The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially begun training camp today and are looking to erase the abysmal 2011 season from everyone's memory. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

Buccaneers Opening Training Camp Today

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp today and officially kick off their 2012 season — one that they hope will be better than the abysmal and embarrassing 2011 chapter to their story.

But the Buccaneers did something they haven’t done in quite a while: they realized that they sucked and actually got better (hey, there’s a concept kids). They did this by adding a Pro Bowl left guard to protect Josh Freeman while he throws to a Pro Bowl wide receiver. Both Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson will officially make their Bucs debut today at camp and the hype is only just beginning.

Beyond the two mega signings from free agency, the Buccaneers are also looking to work on an area Mark Dominik has shown a brilliance in: finding young talent and developing them into quality contributors. The Bucs usually sift through the undrafted free agent wires and practice squads to find these players, but this year Dominik constructed his first real draft and what the result is onthe field is something to watch.

With these young players coming in, training camp battles will be had at Bucs camp and they won’t just be at running back. Tampa still needs to sort out who will not only be their No. 2 receiver but just how that depth chart will look when we get to week one.

There’s also the matter of sorting out the linebacking corps which sees rookie Lavonte David joining a crowded but unproven group of players that includes Mason Foster, Quincy Black, Najee Goode and Dakota Watson. The decisions don’t end there on defense either as the front line needs to be fine tuned as well. Gerald McCoy is looking to stay healthy for a full season for the first time in his career and Adrian Clayborn is looking to build on what could be argued as the only strong performance on the team in 2011.

The Buccaneers are also making training camp easier for fans to attend. It’s one of the only training camps that is totally free to the public and it’s the first step the Bucs are making towards repairing their relationship with the fans. Here’s a quick rundown of all the public practices this year:

DATE

ACTIVITY

TIME

Fri. July 28th

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Sat. July 29th

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Sun. July 30th

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Wed. August 1st

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Fri. August 3rd

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Sat. August 4th

Intrasquad Scrimmage

6:30 – 9:00pm (RJ Stadium)

Mon. August 6th

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

Tue. August 7th

Practice

8:45 – 11:30am

The 2012 season is finally upon us and with all the changes the Bucs have made, this is truly a revamped team. The only question now is can they make the product on the field as sexy as it looks on paper?

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