As the Buccaneers wrapped up mini-camp on Thursday morning, the focus will shift to training camp, which is scheduled to begin on July 24th.
All 89 players on the roster showed up at mini-camp, with 83 participating in some drills.
Cornerback Jamel Dean was one of two players that suffered a minor injury during the drills. Bruce Arians said that Dean might have sprained a knee, but it was nothing serious. He just bruised it a little bit.
That’s is good news for the Bucs as they will have everyone healthy and 100 percent for training camp.
Arians is a no-nonsense coach when it comes to practice. He wants everyone prepared and giving a good effort. Arians was pleased with the effort put forth in these mini-camp practices.
“We always talk about stacking really good practices together, and you become a better football team. I think these practices have shown me where we’re at, and I really like where we’re at – mentally, physically, execution, everything, both sides of the ball, and special teams. It all looks like it’s progressing in the right direction.”
One of the things that will cause teams not to repeat as champions is something called complacency. Guys not wanting to work as hard to try to win another championship. Arians said he saw none of that at mini-camp.
“That was the first thing I was looking for today, and I didn’t see any. Our guys know how to work, so I really don’t have to say anything. If it’s on offense, you’re going to get your ass chewed out by Brady. On defense, Lavonte is probably chewing your ass out. I won’t have to say anything.”
Arians also had no issue with the work ethic of the team at mini-camp. “One thing I’ve never had to ask these guys to do is work hard. They know what work is, and we talked about it in the meeting that we have to set a standard of work ethic here. So I’ve never had to ask them about that.”
Arians also said in a team meeting that what’s in the past is in the past. The challenge is now to focus on the task at hand, and that is to become the first team since the 2003 New England Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Tom Brady was at mini-camp and participated in some of the drills without a knee brace, showing everyone that he has recuperated fully from his off-season knee surgery.
Brady was the last quarterback to lead his team to two consecutive Super Bowls as he accomplished that feat in the 2003-2004 seasons and talked about the challenge that awaits this Bucs team in 2021.
“I think the assumption comes from the belief that it’ll just be in exactly like it was last year. I think that’s what you’ve got to not fall into, is that ‘Oh, that’s the way it worked last year, so that’s the way it will be this year. The reality is, everything is different.”
Brady went on to talk about what the Bucs can expect from opposing teams and the challenge that may present.
“The teams will approach you a little bit differently. You’re kind of the team everyone’s watching now. There is more external noise. There will be more people that are wanting to come to games, more opportunities to do things outside of football. And I think the reality is you’ve got to stay focused on what’s really important: How do you improve? How do you get better from week to week, day today? A lot of games we won last year were very razor-thin margins. One or two plays make the difference in every game.”
Spoken like a true champion and someone who will not allow anyone to take a play-off in practice. How you prepare, and the effort you put forth during practice will translate to the field on Sunday.
Brady will demand that everyone put in the work to get better and be prepared on game day.
—The Bucs rewarded GM Jason Licht and coach Bruce Arians with a contract extension and a raise for Coach Arians as a reward for their Super Bowl win in February.
Arians is under contract for two more years with a team option for 2023, and Licht is now under contract through the 2023 season.
—The Bucs have also signed their second-round pick, quarterback Kyle Trask to a four-year contract. That leaves the first-round pick Joe Tryon and third-round pick Robert Hainsey from Norte Dame, as the two draft choices yet to sign their rookie contracts.
The Trask deal is for four years for a total of $5.54 million. Trask also received a $1.39 million signing bonus.