Buccaneers' T Tristan Wirfs Quotes 7.31.20
COURTESY OF TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
(On what the last three months have been like for him)
"The last three months have been good. I moved down to Tampa on June 6 – just kind of wanted to get acclimated to the heat a little bit, then I was able to train. There's a field down here, it's called Skyway Park. I was able to train over there and get my running in [and] get some drills in with a couple of my teammates. That was a lot of fun – that was good. Now, just getting things rolling – it's exciting."
(On if there is anything extra the rookies this season will need to do to prepare as opposed to previous years)
"I think [we are] probably just going to have to hit the playbook more. We missed out on 400 or 500 live reps of plays, so just trying to make that up as best we can is going to be really huge for us."
(On adjustments he has to make within the team facility due to the COVID-19 protocols in place)
"It's a big change. The first time I set foot in the facility, all these changes were in place already. I didn't really get to see what the facility was like before. We have these restricted areas and they knocked down some walls to make meeting rooms bigger. I didn't really get to see what it was like before that, but now, I feel like there are some pretty good protocols in place. They want to keep us as safe as possible and, at the same time, make sure stuff flows pretty smoothly. I think they're doing a great job."
(On having to wear a mask at all times inside the facility and what it's like working out with a mask)
"That's a big change. Working out with a mask is pretty tough, but it's what we've got to do, so that's part of our job. It's been a big change. When I was running and lifting these past couple of months, I wasn't wearing one. Now, putting a mask on and doing all that training is pretty tough. I think in the long run it might help even more and help you get in better shape."
(On not having preseason games leading into the season and his first live game action in the NFL potentially coming against Saints DE Cameron Jordan in Week 1)
"It'll be different for sure not having preseason games. I don't really know how much different it'll be for me coming from college – we didn't really have preseason games. We just had camp and then started playing. They were non-conference [games], but still. This time around – I know we have some good pass-rushers on the Bucs, so just getting some work in with them and doing the best I can. If the case is that I'm going against Cam Jordan, I'll be excited. [I will] just give it my best."
(On how comfortable he would be moving to left tackle)
"It wouldn't really matter to me either or. I did it last year – I was flipping back and forth in the middle of drives and everything. I'm not really concerned with that too much right now, more so just learning the playbook and getting my feet underneath me."
(On if he's watched film on the Saints and DE Cameron Jordan, and the responsibility that comes with protecting Buccaneers QB Tom Brady)
"I haven't been watching so much tape on individual guys yet. Like I said, I'm still learning the playbook as best as I can. I'm not really looking at a guy's specific rushes yet – we haven't even put the pads on. At the same time, when that time comes, I'm going to have to get pretty detailed in my preparation. To protect a guy like Tom [Brady] is a pretty big deal."
(On if he prefers getting playing time right away as opposed to sitting back and learning from veterans on the team)
"That's kind of how my college career started – I was kind of just tossed in there. It happening this way, at this level – I'd be all right with it. I've just got to go out there and do my best – that's all I can ask of myself. You've got to prepare every week and come out and execute. That's really what it comes down to. If that's the case where I have to get tossed in there, then so be it. I'll be as ready as I can be and give it my all."
(On how he began jumping out of pools and if any of his teammates have mentioned seeing the videos)
"No, none of my teammates have said anything about it. It just happened. It started my freshman year of college. Me and [Iowa teammate] A.J. Epenesa were at a swimming pool in Coralville [Iowa] and we just tried it and I got it. It's a pretty simple story. I just tried it, and I did it, so I just kept doing it."
(On how many attempts it took for him to do it in the videos he posted)
"The first video from my freshman year it took me one try. The one I did a couple weeks ago [it took] two or three tries, maybe."
(On if he's had a 'Welcome to the NFL, rookie' moment)
"No, probably not yet. I'm sure it's coming, but I can't think of anything yet."
(On his interactions with QB Tom Brady this week)
"They've been kind of minimal. The first time I met him, we were just coming around a corner and met each other. He said, 'What's up, big dog?' I thought it was kind of crazy because he's Tom Brady. Then he asked me how old I was and I told him 21, and he kind of started laughing. He said something like, 'You think you have experience? I've got double your experience.' I was like, 'Yeah.' That's really about it. I waved to him when he was leaving the other day. He seems really nice. I'm excited to get to be his teammate."
(On his interactions with the offensive line and building cohesion with the retuning players)
"Right now, it's just been the rookie o-linemen, and then Ali [Marpet's] been here and Brad Seaton's been here. I haven't gotten to meet the other guys in person yet. It's been nice having Ali around – he's a good vet to be able to look up to and get advice from. It's been me and Brad taking the tackle reps in our walkthroughs and everything. Being able to kind of see what they do and get a feel for everything has been really nice."
(On the awe factor that takes place being teammates with QB Tom Brady and if he's gotten over that feeling)
"I think my friends and family were more excited to see if I had met him or not. I think it was every day they would text me, 'Did you meet Tom yet?' I don't want to underplay it at all, but he's just a guy, and I think that's how he wants to be treated. I think that more so my family was in shock that I was going to be his teammate."
(On his experience in Iowa Hawkeyes football program and his relationship with the coaches there in light of recent accusations against the program)
"I loved my time at Iowa. I love Coach [Kirk] Ferentz, I love Coach [Tim] Polasek, I love Coach [Chris] Doyle. I think there's a time and place to talk about that and what happened there, but I'm kind of just trying to get my feet underneath me and hit the ground running here right now."
(On the contact-tracing devices that players, coaches and staff members are wearing to remind them to keep a distance while at the training facility)
"Those things are pretty handy, actually. We have the Tier 1 and Tier 2 people in the building, and they will blink red a bunch if you're too close to somebody. Then, if two Tier 1 people are close to each other, it will vibrate. It's pretty handy. I think we're doing everything we can to make sure everyone is safe and healthy."
(On the criticism that he might be too nice of a guy for an offensive lineman and whether he is a different guy when he takes the field)
"I don't know if I'm a different guy, so to speak. That's just never been who I am, really. I'm not a mean person. When I'm out there, I want to get my job done. I feel like if you can put a defender on his back and then help him up with a smile on your face, and do it over again, I think that's going to frustrate him more than if you're talking crap to him the whole game. I don't know if there's necessarily a switch that I would have. I just think you go out there and do your job to the best of your abilities."
(On how long it will take to get comfortable playing in pads again and finding his rhythm)
"When you get pads on, it's a lot different. You can go through the motions now in walkthrough and everything and feel pretty good, but then it's a whole different animal once you put pads and a helmet on. I'm not sure off the top of my head how many practices we have, but you just want to get as comfortable and as in shape as you can really for the season. It might take a game or two into it because this is definitely a weird year, but you just want to do that as fast as you can."
(On if it was eye opening to learn that rookie RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn was in the COVID-19 protocol)
"It was kind of tough hearing that one of us had COVID and has to be quarantined, but he knows we all have his back. That's the best thing for him right now is just to lay low and get healthy again."
(On what off-field activities he is looking forward to being able to do again once the pandemic subsides)
"That's a good one. I love going to the movies. I've always been a big movie guy, so hopefully the movie theatres get back up and running. I know there are some good ones that are supposed to be coming out. Top Gun 2 is coming out. I think that got pushed back to December 2021, though. But, I like going to the movies."