Approximately 80 young men will participate in the brief but useful mini-camp at Buc headquarters this weekend. That group will include the team's newest draft class; the 13 players it was able to pluck from the pool of rookie talent remaining after the draft; another 10 or so "first-year players from the pre-draft roster who are still eligible for the camp, such as quarterback
The players will arrive at One Buc Place on Thursday, giving them time for equipment distribution, contract signing, orientation meetings and other necessary details. The actual field work begins Friday, with the group practicing twice each on Friday and Saturday. The players will still be at the facility on Sunday but will not be practicing.
The rookie mini-camp is a good opportunity for the coaches to focus their efforts on their least experienced players, both in terms of their NFL exposure and their knowledge of the Bucs' offensive and defensive systems. In the coming weeks, the veterans will join in as the team conducts its 10 allotted "organized team activity" days, or OTAs. New Buc defensive tackle
It is also a wonderful opportunity for those players on tryout contracts to catch the coaches' eyes. If past years are any indication, it's a virtual certainty that a few of the tryout players will subsequently earn contracts and officially join the offseason roster. That was the path followed last year by Toledo tight end
In fact, the Bucs signed 11 new players after last year's rookie camp, including safety