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Bucs journal: Minicamp offers players valuable opportunity to impress new staff

New coach Bruce Arians tells players the story of Wally Pipp.

TAMPA — While several veterans didn’t practice during this week’s Bucs minicamp, Bruce Arians said those absences offered other player valuable opportunities to make an impression on the new coaching staff.

"The more reps you get the better you get, the more exposure you get," Arians said. "The tape is your resume. So what you're putting on tape and the more you put on tape, the better chance you have. These guys are too young to know who Wally Pipp was, but you always tell that story about Wally Pipp. Who's here is here."

Pipp, of course, is the former New York Yankees first baseman who was replaced by Lou Gehrig, who went on to play in a then-record 2,130 consecutive games for the great Yankees team of the 1920s and '30s en route to a Hall of Fame career.

Arians made it clear roles will be earned.

"Really, we don't have any starters right now," Arians said. "You've got to be practicing to be a starter."

Arians has said that he plans to have two practice fields working during OTAs, one for veterans and another for players down the depth chart to get reps they normally wouldn't."

Under further review

Arians said that the hiring of former NFL side judge Larry Rose to be the team's officiating consultant is already paying off.

"Larry's been a pro at it, doing Super Bowls," Arians said "He's been a great addition to us already. He's out there coaching our guys and helping them get their hands off receivers and helping with special teams doing those things in terms of how the rules have changed."

Arians said the idea of hiring a former official was born after a discussion with his former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who was helping with replay review in New York last season.

"We were talking and I said, 'You know, if do this again, I'm going to hire someone fulltime,' because the rules are changing nonstop week-to-week."

Four downs

-- Linebacker Lavonte David practiced Wednesday after missing Tuesday's practice with a personal issue. Offensive tackle Donovan Smith was sick, but was in the building.

-- Arians said he's been please with the energy on the field this week. "That's probably the most pleasing thing right now, seeing that we're willing to work. Thats the thing when you're building culture, it's all about accountability. I hate the word chemistry. It's about accountability, and just building that in a locker room."

-- Arians said the biggest obstacle during training camp won't be the heat, but the threat of storms. "We've got four schedules for camp. Having coached on the south for as long as I did, storms are going to come up. We've got a beautiful building."

-- Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was excused from minicamp, but is expected to be back in Tampa working out next week, Arians said.


"I'm just, 'Get it over with,' I knew 10 days ago how this thing was going to play out hopefully, even if there's three trades, you know. Let's just get it over with and get them here and let's start practicing.

-Arians on whether he gets hyped up the day before the draft.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard.