Dirk Koetter: "That Pass Rush is Real"

Sports Xchange

(On competition in training camp)

“Competition is good and part of that is the crowd. The way the noise is in here, it gets those guys hyped up a little bit, so that part’s all good work. When you cross the line, we had the officials and there was a lot of flags today. Good learning experience for next Thursday.”

(On if Chris Godwin looks like a starting wide receiver)

“Yeah, he sure does. Chris is playing really well right now. We look at is as we have four starting wide receivers. All four of those guys – the only guy that really hasn’t been a starter is Chris. The other three have been and we believe Chris is every bit in that same category.”

(On how Godwin helps with the running game)

“He’s a good blocker. Chris, he’s as good a blocker as we have. He’s willing to do the dirty work and that weighs into it as well.”

(On how training camp has been for defensive end Noah Spence coming off shoulder surgery)

“He’s 100 percent healthy as far as the shoulder goes. I think one of the biggest things that will help Noah is that we’re a lot deeper on the defensive line. I think it will help all of those guys if they can play in a rotation and not have to play too many plays in a game. I think Noah will be one of the main beneficiaries of that.”

(On how the offensive line is coming together)

“I think one of the keys any time in your O-line is getting guys to play together and we’re not able to do that right now because of injuries. We probably had I think three of our top seven offensive linemen out today. You know you’re working with new combinations and that’s not easy. I think the D-line in 11-on-11 pass rush [got] the best of O-line today. Today’s the first day we worked on silent count and that’s a factor in it too. I don’t think we’ll need silent count during the preseason, but we’ll definitely need it in New Orleans. I think the fact that our D-line is getting up the field so fast is going to make those guys better in the long run, but we’re working a lot of combinations which is not to the advantage of the O-line.”

(On not having a couple players on the offensive line in the first game)

“It won’t change how much we use them. We’ll see about who’s ready to play on Thursday and who isn’t. It’s not going to change how much we play them. It might dictate the play calls a little bit more if anything else.”

(On how the team will use quarterback Jameis Winston in the preseason)

“We have a plan for that and all that really matters right now is the first game. Right? Because even though we have it penciled in for all games how we’d like to do it, based on injuries it could change. To go back to what I said the very first day, we want to get Jameis work. We’ve got to get Fitz ready for game one and we’ve got to get Griff ready because he’s one play away from being the starter. You’ll see Thursday night what we’re going to do. We’re going to play all of them and the tricky part is that you can’t play them all three with the first O-line.”

(On the balance between tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate)

“That’s a good problem to have - talented skilled players. That’s obviously something we’re excited about. We’ll see how it all sorts out. Injuries will come into play chances are at some point. Then it comes down to game play – how much are you in two tight ends, how much are you in three wides.”

(On how he is going to use Jameis Winston in the first few preseason games)

“We have a plan for that, and all that really matter right now is the first game. Even though we have it penciled in for all first game on how we’d like to do it, based on injuries, it could change. Go back to what I said the very first day. We want to give Jameis [Winston] work, we’ve got to get [Ryan] Fitz ready for game one, and we’ve got to get [Ryan] Griff ready because he is one play away from being the starter. You’ll see Thursday night what we are going to do. We are going to play all 3 of them. The tricky part is that you can’t play them, all three, with the first offensive line.”

(On the balance between tight ends and receivers including O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate)

“That’s a good problem to have- have talented skill players. That’s obviously something we are excited about. We’ll see how it all sorts out. Injuries will come into play, chances are at some point, and it comes down to the game plan. How much are you in two tight ends, how much are you in three wides (receivers).”

(On the officiating and if anything will change because of it)

“We’ve seen all the videos. We’ve had the officials do the presentation. I only saw one of the calls in the game the other night, and the one I saw, I thought was a good call. The officiating crew that we had here said that they thought another one of those calls was 50/50, that not everybody would agree. I think there is definitely going to be some trial and error as both the officials and the players adjust to the rule. But, it is a rule now and it is something that we’re going to have to adjust to, just like any other rule. It’s for the players own good. It’s for the players’ safety. We just have to adjust, so we will see how they are going to call it.”

(On how offensive lineman Alex Cappa getting extra reps due to other players’ injuries and Koetter’s evaluation of him)

“Anybody that gets more reps it’s going to benefit them. Alex is one of those guys right now. As far as tackle to guard, he’s doing fine. When we drafted Alex, we thought he could potentially play all three, including center. If you watched before practice, he played some center as well. He’s doing fine. He’s got some things he’s definitely got to work on, but again, the guys he’s going against are helping him get there faster than he would.”

(On if the injury to offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch is a day-to-day issue)

“I wouldn’t really classify it as anything. This is training camp, we’re a month away from playing, and you’re not pushing those guys right now. Every guy on the team that the doctors feel like they should stay out, he should stay out.”

(On long snapper Drew Ferris being the only long snapper on the roster)

“Well we’re confident in Drew. It’s pretty typical, even if you have two snappers, usually that second snapper is a luxury that’s out of camp pretty fast. We have two good backups in Adarius Glanton and Alan Cross, who are also position players. Adarius has done it in a game before. We’re really confident in Drew. He’s going to get his work here in preseason.”

(On today’s practice being in favor of the defense)

“I’d say practice 60/40 defense today. Offense was a little better in some periods. It’s hard here because I’m left to determine what’s a sack and what’s not. All the defensive guys think every play is a sack and all the offensive guys think there is never a sack. It’s hard to tell because it’s not real football yet. I can tell you from standing right behind them, that pass rush is real and that pressure it’s tough to say who wins some of those plays. I think defense is still winning more than their losing.”

(On what makes defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul a good inside player)

“I think just his length. I don’t think those guards are used to guys that are as long as him. When you watch him on tape, man is he flexible and he can bend. I mean that guy has got some serious flexibility, he’s got power, and he’s got speed. And he gets those long arms on those guys, and they have a tough time getting off.”