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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quotes: WR Evans, CB Verner, T Dotson

Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, cornerback Alterraun Verner, and offensive tackle Demar Dotson spoke with the media at One Buc on Tuesday.


(On catching passes from quarterback Jameis Winston this year)
"You don't know if he'll be throwing to us for sure, but he is the No. 1 pick. He's a great player and I watched him throughout his college career. He can hang in that pocket and deliver the ball. Being in that position last year, my mind was spinning and going crazy. It's an exciting time though and he should enjoy it and come ready to work next week."

(On the challenges Winston faces getting acclimated to the NFL)
"I don't think it will be a big challenge for him. He's a confident guy. He's a real smart guy. He's a quarterback. For me, we had a lot of veteran receivers last year and they helped me along the way, so he'll have a lot of help here and he'll be fine."

(On if he has had a chance to speak with Winston yet)
"No. After he got drafted, I texted him and told him congratulations. He was really excited and ready to go."

(On if he was on board with drafting Winston or if he was hoping Marcus Mariota was the pick)
"Out of him and Mariota, I like Winston more. He doesn't run as much, but with that being said, I think he will come in and do well for us. We have Mike Glennon still, so they'll be good competition for each other. I'm excited to have him. He can play ball."

(On why he likes Winston more than Mariota)
"He can sit in the pocket and deliver the ball. That's more opportunities for the receivers, but Mariota can play ball a well."

(On having a mobile quarterback in college)
"Yeah, I did my time with the mobile quarterback and that was fun. It was fun. It got me more opportunities for more balls - scramble rules and stuff like that - but in this league it is tough to scramble. I think Jameis will be fine."

(On his preparation in his second year compared to his rookie season)
"It's been great. We have a new offensive coordinator (Dirk Koetter). He's a real smooth guy. He's going to get his playmakers the ball. I picked-up on the offense. We are doing well just going out there. The offense is coming to us real quick and it's going to be fun. The offseason was great. With three, four months off, my body healed up and I'm ready to go."

(On if he was able to devote more time to training this offseason because of less traveling and preparing for the draft)
"Yeah, absolutely. This time last year I was coming off a lot of visits. I didn't work out much and it caused me to strain my hamstring the first day of (offseason team activites). I wasn't training or anything like that. I wasn't in shape. Now, I'm in shape and I'm ready to go."

(On not having a break between the end of the college season and rookie mini-camp)
"Yeah, It's like going two years straight, or however long you were in college. You don't get any break. You do spring ball. Then you do camp. Then you do you whole season, train for the combine and then you have to do workouts for teams and stuff like that. Then you go right into OTAs in the NFL and it's tough. The strong will survive."

(On if he has spoken with wide receivers Kenny Bell or Kaelin Clay and if he has seen tape on them)
"I've seen both of them play. Kenny Bell had one of the best blocks I've ever seen, maybe the best. I've seen (Kaelin Clay), he's a return specialist. He's very dynamic. I just followed those guys on Twitter. I didn't reach out to them or anything like that. Just letting them enjoy this time and I'll speak to them when they come in."

(On if he is a goal-driven person and if he has set any goals for the upcoming season)
"Yeah, I set goals. Not statistical goals, but what I can do as far as team goals and goals that can't be measured on stats. I do stuff like rookie of the year last year. I came up short on that. This year I want to be a Pro Bowler, things like that. I want to make the playoffs. Those are my two main goals right now."

(On where he thinks he can improve as a receiver)
"Route running, I think. Understanding coverage more. I had a good feel for it last year and I came on late, but I think I can improve on that and become a much better receiver."

(On if he had any goals on getting physically better such as improving strength or speed)
"Just being in shape. My voluntary workouts came along and I'm in shape."

(On playing with cornerback Deshazor Everett at Texas A&M)
"Me and him had a lot of battles. We came in together, class of 2011. That boy is a baller. I think he will have a real good shot at making the team. He works hard. He can play safety, nickel or corner. He'll do the dirty work. He'll get on special teams. He'll do whatever it takes. I'm excited about having him here."

