Buccaneers’ Training Camp Day 1 In The Books
By James Yarcho
The long awaited, highly anticipated start of Buccaneers training camp has come and gone. What did we see and hear in day one?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were beside themselves with excitement today as Bucs football has returned. With media members tweeting constant updates and videos, Bucs fans got some insight to the team they’ve been longing to see for months.
With more excitement surrounding this team than there has been since Gruden was around, expectations are high, yet tempered. We’ve been here before, expecting great things just to be kicked back down to earth with another losing season. Somehow, this season is different, or at least it feels different. Maybe it’s the coaching staff. Maybe it’s the front office. Maybe it’s having a franchise quarterback for the first time in team history.
When practice began this morning, there was a collective moan from social media as Mike Evans dropped the very first pass of the day. It wouldn’t be a trend as Winston, Evans, and the other receivers and tight ends had some great connections and got themselves re-acclimated to one another.
The two Spences, Noah and Akeem, showed their power on the sled early on;
All in all, everything went smoothly in day one as players were excited to return to work and young members of the new kids club, “Buc Squad”, who had access to the practice that was closed to the public, were star-struck by the players and pined for autographs afterwards.
New head coach Dirk Koetter was arguably more excited than anyone as he kicked off his first training camp as the man in charge of leading the Bucs back to contention,
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"“Day one was fun, are you kidding me? Everybody’s excited on day one. Great to be out here, awesome to have the kids out and it’s the start of the journey.”"
Of course, Jameis Winston was a hot topic of day one and Dirk Koetter couldn’t be any more excited about the leader he has under center;
"“That’s who he is. Yeah, it impressed me, but I’m sure you folks noticed it as well. It jumps out at you. Jameis is a special guy. I might have been one of the last people on board, but I’m fully on board now and it’s nice, it’s a great thing to have. He sets the tone for our team. We have a lot of good football players on our team, but from a leadership standpoint Jameis sets the tone.”"
When media members had the chance to ask Jameis to elaborate on Gerald McCoy’s comments from yesterday, he was as open as anyone could’ve expected;
"“I just talked to him after the season, just to get his insight on how I was as a leader. I believe Gerald is a great leader to this team, and he’s not the only leader that we’ve got. I just know that he has a little bit more in him. You should’ve seen him out here working with (defensive ends) Noah Spence and Kourtnei Brown, the things that he put into these players. Even me, when I first got here he put so much into me. I just asked him, ‘Keep doing it, bring it up a notch, step it up’, just like I have to do, just like we all have to do. Just continue to step up, continue to be who you are. He’s a [four]-time Pro Bowler defensive tackle, he’s a great voice and everyone will listen to him on our team.”"
Jameis even had some great things to say about the new head coach, and it appears this seems to be the growing consensus among players and media alike;
"“I just love his mentality. He’s a fierce competitor and that’s how I view myself when being a fierce competitor. And the team sees that, when he steps up and takes charge in front of us in team meetings, we’re just like, ‘That’s our coach’. He sets the tempo for us and we’re going to follow him ‘til the day we die.”"
Buccaneers football season is upon us and there are only two weeks until the Bucs take the field against the Philadelphia Eagles for their first preseason action. As training camp progresses and we inch closer and closer to kickoff weekend, all we can hope for is the team’s continued health and development.
Next: 5 Storylines To Follow During Bucs Training Camp
We made it, Bucs fans…football is finally back!