TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The first organized team activity for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, oddly, did not include the majority of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The guys that need to be here are here,” stated Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. “If you were a starter, you were not going to be out on the field anyway.”
Arians who sat behind the wheel of his iconic golf cart, rolled from field to field, drill to drill, eyeing relatively unknown players.
“There are about five spots that are going to depend on special teams,” said Arians, “and it is going to be that fifth, sixth corner, that fifth, sixth safety, that fourth, fifth running back, that fifth, sixth receiver, even tight ends. If you can play special teams, you are going to move yourself in front of other guys.”
A handful of veteran players did choose to participate in the drills.
Running back Giovani Bernard who joined the Buccaneers after spending eight seasons with the Bengals cited a need for the repetition.
“For me, the more I can be around the players and the staff, the better I will be,” Bernard said. “The more reps I can get, I am all for it.”
He took the ball from either of the two quarterbacks, Ryan Griffin and rookie Kyle Trask and shared those carries with Ke’shawn Vaughn who is entering his second year with the team.
Meanwhile, less than one mile down the road at the New York Yankees spring training facility, Tom Brady rallied the troops for a different type of organized team activity.
“Oh yes, that is great,” said Arians. “I would rather see them do it here protection wise.”
Apparently, Arians told Brady and the rest of those veteran players they can use the fields at the team facility but they have not accepted his offer.
“This year, they can be here,” he said. “They would not be practicing but they could be working on this field and I would love to see them all out here together.”