The Tampa Bay Buccaneers start their Organized Team Activities today. The real offseason work can begin, although that's still subject to a lot of restrictions. Mostly this is a time for players to work on their technique and for coaches to work on installing their scheme.
The Bucs will hold the first group of OTAs today and tomorrow, with a third practice scheduled for Thursday. Next week OTAs will run from May 29 through May 31. The third week of OTAs will run Monday June 3 to June 4 and Thursday June 6 to June 7. The Bucs will hold their mandatory minicamp from June 18 through June 20, which should be followed shortly by training camp.
These are the limitations the Buccaneers have to work with, as specified in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.
During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted). Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permit-ted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.
In other words: no individual one-on-one drills, no live contact and no pads.
The Buccaneers will have plenty of competition this offseason, though mostly for backup position. Who will be the Bucs' starting tight end, their third cornerback and their third wide receiver? And, of course, there's the overblown but still somewhat real quarterback controversy. Check out our section with position-by-position previews for more analysis of the various position groups.
We'll have any and all OTA-related news for you as it comes out. Reporters won't have much access to the practice field, but we'll still scour the internet and all reports to get you the information you crave, because there's no thing like being incredibly obsessive over meaningless, pad-free practices. That's what we do!