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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tristan Wirfs Attends Minicamp, Observes Practice | Updates

Keep informed with our daily updates: News, notes and more throughout the month of June

June 11 Updates

Tristan Wirfs, the Buccaneers' fifth-year tackle, was on the field when the team began its three-day minicamp on Tuesday, but he wasn't in the huddle when the offense got to work.

The Buccaneers don't seem to consider Wirfs non-participation in practice to be a problem while the two sides continue to work towards a contract extension. They do not anticipate him taking part in the field work on Wednesday or Thursday, either.

"Yeah, we don't need to see him," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "He's getting the plays and he's getting the work in. To come into work for three days would probably be useless [in terms] of getting something out of it."

Wirfs is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, an option the team picked up last offseason. Through his first four seasons he has already collected three Pro Bowl invitations, one Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection and a Super Bowl ring. He also made a very successful transition to left tackle after playing on the right side his first three seasons, and has now gained all-star nods at two different positions.

Keeping Wirfs in Tampa for the long run is clearly a top priority for the Buccaneers, and perhaps the last major personnel task after the team successfully retained such potential free agents as Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Lavonte David, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Chase McLaughlin. It's unsurprising those moves came first, given that there was the threat of a free agency departure for those players.

Wirfs did not take part in the other portions of the Buccaneers' offseason program, all of which were voluntary. This week's minicamp is the only portion of that program that is mandatory, and the Buccaneers had all but one player on hand. Outside linebacker Randy Gregory, who was signed as a free agent in early April, did not attend and Bowles described his absence as "unexcused." Bowles said the Buccaneers would "deal with" Gregory's absence.

CLICK HERE to hear more of Coach Bowles' thoughts after Tuesday's practice.

Kancey practice shot

June 10 Updates

The Buccaneers are in the building Monday. They'll be on the practice field on Tuesday morning.

The Bucs' nine-week offseason program is coming to an end, capped by the only mandatory stretch on the schedule, a three-day minicamp that begins on Tuesday. Veteran players were scheduled to undergo physicals at the AdventHealth Training Center on Monday.

The first eight weeks of the program were voluntary but the Buccaneers believe they made significant progress thanks in part to most of the players on the roster choosing to participate. The team is anticipating full attendance for minicamp.

"It's a lot of guys that want to win," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "The chemistry starts here and it continues in training camp. It's important for these guys to come in. We understand it's voluntary and we thank them for coming in. They know they need to work. They're very professional about it and they're trying to help the young guys."

At the conclusion of the minicamp, which runs through Thursday, players and coaches will have roughly six weeks to rest and recharge for the start of training camp in the latter half of July. The main goal of the offseason program is to establish a foundation so that the team can hit the ground running when training camp begins.

"By the time we get to training camp, we should have some type of base in place when we come back so they can hit the ground running and we don't have to start at square one," said Bowles. "The biggest thing is to cut down on the 'M.E.'s' (mental errors) and the penalties. That's always the case when you first start out these things. Until the pads come on, you really don't know, so you want to cut down on the penalties. We don't want to beat ourselves."

The Buccaneers are allowed two field sessions totaling three and a half hours per day during the three-day camp, one of which must be a walk-through. As is the case throughout the offseason program, there is no hitting allowed.

211-draft.jpg

June 7 Updates

Nine members of the Buccaneers football operations crew are moving into new roles in 2024. On Friday, the team announced new titles for the following staff members:

  • Emmett Clifford, College Scout
  • Sean Conley, Assistant Pro Scouting Director
  • Donovan Cotton, Assistant Pro Scouting Director
  • Korey Finnie, NFS Scout
  • Tony Hardie, Assistant College Scouting Director
  • Shannon Hogue, Pro Scout
  • Byron Kiefer, Senior Personnel Executive
  • Zach Smith, College Scout
  • Alec Wargo, Equipment Manager

Clifford enters his third season with the Buccaneers and his first as a college scout. In his current role, he is responsible for scouting the Northeast region. Previously, Clifford spent his first two seasons in Tampa Bay as a scouting assistant (2022-24).

