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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What the Bucs Are Saying: August 1

Read key quotes and watch today's press conferences following coach and player media availability.



(On if he has any further updates on Ryan Jensen's knee injury)

"Not at this time. We're still waiting for tests to come back."

(On his thoughts on the first day of practice in pads)

"The mental approach was there. I thought we got a little tired in the middle – as expected with the pads on in this heat – but iron sharpens iron and I think it was a lot of good give and take."

(On if the offense had a tough start)

"Well, mentally I thought they were fine. I don't think they had a tough start. I think we were working on some things and trying some different things with the install. I think they're fine. I thought they picked it up pretty good and I didn't think they had a bad practice at all."

(On if he appreciates the catches on deep passes or if he still looks at it from a defensive coordinator standpoint)

"I can appreciate the catch, but I can also appreciate the sacks that y'all don't see."

(On center Robert Hainsey practicing against first and second-team defenders)

"He was fine. He practiced against them all last year. He's not going to get any better work than Vita [Vea] and Akiem [Hicks], so…you know, he might face a quicker guy, but he won't face a stronger guy. So, he's getting good reps right now. We'll have him ready."

(On NT Vita Vea looking dominant on Monday)

"He's a strong man. Once you get in pads, the bigger guys start to show up on both sides of the football, and we know Vita's one of our biggest. He plays good football."

(On if WR Scotty Miller was okay after catching a deep pass and landing on the ground)

"As far as I know he's fine. It was a good catch and a good drill. We've just to keep moving forward."

(On what Miller can do to regain his 2020 form)

"Staying healthy is the main thing. He goes two or three weeks and [then] he has a freak injury that's kind of holding him back some. But he's healthy right now, he's stronger, he looks fast. Again, it's the first day of pads. It's a war of attrition going through preseason, so we'll just take it day by day and try to keep him fresh."

(On WR Tyler Johnson's practice)

"I can't say I watched him exclusively, so I've got to see the film on him. I just know he's in very good shape and he's been doing all the right things."

(On CB Sean Murphy-Bunting)

"He was banged up all last year, so he didn't have his health or his speed at that time. He came into camp in excellent shape. His offseason was good and he's moving around very well right now. We're pleased where he is – we've just got to keep him fresh."

(On what he saw from rookie G Luke Goedeke and rookie DL Logan Hall in pads)

"Just learning the system and getting acclimated with pads on to how things work as opposed to out of pads, and adjusting to blocks on both sides of the ball. I just look forward to them getting better. They understand it mentally. Just working with the guys they have to work with and getting on the same page, that's the biggest thing for those two guys."

(On rookie CB Zyon McCollum)

"We're putting a lot in right now, so obviously he's going to have to be learning for the next two weeks but his athleticism, his speed and his intelligence are there. It's just him getting used to the system."

(On his observations of rookie WR Deven Thompkins after one day in pads)

"Only been one day. It's only been one day."

(On not having season-to-season continuity this year on the interior offensive line)

"It's not a concern right now. Again, we drafted [Robert] Hainsey in the third round last year. He took a ton of reps throughout the season. He's taken a ton of reps with the offensive line, other than Shaq Mason. But the chemistry comes through preseason. Better it happened now than Week 6 or Week 7 when he gets two days of practice, and you worry about him going into a game. He's got two weeks of practice, he's got three preseason games, he's going up against Vita [Vea] and [Akiem] Hicks every day, with 'Nacho' (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) and Will [Gholston]. He's going to be more than ready, if it comes to that, when the season starts."

(On also having two new starting guards)

"Two new guards also. Shaq [Mason] has been here throughout the spring so he's acclimated already and we're still working through the [left] guard thing, but we've got guys that can play. The cupboard is not bare – they just need experience."

(On how valuable it is to have a quarterback like Tom Brady sharing his knowledge after every play)

"It's extremely important, not just Tom but we've got experienced receivers. They can come back and tell Tom some things about what they see and how to adjust some routes, and they get on the same page, and they can make some things happen that way. Having him plus the overall experience of [Russell] Gage, Julio [Jones], Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin], obviously, getting on the same page is going to work wonders for us."

(On if he's not a music guy at practice)

"No, I've had music before. We'll work out some kind of deal. We'll see where it goes."

(On if players have been asking for music at practice)

"Not many. Probably one in particular. There you go – Donovan [Smith]. We'll see what he has to offer up and we'll kind of go from there."