(On if he has goals to become a stronger leader in his second year)
"Yeah. Last year, late in the season I tried to become more of a leader, you know, speak up. This year, I'm going to do more of the same. The guys that make plays, I think they should be the leaders."

(On if he expected for teams to make it difficult on him in his rookie season)
"Yeah man, like I said earlier about understanding coverage and things, I always thought I was open, no matter what. You watch film and there would be some times without me knowing and I understand why Josh [McCown] or Mike [Glennon] didn't throw it. Just understanding more coverages, I think I'll be fine."

(On what stands out about Dirk Koetter)
"He really knows football and is going to get his playmakers the ball. That's all I can pretty much say right now as far as offense goes."

(On what it means to him to hear Winston's excitement about now having two tall receivers to throw to)
"It's a great reaction for him and for us. Hopefully he'll give us some opportunities and we'll make some plays for him, if he is the one throwing to us." 


(On if he would prefer to be on the left or right side of the offensive line)
"Obviously, I'm more comfortable on the right because I've been playing there for my whole career, but if they want me to go over there then without a shadow of a doubt I'll go over ther. And do the best that I can. I want to do whatever it takes to help this football team be successful, so if I can go over to the left and help it be productive then that's what I want to do, but it's more obvious that I'm more comfortable at the right."

(On if he trained himself at left tackle during the offseason)
"When I left there were indications that I was going to come back and start off at the left, so I trained and prepared myself to come back to play left. Shortly after we came back, I was told it depends on who we draft and then after we drafted the kid from - I'm not sure where he's from - but the Donovan (Smith) kid, they said they would put me back to right and perhaps put that kid over there at left."

(On if he has a sense of what kind of player Donovan Smith is)
"No, I never seen or heard anything about him. I heard he's a good football player. I heard he's big and strong and somebody who could come in and perhaps play right away. That's what I was told about him, but I've never seen him. I don't watch much college football. I never had a chance to see him play."

*(On if he was excited to see high draft picks used on the offensive line and if he is excited about the fusion of talent that could help make the line better)  *
"It is. I was told that that's going to be a big thing in the draft - to build through the draft and get some young guys in here that can come in here, compete and help make our offensive line better. We struggled in some many ways last year. It's going to be good competition. They drafted two guys and I think there is going to be a lot of competition along this line. It has guys that are coming back who are hungry and it is going to have some young guys that I hope are going to be hungry. There is going to be a lot competition than we had before. Anytime there is competition, it makes people better."

(On the difficulty of playing on the offensive line in the NFL as a young or rookie player)
"I'm sure it's tough. I can speak for myself. For me, only playing one year of college football and then coming in and never playing on an offensive line, it was much harder for me opposed to those guys that have been playing offensive line their whole life. It might be a little easier for them."

(On advice he would give a rookie quarterback to be successful)
"The first thing he is going to need is an offensive line that is going to protect for him. Obviously, we have to do a better job than what we gave for Josh (McCown) last year, especially with a young guy that is coming in. I think (George) Warhop, our offensive line coach, he's stressing more that we need to play better than last year. Like I said, with a rookie quarterback there are going to be some challenges. There are going to be some ups, there are going to be some downs. We have to make him feel comfortable as best we can. It is going to rely on us to keep him as clean as we can."

(On if he was excited Jameis Winston was drafted by the team and if he would have picked Winston or Marcus Mariota)
"Well, I had no say in it. It really didn't matter who they brought in. I knew that they were going to get the best player that they felt could help this team win and obviously they felt Jameis was the best player. I got a chance to see him play a couple times and I think he's a tremendous football player that could keep getting better and can help this football team win. I think they made a good choice. I think they made the right choice."

(On his impression of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and the offense)
"He loves, loves fast tempo and loves to get the ball up the field. He loves to go a lot of no-huddle. That is going to be something that is different from what we are used to. It's going to be a lot of up-tempo stuff. That's something that he loved doing and it (has) its ups and downs, but I'm looking forward to it."

