The 2019 OTA’s are in the books. The next time the Buccaneers get together will be in late July when training camp commences.
Head coach Bruce Arians liked what he saw of his team during the OTA’s and said he couldn’t have asked for anything more. “I think we accomplished everything that we set out to accomplish during these (organized team activities), I like where we’re at. Obviously, we need a lot more work. We’re not a finished product by any stretch.”
Here are five things that stood out during the OTA’s and mini-camp.
1. Culture Change. There has definitely been a change in the culture and overall attitude with this new coaching staff.
The no-nonsense approach by Bruce Arians seems to have gotten the attention of everyone. Arians like toughness, lots of communication on the field, and has a zero tolerance for mistakes. This approach should work well with the young players the Bucs are expected to count on this season.
2. Speed. This is the quickest team the Buccaneers have had in quite some time. At wide receiver, Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman were added primarily because of their speed.
On defense, the three rookie defensive backs Sean Murphy Bunting, Mike Edwards and Jamel Dean makes this group the quickest on the team.
This speed in the defensive backfield should serve the Bucs well as they have to match up with Julio Jones and Michael Thomas twice a year.
3. The defensive backs. In addition to the speed factor, this group is also the most aggressive the Buccaneer defensive backs have been in years.
The Bucs will play a lot of a man to man which is the strength of this group defensive backs. They will also play some zone but will employ man to man as a base defense.
Arians said on the final day of mini-camp that he believes the problems that were so prevalent last year with the defensive backs have been fixed.
4. Aggressive defense. It seems you could count on one hand the number of times that the Bucs defense blitzed last year, but that will not be the case in 2019 as Todd Bowles will turn these guys loose a lot.
In Arizona as defensive coordinator, Bowles team blitzed the most of any team in the NFL. Look for that trend to continue in Tampa this season.
5. Jameis Winston’s decision making has improved. It is no secret that one of the main reasons Arians came out of retirement was to coach Jameis Winston.
Arains and Winston have a relationship going to Winston’s freshman year of high school when Winston attended Arians quarterback camp in Alabama.
Arians thinks that if Winston can cut back on his poor decision making, than his overall play will improve and that will transfer to more team wins.
Arians likes what he has seen from Winston, and Arians has also been impressed by Winston’s willingness to work hard and do the work necessary to improve.
We are about six weeks away from training camp. We then will have a much better idea about this Buccaneer team when the pads come on and we will see if Bruce Arians was correct in being so optimistic about the 2019 season.