All is well at one Bucs place as Tom Brady is the building.
Brady reported with the rookies Monday and is expected to begin working out immediately.
As expected a lot of the questions today asked of Bruce Arians centered around Tom Brady.
Arians said he did not communicate that much with Brady during the off-season. “We had no communication, we couldn’t film it or anything like that. I didn’t have a lot of conversation with Tom other than that there was a good turnout and they were getting a lot of things done. It was a good team-building experience. It doesn’t replace practice but it’s the closest thing you can get.”
Arians was asked about Brady’s learning curve and grasping the Bucs offense since he has missed close to 400 reps.
“He’s way ahead of the curve. He’s a very bright guy. The terminology was the big thing and as we now get together, starting tomorrow, we’ll start to collaborate a little bit more. I think he’s in a great spot right now as far as that goes.”
The Bucs have all six of their draft picks signed and ready to go to work. Third round draft pick Ke’Shawn Vaughan will not be available as he was put on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
This does not necessarily mean a player has tested positive for COVID. It could mean he has been in contact with someone that had COVID and has to quarantine.
Vaughan is being counted on to spell Ronald Jones at running back and become a pass-catching threat for Tom Brady out of the backfield.
This will be a challenging camp for some rookies and undrafted free agents to make the team. Arians estimates that the team has missed some 400 reps when you count in the OTA’s, mini-camps, and the other practices that first-year players and free agents would have had by now during a normal off-season.
This will be anything but a normal year as players around the league are starting to opt for not playing during the season.
Bucs starting tackle Donavan Smith is the only Bucs player that is considering sitting out. Smith and his wife just welcomed a baby daughter so Smith is thinking about his safety and family first.
Arians in his press conference today said that he expects Smith to report. If Smith does not report the Bucs could move Wirfs to the left tackle spot and move Joe Haeg into the starting lineup at right tackle.
August first is the deadline for players to opt-out of the 2020 season.
As the Bucs get ready for the full team to report next week, they have officially parted ways with injured linebacker Kendall Beckwith.
Beckwith was injured in an auto accident two years ago and has not stepped on the field since.
The Bucs have also put safety Justin Evans on the PUP list to start camp. Arians said that that will give Evans some time to work his way onto the field, but that the time is getting short for Evans to get healthy and contribute.
Arians was also asked about COVID and the protocols being taken to keep everyone safe. “The protocols that are in place are extremely safe. It’s going to be coaches, players, and staff being smart outside the building. Nobody’s going to get sick over here, because everybody’s got a negative test that’s in the building. You’re going to get sick somewhere else, and we have to have a lot of discipline this year. I have a lot of confidence we’ll get it done.”
With OTA’s, mini-camps, and all off-season workouts being canceled due to COVID, Arians opined about the quality of football we may see in week one.
“It’s going to take a hit. You’re not going to be in the same football shape you were, had you had all spring, all the learning that takes place in the spring, a true training camp with four preseason games to look at a lot of young players. Yeah, it’s going to take a hit.”
So it is under these conditions that the Bucs will get ready for the 2020 season.
The Bucs have just over six weeks and will have 18 padded practices before the opener against the New Orleans Saints.