Conley begins his seventh season with Tampa Bay and his first as an assistant pro scouting director. Conley began his career with the Buccaneers as a scouting assistant for three seasons (2018-21) before spending three years as a pro scout (2021-24).

Cotton enters his 11th season with the Buccaneers and his first as an assistant pro scouting director. He spent the previous nine seasons as an area scout after beginning his career in Tampa Bay as a scouting assistant in 2014.

Conley and Cotton – working with Director of Pro Scouting Shane Scannell and Director of Player Personnel Rob McCartney – help with advance scouting of upcoming opponents, evaluating players from all professional leagues, organizing player workouts, and evaluating free agents and college prospects.

Finnie begins his third season with Tampa Bay and his first as the team's NFS scout. In his current role, he is responsible for evaluating players, gathering information and building reports on behalf of National Football Scouting and the Buccaneers. Prior to being promoted this offseason, Finnie spent his first two seasons in Tampa Bay as a scouting assistant (2022-24).

Hardie enters his 14th season with the Buccaneers and his first season as assistant college scouting director. Prior to 2024, Hardie spent two seasons as a national scout having been responsible for scouting the Southeast region, in addition to overseeing the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. He previously spent time as an area scout with the Buccaneers scouting the Mountain West, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the United States. Hardie began with the Buccaneers working as the team's combine scout covering the Southeast region for National Football Scouting.

Hogue begins her fourth season with Tampa Bay and her first as a pro scout. In her current role, she helps with advance scouting of upcoming opponents, evaluating players from all professional leagues, organizing player workouts, and evaluating free agents and college prospects. Prior to being promoted this offseason, Hogue spent two seasons as a scouting analyst (2022-24) following one season as a scouting assistant (2021).

Kiefer enters his 20th season overall with the Buccaneers and first as a senior personnel executive. Prior to his promotion, Kiefer most recently spent two seasons as assistant director of college scouting and the previous four as a senior national scout for Tampa Bay. In his role, Kiefer is responsible for coordinating and compiling evaluations of all draft-eligible players and helping to oversee the scouting staff.

Smith begins his seventh season with Tampa Bay and his first as a college scout. Previously, Smith served two seasons as the team's NFS scout, following four seasons as a scouting assistant. In his new role, Smith will be responsible for scouting the West region.

Wargo enters his ninth season with the Buccaneers and his first as equipment manager after being promoted from assistant equipment manager, a position he held since joining the team in 2016. He assists Equipment Director Brad Berlin in managing all of the team's equipment operations and logistics.

Jensen Story

June 4 Updates

Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen announced his intention to retire from the NFL and the Buccaneers on February 2. On Tuesday, the move became official when the Bucs placed Jensen on the reserve/retired list. By making that move after June 1, the team was able to spread Jensen's remaining salary cap hit over two seasons.

Jensen was forced into retirement by a knee injury suffered during the Buccaneers' 2022 training camp. Prior to that he had spent nine seasons in the NFL, the last four with Tampa Bay after he came over from Baltimore as an unrestricted free agent. Jensen started all 72 games he played for the Buccaneers, playoffs included, and won a Super Bowl championship ring with the team at the end of the 2020 season.

As it turned out, the last two NFL games in which Jensen played were a Pro Bowl and a playoff contest. The Pro Bowl came after his dominant 2021 season, marking his first invitation to the league's all-star game. After his injury the following summer, he spent the entire regular season on injured reserve but was activated for the postseason, making a stunning return in time to start in the Wild Card round against the Dallas Cowboys. Jensen was initially confident of his ability to make a comeback in 2023 but ended up on injured reserve again when his knee didn't respond as expected.

Jensen's four seasons as the Buccaneers' starting center coincided with the four highest-scoring campaigns in franchise history. During that time, Tampa Bay led the NFL in passing yards per game (305.0) and ranked second in points scored per game (28.6), total yards per game (400.9), yards per play (6.1), first downs per game (23.2) and third-down conversion rate (44.5

Jensen entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2013. He spent most of his rookie season on Baltimore's practice squad but eventually emerged as the team's starting center, opening 25 games over the next three seasons. He played in 100 career regular season games, starting 90, and his 5,307 offensive snaps from 2017-21 were the most by any NFL player during that span.

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