
"None that I switched. There have been some that have switched, but none that I switched."

(On if it helps that Masifilo has experience on the defensive side of the ball)
"Once he gets comfortable it might be a factor. Right now he's just trying to figure it out. I think once he gets comfortable and can establish himself over there, he'll have an understanding that some of the other guys don't have about defensive line play."

(On which players are competing for the fourth tackle position)
"That's hard. We move Pat Omameh to tackle. I think that is going to help him. I've been impressed with him out there so far because he has not done it. Once we get outside of him, we have added a couple free agents. (Reid) Fragel we brought in from Atlanta. Edawn (Coughman), we brought him. He was here at the end of the year last year in training camp. They are both athletic guys. We'll have to see how it all shakes out. I can't predict that at this point."

(On Marpet's biggest competition at right guard)
"That's a tough question right now. Really, we drafted Kadeem Edwards last year. Had he not broken his foot, he would have been playing at the end of the year.  Josh Allen got some time last year and every time he stepped on the field he got better. We have Garrett Gilkey, who started in the NFL at guard at other times. It is very difficult for me to say who his competition is. It's whoever the best one of those guys are. Period. Gilkey is playing a lot at center now, but he'll get some shots at guard, so whoever the best player is will be the right guard."

(On assessing Kevin Pamphile's rookie year)
"He was a fifth-round pick. He was a kid that switched over from defensive end. I wish we could have played him more. I thought, when he went in there, there were some ups and downs, but he played enough that you look at and go 'Okay, you might have something there.' If I could do it all over again, I would have doubled his snaps. We would have a much better picture of what he is. I think he has grown a lot in terms of being a pro, understanding what it takes, the time you need to put in, the work ethic you need to be successful. That was a work in progress a year ago. I think he is plugged in to that now. We'll see what happens. I am excited for him, whether he is the starter, backup or whatever. I think he has the traits we want in our tackles. He's long and athletic. He's smart and can be physical. That's going to be a common theme. All the guys we bring in here, we want to be athletic, we want them to be smart and we want them to be physical. If we can do that we have a chance to be a pretty good group."  


(On dropping Dietrich from his last name)
"Pretty much, more for my family. I actually started going by Dietrich to kind of honor my brother. When he was in the Army, our name was so long all they could put on his tag was Dietrich. That was one of those things to just kind of honor him for his service and all that kind of stuff. It is a hassle. I have to write it. I didn't want my daughter to have to deal with it her whole life. I went by Evan Smith for a really long time, so it's really nothing new to me. More new to everyone else because nobody knew before hand."

(On how long he went by Evan Smith)
"I think I started doing that my senior year in college. Once I had to legally put my name on stuff, that's kind of where that word. That's my physical name. My mom did it because Smith is such a common name. She wanted something kind of different, but she never made me go by it when I was younger."

(On how things are going so far)
"I'm chomping at the bit. It's defintley a different feel this year. Guys are showing up, but you can tell guys have gotten a little more accustomed to how things are supposed to be run around here. It's not so much – last year everybody was kind of feeling it out. This year it's "Get up and go. Everybody has a great idea of what we want and what coaches expect from us. There's really no meeting expectation. The bar has been set."

(On his impression of Winston today)
"He is doing his part. Everybody knows who the rookies are. All the vets, all the guys that have been here, we have been in here putting in the work. Those guys have to come in and fall in. You will earn your spot eventually. They will figure out what they need to do with you. That's more of an upstairs things, but we have plenty of leaders on this team, plenty of leaders in this locker room and they'll figure it out. He's being himself. You can see that, but for the most part he's not trying to be like 'Hey, look at me' or anything like that. Like I said, we have guys that lead on this team. We have guys that know how to play football and he'll learn from that too."

(On the way Winston draws players to him)
"I don't know man, he plays football (laughs). As a quarterback, you have to have a certain type of personality. Guys want to see you lead. They want to follow the quarterback. Like I said, he'll get that position in time. It's not something that we are just going to let him come in and 'Here it is, everybody follow this guy.' He has to learn how we do things around here and he's doing that. He's not stepping out of line. You kind of fall into the Bucs way. You will rise through the ranks as the year goes on, but as of right now, follow the older guys. We are the guys that have been doing this for a while. We know what to do. He'll figure out. He definitely has good habits, you could that. You can see he kind of has a good grasp of the offense already. They'll get it figured out upstairs, but I am excited to have that guy in the building."

