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Lovie Smith Says It Felt Like Old Times Having Warren Sapp On the Field

Bucs coach Lovie Smith spoke to the media after day two of training camp and his overall message was a positive one.

(Opening statement)

Nice to get a full practice in. It felt like today was our first practice to get in. Of course, Ive talked about tomorrow being a padded day, so we needed to get a little work in, get some of the rust off to get ready for that a little bit. Were not Carolina Panther ready right now, but we are getting a little bit closer there. Typical play: Josh McCown throws an interception. Great play by Mark Barron to intercept the ball. But Josh comes back and throws a touchdown to Vincent Jackson after that. Thats kind of how the day went some good and bad, which you expect on your second day of practice. But good work. We had a couple of minor injuries. I dont really know the extent of the injuries yet, but nothing major. We should be able to take the team that we want to see to the football field tomorrow and really get a good evaluation, but its always good to get something on video. Yesterdays practice, we werent really able to get anything on, so we have good video, as coaches, to evaluate the guys from on this very step.

(On the ceiling for Mason Foster)

We talk a lot about the system and the history of the system. Mason knows. He can tell you all the linebackers that have played. It is a pretty special group. But the ceiling for Mason, I dont know. Not so long ago, this summer, showing some of our past highlights from last year, his interception return for a touchdown last year against the Saints was just about as good as any play youll see a Mike linebacker make. I asked him to drop a little bit of weight and he did that. Looks like hes a little bit quicker.

(On if Foster can reach the same playing level as Brian Urlacher)

Now thats putting a little bit of pressure on him. But in time. He didnt really have to go north to get that pressure. His coach, Hardy Nickerson, played [Mike linebacker] about as well as anyone, and Shelton Quarles is right down the way too. But in order for us to play the way we need to, hell need to up his level to that.

(On Jeff Demps speed and how it plays into the offensive gameplan)

Right now, as far as how he fits into the gameplan, were looking at a lot of different players and trying to see what their role will actually be. I know Im watching the wide receivers and when [Jeff Demps] comes up, I hear the crowd ooh-ing and ahh-ing about something. And I know that when a linebacker is on the other side from him on one-on-one drills, they get back pretty far a lot farther than they normally will. But you see Olympic-type speed from him. Dont know what his role will be yet. We dont know a lot of the guys role but theyll start telling us tomorrow.

(On his early impressions of Johnthan Banks)

As a rookie, youre going to have some mistakes and youre going to have some plays that give you hope for good things to come and thats what I remember from him. Very good size, coachable guy. Good hands. All the traits you look for in a good cornerback, he has [them]. He doesnt have Jeff Demps-type speed, but of course most people dont. Again, Im anxious to see. Its good competition. Mike Jenkins is a good corner. I could rail off about six corners we want to see how it plays out.

(On the progress of Austin Seferian-Jenkins)

Hes playing catch-up, but hes catching up. He made some good plays out there today. Good size. Mentally, he stayed in the game. If you talk to him, youll see thats not going to be a problem for him. You notice him size-wise too. Yeah, its catch-up, but I think hell be able to do that.

(On the performance of Dashon Goldson during training camp so far)

You did see him in most of the drills and that was the plan. We want to get him incorporated into everything, but we limited his reps. We had him start off and that was pretty much it. Well be able to progress a little bit with his reps. But I was impressed with his movement yesterday and today. Hes a very smart football player too. Were going to ask an awful lot [of him]. Its our Mike linebacker and our free safety they make most of the checks, most of the calls. Theyre our Hardy Nickerson and John Lynch. He has great knowledge and we know hell hit. Well get him to lower that target.

(On how the players reacted to having Warren Sapp out at training camp today)

Its hard not to know that Warren [Sapp] is in the house. It seemed like old times. I turned around and [heard], Hey, Love. Took me back to 1996. I looked around and I saw Hardy Nickerson there. Warren Sapp, I loved every day that I was around him. Seeing how a Hall of Famer plays, but how he practices. Warren Sapp practiced as hard as anyone. And for a defensive lineman, when he comes around, it has to pick you up a little bit.

SOURCE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media



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