(On if he's got anything special planned for Tom Brady on his 45th birthday on Wednesday)

"As long as we keep him upright and he's walking, that's a great birthday. What do you give the guy that has everything, right?"

(On the Guardian Caps some players are wearing on their helmets)

"Seems like practice is a little bit quieter because you don't hear the popping. You're not supposed to hit with your head anyway, at least not the crown of your head. It's not a big deal. It's on the top, it doesn't affect the play. Maybe it's a little heavy or a little hotter as you go out there as a player, but it's good for the safety of the game. Whatever we try to do to make it safe, we try to go from there."

(On what it means to the team to have a Military Appreciation Day at camp)

"It means a lot. It makes everything get put in perspective. What they do and what we do, it's like child's play. We're having fun and we're coaching and they're out protecting the country and taking bullets. So, to have them come out and get a day off, if we can provide some entertainment, we try and make sure we do that."

(On if QB Tom Brady will get the day off on his birthday)

"Everything's negotiable but we'll see. We haven't given anybody else the day off on their birthday. If it falls on that day, so be it."

(On RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn)

"He's in great shape. The running backs – it's just going to be a matter of practice and preseason games. We know he knows what he's doing, we know he knows how to play. It's going to be great competition back there. We feel like we've got a bunch of guys back there that can run the football. He'll get his shot in preseason as well as the other guys. Like I said, we've got a lot of talent at a lot of positions, so it's going to be some tough decisions."

(On the biggest thing he wants to see as the team transitions to practicing in pads)

"Just continue to play smarter football. Our situations are going to be what wins or loses games for us. We've got to continue to play smarter football. I know we're physical, I know we're talented. Playing smart football is what wins games for you."

(On which player in particular has impressed him from an intelligence standpoint)

"We've got a lot of smart football players. I can't say one guy has single-handedly intelligently stood out for me. It's just the situation, it involves different guys all the time. We have a lot of smart football players. It's just about getting all the smart football players on the same page at the same time. Two-minute, red zone, backed-up, third and short – every situation requires some thinking."

(On the hardest part of the NFL transition is for a rookie running back like Rachaad White)

"It's probably blitz-pickup. They don't really do that a lot in college where they get the ball out real quick or you're the featured running back. He's willing, that's the biggest thing. It's just a matter of getting down the schematics of it and understanding his technique."


(On his comfort level with OL Robert Hainsey playing center)

"He's worked really hard. Obviously, everyone's heartbroken with what happened Ryan [Jensen]. So, that'll take a little time, but 'Haines' (Robert Hainsey) has to step into the job and do a great job. He's worked hard last year, really gained the trust with a lot of people and he has to go earn it. Like all of us, it's not what you did [or] how hard you worked in the offseason, it's how good of a football player are you. It's to be determined for all of us."

(On the addition of the new wide receivers in the room)

"They're all working hard. Obviously, we've got a lot of really great professionals that have great work ethics and know how to play the game. Those guys are coming out to work every day, so there are tough conditions out here – not a lot of wind and it's just pretty hot and you have to gear up every day for it."

(On his emotions of TE Rob Gronkowski's retirement)

"Everyone here loves Rob, and those are personal things. Everyone gets the chance to make personal choices. We all love him."

(On looking back on last year and if the injuries are what stopped Tampa Bay from winning another Super Bowl)

"I don't think there's any excuses. You either get the job done or you don't. There's only one team that is really happy at the end of the year and it is the team that wins. You have to come out the next year and do everything you can to put yourself in position."

(On him saying 'Unfinished Business' when he announced his return)

"We're just going to do the best we can do. There's a lot of work between now [and then] – it's August 1. There's a lot of time. Nobody knows what the team is going to look like – you think you have a center and then he gets injured, so the team is different in one day. There's a long time between now and the first game."

(On building trust and chemistry with the new wide receivers)

"I think just steady improvement. Just getting better every day. It's hard if you take one step forward, two steps back, one step forward, two steps back, one step forward, two steps back. You start at a lower point, but if you make progress every day, you get to a good place."

(On his impressions of WR Russell Gage Jr.)

"He's done a great job – getting open and catching the ball. All of us have a lot of work to do."

(On if the way last season ended motivated his return)

"I don't know. Seems like forever ago."

(On his appreciation for Richard Seymour and his induction into the Hall of Fame)

"I love Richard. He's amazing – an amazing man, friend. So happy for him, so well deserved. It's kind of a crowning achievement. He had an unbelievable career and [I'm] just really happy to be a part of some great teams with him."

