Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Spirits High As Buccaneers Hit the Field For First Mini-Camp


All eyes were on WR Keyshawn Johnson during Tampa Bay's first mini-camp today at One Buc Place

It's only two miles form One Buccaneer Place to the site of Super Bowl XXXV.

But if these Buccaneers want to don their jerseys in that game, the journey will be a long and rigorous one. The first step on that road to Raymond James came today, when Tampa Bay held its first 2000 mini-camp session.

"It's exciting," Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy said after practice. "I thought our concentration level was pretty good and I thought our effort and enthusiasm were good, and that's what you're really looking for."

Dungy was greeted by a mob of reporters as he walked off the practice field. While they were happy to talk to him, Dungy was well aware that he wasn't the primary figure of interest today.

Hello, Keyshawn Johnson…

"Keyshawn is everything we thought he'd be," Dungy said of the Pro Bowl wideout. "I think our offense is going to be very good for him."

Johnson agreed.

"Everybody says we're going to run the ball a lot, but it seems like there are a lot of passing plays in that book," he said. "It's just a matter of calling them and getting in the right situations to call them.

"I'm excited, I'm having fun."

But Johnson, who caught 305 passes in four seasons with the Jets, isn't the only decorated addition to the offense. The Bucs also got their initial look at their revamped offensive line, which now boasts 11-time Pro Bowl G Randall McDaniel and two-time Pro Bowl C Jeff Christy.

"We really look forward to having those guys here," Dungy said. "I think they bring something special in terms of experience and attitude. It's going to be good for them to rub off on the other guys."

And don't forget there's a new offense to master as well. The Bucs looked solid in passing drills as offensive coordinator Les Steckel barked out orders.

"We had a few situations where we didn't line up right, but overall it was good," Dungy said. "We've had a lot of veteran guys working here the past 10 days and that's helped. I think it's going to be a good offense for us and I think the guys are excited about it."

Overall, the first session appeared to justify the mood in Tampa these days. Kickoff may still be four months away, but the Bucs and their fans are already fired up for this season.

"I think you're excited at this time every year," Dungy said. "But we finished up last year very strong and we want to build on that. I think our attitude is right for that to happen."

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