Buccaneers Coach Dirk Koetter: DeSean Jackson in Mix for Punt Returner

Sports Xchange

(On how running back Charles Sims III being hurt will impact the team)

Well, I mean theres going to be change. Youre going to change over a third of your team every year and Charles Sims has done a really good job for us as a third down back in my tenure here. Its always hard to lose a guy like that emotionally, but yet theres always other guys pushing to try to take his job at the same time and this training camp is no exception to that. Theres guys that are pushing to try to take that job. Its unfortunate that Charles got hurt, but like when any player gets hurt we just have to figure out what were going to do and keep moving. Im not going to lay it all out for everybody right now, but itll become clear enough here soon.

(On the depth at pass rusher and what hes seen as they battle for a position)

Well what Ive see is really good effort and guys that are coming to work every day trying to get better. They understand that itss a competition and its a production business. Some guys have been more productive than others. Some guys especially with our injuries at defensive tackle some of those guys have had to rotate and play inside which is no problem with that. They do it all the time. When you see a guy really isnt as important right now as the fact that you are still seeing them. Some of the other guys are on play count from a conditioning standpoint. We want some of our other guys to play a certain number of plays to build their conditioning towards New Orleans. Were not where we need to be in that department, but at the same time were working on it.

(On linebacker Cameron Lynch being chosen as captain in a preseason game)

That was chosen by me. Im choosing the captains right now and eventually like we always do, the team will vote at some point. Thats going to be further down the line. Right now, Im trying to give some different guys that I think are doing a good job as leaders in practice a chance to be captains for that particular game.

(On the if DeSean Jackson working as a punt returner is due to depth at wide receiver)

Well, were deep so we can use them right now. We definitely have the ability to right now because we have a lot of guys. DeSean wants to do it. It starts with that DeSean has to want to do it. DeSeans an elite punt returner, but hes got to want to do it in this stage in his career. Right now he does want to do it and we wanted to get him at least one in preseason, which he did a good job of that one the other night. Unfortunately, there was a penalty on that play. If DeSeans not back there, Hump (Adam Humphries) or one of those other guys will be back. When you only have 46 guys on game day, your depth at every position is out the window. Its whos your best guy at the game and that might even be a rotation.

(On if Jackson wanted to punt return last year)

He wants to now.

(On the shooting in Jacksonville)

I dont know too much about it, but obviously any shooting any place like that is not good. And were having far too many of them.

(On how he can apply last years situation with running back Doug Martins suspension to Jameis Winstons suspension in terms of preparation)

I hadnt really thought of it in those term and I would just say running back versus quarterback two different things. I know Jamies has a very well-thought-out plan for his time away. We cant have any contact with Jameis during the time, but I know Jameis has a good plan. I would anticipate Jameis coming back ready to roll.

(On what kind of camp Shaun Wilson is having)

Good. Really good, minus about a ten-day stretch there where he missed with injury and couldnt play in that first game. Hes a guy thats really shown I would equate how hes impressed me to kind of when Adam Humphries came in his first year. Slightly different position, but still a guy that touches a football. Still a return guy. This kids done a nice job

(On how much the last preseason game means to players fighting for a roster spot)

It certainly means a lot them. When you look at whats going to happen next weekend basically using round numbers 40 guys, time 32 teams are going to get cut. Thats a lot of good football players that fit exactly that description you just mentioned. Guys that have probably always been starters. As we get closer to the cut, the reality of what this league is and how this is really a competition all along from 90 to 53, I think that really starts to sink in. At the same time, we always talk to these guys about here at the end this last week and this last game not only are you being evaluated by our team, but youre being evaluated by all the other 31 teams because if you look around the league different teams have different injuries in different spots. Maybe Team A is short of O-linemen, Team B might be short corners or wide receivers. I mean, pick your position. Theres good football players that arent going to make their teams that the GMs all across the league and their staffhave their eye on. I mean, thats how we got Ryan Griffin a few years ago. We had our eye on Ryan Griffin and when he became available, we pounced. The other thing is I think most of these guys realize is that when you spend as much time in OTAs and training camp they realize that this is the best-of-the-best football players in the world, so even if Im a payer and Ive been a starter my whole career in high school and college the film doesnt lie. There are some really good players in this league.

(On defensive tackle Mitch Unreins injury status)

Mitch is in concussion protocol and once a guy enters concussion protocol then its handled by the medical people. Until they can get out of concussion protocol theres really nothing else I can say or anybody else can say.