The Buccaneers were back at practice on Thursday as they prepare for their season opening game against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.
On Wednesday, we heard from defensive coordinator Mike Smith, and on Thursday we flipped sides and got to ask a few questions of Todd Monken, the team’s offensive coordinator.
Monken called plays during the preseason for the first time with the Buccaneers, and we asked him about that experience.
It is still to be determined whether or not Monken will remain the play caller headed into the regular season.
We also got to hear from the team’s starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is going into his 14th season this year, but though he’s been around a while, he hasn’t had many chances to be the opening day starter. This year he gets to, and he said that’s exciting for him.
Fitzpatrick was also asked about suspended quarterback Jameis Winston, and how he and the rest of the team have been handling Winston’s suspension. He was asked about whether or not he’s thought about his chance to remain the starter when Winston returns, and if that idea was part of what made him want to come back.
His response was that he didn’t come back because of that. He came back because he loves football and he loves this team.
In the locker room, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was holding court, and just like Fitzpatrick reminisced on his 14 years in the league, McCoy talked about going into his ninth year, and how he still gets excited whenever this time of year rolls around.
McCoy was also asked about Saints quarterback Drew Brees, of whom he has a great relationship with. McCoy said that he loves Brees, but hates him this week — and Brees knows that.
McCoy said that the only way to get the better of Brees is to do the right things on defense and do them for all 60 minutes.
McCoy also said that in order to be the best you have to beat the best, and in the NFC South, that includes New Orleans.
To wrap up the day, head coach Dirk Koetter made his way to the podium. Though there is a ton of studying other teams in the NFL, Week 1 does still have some mystery to it, and that was something Koetter talked about on Thursday.