(On the mentality of earning everything you have in the NFL regardless of what your college career was)
"With him being drafted No. 1 overall, there is no doubt this organization expects him to come in and takeover this organization, but Mike Glennon is a guy that is competing and I'm sure he is going to go out there every day and expect nothing to be handed to Jameis. That's what we expect; for Mike to go out there and compete every day and keep guys coming to work and keep hammering at it. With it being the No. 1 draft pick overall, it's going to be on his shoulders, because this organization wants him to take it."


(On facing the Tennessee Titans at home in Week One of the regular season)
"I am definitely excited. I was talking to my wife about it, knowing we play them this year and just thinking the odds of it being the first game were so slim, so when it happened I kind of had to eat my words to my wife, but it's exciting. It's going to be just another game. Good way to try to get a start off 1-0."

(On if it can be advantageous being in the second year of a new head coach compared to the first)
"It definitely will be. I think for the fact that we all have been in the system and been through it all. Been through the ups and downs, the season and the game. It's going to make us very more suited to handle things that will arise this year. A lot of things we were looking at were based off of what probably Chicago did or what other teams did. Now we have our own film that we can actually dissect and get into. We can say 'Okay, you were supposed to be here or there' and we can get that all during the offseason. It's definitely great in that sense and even the people we brought in, just knowing where they're supposed to be too. It is definitely an expectation to be a whole lot better than what we were last year."

(On what it is like for him in the meeting room now compared to last year when he was learning the Tampa-2 defense)
"It's tons better, because during this time, you're going off of assumptions of what you think because you haven't done it yet. You are seeing it from other people. You might think it's easier, you might not. You didn't know, so you we just kind of going with the flow and just saying 'Okay, I know what I'm supposed to do,' but when you get out there it might be a little different, when it's full speed going at you. Now, looking at the film, I can see and visualize how I looked at it actually playing it and then get a better feel for what I need to do to get better or what I did good last year. From that year of experience, that's why it is easier being in meetings, because now we have the visualization of actually doing it, instead of just going off of what we see other people doing it.  Especially my position, when you see Charles Tillman do stuff he makes it look way easier at times. Even some of the older guys before this, so it is good to get what we felt with it now ingrained in our minds."

(On what he sees when he watches film of himself and if he thought there were more opportunities for turnovers last year)
"No question. From the times the ball touched my hands to times the ball was in my area. Maybe if I would have burst a little more or just did the little small things just a little bit better, I would have been in better position to try and make a play, instead of a bat down, I could have picked it off. When I look back, sometimes I just shake my head. I don't know what I was thinking. I just think well know I know, in this situation, I know what to do better. That definitely happens a lot. Sometimes looking at the film from last year it gets hard, especially when you go to those Ravens and Falcons games. It's tough to watch, but there is plenty of learning experience to make sure that doesn't happen this year. It's hard at times, but I do get a lot of learning saying 'Okay, now I know in this situation, I know what to do better. Now I probably won't even think about it as much as now. It's going to be more of an instinct or reaction now, where last year it could have been more of a thought process, because it is something new, especially toward the middle of the year."

(On how much of a mental break he took after such a long season)
"I tried to take even longer this year than I've done in the past, but it's kind of hard, especially when you are a competitor and you know what happened - 2-14 and how many times you left things out there. It's hard to kind of just let it go go, but I tried to get away from it for a little bit to start fresh and know that you can't do anything about what happened in the past. All we can control is what goes forward. We can go out and win a Super Bowl this year and I think not too many people are going to talk about what happened that past year, unless they want to do a Cinderella story or what not. It's all about what's forward. That's what the NFL is about. It's not about what you did in the past. Nobody cares I went to the Pro Bowl two years ago. That's way in the past. Nobody cares that Seattle won the Super Bowl the year before. The Patriots are the Super Bowl champs right now, so we have to worry about what is going forward and that's why I did take a little longer time to try to get that in my head."

