RB Jamel White is playing a larger role in the passing game than he had previously
(Editor's Note: Through the players' own words, Buccaneers.com is taking a week-by-week look at the offseason training program, the four-month 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 has assumed 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. In his last contribution to our diary, White assesses the program as a whole and how it has helped him improve his conditioning and become a part of the team.)
Week of May 24-28
I've really enjoyed this whole offseason program here in Tampa; I think it's going to benefit all of the players. Everything the coaches are doing for us, making sure we have all the plays down, getting us ready before we even go to training camp, that's going to help all of us. They're going to have us ready to go so that when we hit camp we can just get on the field and compete.
Personally, I've gotten a lot better since I've been here. I've cut weight and I'm learning the plays. I'm not getting cussed at a lot out there, which is a good sign. I'm just going out there and playing football, and it's coming to me. I'm doing things right and starting to feel comfortable in this system.
I guess the hardest part has been learning how to be more of a wide receiver, more than anything. I think I'm going to do more of that here than when I was in Cleveland. So I'm learning how to play when I'm detached, learning the routes and stuff like that. It's different than what I was used to, but I think I'm starting to get a pretty good grasp on it.
(Running Backs Coach) Art (Valero) has helped me – and all of the running backs – so much. He has a good grasp of what all the positions are supposed to do, not just ours. He tells us what our job is, then goes on to explain what everyone on the field is going to do. That really helps you understand the plays and what we're trying to accomplish. Art's a great person. I appreciate all the team he spends with the running backs making sure we understand what's going on. If we go out there and show that we know what we're doing, it means that he's doing his job right.
I realize how important this program is, and the idea of staying in top shape and working on my game in general. You look at some of the best players in the league, and they're the guys that work the hardest. So I try to do that, too.
You look at a guy like (LB Derrick) Brooks out there every day. He's been to all of those Pro Bowls, and he still flies around out there in every practice. Or you look at Jerry Rice. Or Joey Galloway, right here with us. He still has all that pep in his step. Those are great people. They're out there playing hard. I look at the whole offseason program and I think to myself, 'Okay, these guys are doing it. Why shouldn't I?'
Plus, this offseason has let me get to know a lot of the guys, since I'm new to the team. CI (Corey Ivy) is right next to me in the locker room, so I talk to him a lot. And he's on defense, but around here it's not an offense-defense thing. It's a team thing. I'm starting to get to know a lot of these guys and understand what makes them go, and they're understanding me.
I feel very confident about this team in general, with the leadership that they have and the coaching staff. These coaches get on you, but they don't get on you to degrade you. They get on you to make you better. I've been at a place the past four years that was a lot different than here. I'm really looking forward to playing this season.