-Vets not only got in the building this weekend, but actually got on the field for the first time today. It was the first day of a slow but steady introduction into football work before padded practices begin on August 17. We got to see a first glimpse of new quarterback Tom Brady throwing passes to wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, John Franklin, the list goes on. And don't forget about his pal Rob Gronkowski and the plethora of tight end talent. Plus, running backs Dare Ogunbowale, Ronald Jones and TJ Logan got in the mix.
It was a good start, as Brady himself said to his offensive teammates as they exited the field. He was the last one off, making sure to give some sort of encouraging word to each of them. There was a ton of positive reinforcement to go around throughout the morning with Brady calling out his teammates after throwing the ball around for good routes, good catches and good efforts. It was infectious. Tight end Antony Auclair had an impressive one-handed grab and his entire position group erupted in cheers.
And I won't lie, seeing Brady throw the ball to Evans made me giddy. In what world did we ever think that was going to happen?
…par for the course in 2020, I guess. And full disclaimer, I realize the video is far away. I'm trying, guys.
The defense took the field following the offense for some conditioning. The inside and outside linebackers were grouped together with veterans Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett serving as the bookends of the group. Everyone was all-around in great spirits to be back on the field and doing something that at least resembled football.
View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
-Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett talked to the media via Zoom call Monday. He became the first of the vets to meet with the media now that the Bucs are back in the building. He noted a lot of the precautionary safety measures being taken around AdventHealth Training Center in response to the coronavirus. But like many, he's happy to be back and he's ready to get to work.
As the reigning 'Sack King' he was asked if he would be happy with 12.0 sacks this coming season. His response?
"I mean, that's a good start. We might be cancelling the season if I'm only getting 12.0, though – it must be half of a season.
"No, but whatever helps the team out – if it's 12.0, 12.0 would be a good number, but I'm always striving to be better than I was last year. Whatever that number would be, I'm just excited that my plays potentially help the team get a couple wins."
This is a man who had 19.5 sacks last year. To do better than that he'd be inching dangerously close to Michael Strahan's 22.5 single-season sack record set back in 2001. Sheesh.
-It was both Tom Brady and Ronald Jones' birthdays today. Brady's BFF Gronk sent him a special birthday shoutout which was complete with a Brady birthday cake sticker you can use yourself on Instagram. Just search 'Brady birthday' and it pops up. Tag the Bucs while you're at it.
Bucs Tweet of the Day: I love it when a plan comes together