The Buccaneers were one of 31 teams who passed on drafting former Louisville quarterback teddy Bridgewater who now starting for the Minnesota Vikings after a season ending injury to Matt Cassel. On Wednesday, Brigewater joined the local Tampa Bay media on a conference call and talked about the transition from college to life in the NFL.
Below is a full transcript of the conference call.
(On being able to get a chance to play as a rookie)
“I’ve been extremely blessed. Unfortunately I was called upon in a situation where it was a loss for the team – we lost our starting quarterback – but it was an opportunity for me to get a chance to showcase my talents.”
(On how the reality of NFL matches up with what he heard while preparing for the NFL Draft)
“It’s matched up to its hype and every week you’re going to get a team’s best. It’s very difficult to win in this league. We know that a majority of the games are going to come down to the wire and you have to put together drives to go in to kick a field goal or score a touchdown in the last minutes of the game. The speed of the game is very fast, guys are well-assigned and this is what they get paid to do.”
(On Minnesota’s offense)
“We’ve been on a tough stretch right now. I know that I could be playing better, as a team, we know that we could be playing better. For me, I just have to do a better job of not holding on to the football, losing field position and taking us out of field goal range and I have to do a better job of not hurting our defense by having them on the field for a long time. At the same time, it’s not all about me. We have a team here and a group of guys who are going to sacrifice for each player on every play. It’s going to take a team effort and pretty soon we’ll be back.”
(On being high school teammates with Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David and playing in the Miami area)
“I didn’t actually play on the team with him, I was a freshman and he was a senior. Each Friday night you’re playing against some of the best athletes in the state of Florida team and seeing a group of guys like Lavonte’s class set the example and lay a foundation for our school just meant a lot because in that area, you don’t see too many guys who were able to do some of the things that those guys were able to do on the high school level. I was able to sit back and watch those guys and it just helped me get to this point.”
(On the biggest adjustment he’s had to make in the NFL)
“For one it’s a business, but you’re talking about the guy next to you – he’s a guy with a family. This is a job and this isn’t college anymore where you’re going to sit around the locker room and joke around. Guys are now competing for a starting spot and there are only 53 guys on the rosters and it’s just very difficult.”
(On not being drafted as high as originally projected)
“I tried not to pay any attention to it, but at the same time I’m human. The things that I took away from it were that you can’t control what people say about you, only focus on the things that you can control. After going through that process, I just kept telling myself ‘No one else’s word matters but the coach that I’m going to play for and my teammates that are going to go to war with me each and every Sunday.”
(On how the team has handled the Adrian Peterson situation)
“We’ve handled it in a professional manner. We know that throughout the course of the season things are going to happen, there are going to be obstacles that we’ll have to overcome, but our coaching staff did a great job of preparing us and getting us through the situation.”
(On being a rookie quarterback and playing for a rookie head coach in Mike Zimmer)
“Coach Zimmer is a guy who’s going to get the best out of you. He’s going to push you until you go over the edge. He’s not satisfied with mediocrity, he wants the best for the team and he wants us to win. We understand his message we’re just going to continue to try and apply it throughout the rest of the season.”
(On what’s been the cause of the sacks he has taken)
“I would say that it’s just me holding on to the football whenever I’m in the pocket. I’m trying to look for the big plays, trying to win the game in one play when there are easy throws right in front of me. I have to understand that I need to continue to nickel-and-dime a team and eventually the big play is going to come.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
The only question I have is will our Defense show up. We’re as healthy as we have been and I do expect to see us hold the Vikings below 20-23 points.
Why should I care about what Bridgewater has to say? I mean Honestly… An evaluation on him and how we should play against him is fine but I couldn’t care less about a transcript of an interview with him… I need Bucs News!!!
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