TAMPA, FL - MAY 4: Cornerback Keith Tandy #37 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs during a pass drill during a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
During the offseason this year, Bucs Nation will be attempting to bring you some exclusive content that can't be found anywhere else on the web. Here is our second interview with one of the Buccaneers' 2012 draft class. Lee Caswell (Leecaz) spoke with the team's sixth round selection out of West Virginia University, Keith Tandy. Below is a transcript of that interview:
Note: This interview took place on Thursday, May 10th, 2012.
LC: Do you think that playing against Rutgers frequently while you were at West Virginia gave you an advantage in being drafted? Do you think it will give you a leg up on making the roster since Coach Schiano already knows what you're capable of as a player?
KT: I think it gave him a good idea of what we (Tandy and Najee Goode) were capable of doing. He knew what he was getting when he picked us. He probably already has an idea of where we would fit in at. He also has a familiarity with our coaches, so he could talk to our coaches and see what type of guys we were.
LC: Absolutely. Your style of play is usually described as very physical for a corner. Some people project you as some kind of a perfect nickel back in a zone scheme. Others think you'll be better suited to switch over a free safety in the NFL. Where do you think your skill set fits in best?
KT: I'm not sure. I believe I can play a number of different positions. Like in our defense, a cornerback has to be able to tackle too. It pretty much gave us free play in the secondary, so you've got to be able to tackle.
LC: Right. And in the rookie mini-camp did they say anything to you about trying you out at the free safety position or anything?
Check out Keith's answer to this question, as well as the rest of the interview, after the jump.
KT: They were just like wanting us to learn the defense. The main thing they were trying to get us to learn is for the corners to get caught back up to where the veterans are at, because they really haven't started picking the veterans at the different positions yet.
LC: You were roommates with Najee Goode while at West Virginia. How close would you describe your friendship and what it means to have him with you here in Tampa?
KT: Oh, we're real close. We're actually still here together in Morgantown right now, working out. I mean, we're still roommates. It definitely makes the transition easier. Like, it makes it easier just to have that familiarity around you. Somebody pushing you, and you be pushing them.
LC: Now, a lot of people don't know that you were a very successful high school quarterback in Christian County, KY. You threw for over 90 touchdowns. Is that correct?
KT: Yes sir.
LC: Do you think being a former passer gives you any type of advantage as a defensive back?
KT: It definitely helps me out by kind of knowing what the offense is trying to do inside the defense. But I know when I played quarterback it wasn't like I was in a school with a league defense. It was just a double safety and a double cornerback.
LC: What kind of goals have you set for yourself for this 2013 season coming up?
KT: The main thing I've been worrying about so far is just getting the playbook down. That will allow me to go out there and play fast whenever I'm on the field.
LC: Yes sir. And do you think you'll compete for a starting spot this year or are you going to focus on just trying to make it onto special teams? What type of impact do you think you'll have the Bucs this year?
KT: I don't really have an idea yet. I'm definitely going in there to fight for one. Whatever happens just happens.
LC: That's a great attitude to have. What do you think your greatest strengths are as a player?
KT: I think basically my knowledge of the game. Like, knowing what the offense is trying to do. And separating the receiver from his timing with the quarterback.
LC: What do you think will be the most difficult part of the transition from the college game to the pro game?
KT: I know everybody always talks about the speed, but I feel like one of the problems with that is guys coming in and they don't know the play book as well as they should. That's one of the things I'm focusing on now so it will allow me to go out there and play faster.
LC: Coach Schiano has talked a lot in the media about the new Buccaneer way, and the new type of standard they're trying to set here in Tampa. Did they talk to the rookies about that at the mini-camp last week?
LC: What all did you take away from that conversation? What do you think he wants out of you? I know you were a captain while at West Virginia and he seemed to draft a lot of leaders. Did he talk about any of that kind of stuff and what he wants out of the players?
KT: That's one thing they kept telling us about, the Buccaneer way. They just want a lot of tough guys. A lot of tough, smart football players out there that they don't have to worry about off the field getting into trouble.
LC: Yes sir. Okay Keith, that's all the questions I've got for you. Just wanted to say congratulations on being drafted. I'm from a couple of counties over in Kentucky, so it's good to see somebody from back home making it big.
KT: Oh, okay.
LC: Alright man, well you have a good day and good luck this season.
KT: Alright. Thank you.
LC: Thank you.