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.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.