Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter addressed the media following Sunday’s practice at One Buc. Below is the full transcript of what he said.

(On practice part of the day indoors)
“It’s great. Obviously this part, being in here, is great for the fans because of the air conditioning. It’s tougher outside and we tried to do the transition, and I thought it went find.”

(On injuries today)
“Vita left practice. I’m not sure what it is, it’s a lower leg injury of some kind, but I’m not sure right now.”

(On his thought on how practice went on Sunday)
“It was off and on, there were highs and lows. When you’re playing against yourself one side is happy and one side is sad. I think the defense dominated early and the offense did a little bit better at the end.”

(On rookie WR Justin Watson)
“Today was his best day. He got some chances. When you’re a wide receiver you’ve got to get chances and sometimes you could be out here all day and not have any balls come to you. He showed up today and he’s got a fight on his hands because it’s a deep position.”

(On physicality during first day in pads)
“We’re not going to play live football for 20-something practices before our first game. You want your guys to be physical, I thought the hitting was good. You’re trying to stay off the ground but there’s collisions, it’s a collision sport. There’s a fine line but that’s why I’m blowing the whistle. It’s a hard thing and it’s a judgement call on every play because you’re trying to keep from pileups. On the Wester play, that’s what happened. There was a pileup and his leg got caught up, so you’re trying to avoid those plays in practice if you can.”

(On new tackling rules)
“We’ve already watched about 100 videos on it with the team. That’s a huge part of it and on top of that we’ll have a full crew of officials here all next week. The officials, on Tuesday, will be going over the new rules video with the team and then we’ll have five days to work with them. There are some of those rules like the kickoff rule are still a little grey. And Nate went over the new video we got of that with the kickoff guys last night. The helmet video is the main one, with the kickoff video probably being number two and then there’s some other ones. We’ve already been through them, it’s a work in progress.”

“I think it’s a great rule, but it’s also a collision sport. Anything to try and help the players be safer is good and we’ll just have to see how they’re going to enforce them. The ones that are shown on the video are the obvious ones that anyone can see, ‘hey, we don’t want that.’ They want players to keep their heads up and see what they hit and if they do that we should be ok.”

(On M.J. Stewart)

“The thing that gives M.J. an edge is that he’s smart. Some guys, when they come in here, they’re swimming in terminology and that’s not the case with him. He knows what he’s doing. That first play of inside run he had a big hit on Ronald Jones and got the ball out. That was a nice play and he’s also playing two positions, so versatility is big.”

(On the leadership from new vets on the offensive line)
“I think that of all the guys we brought in, I would say those two, Vinny, Beau, and then JPP, I’ve been impressed with all three of those guys. How they’re sharing, especially with the younger guys. I think it also creates good competition on both the O line and the D line. If you watched one-on-one pass and one-on-one run, O-line vs. D l-ine yesterday, I haven’t got a chance to see it yet today, there were some really good battles there. You go down the line and you’ve got Donovan Smith versus JPP and then over here you’ve got Gerald McCoy vs Caleb Benenoch. We’ve got great competition on both lines and that’s going to help everyone get better.”

(On having more success on defensive third downs)
“Well you’re trying to get them into third-and-as-long as possible. The percentages go down based on if it’s third and two or third and 10, so if you do well on first and second you’re going to have a better chance on third and we went from first in the league on defense to last last year, so we had a ton of third downs scripted today on both sides. You win some on the offense and you win some on the defense.”

(On seeing one running back get a majority of the carries)
“Well we’ve done both over the course. It depends on who your backs are and the best backs I’ve been around want the ball. They want the ball a lot and they get into a rhythm. In 2015 when we were second in the league rushing Doug carried it a lot. We haven’t been able to get back to that so we’ll just have to see how that sorts out and that’s a work in progress. I’ve done it both ways but that depends on who your backs are.”

(On Peyton Barber improvements)
“Protections, probably. For all the young backs, until you’re in there on third down and get those exotic blitz looks. The first and second down protections are fairly basic, but when you get in there on third down it’s a little bit tougher. Peyton had a couple good pickups today, and he missed a couple yesterday so he learned his lesson.”

(On young offensive tackle’s getting reps)
“I’d say Cole Gardner so far is the leader of that group. Depending on how long Leonard and Dot can’t go in 11-on-11, that gives them more reps right now and they’ve got to take advantage of it.”

(On Benenoch)
“A lot. He’s played and he’s played more than one position over the last two years. He’s played, especially in the run game. He’s still got some work to do in protection, but everyone out here has some work to do. He’s on the right track.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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, the beach and family time.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 mark@pewterreport.com
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3 years ago

Coach looks like he’s on a three day bender with that scruffy beard.
Great questions. Enjoy reading them instead of listening to them and the answers.

Tighe Fighter
Reply to  drdneast
3 years ago

Completely agree. I always like that we get transcripts of the press conferences in the summer and get irritated when they don’t do it during the season.

Most of the time, you can’t hear the question being asked on camera and can only hear the players response on Buccaneers.com

I hope that Pewter Report can continue to provide transcripts of the press conferences all season long.

Go Bucs!