In just under a few hours, the Tampa Bay Bucs will be out on the practice field at One Buc Place for their first practice of the 2009 training camp. This kicks off the intro to the pre-season where jobs will be won and lost, careers will be altered, and the team will be molded. There are several high profile camp battles going on (Quarterback, linebacker, defensive line) that will have a huge hand in shaping the Buc's season.
With the players reporting yesterday, there were a few odds and ends to tie up.
- Every man on the 80 man roster reported. Arron Sears was the lone non-attendee, which was expected. It doesn't sound like Ra or Dominik expect him soon. A team can fine any player for not showing up for camp, but the Bucs have elected to not fine Sears, for now. Get well soon big guy
- Everyone is healthy and the only limitation appears to be Greg Peterson, who will be practicing, just not involved in all the reps
- Cadillac Williams has been cleared to practice. This is (another) stunning turnaround for the young Auburn Tiger. I'll be rooting openly for him to be a key factor this year. He deserves it.
- Every player had to pass a conditioning test to enter camp, which is slightly unorthodox. Each player had to run several drills in a timed event to qualify. If they didn't meet the time, they have to do it everyday until they pass. Even Morris ran the drills, though no report on his time.
- Players will be going full pads in the AM practice at One Buc Place and shells only in the night practice at Raymond James Stadium. This is a HUGE change from years past (I'll have a brief article on this sometimes this weekend)
Things look to have changed for the Bucs. We have another young, energetic coach, but he is approaching camp differently. I'm all for it, go with what you think will work for your team. Ultimately, it's Morris and Dominik who are responsible, so why not shake it up a bit? It's early, but it's encouraging.
Bucs fans, welcome to the 2009 season. Keep tuned into Buc 'Em for training camp updates and info.