TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Tristan Wirfs is heading into his third season in the NFL and has certainly set the bar high for himself in his first two seasons.
He’s started every game he’s played in since joining the Bucs, won a Super Bowl in his rookie season and then was named an All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl last season. Now, it’s a matter of making sure he continues to play at that high level.
“Come out with a goal every day—just one thing you want to work on and then focus on to get better at,” Wirfs said. “First day of camp yesterday I was opening up on all my sets. Me and coach [Joe] Gilbert have this thing. I’ve just got to turn my inside foot slightly towards the ball to keep me more square. I came out here today and was like, ‘Joe, can you just shout out ‘toe’ right before the play’ and I’d move my toe in. I just try and stay square. Tomorrow I’ll have another thing.”
He said if he sets those daily goals, there won’t be any room for complacency.
“You’ve got to have a good drive inside you and you have to have high expectations for yourself,” Wirfs said. “I think I’m far from arrived. I’m going into year three. I’ve got a lot of stuff left to do, a lot of stuff to get better at. And I think you’ve got to have good people around you that aren’t even going to let you come close to thinking that you’ve made it.”
One hurdle Wirfs had to overcome was an ankle injury he suffered in the Bucs’ Wild Card win over the Eagles last season. That was more than six months ago and he said he’s back to full-go. Wirfs doesn’t have any sort of brace on it, but he said he’ll take some precautions as they ramp up.
“I’ll probably start taping up once we get pads on and everything,” Wirfs said. “But other than that, no not really. Like I was saying earlier with Tom [Brady], like me learning how to take care of my body. That’s another thing too I’m trying to do. Now that I’ve had an injury it’s continuing that maintenance on it and everything — just making sure something doesn’t come back or it doesn’t deteriorate in any way. So that’s another thing I’m trying to do as well.”
“He’s a heck of a player,” Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles said. “Any time you get a good player back – and he’s a great player right now for us and we’ve got continuity – that’s always good. You’ve got to protect your quarterback with bookend tackles first.”
Other Bucs Training Camp Day 2 notes:
- Center Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury towards the end of practice and was carted off the field. There is no update on his status or severity of the injury, but general manager Jason Licht said after practice that they should know more in the coming days after he undergoes some tests.
- After signing his contract on Wednesday, wide receiver Julio Jones participated in his first workout with the Bucs and was wearing jersey number 85.
- Chris Godwin was on the field after not being out there day one. He wasn’t dressed to practice and did not workout at all as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL surgery he had in January. He spent time on the field mainly with his wide receiver teammates, coaching them up between plays.