(On how much of an undertaking is it for rookie offensive linemen to come in and start)
"I was a tackle in college. Crazy right? The biggest thing for offensive linemen is experience. You need to know what you are supposed to do, but the biggest thing is kind of getting the experience down. You need to get out there, you need to get reps. Pictures don't move. You know what I mean? You can look at plays all day, but until you see how everything is going to end up once the ball is snapped, that's, kind of, what it is. We always talk that way. We watch film. These guys will come along. We will help them along. We don't single anybody out. We are definitely trying to make this a better group this year – be more cohesive, make sure everyone is showing up. We had a pretty good time the other day. We all went out. We went over to Shooter's World and blew off a bunch of ammo. It's stuff like that. We are trying to get the group together. Obviously last year wasn't what we wanted, but we are starting to build on that a lot better this year."

(On the adjustments he had to make from playing tackle in college to playing inside in the NFL)
"Honestly, the biggest thing is just getting the confidence that you can block the guys in front of you. You will figure everything else out. You have to have the confidence that you can play at this level. I think I read something that Ali (Marpet) said that he was at the Senior Bowl and you are playing against those guys. Yeah, those guys are going to be NFL players, but you have to get your confidence up against Gerald McCoy, against the (Ndamukong) Suhs, the big-time guys. There are a lot of them in the league. There are lot of good football players. That's why we play in the NFL, but it really comes with your confidence and your ability to adapt your skills and play to the level of your competition."

(On if it took him awhile last season to get acclimated to the heat and how difficult may it be for Donovan Smith or Marpet)
"They'll get it figured out. It definitely feels different this year for me. I guess mentally you know. That's kind of the one advantage we have when we play teams here. They really don't know what they are getting themselves into. We know it's going to be hot. We know it's going to be hard, but these other teams come in and it's like 'Good lord' (laughs). You know what I mean? You get out there sometimes, you walk in the locker room, you won't stop sweating until about a minute before you walk out. It's tough. They do a good job about keeping on us about being hydrated. That's really about the only thing you can do to face the heat. Whatever you genetics or body type is, you're going to sweat. If you don't know sweat, that's kind of a bad thing. Truth be told, the quicker you sweat the better in shape you are. These guys will get it figured out. They will get accustomed to it. It's only May. Wait until August and we can really talk about it. I feel like I'm getting a little tan going on right now. So I'm feeling alright about it. Lovie (Smith) said it's 40 degrees in Green Bay today, so I can't complain."

(On offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter)
"It's nice to have somebody to stare the ship on the offense. I think I made some sort of comment about that last year. We didn't really have, kind of, too many cooks in the kitchen going on. We have a guy that when we sit in the offensive meeting room, who is going to get up and make his presentation, but it's his deal. He's in control, he's calling the plays. I like it. I really do like his offense. It's good. He has had a lot of success with it. The biggest thing is having that leader. If you have a question and your coach can't answer it, he can answer it. Honestly, for me, that's the biggest thing – having someone that can point the ship in the right direction, so you're not just out there sailing with no real navigation. The guy has it wired pretty tight with what he wants to do. A lot of it is just learning his language. We aren't really running anything different, but it's more organized, more in-depth, more detailed and he is really on top of that and that's what I like about the guy."

(On if the offensive scheme can help the line perform better)
"Yeah, I think anyone's scheme is geared towards what your players can do the best. The strength of an offensive coordinator is how can he fit what he has with his guys into your system. You look at every team, not every team is going to be a big power team. Not every team is going to be a zone team. It all just depends on what you have. If you want to attack the field vertically you better have fast guys. If you want to have a short game, you better have a smart quarterback. It all just depends on what you have. Everybody runs the exact same stuff in the NFL. You watch tape on all 32 teams, I guarantee you every team has the same version of every play in one way, shape or form. It's just how you executed it and how smart the players on the field are. That's kind of really what it comes down to on offense. Defensive guys line-up and go. You do have some sort of responsibility, but as an offensive guy you have to be a really smart football player. There are a lot of things you can't plan for, so when the ball is snapped, you have to be able to think on the fly and things need to happen. The smarter everybody is and the more everybody is on the same page, the better the offensive unit is going to be. That's why you look at a lot of top 10 teams; a lot of guys have played together for a long time. You look at teams like Green Bay. Aaron (Rodgers) has been there for there for a long time. They have been running the exact same system for a long time. Atlanta, Roddy (White), Julio (Jones) and Matt Ryan have been playing together for a long time. It's teams that get that continuity and are able to gel on that level. They are going to put up big numbers all the time."


(On if he would consider changing his name like center Evan Smith)
"Absolutely not. Never ever. My mom would kill me."

