The Buccaneers dodged rain and wind most of the afternoon while practicing at One Buc Place on Monday until a torrential downpour caused practice to end early. Head coach Lovie Smith and select players talked to the media following Monday’s soggy workout.
HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH(Opening Statement)“Another good practice. We have few injuries, Da’Quan Bowers and Steven Means both have upper-leg injuries, in the groin area – hopefully we’ll be able to get them back out there before long. This late in camp these kinds of things happen. [Cornerback] Alterraun Verner was able to do a little bit more. We’re getting a few guys back pretty much on pace with what we thought they would be. I know the depth chart came out and again as I said the depth chart doesn’t mean a whole lot right now. If you guys need me to change it each week and all of that, then that’s fine, but look at who’s practicing and that will kind of tell you what we’re thinking at the time as much as anything. We’re looking at different combinations which we’ll continue to do and just keep the competition going as much as anything. As a new staff, we want competition at as many positions as possible and I feel like we’re getting that.”
(On if the Bucs have any interest on former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito)“All players that are available we look to see if they would fit in our program. All players. And I will just kind of leave it at that. If we are really interested in someone we will bring them in. So again we are looking at everyone constantly. Not just now. Every position. How is that?”
(On what type of players would be considered)“We consider everything, the total player. And what he brings. Off the field, on the field, that total package comes into play for every player we evaluate. Every player we draft, we sign through free agency and all. And it’s very important that a player fits in the locker room. If a player doesn’t fit in the locker room we have to go in a different direction. It’s as simple as that. You have to be accepted in there. And I’m not talking about anybody in particular. I’m just talking about in general.”
(On cutting practice early today)“It wasn’t 30 minutes early, we didn’t do a two-minute drill at the end, and we cut special teams down a little bit more. We just had a pretty good tempo, sometimes when we go with the no-huddle we get off the field a little bit earlier, but besides that, that’s all we took out.” (On how close training camp practices are compared to preseason game)“I think it’s pretty good, when you say the offensive line just look at who they’re competing against on the other side. This is great work, a great evaluation for us, it won’t be much harder in the game for the players, so that’s what we’re doing.” (On the announcement that games won’t get blacked out for local fans)“It’s very gratifying. For our fans, we want, we would like for everyone to come to [a game]. Everyone can’t come to a game, [so] to be able to watch it on TV too, it’s important for us. We feel like we’re going to put a good product on the field and we want as many as possible to be able to watch. We’re excited about that and we’re excited about the home opener coming up. I know we have a few more training camp practices before we get on against the [Miami] Dolphins. It was a lot of fun having the first preseason game on the road last week too, but that’s not like home and guys are pretty excited about that.” (On the slot receiver competition)“We’ve seen good things from Louis [Murphy]. From the OTAs on, he’s made plays, but we’ve seen good things from a lot of the guys. It’s just a process that you just have to keep going through. They have their moments when you really like some things that they’re able to do. Louis had a couple of big catches and did some good things last week, but that’s pretty much how he’s done. For the players like Louis though – as we look, if you’re one of our starters and you have an idea probably. If you are not, if you’re not, it has to be about more than just that, it has to be about special teams too. Skill positions, wide receiver, tight end, running backs, cornerbacks and linebackers, those backup positions you have to have special teams value also, that goes into the equation too.” CENTER EVAN DIETRICH-SMITH(On the rain at today’s practice)“It was refreshing in all honesty. Kind of like taking a shower outside. Sitting out there, you’re getting beat down by the sun the whole time and you’re sweating. It was a nice little change up. I didn’t mind it one bit.” (On the progress of the offensive line this week)“I thought we had a pretty good day today. It’s getting up there in training camp. We’re grinding it out, guys are getting nicked up a little bit here and there. But I thought we made some progress today. I thought we had a good seven-on-seven drill – I thought our team was pretty good. Then the rain started coming down, so we cut it short. Didn’t really get to finish the practice, but from what I saw, what we