As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the field for the first time with Greg Schiano, it was clear where he wanted to focus; on the details. After taking the field to stretch, coach Schiano reportedly yelled at the team for not having their toes on the line. Pewter Report was among the first to post up Schiano’s comments. “Football is a game of details and it starts here”. Nearly everyone was in attendance and practicing for the Bucs on Tuesday, most noticeably Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Cody Grimm and Aqib Talib.
Per Roy Cummings a long time Tribune writer, the “defense has started with a pursuit drill the likes of which I have never seen here at One Buc Place. Whistle blows, players run to one spot then turn and run to another. It’s hustle, hustle everywhere. There is no walking here”.
Aside from the work ethic, the practice did also reveal some interesting personnel movements. Per Pewter Report, “Interesting … Quincy Black at MLB with Mason Foster at OLB with Adam Hayward. Cody Grimm and Ronde Barber lining up at safety spots.”
Either coach Schiano was teasing the media or he was actually throwing a nugget. Fans have been throwing the possibility of Barber moving to safety and it seems coach has been listening. The shuffle at linebacker also makes sense to start out, given coach Schiano is doing what he can with what he has. All the moves make great sense, but we can expect things to change a bit after the draft. What it does pose is more questions on what this tells us about the draft. Does Barber to safety mean the Bucs focus will be on Claiborne, or does it mean the team is planning on having Talib back and will look towards Richardson if available?
The local media was only allowed to view 30 minutes of the workout session, leaving little details of their own past those mentioned above. So what can we take from first impressions?
While many will be quick to point out how “toes on a line” will not win you games, it is exactly what this young team needs. The Bucs struggles in all aspects of the game really did boil down to details. It’s one thing to get juked out of your shoes on a first tackle, but when you miss the next, and the next, and the next, it becomes more than a great opponent, it’s poor mechanics. These are professional football players. They got here because of their talent and did not lose those talents over night. As coach Schiano once said at the beginning of his tenure, it’s time to “hit the reset button”. By doing so, players are forced to adapt and learn a new way of playing the game. The obvious focus will be on attention to detail and focus. Two things which will help these young players as athletes and people.
Other news of note is that kicker Connor Barth was not in attendance at the voluntary mini-camp, still refusing to sign his tender after being franchise tagged in the offseason. The next two days of camp are closed, so fans will have plenty to theorize and debate. Football is back!