(On how he feels entering this season compared to last year)
"Just getting back in the flow of things and being with the team the whole entire time. Not so much even away from the injuries, just because of the graduation rule of last year, I couldn't even really be here. Just being here with the team, being around the coaches and getting that continuity and chemistry, like you talked about, it's really important. I'm happy to be here."

(On how much he thinks he can improve this offseason)
"It's going to definitely benefit me, but I think it's going to also benefit the team. Us all being together at once and having everyone here that's supposed to be here working together and getting that chemistry, not just for myself, but so we all can work together. When pieces are missing, it's a little harder sometimes to get in a groove and get in a good flow that you're going to want to have during the season. When you have that and you can start working on it at the beginning of OTAs, I think it does a number for getting that going for the rest of the season."

(On playing with wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston and if he looks at the future)
"Really, the thing is, we're all coming here to work. I'm happy Jameis is here. He's happy he's here. But the fact of the matter is, everyone's working hard. Mike Glennon is working hard. Seth Lobato is working hard. What we're focusing on is getting better as individuals so we can collectively get better as a team. Whoever's out there Day 1 – the coaches know who's going to be out there. I'm here to catch the ball, block and do what I'm supposed to do. I don't worry about anything (else) like that. I just do my job and make sure we all push each other. We can all get better as a team. Like you said, it's those guys, but at the same time, it's everyone working together. Without the team, without the O-line, without the special teams, without the defense it doesn't all work like that."

(On if he was excited to see Winston in person)
"Oh yeah. I've met him before. I met him, I think it was my sophomore or junior year when we were at (Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex) for the awards and whatnot. I've already built a relationship with Jameis. I know him; he's a good guy. I talked to him a number of times before he was drafted. I'm excited he's here, he's excited he's here, we're all excited he's here. Looking forward to working with him and getting better all together."

(On how Winston carries himself on the field)
"He's just himself. Great quarterback and he wants to be great. He's himself, he doesn't need to pretend or anything like that. But I didn't really get to see him personally out there. We were just running. I think it's a better question to ask the coaches, they spent more one-on-one time with him."

(On his rookie season and how he looks back on it)
"My personal analysis is we went 2-14 and we didn't get the job done. Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way we all wanted it to work. Personally, I was injured for most of the year, unfortunately and I didn't do anything (like) what I was expected to do and what I expected myself to do, more importantly. This year is going to be different and we're all excited for it and it's going to be a fun 2015."

(On how the tight end fits into the team's new offense)
"I think that's a better question for Coach Koetter to answer really. My job is just to learn the offense and go from there. Tony Gonzalez and Marcedes Lewis are great players in their own right. Tony Gonzalez is the best tight end to ever play the game. I think you put him in any system, I think he'll be all right. But, like I said, that's a good question to ask Coach Koetter, about how the tight ends work. I'm just focused on what they've got us doing in the installations right now. I think we can make a better assessment at the end of the year how it worked, how the tight end fit into the offense."

(On not having an offensive coordinator for the 2014 season)
"Unfortunately, Coach Tedford had an issue with his heart. That happens. We had to battle some adversity that we had to go through. It helped us for the future. Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way we wanted it to. It wasn't fun; it sucked."

(On what the key is for him to have a successful season)
"I just need to stay healthy. If I stay healthy – which I will – I'll have a great year. Not worried about that."

(On how he has helped himself stay healthy)
"I think it's just little things. You can do the stuff at the facility, everyone does stuff at the facility. But when you leave, when you get home, can you do some extra stretching, extra exercises. Get yourself a machine that helps you recover in your legs. Different little things that you can do just to get that little advantage so you can recover a little more for the next day. I think taking advantage of that during the offseason, I've learned – I have great veterans like Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins, that have helped me and put me on the right track for that and I'm excited for it. I think we're all excited for this year."

(On his performance in 2014)
"Really, it wasn't good enough. Personally, my expectations of myself, that wasn't a good enough year. Everything needs to get better in all facets of my game. They're going to get better. They've already improved since then. We're going to keep working through OTAs and this season will be a great display of how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gotten so much better compared to last year."

(On his personal goals for 2015)
"My goal is to win as many games as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I think that's the most important thing. However many balls I catch, how many touchdowns I catch, whatever blocks I have to make, the most important thing is that we win games here and we live to our potential and play to our talent level. That's the most important thing. Personal goals are really out the window – it's about the team."

(On how he would describe Koetter's offense)
"It's great. He has an answer if you have a question. He has an answer and why. That's really comforting."

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