Dirk Koetter: Vita Vea is Making Good Progress

Head Coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media about DT Vita Vea and the players on the 53-man roster.

(On his thoughts about Jerry Jones comments about shortening preseason to make regular season longer)

Above my pay-grade.

(On safeties Keith Tandy and Josh Robinson being let go)

Yeah, well were not going to talk about anybody whos not here, and at the same time, no disrespect to anybody thats not here. Every year 32 teams are making decisions based on what gives them the best chance to win during the year. Those are a lot of really hard decisions by Jason, by me, and we have to live with the results. But were excited about the guys we got.

(On safety Isaiah Johnsons journey with the Buccaneers)

I think the number is 41 in the last three years of guys that weve had on the practice squad and move up, and I think theres 11 guys whove done it multiple times, and Isaiahs one of them. Isaiah is the perfect example of a guy who came in here, didnt say a word, just got better, got better, got better, got better. Scout team, special teams improved as a safety and now here he is. Hes on the 53 [man roster]. Thats a good example to everyone, and everybodys got a different journey. Its really the same thing Adam Humphries did Adams just happened faster.

(On if there was a captains vote)

There was not. Nope, there wasnt.

(On why defensive tackle Jerel Worthy made the roster)

He showed us a really good first step, quick off the ball. Really impressed with his motor the guy was a second-round draft pick. Hes played some ball in the NFL. I think sometimes when guys are out for a little while they miss it a lot more than maybe they thought they wouldve. Jerel seems like a guy whos hungry for another opportunity, and that showed on the video.

(On defensive tackle Vita Veas progress)

Hes making good progress. Unfortunately, its not to the point where he can play football on the field yet, but hes working a lot behind the scenes in the weight room, in the training room, and hes making progress, but hes not ready to play on the field yet.

(On when Vea will return)

I cant say anything more about that.

(On his overall thoughts on the first game week of the season)

Tough opener against a really good football team, but what better way for us to measure where were at? One of the toughest places to play in the league going to play in the Dome in New Orleans. I know our guys are excited about it, and as you said a division game, so they know us well, we know them well. Were excited about getting them going.

(On if tackle Donovan Smith will get going soon)

Yeah, well see how it shakes out. You guys know well Donovan takes a lot of pride. Hes never missed a start in his time here, and if anybody can make it, its him.

(On if it was weird without quarterback Jameis Winston)

It was a little bit. I think I noticed it the most when I walked in the quarterback room when we broke down for individual meetings and went in the quarterback room. I mean, its been a long time since Jameis hasnt been camped out up in the front row next to his computer. It was a little bit strange, but we knew this was coming, and we planned for it. Now weve just got to do it.

(On having no quarterbacks on the practice squad)

Yeah, especially this early in the year where we know we got a quarterback coming back Jameis is going to be coming back pretty quick., Theres just so many good players out there that we didnt want to lose one spot for a guy whos probably not going to play in a game right now anyway. All these other guys have a chance to be moved up at some point.

(On how quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick leads)

I think he just keeps it real. Hes a mans man. He knows how to talk to the linemen, knows how to talk to the receivers. You know, anybody thats got his experience hes good in every situation. Hes good with every type of player and he just handles himself like a real pro and you wouldnt expect anything else.

(On his teams winning on opening day and Sean Peytons teams struggling on opening day is a coincidence)

Every coach is trying to get his guys ready every week, so I hope its three in a row.

(On how quick he knew running back Shaun Wilson would be on the roster)

Thats hard to say. I mean, everybody thats a new guy or an undrafted guy I think really does Jason and I talk three or four times a day and it comes down to the whole body of work. Everybodys got a different story on that. Im not sure exactly when, but he definitely deserved it.

(On if he can share whether he will be calling plays against the Saints)

No, I cant. Appreciate you asking though.

(On if the heavy number of receivers is because those are the best players or if they will play specials teams as well)

Both. I mean, a lot of people keep six. Weve kept five or six depending on the year and depending on who the guys are. As many as really everybody really in that group except for Mike [Evans] is going to do something on special teams.

(On if all of the draft picks making the roster says something about their draft class)

Well, I dont ever look at it like that. Some other people might. I just look at is as the best guys make it. We also have undrafted guys that made it, so you know they come from everywhere, but good football players come in all shapes and sizes.

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