TAMPA — Longtime offensive coordinator Tom Moore doesn’t have an official role with the Bucs, but head coach Bruce Arians made it clear that his presence this offseason has been a valuable one.
“He was my ‘(complain) to coach,’” Arians said following Tuesday’s offseason training activities at the AdventHealth Training Center. “I could (complain) to him. You don’t (complain) to a young coach. He goes home and tells his wife and now everybody’s messed up. But Tom, that’s the guy to bounce things off of, and I respect him probably more than anybody in this business.”
The 80-year-old Moore has indeed been a longtime confidant of Arians. Most recently, he was an assistant head coach and offensive consultant under him with the Cardinals from 2013-17. Moore also was the longtime offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts for 12 years, overseeing Peyton Manning’s entire career with the team. Arians was quarterbacks coach under Moore from 1998-2000.
"Tom has probably forgot more football than most of us know," Arians said.
Quarterback Jameis Winston knows Moore’s resume makes him a valuable asset to the players, but also notes it’s always good to have someone who loves football so much around the team.
“Coach Moore, I seen him up here at 5:30 in the morning getting on the bicycle upstairs,” Winston said. "These guys, they love this game. Anytime you have somebody who just loves this game, you want to get in and just feed from them.
“He has a lot of wisdom to share with us, mainly because he’s been with the greats and he’s seen the greatest. ... It’s good to have everybody who Coach BA allows to come and be a part of this team just again to get an outside look and perspective from these guys who really love football.”
Moore will remain with the team throughout training camp, Arians said.
• Arians can’t stop raving about the recently drafted rookie defensive backs and their ball-hawking potential, noting that third-round pick Jamel Dean made an interception late in Tuesday’s practice. “All those guys are getting their hands on balls. I think 95 percent of turnovers have come from rookies in practice.”
• Last week’s addition of Jordan Leggett creates a roster crunch at tight end. Once Cameron Brate returns, Leggett will compete with Antony Auclair for third-team reps behind O.J. Howard and Brate. Arians said he will likely carry four tight ends, but only if that fourth player is an asset on special teams.
• Receiver Breshad Perriman was an observer in practice for the second straight week. He injured his shoulder two weeks ago, which has allowed rookie Scotty Miller, along with Bobo Wilson, to see more snaps with starters.
• Lauding the depth the team is developing at the nickel back spot, Arians is eager to see how the competition at the position plays out through training camp. Incumbent M.J. Stewart will battle rookies Sean Murphy-Bunting and Mike Edwards at the spot.
• The offensive line was thin on Tuesday because about four players missed practice due to illness. Arians said it was because of attending a weekend barbecue.
• After Tuesday’s practice, players lined up to shake hands and sign autographs for a group of participants in this year’s Department of Defense Warrior Games, which will take place June 21-30 in Tampa.
"He's himself. I ain't gonna be riding no horses or anything like that. He's a great young man, he's a great leader. I can't wait to seen when he gets comfortable being in this building and developing his routine because he's going to be an amazing player for us."
— Winston when asked whether first-round pick Devin White’s personality reminds him of himself