Dirk Koetter on QBs Fitzpatrick, Winston and Griffin Splitting Reps

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(On who will be available to play Thursday from the offensive line)

“Well you’re never quite sure in preseason who’s going to be available until you get right up to the game because as you can see, we’re practicing in pads today, we’re practicing in pads tomorrow and we lost a couple guys today as well. So until they get evaluated – it seems like every year there’s some kind of a pattern, a position that gets harder and right now we are a little dinged up in the O-line and we just have to overcome it. Preseason game, we’ll just go out there end do what we can do.”

(On offensive linemen Cole Boozer and Brad Seaton stepping into bigger roles)

“They’re working hard. Brad was with us for a little while last year. Cole of course is a rookie and those guys – you have to go next man up in the preseason because you are going to be playing three groups anyway. All these guys are going to play. Your point that some of those guys are going to play with a quarterback that they’ve never played with, so we’ll just have to adjust accordingly and we might have to adjust the play calling accordingly.”

(On how he will divide the play between quarterbacks during the preseason)

“Yeah, we have a plan for how we’re going to do the reps for all three preseason games if nothing changes. We have the quarterbacks to consider, but then we also have the logical progression that most teams do with their ones, twos and threes as you move closer to the season opener. All those things come into it so we have to get Griff (Ryan Griffin) ready. Someone’s got to be playing out there all four quarters – they have to.”

(On quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick not needing as many repetitions during practice and still being ready for the game)

“There’s not written rule. That’s what we’re trying to figure out. We have to communicate with those guys, and we have a play for it. We just have to see how it goes.”

(On if quarterback Jameis Winston will play for a quarter during the preseason like he has done in the past)

“Something like that, yeah.”

(On how cautious he is being with tackle Demar Dotson)

“Cautious. I’m talking to the trainers and the doctors every day, so no just Dot. He’s barely working back into 11-on-11. He’s improving daily. He looks better and better, but anybody we think is not 100 percent long term – they won’t be out there. We’re not going to take a risk with anybody. We’ve got plenty of guys.”

(On how far wide receiver Bobo Wilson has come after being negatively portrayed on Hard Knocks)

“He’s come a long way. Remember, Hard Knocks is a reality show and they pick and choose their spots. Sometimes if they portray a player in a not-so-pleasant light – that might have been one time out of 100 and that’s the one they chose to show because it’s good TV. Bobo is very coachable right now. He’s improved a lot as I’ve said before. He’s been one of the most improved guys. There are some other guys that are doing well out there, but Bobo came in and played for us at the end of the year and if he was in a position to play for us now he would do fine.”

(On how defensive end Noah Spence’s weight gain has helped his game overall)

“Noah’s weight has fluctuated a lot for a guy that has way less body fat than I have. When he came out of college, he was somewhere in the 240s. His first year, he was somewhere in the 240s he got way down last year into the 230s and now he’s back up into the upper 250s. If you look at Noah, that guy’s all muscle and he’s worked very hard. Two shoulder surgeries – he’s worked very hard to come back from that and he’s lived in the training room and the weight room. I think he’s got the same motor and the same speed that he always had. We’re anxious to see him get out there and do it in real football.”

(On how defensive tackle Vita Vea is progressing)

“He’s progressing. He’s working hard. He’s on a training regimen inside where he’s doing what he can do in the pool, on the bike, in the meeting rooms. I can tell you he’s getting his weight down which – one thing about a guy that’s not practicing of his size you kind of worry about, but he’s been doing a great job on that. We’ve just go to let that calf get all the way healed up.”

(On defensive linemen Mitch Unrein’s injury)

“We don’t. Yeah, we don’t. Again, anybody that gets hurt in practice, they go in and the doctors take a look at them. I usually don’t even get the injury report from today until late this afternoon between four and five o’clock. We had several guys leave practice today – four or five. It’s unfortunate and we’ll just have to see what it is. Hopefully it’s not too serious.”

(On if Vea can get in shape for games through rehab)

"Probably not all the way because playing football is different than riding the bike and doing his stuff in the pool, but that’s all we can do. I mean we’ve got to make the best out of the situation. That’s not the first or last time that will happen. It’s just something that has to be done."

(On the development of players like Seaton)

"Anybody that was with us in years past, they’re in. They’re being developed all the time. You only have so many spots at a position so sometimes we have to trade a guy out. These guys improve a lot. They don’t always get their opportunities and then especially for the linemen it’s hard for the linemen to improve at what they really need to do in the offseason. In the NFL, what’s the number one thing a linemen has to do? He has to pass protect, but they can’t ever work pass protection in the off season. That part’s hard and I think all of our O-linemen are seeing that our defensive line is so much deeper right now and seeing such a ferocious pass rush every single day, which is a great thing. Although it slows us down some in practice, I think it will be really good long term."

(On former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano being at practice)

"Chuck’s a good friend of mine, and we invited him to come out. He accepted and he’s going to be here today and tomorrow. Chuck’s going to be working with the officials a couple days like Smitty [Mike Smith] did the year he was out a couple days a week in New York. He’s a good football coach, a good friend of mine and we’re glad to have him out here for a couple days."

(On how he would describe the right side of the offensive line)

"I would say it’s injured. I would say it’s injury riddled right now. I don’t think anything on the right side of our O-line is long term. We’ve just gotten hit hard at that spot. We’ve got three or four guys that play on the right side of the line that are not practicing right now. That tests your depth, so we have to work through it. They’ll all be back before too long. That helps those other guys get better, but in the mean-time we’ve got to tough it out. ."




Luke Easterling