(On practicing in pads for the first day)
"It was different. Obviously you have to get acclimated to putting the pads on
and carrying the load, but as far as going out there and hitting and seeing the
tempo and seeing everything develop in front of you, it's kind of hard to see
the whole scheme develop and come together when you are in shorts. But it was a
good first day. A lot of things happened. Offensively, we are 1,000 times better
than we were last year at this time. That's a great sign."
(On the Buccaneers' depth at running back)
"You have to look at it in a positive way. You have to look at it as
competition. We are pushing each other. Obviously, with the number of backs,
there are little reps for each other to get as far as carrying the ball or doing
other things. You just have to take your opportunity and make the best of it.
It's going to be competitive, there is no doubt about it. They are a great
group of backs, too. Everyone is in here working together and helping each other
(On his role with the Buccaneers)
"I don't think it is going to change much. You are going to see me at
fullback and split out. You'll see me in different situations where I am going
to be halfback primarily and in short-yardage goal line situations. Probably, I
will get more reps in the passing game. We've been working on some different
situations to get me involved in the passing game. For the most part, the
overall scheme is pretty much the same."
(On his off season)
"It was eventful. There is no question about it. Getting the opportunity to do
some other things that have probably never have happened. When the opportunity
is there, you have to take advantage of it. I got to meet a lot of people and
got to do a lot of different things. I still had to keep my eye the bulls eye. I
couldn't get distracted. I thought as a team overall for all of us going there
[to train] every morning and get done what we needed to get done to get better.
Obviously, this is going to be a tough year. We're better as a football team
than we were last year, but overall people are going to be gunning for us and we
will be the team to beat. There is no question about it."
(On his motivation after winning the Super Bowl)
"[I'm] hungry, even more hungrier. Greedy. You have to defend what you
earned last year. I think we have a great opportunity to do that, and we just
have to take it one day at a time. We are not looking at the Super Bowl. We are
looking at a day-by-day process. Our goal now is to get through camp and to get
better each and every day and take the preseason games one game at a time. You
are going to hear that. The old cliché ‘one day at a time, one game at a
time,' but it's the truth. You have to be consistent. You have to lay each
block every day to get where we did last year. It's not going to be easy.
Everybody is going to be gunning for us to knock us off because a lot of people
didn't think we could get there last year and we did. They are going to say
the same thing this year. It's about what we believe in our locker room.
It's about what we get done on the field now in training camp, which we can
lay the blocks for the season in."
(On the Buccaneers' leadership)
"We have a lot of leadership on this ball club. A lot of veterans, a lot of
guys know the routine and the tempo of the game. They know what to do out there
to get the job done. Obviously, our leader in coach [Jon] Gruden will not allow
any mishaps, anything that is going to distract us. Like I said, we have our eye
on that bulls eye. There is no question about it. All 32 teams are looking for
the same thing. They are looking for the Super Bowl. Just because we went last
year doesn't mean we can't back there this year. We take it day by day. Last
year I think we started out of the blocks walking a little bit. I think we are
running now. We've got some things going."
(On if the team is more comfortable in its second year with Gruden)
"We know what he expects. We know how he works and what he wants out of us and
the tempo of his practices. Everything that he expects out of his players we
know. We expect a lot of things out of him and he does, also. It's just an
overall thing. We know him. He knows us. We are comfortable with each other.
That calms a lot of the nerves down, so you can concentrate and really focus on
what you have to get done for the day."
(On looking forward to playing in Philadelphia Sept. 8)
"I am just looking to get through this afternoon's practice without getting
an IV, getting through the heat and getting our reps in. It's a big week this
week. We've been practicing a lot in shorts, doing a lot of things like that.
We have a great tempo in shorts, but once you put the pads on, you have to get
used to that tempo. There is a lot of banging. Tomorrow morning you are going to
wake up and you're not going to be able to turn your neck to the left or the
right. Your body has to get accustomed to what is going on. It's a long way to
Philly. Don't get me wrong. When it gets closer, we'll be ready."
(On being comfortable with his role)
"I accept my role. I know I am going to get my carries. I know I am going to
be involved and contribute to this team. There is no question about it.
There's been conversations [with Gruden]. I know what Gruden thinks of me, and
I know what he expects of me. Don't get me wrong. If you give the ball to me
35 times a game, I'll take it every time. I'm not going to turn it down, but
I also know what he expects out of his team as my team role with the committee
of backs that we have and how he operates. He likes to keep everybody fresh. If
you're hot, he's going to give it to you. We have a lot of personnel groups
on this team and a lot of veterans that would love to play every snap of every
game. We like to mix it up and throw some changeups in there and really keep
defenses on their toes in what we put on the field and what we present to them.
There is going to be games where I get the ball, and there will be games where
I'll carry it four or five times but maybe catch it five or six times and be
involved in short yardage or goal line situations where my number is called.
I'll be ready."
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