Coming Up
  • Tue., Sep. 08, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Back to Football Forum with the Buccaneers Luncheon The Tampa Bay Buccaneers invite local business leaders and Bucs fans to enjoy lunch and a 2015 season preview with Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, along with various players.

  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 9:00 AM EDT Buccaneers Academy FDOT Backpack Caravan While getting ready for their own kickoff on the football field, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are proud to also help kick off the school year for young Bay-area Bucs fans!
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT Downtown Tampa SIEGE Celebration The Bucs will “SIEGE” Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park to celebrate the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Tampa’s historic Hispanic roots and the beginning of our regular season! This fun, free event will feature autographs from Bucs Legends, the Buccaneers Street Team, a Buccaneers Cheerleader performance and various food truck vendors!
  • Thu., Sep. 10, 2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT Launch Party for RED, the Buccaneers new Women’s Movement

    Join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10th from 6pm-9pm at Raymond James Stadium to be a part of the Buccaneers all-new RED, the Women’s Movement!

  • Sat., Sep. 12, 2015 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Back to Football Celebration at Glazer Children’s Museum Celebrate the season opener with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by joining us at a special Back to Football event at the Glazer Children’s Museum!
  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 4:25 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Titans Week 1
  • Tue., Sep. 15, 2015 12:00 PM EDT UnitedHealthcare Learning Garden Build UnitedHealthcare volunteers, Bucs players, cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will construct Learning Garden kits at One Buccaneer Place that will teach students about growing healthy, sustainable foods.
  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Saints Week 2
  • Tue., Sep. 22, 2015 12:00 PM EDT UnitedHealthcare Learning Garden Delivery Buccaneers staff will install Learning Gardens in seven Buccaneers Academies.
  • Sun., Sep. 27, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers @ Texans Week 3
  • Tue., Sep. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation Vehicle Unveiling The new and improved Bucs Vision Mobile powered by Glazer Family Foundation will be unveiled at Twin Lakes Elementary School!
  • Sun., Oct. 04, 2015 1:00 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Panthers Week 4
  • Tue., Oct. 06, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Rookie Club: Metropolitan Ministries LAMPLighters Fall Festival The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Club, Cheerleaders, and Captain Fear will interact with the children through games, dancing, arts & crafts, and more during Metropolitan Ministries' Fall Festival.

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Smith's Bucs Set to Go Camping

Posted Apr 21, 2014

Afforded an extra voluntary mini-camp by the arrival of a new coaching staff, the Buccaneers will hit the field this week for organized practices for the first time under Head Coach Lovie Smith


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Bucs will conduct a voluntary three-day mini-camp this week, beginning on Tuesday
  • For the first time, Lovie Smith's team will take part in full-speed practices with offense against defense
  • This week's camp will provide some evidence as to how far along a handful of recovering Bucs are in their respective rehabs
For the last two weeks, coaches for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have stopped at the door as their players have walked out to the practice field, like anxious parents watching their children get on the school bus. This week, however, those coaches will be waiting for their charges at school, as they get their first chance to be the 'stern teachers' that Lovie Smith called them when he assembled his staff.

Because Smith is in his first year as the Buccaneers' head coach, his team was given a two-week head start on the CBA-mandated offseason program. The Bucs hit the field on April 7, but because they were in Phase 1 of that carefully delineated league schedule, on-field work could consist only of conditioning work, with only the strength and conditioning staff allowed on the field with the players. But the concessions made to a new staff – also being enjoyed in such NFL outposts as Houston, Minnesota and Detroit – also includes an extra three-day mini-camp. The Buccaneers will take advantage of that opportunity this week, camping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with coaches on the field and everything.

This still being the offseason, there are still limitations. There is no purposeful contact allowed at any point during the NFL offseason, so defenders will be working on their shadow-tackling. And, considering there is only so much ground that could be covered in the meeting rooms during the eight four-hour work days that preceded this camp, the offense will just be scratching the playbook's surface. Still, there will be actual drills featuring offense against defense – 7-on-7, 9-on-7, full-team, etc. – something that otherwise doesn't begin until Phase Three of the offseason (OTAs) in May.

This week's camp is voluntary, as is all offseason work save for the one three-day mandatory mini-camp allowed to each team. Like every other team in the league, the Bucs will save that camp for the end of their program, in June. Chances are, however, this voluntary camp will draw very close to 100% of the roster, if not everyone.

And that makes it another seminal moment in the Lovie Smith/Jason Licht era, which began in January with great optimism. Smith, who was part of the Bucs' great turnaround in the 1990s and who had a strong nine-year run at the helm of the Chicago Bears, brought a stabilizing presence to the franchise. He and Licht, the Bucs' new general manager, also dramatically overhauled the roster in free agency, particularly along both lines. The last two weeks have included a lot of locker room introductions – Mr. McCoy, meet Mr. Johnson, your new QB-hunting partner – and now the Bucs get a chance to get to know each other on the field, as well.


CB Johnthan Banks (left) and WR Vincent Jackson will each be learning new playbooks this offseason


Will Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and free agency prize Michael Johnson become the sort of inside/outside presence the franchise last enjoyed with Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice? Will quarterback Josh McCown and Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford be able to breathe new life into a Buccaneers offense that ranked 32nd in the league last year? Are there viable second and third-receiver candidates on the current roster? Can Lavonte David be even better in the Tampa Two defense being installed by Smith and Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier?

No, these questions won't get anything close to final answers during the next three days, but the process will begin. What we will get more concrete evidence on is the state of the key Buccaneers returning from injury. By the end of this week we should have at least some clarification on how far along Carl Nicks, Doug Martin, Mike James, Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree, Jeff Demps and several other players are in their recoveries from season-ending mishaps in 2013. We may also see a little more definition in who the top competitors will be for right guard, right cornerback/nickel back, kick returner and, again, Vincent Jackson's running mates in the passing attack.

The current roster of players will actually assemble at One Buccaneer Place on Monday evening for a brief meeting, in which Smith will go over the week's schedule and expectations. The first practice will be on Tuesday afternoon, a lengthy two-and-a-half hour session starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. The schedule on Wednesday is the same, with Thursday's finale starting a half-hour earlier. Buccaneers.com will provide exclusive video interviews from the Bucs' locker room throughout the week.

The Buccaneers' offseason program began two weeks ago but kicks up a notch this week when Smith gets his first opportunity to bring his reshaped team together on the field. The month of May will be dominated by OTAs (and a little thing known as the NFL Draft) and June will bring that critical mandatory mini-camp. Throughout, the coaches and players will be seeking to lay the groundwork for a successful training camp by installing the new playbook on both sides of the ball. That all begins Tuesday with the first real practice of the Lovie Smith era at One Buccaneer Place.