When an NFL team has as many new additions as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have for 2018 it’s easy to get overly excited by what the roster looks like on paper.
Displaying the lessons learned from a season of disappointment following a pre-season of hype, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter is keeping his comments about specific players tempered down a bit as the team reached their first weekend in training camp.
One new addition brought on to the team who has been generating some fan-buzz is undrafted rookie running back Shaun Wilson.
I’m one of those people really excited to see what he might be able to do, but Koetter didn’t bite when given the opportunity to fuel those flames by saying,
“We practiced three times. He doesn’t get a ton of reps, but he made one real nice run today. I’m anxious to see Shaun as camp goes on. He’s done nothing but impress so far, but we’ll see. We’re a long ways away.”
It’s good to know the head coach is looking forward to seeing what the rookie can bring to the field, because a lot of fans are too.
Another player with a lot of eyes on him this pre-season is Noah Spence. The defensive end is entering his third season as a pro, but it feels like a football lifetime ago when we were all looking forward to seeing the second-round pick develop into the next great Buccaneers pass rusher.
Thus far, he’s looked good, and most people are commenting on just how much bigger he appears to be.
Early practices have seen Spence on the right side of the offensive line enough to generate a little buzz. But again, Koetter chose his words wisely when discussing his young defensive end,
“That defensive line group is pretty deep right now, so they can pick their spots and get him in there as a rusher. We’ll see how it sorts out.”
Well then. That’ll deflate a hype balloon as fast as anything.
The final contribution to Tampa Bay’s head coach in his tapestry of understated confidence came when he was asked which players have surprised him up to this point, to which he replied,
“I don’t know. I don’t have a good answer for you.”
Coach Koetter has been a little more willing to make statements about some of the veteran additions and has voiced his and the team’s confidence in Ryan Fitzpatrick as he steps in for Jameis Winston during his early suspension.
When it comes to the young guys though, Koetter is keeping his words calculated and his opinions close to the vest. For now.