The Buccaneers’ player rep, Jeff Faine, recently weighed in on the detrimental effects a lock-out could have on the Buccaneers roster. The Bucs had an improbable 10-6 season despite boasting the league’s youngest roster. Despite their early success, almost every player on the Bucs still has a long ways to go before reaching potential, most will be in just their first or second full NFL off-season. That’s why a lock-out could really stunt development.
“We’re in a much worse position than three years ago when we were one of the oldest teams in the league,” Faine said. “We need preseason, we need training camp, we need the offseason. I’m sure (general manager) Mark Dominik knows we need it, but his hands are tied. I hope the Glazers know we need it.
“I know (Saints coach) Sean Payton is not unhappy that we’re not getting (an offseason). They’ve got a team that’s done it, that’s been together for three years. I won’t say they’re not in a bad position, but they’re in a much better position than we are.”
Faine makes a good point, whereas veteran teams can endure more obstacles in preparing for a season, young players need every single rep to develop. Even if there is an NFL season, missing invaluable off-season time could still be absolutely detrimental to the Bucs. Josh Freeman plans to organize unofficial team workouts regardless of the CBA situation, but Faine is skeptical.
“You’re not going to see Josh Freeman and our receiving corps down at the University of Tampa soccer field …,” Faine said. “They might go out there and run some routes and throw. But you’re talking about getting an entire receiving corps together being able to work against an entire defensive backs corps. It’s just not going to happen.”
Faine’s take on the current situation may come off a little bit pessimistic, but he’s been around long enough to have earned the right to be cynical. And he’s right, even if the whole offense is in Tampa, you just can’t simulate OTA’s or get a full squad together to run a productive scrimmage. It’s nice to have a quarterback as poised and eager as Freeman, but you can’t overcome being locked out of NFL facilities.
Here’s hoping something changes in the next couple weeks.