Bucs hope offseason work in weight room pays off in regular season
You already know about quarterback Josh Freeman’s weight loss, as he’s shed about 20 pounds and looks fitter than ever.
But Freeman might not be the only player who is in better physical shape when the Bucs take the field for training camp.
On conditioning days throughout the offseason, the team’s new strength and conditioning staff has embarked on a major effort to reshape players’ bodies.
According to general manager Mark Dominik, strength coach Jay Butler and assistant Joe Vaughn have employed some effective techniques while also doing things like setting weight targets for players to achieve during offseason workouts.
Will it have an effect during the regular season? That remains to be seen, but it certainly can’t hurt.
“Jay Butler has done a good job of setting goal weights for this football team and establishing what (weight) he wants guys to play at,” Dominik said. “That’s a big deal for Coach (Schiano) also. So, they’re certainly working at it. They have to put the time in to do that, but they are.”
One of the motivations behind this, Dominik said, is that certain players will be charged with different tasks under the new regime. A couple of defensive players, for instance, have said linemen will be asked to sometimes line up over offensive lineman, not in gaps. That theoretically might require them to emphasize strength over speed. If so, they can work out accordingly when in the weight room.
“I’ve been encouraged,” Dominik said. “I think as you stand out here (at practice) and you look at the physiques of our players as time goes on, you’ll see that the physiques and the conditioning are a little different because we’re asking them to do different things than they have.”