Subtle pre-camp reminders from Gruden
The Bucs wrapped up their offseason program today, meaning the next time they convene, it'll be the real thing: training camp at Disney.
But between now and then, coach Jon Gruden asks two things of his players: stay in shape and out of trouble.
"They know what to do," Gruden said. "They have to take care of themselves, obviously, stay in shape, and they've got to get some rest and at the same time, they've got to get away from it some and get rejuvenated. They have to remember you're living in a glass house, so be smart. Enjoy the time, because they've really invested a lot. They've put a lot into this and don't blow it now. Come to training camp where you can showcase your best stuff, because that's what we're going to need to win."
The part about staying in shape is critical. The Bucs won't spend any time conditioning once they get to camp. Players must be ready to go when they report. By Day 3 or so, they'll be donning pads and going at it. Those who didn't stay will conditioned will be easily exposed as the heat index climbs well above 100 degrees.
Equally important is the part about player conduct. This is the time of year when there is more opportunity to get out of line as players will return to their hometowns and take some needed time off. The last thing the Bucs, or any team wants, is a late-summer surprise in the discipline department.
Things will quiet down around here now that things are wrapping up, but when time allows, I'll be back to take a look at some areas where the Bucs will have to make some tough calls to reduce the roster to the 80-man training camp limit.