The 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hit the practice field for the first time on Monday…at least, the players will.
As April begins, so does the Buccaneers' offseason training program, which will gradually progress through three phases and conclude with a mandatory mini-camp in the first week of June. When the team takes the field on Monday it will be the opening of Phase I of that program, which by rules negotiated into the collective bargaining agreement, gets things off to a very basic start. Most notably, only strength and conditioning coaches may join the players on the field during this two-week phase.
Because the Buccaneers have a new coaching staff, led by Head Coach Bruce Arians, the they are one of eight teams who may get an earlier start on their offseason program. They are taking advantage, getting Phase I taken care of during the first half of April. Phase II will start in the third week of April and will conclude midway through May. That phase will be interrupted by a three-day voluntary mini-camp, which is another bonus given to teams with new head coaches.
Phase III, which includes 10 OTA practices, will take up the rest of May, leading to that final mini-camp. That last three-day camp is the only part of the offseason program that is not voluntary for players. In addition, no contact is allowed at any point during the offseason and helmets don't go on until Phase III.
View pictures of Bucs players arriving for Phase One of Offseason Workouts.
Here is how the offseason training program will progress this spring:
Phase I (April 1-11)
· Two weeks in duration, maximum of four workouts per week
· Players' time at facility limited to four total hours per day, including a maximum of 90 minutes on the field
· Teams can only specify a two-hour window for players to be at the facility; players choose the other two hours for weight-room work
· Only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field
· "Dead ball" drills allowed: quarterbacks can throw to receivers with no coverage, kickers and punters can kick but without snappers and holders involved, snappers may snap into a net
· No helmets or pads allowed
Phase II (April 15-May 9)
· Three weeks in duration (Buccaneers' Phase II covers four weeks on the calendar, with a mini-camp in the middle)
· Players' time at facility limited to four hours per day, same rules as above
· All coaches allowed on the field
· Individual position drills allowed
· No offense-vs.-defense work allowed
Voluntary Mini-Camp (April 23-25)
· Three days, must be held prior to the draft
· Same on-field rules as mandatory mini-camp, with helmets and offense-vs.-defense drills allowed
Phase III (May 14-31)
· Four weeks, including mandatory mini-camp
· 10 OTA (offseason training activity) workouts allowed
· Maximum of three OTAs in first two weeks, four in third week
· Offense-vs.-defense work allowed, including 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills
· Helmets and protective knee and elbow pads allowed
· One week (June 4-6) allowed for mandatory mini-camp
· Allowed two practices per day totaling 3.5 hours on the field; second practice must be a walk-through