The NFL lockout has been going on for two months now thus the chance for offseason workouts that players can have at team facilities has come and passed. There is still hope, however, that training camps will be held if the lockout is ended before July. The Buccaneers training camp begins July 30th and it has become a necessity for this organization. Over the past couple of years, with Raheem Morris’ coaching staff, the Bucs have vastly improved in the offseason. Josh Freeman cut down on his interceptions from rookie year to sophomore year; Cody Grimm was able to develop the skills he would need to replace Tanard Jackson (for the season at least); the Bucs were able to bring along their backup O-Linemen that ended up filling in for the injured starters (quite readily); lastly, the Bucs were able to turn a weak receiving corps into a consistent threat for opposing teams. But this year the training camps are in jeopardy. The returning players and rookies need this training camp in order to improve upon the success from the previous year. The Bucs went from 3 wins to 10; sure there was an easy schedule, but most of those wins came from improved play and good coaching.
Without good coaching, the youth movement, which this team has embraced, will be put on hold as the raw talent and athleticism that the players have is not fully developed. The whole organization under Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik has been about youth, but that youth is wasted without coaching and development. Progressing the players when they are young, keeping the players in the system to ensure they are advanced at the right pace, and developing the players to the best of their abilities allows the Bucs to create a team that can compete for years with a strong core of teammates that have been with each other from the beginning. Young players cannot walk onto a football field and expect to win against teams that have veterans, strong team chemistry, and a coaching staff that has been there for years. The Bucs have few veterans, some team chemistry (but not nearly as strong as the likes of the Colts or Patriots who have been together for years), and have had a coaching staff that will be together for its third year (two if you count Raheem in his 2nd full year as defensive coordinator and Greg Olson in his 2nd year as offensive coordinator). The Bucs have the talent and they have the coaching ability as shown from last year’s large improvement, but without the proper training and development the talent will be untapped for another year.