One-by-one, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their way into the facility at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday morning to begin this season's training camp. Players were required to report by Wednesday afternoon.
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By 10:45 a.m., second-year quarterback Jameis Winston had already arrived, gotten changed and reported to the practice field. Rookies reported on Monday, so they were all on the practice field going through drills. Veterans don't take the practice field until Thursday, which is the first official day of training camp practice, but Winston, along with his fellow quarterbacks, jumped in and worked with the rookies a day early.
It's the type of behavior that the Buccaneers have grown to expect from Winston, who became just the third rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards last season. After the Bucs drafted him with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, he was the first player to report to Rookie Mini-Camp and waited by the door of the Bucs' facilities to greet his new teammates.
"I know Jameis wants to get better," running back Doug Martin said, "and he's getting better. You see that he's going to be better and that's what bring optimism in this organization."
Winston followed his standout rookie season by re-dedicating himself in the weight room. When he reported for camp on Wednesday, he was roughly 20 pounds lighter than he was at the conclusion of 2015.
"When he first got here he was a little quiet," Martin said, "just being a rookie and listening. Over time he became that vocal Jameis that you see on TV. He's always inspiring and shelling out motivational quotes. He's definitely grown as a leader and I believe this year he's going to take those reins and take it to another level."
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Behind him, the Buccaneers finished with the NFL's No. 5 offense, which was their highest finish in team history. Whether or not the Bucs, and Winston, can replicate last year's success will be determined in the coming months. But on the eve of training camp, things appear to be getting off to a good start.