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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new coordinators focus on players' weights

Look it into your hands Volunteer Mike Davidson watches Dayan Colon, 9, of Land O’Lakes try to catch the ball during the Bucs’ Fanfest on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

MARTHA RIAL | Times

Look it into your hands Volunteer Mike Davidson watches Dayan Colon, 9, of Land O’Lakes try to catch the ball during the Bucs’ Fanfest on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

TAMPA — Imagine the conversations in the lunch line.

Bucs offensive linemen have been asked to become leaner and lose body fat. The defensive linemen, particularly the tackles, have been asked to bulk up and add a few pounds of muscle.

New schemes require new body types, and the man responsible for reconfiguring those physiques is new strength and conditioning coach Kurtis Shultz.

Using meta­bolic weight training techniques, Shultz has helped Davin Joseph go from about 320 pounds to 305 by reducing body fat and increasing strength.

The result is a Pro Bowl guard who can run the zone blocking scheme of new offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski for 60 minutes without tiring.

Meanwhile, new defensive coordinator Jim Bates favors strength over speed. DT Chris Hovan has gone from about 295 pounds to 310 without a decrease in speed or quickness.

"I wanted to put it on the right way," Hovan said. "You don't want to put on 10-15 pounds real fast. I didn't think it would be a problem to add 2 or 3 pounds per month."

Hovan is not alone. Until this offseason, DE Gaines Adams never did much weight training with his legs. He boycotted the squat rack. But after an offseason with Shultz, Adams has added at least 15 pounds, most in his lower body. It will give him the strength to complement his speed.

"When a guy does that because he starts to work his legs with the squats and (do) some of the power moves he didn't do before, it's a credit to Gaines," coach Raheem Morris said.

"But it's also a credit to Shultz."

Morris has been impressed by the players' willingness to adapt to new schemes and training methods.

"What these guys have done, in terms of agility drills, they hadn't done in our previous regime," Morris said. "They're getting better and better every day. Looking at those guys … move like defensive backs, it's impressive. Their feet are getting better."

Considering the collapse in the final month of 2008, endurance was an issue for the Bucs.

"Some of it was age," Morris said. "Some of it was not having enough strength down the stretch. Some of it was coaching. Some of it was players. It was a little of everything. But I've been impressed with how these guys have worked to get better."

Mandatory workouts: The Bucs expect all of their players at the mandatory minicamp, but a few could be no-shows.

QB Brian Griese has asked to be released and stayed away from the organized team activities. LB Barrett Ruud also did not participate, presumably because of not having a contract extension, but is expected to attend. G Arron Sears, dealing with an undisclosed personal issue, could be granted an excused absence.

DE Stylz White is recovering from minor injuries associated with a motorcycle accident and said last week he will not attend.

Voluntary workouts: Morris said he was pleased with the amount of players participating in the voluntary workouts.

"We didn't have as many as we usually had," Morris said. "Once we got to the OTAs, it was about the same. We didn't miss a beat or slow anything down. We actually had the ability to get more people reps.

"When you get up into the 90 percentile, you've got no right to complain."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new coordinators focus on players' weights 06/13/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:42am]
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