Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players call their self-organized minicamp a success

Running back Kregg Lumpkin, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Josh Freeman during seven-on-seven drills on the third and final day of the player-organized minicamp.


Running back Kregg Lumpkin, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Josh Freeman during seven-on-seven drills on the third and final day of the player-organized minicamp.

BRADENTON — How much could a bunch of locked-out football players wearing shorts and T-shirts accomplish in three days of noncontact workouts?

A lot, actually.

The Bucs called their unofficial players-only minicamp, which wrapped up Thursday with a single morning practice, a huge success.

Though the camp couldn't match the intensity or depth of a traditional minicamp at One Buc Place, it served as a valuable substitute as the NFL's work stoppage passed three months.

Mainly, it was a good barometer of where players are physically and mentally, something that has been hard to determine without team workouts.

"I've gotten a lot of work with the receivers and tight ends from an offensive standpoint," QB Josh Freeman said. "But to get together and be able to watch film and be in an environment where it's a team atmosphere like a normal minicamp is big for us. We have a lot of young guys on the team, and really, you don't really know where their minds are at.

"It was great seeing the turnout we had, and … guys being on (top of) their stuff. We put together these scripts and just went over them real briefly in a meeting, then popped right on the field. Guys picked it right up as if we were in the middle of the season."

The team ran a lengthy seven-on-seven session Thursday morning, during which there was just one incomplete pass out of 25 attempts, Freeman said.

The chemistry-building that often is developed in the offseason was a key to the camp as well.

"You come together as a family, which is what I think a team is," DT Gerald McCoy said. "If you (form) a team the right way, it's supposed to be a family."

Though the lockout appears to be nearing an end, with negotiations between the owners and players heating up, the Bucs aren't ruling out a subsequent camp.

"If this thing lingers on, I'm sure we'll meet up again," McCoy said. "We'll stay in contact."

PUMPING IRON: Among the things the Bucs did this week was conduct a morning weight-room session each day. It was offered as an optional opportunity before the day's practices, but most players took advantage.

"I said in my (team) e-mail, (we had) optional lift at 9 (a.m.), and I swear, everybody was there at 9," said LB Tyrone McKenzie, who helped Freeman make arrangements. "On the first day, I get here and I see everybody over there saying, 'Hey, what's up? I got your e-mail.' That's what we needed. We reached out to the guys, and we got it done."

ROLL CALL: Though some players opted not to attend, a couple of key offensive players wanted to but were unable because of commitments.

RB Cadillac Williams, an impending free agent who has been working out with Freeman this offseason, is getting married this week. RB LeGarrette Blount had a financial opportunity that was hard to pass up, Freeman said. The quarterback wasn't specific but said, "(Blount has) been a guy that's been there consistently, day in and day out, at USF (for offseason training). He's been getting his work."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players call their self-organized minicamp a success 06/30/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2011 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup


    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.

  2. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility


    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this


    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)