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June 23, 2011 @ 6:57 am
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/2 Votes

Freeman, Bucs To Hold 3-Day OTAs At IMG

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman is holding three days worth of OTAs at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Fla. next Tuesday-Thursday. Between 40-50 Bucs players are expected to attend the OTAs, which will coincide with the NFLPA rookie symposium, which will also be held at IMG.
Two weeks ago, PewterReport.com reported that the Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie were trying to organize a series of OTAs (organized team activities) in which most of the team could participate.

Now the exact plans for what will amount to the largest series off volunteer offseason workouts this offseason for the Buccaneers, who have been locked out from One Buccaneer Place during the labor dispute over a new collective bargaining agreement from the players and the NFL owners, are known.

Freeman has secured time and practice space at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Fla. for a three-day mini-camp of sorts where the Bucs will be practicing from Tuesday, June 28 - Thursday, June 30. The series of unofficial Tampa Bay workouts will coincide with the NFL Players Association's version of a rookie symposium, which will also be held at IMG during those dates. The NFL's official rookie symposium, which typically takes place in May, has been cancelled due to the lockout this offseason.

The Buccaneers rookies are expected to attend the rookie symposium in Bradenton and focus on the seminars geared towards learning about life as an NFL player rather than the Freeman-led workouts, which are for veterans only. However, with the rookies and the veterans both being at IMG during the same time, there will undoubtedly be some time for bonding.

Perhaps a reason why the rookies will not be doing any on-field work with the veterans is that without the presence of coaching and playbooks, the first-year players might slow down the tempo of the workouts because they aren't familiar with the plays. The 23-year old Freeman has some old playbooks from last year and it has been reported that he would be making photocopies of play scripts so that the players that show up will be prepared to know what to practice and that the workouts would be as organized as possible. 

Although the Bucs workouts will be closed to the public, PewterReport.com will be there to cover the on-field action for all three days and conduct post-practice interviews. Freeman has told the media that the workouts are on-field two-a-day sessions, and are expected to begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. each day.

The schedule even concludes a team weightlifting session during the day. The focus of the OTAs will be the passing game and will feature a lot of seven-on-seven activities.

While several defensive backs that have yet to work out with Freeman this offseason, such as cornerbacks Ronde Barber and E.J. Biggers, are expected to attend the OTAs at IMG, most of the Bucs offensive and defensive linemen are not expected to attend and participate on the field due to safety reasons as the players will not be wearing helmets or pads during the workouts. Aside from cadence work and footwork, which can be done in private workouts away from the team, several linemen have told PewterReport.com there is little need to have a presence at OTA-type activities because of the injury risk without helmets and the fact that there would be little to gain without any contact.

PewterReport.com will also be covering the rookie symposium on Wednesday, which is the only day for media access, and will attempt to talk to members of Tampa Bay's 2011 draft class. The only rookies that are known to have worked out with members of the Buccaneers thus far are defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the team's first-round pick, who has worked out with some of the defensive linemen in California, and tight end Luke Stocker, the Bucs' fourth-round pick, has worked out with Freeman and the veteran skill position players during the workouts at the campus of the University of South Florida this spring.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 June 2011 08:34

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  • avatar

    In typical OTAs and mini-camps, the coaches are there installing schemes and plays, which is why the linemen are needed. No matter how well this is put together, it's still not a typical mini-camp. Since it's veterans only, they all know the plays already. Not to mention, a large amount of our offensive and defensive lines are free agents (or possible free agents, depending on the CBA), so those guys are not going to show up anyway. So why should 3 linemen from each side break from their normal routine to go stand around and watch other people practice. It just doesn't make sense.
  • avatar

    Like I said before "The only benefit I can see from the Linemen showing up for a day is just to say hi and show support.... which is worth something" I guess basically, I keep going back & forth with this. One minute I think yes show up with the team: two days of hanging out is not going to hinder the work out program you have been doing.---------------------On the other hand, is it worth a flight and hotel? Probably not.-------------PLUS the lockout is looking to be over within a couple weeks so what is the point really?
  • avatar

    Plus Captain Jeff Paine, our sometimes starting, always hurting, center announced that Freeman's attempt at organizing team practices was a waste of time for everyone , not just his line-mates. Paine can practice his typical role by standing on the sideline with his arm in a sling.
  • avatar

    I got to agree that if the majority of the team is getting together, that is a reason in itself to show up for this. Using the excuse, theres not much for O-Line or D-Line to do just isnt suitable. Regular OTA's and Mini-Camps are no contact and without pads and they are expected to show up for that as well. These guys get paid alot of money not to be lazy... if there is really nothing for them to do then shouldnt it be an easy couple of days of work? There really is no risk of injury for them either considering they dont really have to move around much... the real injury risk would be to WRs and RBs or DBs or anyone else who has to move around alot, not the lineman.
  • avatar

    RealRuudBoy, all of those things are individual drills that can be done wherever they current train. The majority of NFL players have trainers and former coaches/teammates that they've worked out with for years, and they practice all the individual drills they can with them. There really is no reason for linemen to be at a no-contact practice. They'll do their work in their respective cities and meet up at camp ready to go when the lockout ends. Good job to the leaders of this team to set this up though. I read somewhere that Freeman is paying for most of this camp, which I'm sure isn't cheap considering it's at one of the best practice and training facilities in the world.
  • avatar

    Since there is no CBA, hypothetically the O-Line and D-Line COULD get pads and actually have contact drills if they wanted couldn't they? I am not saying they should, in fact I don't think they should because if an injury happens that player is screwed, just asking. I know people want everyone to show up but I have no problem with the QBs, RBs, WRs, DBs, LBs, and TEs being the only ones. The types of drills they are talking about are all to do with the passing game. At this point, walking through running plays and simulating Line play really is pointless. The only benefit I can see from the Linemen showing up for a day is just to say hi and show support.... which is worth something.
  • avatar

    It's great to see Freeman getting his teammates together for this pseudo mini-camp. On a side note, what has Blount been up to this offseason? I haven't seen one report on him or interview with him.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    heres an idea for all these lineman, rookies and vets alike can work on hand placement, swim moves, rips, bag drills, ect. there are numerous things they could do and if they really want to better themselves. hell, we got price, bowers, and clayborn who could use all the teaching they can get. even if the OL tells these young guys what their weaknesses are they can try and attack. so these guys can get acclimated. EVERYONE should be these OTAs
  • avatar

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