(On the passing of Bill Russell)

"I knew him pretty well. I had a lot of time up there in Boston and got to know him. He was a very impactful figure, even back to my early days with the Patriots. My second year during training camp he came and spoke to our team. A really imposing figure – he had a great presence about him. Obviously, what he overcame in his career was pretty unbelievable. It was a sad day."

(On what his focus is during training camp)

"Same for everybody – just trying to be a little better every day."

(On how important training camp is with new offensive targets)

"I think you work every day. You work every day as much as you can for the whole year and see where you end up. This was an important day because it is the only day we have and we have to focus on today and then we will deal with tomorrow, tomorrow."

(On recruiting players to join the Buccaneers)

"Naturally I'm an older player and I've been very fortunate to know a lot of guys. Guys choose this team because of the team, not because of me. We have a great organization, great teammates and I think people are excited to come join a great group of people and great group of men. It's never about one person – it has never been what this sport has been about. It's the ultimate team sport and I love playing with players that our professional, players that want to work hard and players that put the team first."

(On his drive for another ring)

"Again, it's August 1. Obviously today is today and that's way down the road so just trying to be as best prepared for today and deal with tomorrow, tomorrow."

(On his inspiration in entering his age 45season)

"I don't think you can do anything without incredible support. This is not about me, it's about all of the people that have supported me to get to this point and I'm very grateful. I'm just super grateful to everybody who has played an important role and you can't take anything for granted."

(On how RB Leonard Fournette has looked in training camp)

"Good. He does a great job."

(On how the backfield has looked as a whole)

"That has to be a big position for us. They have to step in and do the job. Our receivers get a lot of attention, so it leaves an opportunity for our tight ends and running backs to make plays in the run game and in the pass game. 'Gio' (Giovani Bernard), 'Lenny' (Leonard Fournette) and everyone have to a good job."

(On the new additions to the defense)

"I just focus on our offense. I don't play defense, so I'm trying to do the best I can at quarterback."

(On how things have looked so far)

"Looks like training camp. Some days are good, some days are not so good – just have to keep improving."


(On having Todd Bowles' back now that he's head coach)

"Yeah, you could say that. [Coach Bowles] did a lot for us. Just coming in my second year and kind of changing our defense around and then putting in some things that really helped us play to our advantages. So as a coach, we respect him, and we always want to play good for Coach Bowles. He's a true player's coach and we love him."

(On WR Julio Jones)

"[He's still the] same guy, same guy. Still a freak, huge, looks like a tight end, runs like Scotty [Miller], and stops on the dime like Jaelon Darden, so it's like the whole package. He's bringing back memories of playing him in Atlanta before he was hurt. It was a tough match-up, but having him on our team, being able to compete with him, going to war with him this upcoming season - it's exciting for me. I always love a good competition in practice that gets me ready for the season, so adding him to the mix on top of the talent we already had is just amazing. It's fun. It's fun to come to practice and go against three or four Hall of Famers everyday and knowing that if you can win here, you can win anywhere."

(On WR Russell Gage Jr.)

"He is so shifty. His releases – it's so crazy. He's underrated, but that guy is a problem when it comes to game planning and understanding your leverage because he plays in the slot, and that position in particular is a quarterback's favorite go-to just because it's so close and so convenient. He's a guy who likes to win – he wins. And that's one thing about him, he wants to win every rep and going up against him in practice, man, I got to say it, this receiver group that we have now has just been fun just to go up against every day. You never know what you're going to get. You got [Jaelon Darden], Mike [Evans], you got Julio [Jones], Chris [Godwin] coming back, you got Tyler [Johnson] - you just got so many different guys who can do so many different things well – Scotty [Miller], you know – at any given moment someone could take the top off the coverage or they could just beat you with speed. So, it's great for me as a corner to just get that overall look from everybody, from the speed to the power and [Gage is] one guy that brings the shiftiness and the subtleness and the quickness to it and I love competing against him."

(On what juices him up in the morning)

"Football. Football, man. You got to love it. To do this, you literally have to love it and be able to create that juice from within. Just to be able to go out there and compete, like bro, Tom Brady is our quarterback. Like I'm going against him every day. How can you not get hype? This dude is the best football player to ever play. Mike Evans is one of the best receivers to ever play the game. So being able to come out here and compete – and then I'm in Florida – so like you can't beat that. You literally can't beat it, it's a win-win here. But yeah, that gets me juiced up in the morning, just being able to come and compete. Coming from where I came from, it's a blessing to be here and be able to win rings with the greats and have a chance to be one of them."

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