After the first day of the Buccaneers mandatory mini-camp Bucs' head coach Greg Schiano took a few minutes with the media and talked about how the day went and who stood out. Schiano praised several, including Josh Freeman, Preston Parker and defensive end Michael Bennett.
Your overall impressions of first day of minicamp?
“I think they gave great effort. They’ve been doing that all through the OTAs and it picked right up today with how we’ve been doing things. The key is to get a little better every day. We made some mistakes today that will cost us in games so we have to get those cleaned up.”Who’s not here?
“I think Brian (Price) is the only one, unless I’m forgetting someone." (Schiano later added DT Amobi Okoye who had knee scoped recently. Will be back Wednesday but will not participate)What about the on health of the team?
“With the exception of (Da'Quan Bowers) course, (we’ve been fortunate), but that’s a huge loss. I don’t think you can – in sports you move on and you fill in – but you can’t over look that. He was set to have a great year, I thought. We’re going to get him back I hope. But it’s going to be later in the year, rather than earlier.”What did you know about Vincent Jackson before you got here?
“I didn’t know a ton, not being involved in the pro game and not having a lot of chances to watch the pro game. But when I did arrive and Mark (Dominik) and Dennis (Hickey) flooded me with tape, it didn’t take long to see the production. But what you don’t know is what a great worker he is, what a true professional he is. He’s really fun to coach.” On Eric Wright:
“He’s got great body control. You just watch him move and there’s no wasted motion, which is critical for a defensive back, especially a guy who moves inside and how fast things happen in there. He’s got that quick twitch.” Is he playing catch-up at all?
“A little bit, but because of his experience, I think he picks it all up pretty quickly.”
“He certainly is doing a great job but I think you hit it on the head, we have a big big chunk of this team that is doing everything we’re asking them to. And there are some that we could ask a little more of, but that will happen over time. That will become the way we do things and then people that remain here will do it that way and the people who don’t won’t be here. That will take care of itself, but Josh is one of the leaders in terms of doing things the right way and doing what we’re asking.” What have you noticed about Michael Bennett?
“Michael is feeling better. The last probably six workouts he is feeling better [or] five workouts. You can see him moving much better with his foot. Not that it was holding him back very much, but just that he was able to really let it fly. He still is not a hundred percent, but hopefully by training camp he will be.”How feel about having him after Bowers went down?
“Well, I felt good about him before Bowers went down to be honest with you. I thought he was (I watched the tape when I got here) I thought he was a productive player in 2011. Glad that he is here now.”Are you seeing Foster move more fluently from a mental standpoint in terms of how he is picking up the defense?
“I am. I don’t know if I said it to this group, but I did say that he has impressed me more the last probably ten days two weeks. He is getting a little better.”Have you seen a little more of that attack style from him?
“Yes. I think everybody is learning to play more downhill at the linebacker spot. That’s how we want to play, but when you do that it shortens your reaction time. If that makes sense, right? Because the closer you get to what you are looking at the less time you have to react. So I think they have to gain that confidence and that comfort level to be able to play downhill in that consistently.”What competitions on this team are most exciting to you right now?
“I think there are a bunch of them. I don’t know to single them out. You look at every position group—the wideouts we have great competition. The running back position we have great competition. Offensive line I think is kind of set, but then the spots you know who is the sixth? Who is the seventh? That kind of thing. You flip over to defense. Great. We added a few new guys on defense. How are they going to mix in? Who is going to be our guys that show up on game day? Those eight guys ready to go. We want to be able to roll eight guys. Linebacker great competition [and] secondary. We have some good defensive backs. At the end of the day we are probably going to have to end up letting go a defensive back that can play in this league. That is always tough, but that is a good problem to have I guess.”Are you trying a lot of combinations in the secondary because you are looking for the right mix?
“Yes. Exactly. I think we said it with Ronde (Barber) we want to get the best eleven on the field. Then after that you want to get the best next eleven because when someone has to go in or you want to give a guy a rest who is the next best? Sometimes it is not the next best single guy. It might be a swing guy that is the next best player. He will go in at either corner [or] either safety. So that’s kind of what we are trying to figure out right now. Meanwhile we got some young guys like Mark Barron and Lavonte David, Najee Goode – guys that are on defense and are trying to really figure out where they fit.”What is your impression of Mark Barron?
“Mark is a very explosive athlete. I think he has got a really good feel as a football player. Call it instinct. Call it eyes. Whatever you want to call it. He feels and sees things well. What you don’t see here that was very impressive on his college tape is that he is an explosive hitter. When he hits you you feel it so I am anxious to get to training camp and see him with pads on.”With having a guy like Ronde next to him to learn from?
“I think it helps. I think it help[s more probably from how to be a professional because Ronde (Barber) is learning a new position himself. Everybody is learning a new defense, but the way Ronde prepares this guy is — has been doing this for a long time and he takes a rookie mentality in his preparation. Can’t be a better effort on the field and preparation in the classroom. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who does any better.” Preston Parker and improvement:
“I think he is improving quite a bit. Both as a returner and as a wide receiver. Not that he wasn’t productive before because he was, but I see him doing things that are really going to be helpful. That’s why I said the competition at wideout I think is excellent. The cream will rise to the top. It is a good group. I think Dan Orlovsky is doing a really good job. In his role when he gets his chances he is really performing well so that’s a plus.”– Victoria Horchak and Mark Cook contributed to this report
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