USF RB Andre Hall showed off his quick moves in a Buc uniform over the weekend
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' veteran players weren't allowed to participate in the weekend mini-camp for rookies, but they were back at team headquarters in force on Monday. The Bucs' 14-week offseason conditioning program is still in full swing, which means dozens of returning players were availing themselves of the weight room, the fields and their coaches' time.
The weekend camp seemed like a more intense subset of the offseason program, since the practices were more organized and thorough, but it really was just another step in a four-month process leading up to the first day of training camp in late July.
The Bucs are allowed only one full, mandatory mini-camp during the offseason (teams with new head coaches get two), and they will save that for last. The mandatory camp of June 20-22, which will include all veterans and rookies, will comprise the last three days of the entire 14-week program.
However, May will be very busy, too.
The Bucs like to hit training camp at full speed, with the players as conversant with the offensive and defensive playbooks as possible. That means as much structured team work as is allowed by the collective bargaining agreement, most notably what are known as "organized team activity" days.
The "OTA" has become common parlance in the NFL, and many fans may even realize that their teams are allowed a total of 14 of them between March and the end of June. The Bucs have already used three of those 14 days but will get even more out of the final 11 thanks to the added presence of the rookies picked up over the previous weekend. With the exception of one weekend camp right after the draft, rookies are not allowed to return to their new teams until their colleges have held their graduations, whether they are graduating or not. Most of the Bucs' 15 rookies will be cleared to practice by the next OTA day on May 16.
Here's a look at the upcoming OTA schedule: