RB Jamel White signed with the Bucs just four days before their offseason program began, but he hasn't missed a day yet
(Editor's Note: Through the players' own words, Buccaneers.com is taking a week-by-week look at the offseason training program, the 16-week regimen that prepares each player for training camp in late July. The program began in March and will conclude in June. Through most of April, returning tight end Dave Moore walked us through his weekly preparations; in May, newly-signed running back Jamel White will assume the task. Formerly with the Cleveland Browns, White joined the Buccaneers on March 18 as part of a wave of free agent signings, and he has been hard at work at One Buccaneer Place ever since. This week, White discusses his efforts to learn the offense, handle the humidity and get in perfect shape for training camp.)
Week of May 3-7
The Bucs' offseason program began on March 22 and I've been here for all of it. I signed here the Thursday before that week and came right back that Sunday to get started. I've got to get my work in, and I enjoy it. I like the coaching staff here and I like the strength coaches.
It's a little different approach under Gie (Strength and Conditioning Coach Garrett Giemont) than what I've done before at Cleveland, but you have to buy into it and understand what's going on. Gie does a great job of helping you understand what you're doing and why.
Everything we do in the program – every routine on every day – is spelled out for you in advance. They give you a book and they format every day, each phase. They really do a great job of that. You just read your book and see what you have to do that day. And if you don't have your book, they have it up in the weight room on the chalkboard before any of the players get there in the morning.
On Mondays, we work on the upper body and do a lot of running on the field. We had some rain this week, so we didn't do as much on the field this Monday. Then you go to the lower body on Tuesday, then repeat that routine on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We're allowed to be here four times a week, for four hours each day. A lot of that is spent in the weight room and running on the field. There's no set time for how long you have to get your weight room program done. It's however long it takes. A lot of guys talk to each other while they lift, or whatever, so it can take longer for some guys than others.
So far, the weight program has steadily been increasing. That is, you increase the weight as the phases go on, and you reduce the reps. So we're working on heavier weights than when we started but fewer reps, and believe me it's getting heavy. We're six or seven weeks into the program. I think they get you to a point on the weights and then taper off, but you have to get to that point first.
When the program ends, you should be ready for training camp, but there will be another month off before we go to camp. You have to maintain during that time. You don't have to get any stronger, but they want to get you to a certain point and then you need to stay there for camp. This will be my fifth year of doing this stuff, and that's what everybody does, here and in Cleveland.
I know that players work a lot more during the offseason than they used to. Teams used to use camp to get in shape. But I like it better that way. I like working during the offseason and I like being ready when camp starts. That way, the things you do during camp helps your team improve and your team just jells after that. Once the offense and defense jell, it makes it a lot easier for everybody to improve.
Even though I like the weights program, I think the most important thing for me right now is the stuff that's going on in the classroom. I want to get a feel for what's going on before I actually step on the field so that I can be more comfortable. Then I can go out there and just play football.
I think I have a better grasp of the offense now. As for the workouts, it's a little different here than in Cleveland, because in Cleveland there's no humidity. It's high out here, so I've lost a lot of weight and I feel good.
I think it's important to be around the environment of what's going to happen. Everybody tells me it's just going to get more and more humid. So I try to get in here early and try to stay out there as long as possible so that I get acclimated to it. I think that's going very well for me so far.