Harsh truth Buccaneers need to accept about training camp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s easy to get sucked into the early reports from training camp where guys are playing without pads. Buccaneers fans can’t fall for the trap.

Buccaneers training camp is finally underway. Football is back and it is easy to get excited about every little thing.

It feels like reports come out every day about players making miraculous plays and feats of athletic marvel are on display from start to finish, but it is important than fans recognize what camp actually is, especially what has been going on for the last few days.

The Bucs have spent most of their time so far in camp wearing little more than helmets. There is limited contact. This is not the game of football that people watch. Therefore, no one should take any of this information regarding a player’s talent as gospel.

A receiver made an incredible catch over a defender who couldn’t take his head off? A quarterback threw a 60-yard bomb despite standing in the pocket for six seconds? A kicker hit all of their kicks from range despite defenders being handcuffed in their strategy?

Who cares?

It is akin to saying “my child is going to be a great driver because he knows how to keep his hands at ten and two and is using one foot for the brake and gas pedals.”

Yes, the kid is doing parts of the job of driving, but how they will do when they’re actually controlling the multi-ton vehicle at speed is different.

Someone won’t be a great football player because they can bench press 300. A cook won’t be great just because they can recite the recipe. These things obviously help, but the application of the skills under the pressure of the game is what matters.

This isn’t an indictment against this part of camp-in fact, it is very necessary. Guys need their plays and coverages down. This is almost entirely for guys to get the mental side of things at a high level before the speed actually starts. It helps, but it should be the bare minimum for guys to look good when there is absolutely no pressure. Guys looking bad when everything is made easy is where the concern should start.

Pads coming on will be a step in the right direction. The preseason games will be even better. Before that, no one should get too hyped up over guys that won’t make the practice squad because they made a great move in a football-adjacent game.

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