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The Bucs Are Where They Would Be If There Had Been OTAs

Josh Freeman has been organizing workouts all offseason, but he wants to step it up a notch: there will be a 3-day minicamp at the end of the month, and he expects there to be 45 players there. The Bucs won't be the first team to organize such a minicamp, and probably not the last. I still see limited value in coach-less workouts. A lot of the work done during the offseason is about working on fundamentals for players - something best done with coaches. 

What's impressive about Freeman's organizing the workouts isn't so much that this is happening, but the way in which he's going about it. He's shied away from publicity this offseason, focusing on the job at hand. But now that he is speaking to the press, he is divulging details of the job he's been doing. Freeman has saved playbooks from the past two years, but more importantly, he's saved offseason and practice scripts. 

That diligent squirreling of Freeman has allowed him to pace offseason practices along the lines of regular practices. Not only that, but he knows what the Bucs practiced, when they practiced it and how they practiced it in previous seasons. So when Freeman say says that "with offensive guys, the receivers and all, we're right on pace with where we'd be (without a lockout),'' that's to be taken seriously. 

Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said for the defense, while that side of the ball will have many fewer players returning. Freeman saved everything on the offensive side of the ball, but has none of the material for the defense. And it's not like the defense can skate on the accomplishments of the past. The offense may be on track, but work remains to be done on defense, and that will hurt the Bucs when the season starts.