If you have been following along here on Bucs Nation, questions have been raised about the 2020 season and if the NFL will play any amount of games this season or if they do then how will the stands in stadiums look across the league. Not to mention, Commissioner Roger Goodell has said himself anything about the regular season is premature — whether it will begin on time or not.
No one can truly say with certainty how all this will play out. No one can truly put a timetable on anything that the COVID-19 pandemic can impact.
A few weeks back, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said on a conference call that training camp will begin July 21st and he doubted fans would be allowed at practices this year. It sounded promising and people got excited that Bucs camp was given a date.
It was known fans were not going to be allowed to attend camp to protect them as well as the team. We just don’t know for sure about media members covering practices.
A few days ago during our Zoom staff meeting, I shared some info on the potential that there may not be any members of the media allowed at camp this year. Although that info was given to me as a likely scenario, I felt the need to share with our writers as some begin to plan their summers around attending camp down here in Tampa.
Then there is this. Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report says that fans and media members may not be allowed at camp this year while also adding that training camp may not begin when Arians suggested it would.
I feel for the fans that were dying to see Brady don a Buccaneer helmet in person at training camp and connect on a 20-yard strike to Gronkowski down the middle or a 40-yard heave to Mike Evans down the sidelines. I might be in the same boat – along with PewterReport.com and the rest of the local Tampa Bay media – in not being able to attend training camp.
Actually, I’m hearing that Arians might have jumped the gun on the July 21 date, as that’s not yet official. Neither is the QB camp or rookie camp the week prior that he mentioned on his most recent Zoom conference call with the media.
Reynolds goes on to say that the regular season may look different, too, adding that the NFL may prohibit locker room sessions with players and limit the interviews to press conferences when players/coaches are at the podium rather than media huddles surrounding them. But he states that all may be wishful thinking.
This has been inevitable for quite some time, if this happens to be the case. And honestly, I can see it become reality. The league needs to protect its players, front office folks, and coaches while teams also need to protect not only them but team staffers that aren’t regularly a part of day-to-day football operations.
There are fans that will disagree and disagree passionately due to their disappointment. They just have to realize these are the reality we currently live in and the league as well as teams are looking at a bigger picture.