Sunday preview: Player reaction to a hellish week at camp
Here's a preview of part of Sunday's Bucs beat column, which takes a look at player reaction to this week's difficult three-day camp at One Buc Place.
While observing the frenetic pace and grueling nature of the Bucs’ voluntary minicamp practices last week, it was difficult not to wonder what some of the team’s veterans were thinking.
Were they appalled? Angry? Regretful they didn’t stay home?
Turns out, we never heard any such reactions. In fact, while many admitted to being blindsided by the way Schiano conducted the camp, no player quibbled with whether it was all necessary.
“He’s reestablishing order,” DT Gerald McCoy said. “And he’s doing it immediately. On Day 1.
“And like I said, nobody’s exempt. That means it’s going to be a whole organizational turnaround. The whole building is under new rules and we all have to follow if we’re going to get back where we want to be.”
So, for example, if your toes aren’t on the yard line during a pre-practice calisthenics drill as instructed, you will hear about it – and loudly.
And when the staff referred to last week’s three-day event as a “camp”, they meant it. There was no clocking out at 4 in the afternoon. Players were at One Buc Place from roughly 7 a.m. with some not leaving until past 9 p.m. after jam-packed days of meetings, walkthroughs, practices, etc.
“It was definitely shocking,” new DT Amobi Okoye said, only half joking.
Shocking, but not inappropriate.
"A team that has as many young guys as we have definitely needs that, because it's hard to police yourself,'' said CB Ronde Barber, entering his 16th season. "And there aren't enough veteran guys around here to do it, so this is what we need.''
Besides the discipline Schiano hopes was instilled during the camp, there could be other payoffs, G Carl Nicks said.
“Have you ever seen anything like this?” Nicks said. “We joked about it in the locker room and said it’s kind of like a college atmosphere. But at the same time, if we keep at it at this pace, we’ll be the best-conditioned team in the league. It’s kind of grueling right now, but it’s for a bigger purpose.”