had out there, I thought we did a good job.” (On the potential of the offense)“We’re really kind of showing you guys, on a percentage scale, probably about five percent of what we can really do. Real base, vanilla stuff. I was watching the Atlanta and the Dolphins game – coming up this week – but I was watching that and those guys are out there throwing blitzes and stuff. I think Lovie had us go out there and line up and was basically just like, ‘Play some football,’ like we were kind of out in the street a little bit. It wasn’t anything super complicated. We weren’t out there trying to trick anybody with anything right off the bat. But at the same time, when you go out there, you keep score. You want to win those football games. You want to go out and you want to have a good showing and obviously, that didn’t happen last week. Right now, I think we might get a little bit more this weekend, but by the third game, what you guys are going to see out there will probably be a pretty good gauge of what you’re going to see during the season.” TIGHT END AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS(On how he graded out in Friday’s game)“I didn’t grade out good enough. I didn’t play well enough, as you could see. I had two holding calls, I didn’t block well enough and I didn’t run my routes well enough, so I didn’t get enough of a satisfactory grade to my liking. I don’t know what my grade was, but it wasn’t good enough.” (On if he is always tough on himself)“What I know about football and what I know about my ability, if I don’t reach a certain standard I don’t think it’s good enough, and I haven’t met that standard. I didn’t play well enough in the game. So, yeah, I do grade myself tough and I’ll be my biggest critic because I think that’s the best way to get better.” (On the biggest lesson he learned Friday)“It’s just technique. It wasn’t anything different, it was just my coaches telling me. Coach Embree was telling me, ‘It’s going to be technique, technique.’ Then you do the things in practice, you kind of get away with it and then it comes to a game and there’s a flag or you didn’t get open quick enough. Little things – the linebacker jumps the route and tips the ball just a bit because you didn’t get outside on your right landmark. It’s just the real small stuff and that’s the biggest thing, it was the technique. Everybody is just really good with their technique.” (On if it has helped to get first-team snaps in practice)“It helps out a lot. It’s definitely going to get me better – not to discredit the second guys because there are a lot of good players on our second- and third-teams – but it helps out to get chemistry with those guys. At the end of the day it’s football, and if you’re getting better, you’re getting better and if you’re getting worse, you’re getting worse.” (On if it’s harder to focus on technique when you’re in an actual game situation)“When you’re in a game and things are going and you’re thinking about just your assignment, sometimes you forget about your technique. I think that’s what got me held up. In the first preseason game I was so worried about doing my assignment and making sure I won my rep, that I forgot about the small techniques that would help me win my rep and help me dominate that rep and not get a holding call or not get open enough. It’s tough to know your technique or remember your technique when you’re in the heat of the battle but that’s why we come out here and practice. Coach Smith and Coach Embree and Coach Tedford do a great job on repetition so it can help us out, so it’s second-nature when we get into a game.” (On his first NFL game experience)“It was awesome. I always dreamed about this since I was a little kid playing football in the yard with my dad and with the dog. To get out there and have my mom, my sister, my grandma, everyone there to be there for me in my first preseason game was something really special. Obviously we didn’t win and that was the most important thing, but it was a dream come true to get out there and really put on the NFL uniform, put on the Tampa Bay Buccaneer uniform and have a good time and enjoy myself.” RUNNING BACK CHARLES SIMS(On how Lovie Smith graded his performance in the first preseason game)“I graded out pretty good, but there’s room for improvement. You try to get better every game so you just go out there and give it your all and just play the game.” (On his first preseason action)“It felt good. My first NFL game; just coming out there. After the first play, I was just relaxed and just playing my game and just having fun.” (On if he felt he had any highlight plays in the game)“I had a couple of good runs and I had a few catches. But there’s always room for improvement. I’m just ready for Miami.” (On the depth the team has at running back)“We just keep on working. We’ve got a good group of running backs so we just keep on pushing each other making sure we get better every day.”
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]
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