(On how safety Chris Conte can fit into this defense and help the secondary)
"He's been in the system since he was drafted, being in Chicago. He played well when (head coach) Lovie (Smith) was in Chicago. When I was in Tennessee, we played Chicago the last year Lovie was there and they murdered us kind of like what happened to us (against the Falcons and Ravens). You see how he is able to move in the defense. He moves very well. He is aggressive, he attacks well. He has really good instincts and held awareness. Someone like him is going to make it probably more comfortable for us to be more aggressive at times, even the linebackers and such. You know he (knows) where he is going to have to be. You know for a fact that he is going to be there. Last year, with us, sometimes you didn't know, even from us.  Safeties might not know if we are going to do what we are supposed to do in Cover-2 and get jammed. I think now we have a familiar tone with everyone and what we are supposed to do, but with him stepping in, it's not like we need to see it. We've seen it done with him, so that's why it's going to be helpful with Chris."

(On how he felt about the Bucs drafting only one defensive player)
"I guess you can look at it in different views. They felt that the players at the time, offense was going to probably be what helps the team the most.  I think it's a slight vote of confidence, but at the end of the day we have to go out there and perform. I don't look at it as 'Offense needed more help than defense' or 'Defense is set.' No, we still need to improve way more than what we did last year. We can't look at what we did at the end of the year and make that be the foundation. We have to improve upon that. I didn't look at it disappointed like 'We are going to need more help' or 'We need to do this or that.' It's more of understanding they had a plan and you can see it through the draft. They executed that plan and they feel like this is what we need to get over the hump and be competitive this year."

(On if he had a favorite on draft day to selected No.1 overall)
"I knew they were going to pick the person they felt would help the team exponentially right now. I was just like everyone else playing the guessing game, but I didn't have a clear favorite or I want this. When they made the selection I was happy because that's the guy they think is going to help us out. After that I have just been super, super excited and just ready for him to get in here. My goal is to make it harder for him during training camp. Hopefully that will help him out during the season. I'm excited to see him play and hopefully he is that guy we all know he can be."

(On if the defense feels a responsibility to put the team on its shoulders while a rookie quarterback is developing)
"I think regardless of who is at quarterback, we could have Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana at quarterback, I think as a defense, the way this system is set-up we feel like we need to carry the team. We need to get takeaways. That's something I preached so much last year. To me, we came short of that last year. That put the offense in a bad situations, so that's what we are looking forward to. We might have this Jameis, whoever is at quarterback, but to make it easy for them, we have to get takeaways and get them into manageable field position. With the weapons we have, it should be no problem getting to the end zone. That is what we look at as a defense, not necessarily domination, but 'Let's get the ball back to our offense' and we know what they can do when they get the ball. That's what we are concentrating on."

(On having an offseason and training camp where he is healthy)
"Knock on this to make sure (knocks on podium). That's one thing I am definitely looking forward to. I never did, even this period here. I was trying to figure it out when I got hurt during (offseason training activities). I think I went through one week and then I was out the rest of the time. Then training camp, the second or third day I was out. So that is one thing I've been focusing on - taking that little extra break and just relaxing. I think it is important for me to try and get in and do everything I can, so I look forward to it. I look forward to all 10 days of OTAs and minicamps, just really progressing and getting back to the way I know I can play, the way everybody expects me to play here and do well."

(On the excitement among fans of drafts Winston and if that translates to the locker room)
"I think so. When you have the No. 1 overall pick, unfortunately it means you were bad the year before and you know that player is looked at to be the guy that helps us out. I think it was a general buzz just on who we were going to select and now we know the selection so I think it is a good buzz. Just knowing what he has done in college. He's been through it all, like I said. He has been through ups and downs, from the media to not the media. To me, I feel like he has handled well, especially for a 20, 21-year-old. I don't know exactly what his age is. I feel like he has been thrust into a lot of media and I think he responded even in the Rose Bowl game. Obviously I watched it being a Rose Bowl guy, Pac-10, Pac-12 now. Even though the score showed Florida State got dominated, I thought he actually played with a lot of poise at that game and he gave his team a fighting chance. I think we are all excited. We're all very, very excited. I'm ready to see what he does when he gets in, but I'm also going to make it as hard as I can for him."

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