Below is a selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quotes from today's earlier media availability:
Head Coach Dirk Koetter
Tight End O.J. Howard
Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
(On what he learned about the team during mini-camp)
"I think what we learned is the new additions are going to help us a lot, not only the free agents but the draft picks. Jason did an awesome job with the guys he added to our team and I think the guys that are returning are really serious about putting their best foot forward. When you're 3-7 in one-score games, that really puts everything into perspective as to 3-7 and you're sitting at home, 5-11 versus Atlanta [who was] 6-4 in one score games and gets in as a wild card and gets a couple of wins. So, everybody likes where they're at this time of year. The good news is we're pretty healthy and I'll be anxious to get back in five weeks and start it up again."
(On how quickly the rookies have caught on to the schemes)
"I think Jason [Licht] went out of his way on everybody we added this year that that was on the checklist. You can't always tell for sure but when the coaches worked guys out, when the scouts were meeting with guys, this is a fast-paced game and you have to be able to think on your feet. I've been impressed with what they've done thus far and we'll see when the pads start flying and there's real hitting."
(On if defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul got up to speed during mini-camp)
"Yeah, I think he did. I think he did do fine. I heard, when we're going no huddle and I'm standing in there like the ref, I'm listening to the D-line talk and listening to him communicate with Gerald [McCoy] or Beau Allen or with Lavonte [David]. When JPP first told me he wasn't going to be at the first part of OTAs, he said, 'Coach, I've been doing this a long time, there's only so many things a defensive end has to do.' I think he's done a good job. You can tell – we all know who he is from afar but when he gets here, he's a big man and he's long, 280 pounds. He plays the run a lot better than people think he does so, he's going to be fine."
(On if he looks back at last season while preparing for the upcoming season)
"We've looked at last year a lot. When you're done in January and you have no players until April, you have a lot of time in your hands to not only look at your own team and the things you did bad and the things you could do better and the things you did good, you also look at other teams. So, we've looked back at it a lot."
(On the work quarterback Jameis Winston did on his deep ball during the offseason)
"There's never a question of if Jameis is going to work hard on stuff. Jameis works as hard as anybody out there, he's a hard-working kid. So, we'll see when we're playing full speed. He's working out and that's really all he can do right now."
TIGHT END O.J. HOWARD
(On how much different he feels now compared to his rookie season)
"I would say the game changed a lot to me, just mentally. Slowing things down, understanding the playbook a lot better, so that just does a great job of helping me play fast and knowing what to do."
(On what he thinks of his play in 2017)
"We all have to do our reports on last year's film and tell the good and bad about it, so I had a lot of things I wanted to improve on such as the run game, running routes, getting open a lot in man coverage, so those are just some of the things that I brought to this season saying I need to improve on from last year."
(On making a couple of big plays in Wednesday's practice and if the team can use him more creatively in his second year)
"Yeah, definitely. I think always our tight end group has had chances to make great plays. Coach Koetter does a great job of drawing up plays for us and this year he sees a lot of potential that we have again so when the plays are called, we've just got to make them when they come our way."
(On his familiarity with the NFL game and if it allows him to line up in multiple positions)
"Absolutely. I think that's the best thing about football – you can put guys in different positions that run the same plays. That's what it's all about – creating mismatches and that's what we're trying to do, find a mismatch on the field and attack it."
(On what he has planned for time off before training camp)
"I have my camp coming up this Saturday back home, my second one. Looking forward to that. I'm bringing out about 250 kids. It's going to be a hot day but it's going to be a fun day."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
(On if going against offensive linemen like center Ryan Jensen makes him a better player)
"Sure. Everybody makes each other better. And if you're not, then it's the person's job that's going against them to let them know that, 'Hey, I need more.' That's how you hold each other accountable. That's all we do. Professionals, the best teams in the league, the guys up front make each other better. The proof is in the pudding. Look at the past Super Bowl champion (Philadelphia Eagles). Both of the lines were top two or three in the NFL, offense and defense. Made each other better – [got] a Super Bowl."
(On if this defensive line group has the makings of something special)
"Absolutely. Like I said, I'm excited about the progress that we've made up to this point. You can see guys' improvement, guys taking to coaching. Coach Buck (Brentson Buckner) is teaching and we're just going to keep building off of that. There's a lot of work to be done. We did what we could without pads. Everybody knows [that when] training camps comes, it's just different. It's real football then. Even then it's not real because you can't tackle. D-linemen, we can't finish until we get in the game. That's the only time we can finish. But up to that point, you can do what's necessary, but [when] training camp comes, we'll see what we're made of."
(On if the team's new defensive line additions have helped make the group more competitive)
"That's the only way to take it to the next level. The great thing about the guys that we brought in, they all – except for Vita since he came out of college – all of them have been to the Super Bowl. Three of them won it. So they know what it takes. They know what it is to be accountable. That's why I haven't had to do much up front with the D-line, because we brought in guys that know what that's like. They know what they need to do so I don't have to say this, say that, do that – they've been where I want to go. They're teaching me. It's going to be great."