SIGHTS & SOUNDS OF BUCS TRAINING CAMP – JULY 29
By Leo Haggerty
Are you ready for some football? Well, at least something that resembles football for the first few practices.
Tampa Bay opened their 2019 training camp on Friday, July 26, but had to use the indoor facility due to some rain as well as threatening lightning. Also, as per National Football League rule, the Buccaneers were in helmets and shorts so, as former HC Lovie Smith so eloquently stated, its just”underwear football” which is not how the game is played.
A word of warning. Do not put a great deal of emphasis on what goes on at training camp before the first exhibition contest when the Pewter Pirates travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Friday, August 9th. That’s when the guys in the other color jersey haven’t seen the offensive and defensive schemes every day since mini-camp. The bullets are flying for real and you will be able to make some decisions based on evidence that you observed in game situations for players supposedly that are on the bubble.
What you can take to the bank is what HC Bruce Arians tells you. Why do I say that? A guy who was born in New Jersey and grew up in Pennsylvania isn’t going to pull any punches. In fact, look at his answers to my questions especially the last two. He’s a straight shooter with no gray area at all as you will read below.
LH : Is it an advantage or disadvantage to enter training camp with a new team?
BA : It’s an advantage, I think. We know each other now and they know what to expect. We got a ton of reps with two practices going on at the same time. We’ll do it again tomorrow so those young guys can get on film. I can’t ask for any more of this team as far as working. They’re working really hard. and working smarter and smarter every day.
LH : How important is it to set the tempo for practice right from the first practice?
BA : They know the tempo. We came out here in the spring and we established our work ethic and the tempo of practice. We were scheduled to go until 6:30 [p.m.] and we got all of the reps in I don’t know how many minutes early. That is usually the sign of a good, fast practice.
LH : In your opinion, can you win consistently in the NFL with a sub-standard running game?
BA : We won’t have a sub-standard running game. We’ll have a damn good one. Like I said, I like our backs. They’re the type of backs I like and we’re going to block and we’re going to commit to the running game. We’ll have a good running game.
LH : Is Devon White an every down linebacker?
BA : Oh, he’s not coming off the field. He’s an excellent blitzer. Plus, he’s a good cover guy. No, he’s not coming off the field.
OK, you have the sounds. The following sights of the first days of Buccaneers training camp were provided by photo-journalist Trace Crisp. Enjoy and I’ll be adding on as camp continues.