It isn't your normal training camp, but summertime football has returned to Tampa Bay Buccaneers headquarters.
The Buccaneers won't begin true training camp practices at the AdventHealth Training Center for two more weeks, but their activities on Monday were labeled "Day 1" on the team's schedule. And Day 1 was a good day, according to one very plugged-in source.
"Great start, fellas!" enthused Tom Brady as the offense finished up its morning workout on Monday. "Great start!"
Brady and the Buccaneers' other three quarterbacks – Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin and rookie Reid Sinnett – had just finished leading the team's deep stable of pass-catchers threw a series of routes, moving up and down the field for about 45 minutes. The last set of throws were in the red zone, finishing the day on an energetic note as the players shouted over the back-corner throws that were either hauled in or missed.
View photos of Buccaneers veterans reporting to the first day of training camp.
The highlight of that session might have been new Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski showing just how high he could get his 6-6 frame to catch a dart in the back of the end zone. Brady was the passer on that rep and he surely knew from his time with Gronkowski in New England that he could put the ball high enough that nobody but his intended target could get to it.
The Buccaneers split their work into two groups on Monday, with the offense going first. Each session was roughly two hours long, including weight training, stretching, offensive line work with blocking sleds and, finally, the passing reps. For some of the Bucs on the field, it was their first opportunity to catch passes from Brady. The Bucs' new quarterback was vocally supportive throughout the entire session, frequently complimenting his teammates on their routes and hands.
Brady may have simply been in a good mood because it was his birthday, and he wasn't the only Buc celebrating another trip around the sun.
The defense further split its numbers into one group of front-seven players and one group of defensive backs. Those two groups alternated between the weight room and the field, with the linebackers and defensive linemen hitting the grass first for conditioning work. Some of the defenders who were lifting weights could watch their teammates on the field because some equipment has been moved outside to allow for more spacing all around.
The Buccaneers' first padded practice will take place on Monday, August 17. The two weeks in between are essentially a super-condensed version of what the offseason program would have provided, with various parts of it mimicking the three Phases of that program. The main goal of those two weeks, after an offseason mostly lost to the pandemic, is to work on strength and conditioning before full practices begin. That said, a few "attaboys" from the G.O.A.T. certainly serve as a nice mental boost for the players, too.
View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.