Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter spoke with the media following the third day of training camp on Sunday and answered a number of questions from reporters. Below is a transcript of his post-practice press conference.

(On the defense causing turnovers)
“They’re doing a great job. Turnovers is the deal. Our ‘D’ is doing a great job; our ‘O’ needs to put the ball away. It’s that simple. Good job by the ‘D,’ though.”

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

(On how rookie running back Jeremy McNichols looks so far)
“I think it’s still just a little bit early. We’ve got two or three guys coming off surgeries, first day putting the shoulder pads on. In what we’re doing, Jeremy looks fine but it’s just probably a little early yet. We’re happy he’s out there working.”

(On TE Antony Auclair)
“He’s doing really good. We feel like we got a real hidden gem, if you will, being able to get him as a free agent. He’s a guy that weighs 265, we like those big tight ends. We like tight ends that can block and catch. So far, he’s another guy off to a good start.”

(On how kickers Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk performed in the field goal drill)
“I had them both four-out-of-five. I had both guys four out of five, but I’ll be honest, I was kind of watching the alignment up front. We’ll look at the tape. Like I said, I didn’t watch it that close. I thought they both missed their last one, but I could be wrong.”

(On safety Chris Conte)
“First off, Chris is really athletic. Chris almost is as athletic as a corner. He can really run, he’s long, I think Chris’ confidence is up right now. He, maybe in the past, would get down on himself a little too much, for no reason in my opinion. I think Chris is doing well, but it’s also been good with keeping Chris working with that first group, J.J. [Wilcox] and Justin Evans have really showed. Justin Evans is another like McNichols that missed some time in the spring. Three days in, three days in.”

(On if Conte is one of the team’s best pure athletes)
“He’s up there. Yeah, he’s up there. He is a good athlete.”

(On if it helps a player to make some game-changing plays like Conte did last season)
“We’re talking to these guys all the time about making your plays, making your plays, making your plays. You can’t make plays just willy-nilly, running around the field with your head cut off. When your opportunity comes, you’ve got to make it. Chris, any player, when they make a good play it raises their confidence level, just like it raises the team’s confidence level. I think you’ll hear the guys talking about that. That’s part of practice – a guy makes a play, that side of the ball tends to feed off it.”

(On if WRs Donteea Dye and Josh Huff are best candidates for the last receiver spots)
“I think it’s way too early to be saying who’s at what spot. We preach competition. I’m sure all the guys you didn’t name wouldn’t be too happy about that. You watch a couple plays and you think that means they did everything right that day. It’s rarely like that. Everybody’s making some plays, everybody’s making some mistakes.”

(On importance of taking mental reps)
“It’s important. It’s hard. The fact that it’s not blazing hot out here helps those guys concentrate a little bit more. Let’s face it, when you’re 22, 23-years-old and you’re not in there, you’ve got plenty of distractions out here, it’s all part of it but that’s not easy. They’re supposed to be doing that but I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought they did a perfect job of that.”

(On WR Adam Humphries)
“Solid. Everyone tries to beat Adam down: ‘He’s not a quality player.’ Adam’s been a quality player since he got here and continues to be. He’s a little bit under appreciated, maybe. That guy’s a good football player.”

Bucs WR Adam Humphries

Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

(On telling the young players to be ready for their opportunities)
“That’s a great question. Because the message to all of our rookies that I talk a lot about is opportunity. Everybody has opportunity, but it’s not equal opportunity. You can’t sugarcoat it. We’re not going to give every single guy the same opportunity that Mike Evans or Kwon Alexander gets. That’s just not how it works. But there is opportunity. We put the schedule up and we showed the preseason game in Cincinnati, typically everybody that’s healthy plays in that game. You have an opportunity. Maybe you only get four or five reps a day, you also have time to prove – you see how many cameras are out here. Every single thing these guys do is filmed and analyzed by coaches. The coaches are watching them all day.”

(On what changes when the players put on pads Monday)
“Just a couple of the drills we do. When the pads go on there will be some more drills. They did some one-on-one run-blocking down in the corner today, and they did some pass-rush drills. You could really see the intensity in the team drills today because the defensive line really had good push. The quarterbacks have to get used to those guys right in their face. But when they’re over there working in one-on-one and two-on-two, those are pretty much live pass-rushes because they don’t have to worry about hitting Jameis [Winston]. The main thing that changes is just the nature of some of the drills.”

(On running back Charles Sims’s role)
“I’ll just say it’s maybe a little early to define anybody’s role. If I stood up here today and said, ‘I’m going to skinny this guy into this tiny role right here’ – these guys, they want to be on the field every play and right now that’s what competing is. That’s what training camp’s about. The role-play thing will work itself out. At the very least, at the very least, Charles is a really good third-down back. He’s great in protection, really good on the perimeter, an excellent receiver, and you saw that today. He got loose in the flat a couple times, and he can do something with it once he gets out there.”

(On how much J.R. Sweezy can help the offensive line this year)
“Well we hope J.R. continues to be healthy. We’re real excited about J.R. Getting him back is a bonus, coming back after missing all of last year. As the pads go on, that plays to J.R.’s strength, so we’ll see how that goes.”

(On if defensive tackle Chris Baker suffered an injury in practice)
“I’m not sure. I’m not sure what happened. Every day guys get some little bumps and bruises out here. It’s a long season and we’re trying to get these guys to take care of their bodies. I don’t think he got anything serious, but I’m really not sure.”

(On if he wanted another rainy practice)
“No. I’d like some heat, but this is okay. I’m glad we got it in. I think it’s supposed to be rainy all day, it’s good to get it in.”

– Part of this transcription is courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers public relations staff


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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 [email protected]
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4 years ago

Thanks, Mark, for this transcript.

I am just so impressed with the groundedness and wisdom that Coach Koetter displays. I cannot disagree with anything he says here, and in most instances. I remember so many head-shaking moments with our last three head coaches. No more.

I certainly endorse Coach’s analysis of the players named above, based on my own observations in the practice field stands yesterday … though he has a far better view up close and directly behind the teams at the LOS.