Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians talked with the media on Thursday afternoon.
One of the first things Arians talked about were the rallies going on across the country protesting the murder of George Floyd
“It’s sickening. We all know when we see something that’s horrific and wrong. The events, especially the last three events, are wrong. They’re murders. Hopefully, justice will be served, quickly.”
Arians referencing the three murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
When asked if he feels the country has made progress in combating racism Arians said “There are times when I think we haven’t made any progress since 1968 when the National Guard was running down the streets of my hometown, (York, Pa) and watching what went on then, the murder of Dr. (Martin Luther) King and Bobby Kennedy. What’s improved since then? A lot has. I think, right now, I love the fact that people are upset and raising their voices. But don’t stop.”
“When the protesting’s over, I would urge everybody to take action. Do something positive to help the situation. Don’t just go back to being silent because then it’s going to happen again.”
The subject then turned to football and Arians seemed a bit concerned that the rookies who are learning a new system are having a more difficult time learning the system than in recent years due to the lack of on-field reps.
Arians said the online video Zoom sessions help, but not nearly as much as hands-on learning.
Arians estimated the Bucs are missing 400 reps between minicamps and OTA workouts.
Arians said that the Bucs are planning to start training camp on July 21st, which is one week earlier than last year.
Arians said he would like to hold a quarterback/rookie camp starting July 15th.
Due to CO-VID 19, the Bucs had to cancel their joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans. Arians said in the past that he values those joint practices more than playing the two exhibition games.
Will fans be able to watch Tom Brady in his first training camp as a Buccaneer? Arians said it is not likely. “ I would seriously doubt if any fans will be at training camp this year, due to the virus and the health of the fans and the players.”
Tomorrow the NFL facilities will begin to allow 100 people into the facility. That is up from the current limit of 75.
Coaches will also be allowed back into the facility starting tomorrow.
Arians said he is not looking to bring any veterans into camp to add depth, but would be open to adding a veteran or two to help on special teams.
Arians was asked about the “12 personal” where the Bucs would line up with two tight ends on the field as opposed to “11 personnel” with three receivers, one back and one tight end.
“We’ve always been a huge 12-personnel team, ever since Pittsburgh. That’s our base offense. If those are the best matchups, then that’s where we’re headed. Each week is finding out the best matchups. I love “13” and love three tight ends out there. We have a package, and if you don’t know how to stop it, it can hurt you.”
Arians said he is looking forward to the competition for the third, fourth, and fifth wide receiver spots.
One hot rumor just a few weeks ago was Devonta Freeman possibly signing with the Bucs as a free agent. Arians officially squashed that today saying that “Devonta is an option if the price is right.”
Freeman’s asking price right now does not fit into the Bucs salary cap structure for the 2020 season.
Two of the big focus areas on this team for 2020 will be improving special teams and reducing turnovers.
The Bucs will open the pre-season on August 14th in Pittsburgh.