The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held private workouts with both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota this week. Usually, those private workouts stay exactly that: private. But this time the Bucs have opened the doors a little for a sneak peek into those workouts, with a video posted to Buccaneers.com detailing some behind-the-scenes work and giving us some insight into what the coaches were looking for.
"Every opportunity that you get to work with these guys, to meet with them, you're able to evaluate a lot of things," quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian said. "How well they learn, how coachable they are, how quickly they can pick up maybe techniques you're trying to coach, or concepts you're installing on a board. You're testing their football knowledge."
Buccaneers.com's Scott Smith was allowed to film almost all of the workouts, and interview coaches, which gave him (and now us) a bunch of footage that no one's seen before.
"As much tape as we've watched and as many times as we've met with Marcus [Mariota], to see him throw live and be right next to him, and us getting to say what throws and what drops, and us actually running the workout, I think there's a lot of value there," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "We wanted to see him under center, taking some play-action drops from similar-type plays that he would run if he was to come to the Bucs. And also to see his arm strength up close and personal, but mostly the under center work."
That under-center work is probably the biggest question mark for Mariota. As for Winston, it seems the Bucs really like his energy.
"[Jameis Winston]'s got a lot of positive energy, that was evident," Bajakian said. "It's evident on video, when you watch him it's evident, when you see how he carries himself around his teammates and his coaches, when we watch the pro-day workout and he's interacting with all his teammates, among all those spectators and coaches and evaluators he obviously has an influence on them and has a lot of energy about him and that energy affects his teammates in a positive way."
The Bucs have been giving their media guys a lot more access over the past two years, with coverage ramping up ever since Lovie Smith became the head coach. And this kind of thing is pretty fascinating, precisely because you almost never see it anywhere. And it doesn't really mean all that much, because there's no earth-shattering insight here, but it's still really cool to get a small look at the kinds of things the team is doing behind closed doors.