Bucs center Jeff Faine, who served as the team's player representative for the NFL Players Association, is thankful that the NFL lockout is over. Faine showed up to One Buc Place and saw 30 of his teammates on Tuesday. He hopes that the Bucs re-sign RG Davin Joseph and RT Jeremy Trueblood.
Upon returning to work Tuesday at One Buccaneer Place with the end of the NFL lockout, Tampa Bay center Jeff Faine thinks that the new collective bargaining agreement is a win-win for both the players and the owners. Faine was the Bucs' player representative for the NFL Players Association and was charged with the responsibility of participating in meetings regarding the collective bargaining agreement negotiations during the 132-day NFL lockout.
“Best case scenario is a fair deal for both sides. So I think I would describe it as a fair deal for everybody and everybody wins because we are back in the building,” Faine said.
Faine said that there were 30 of his teammates in the building on Tuesday and was impressed with the turnout of over 50 players at the unofficial, voluntary mini-camp in Bradenton in late June.
“I feel like I invested in myself as much as I would have in any other offseason,” Faine said. “Being down in Bradenton a couple weeks ago it looks like most of the team did the same. I was very impressed actually with how everybody’s work ethic has been this offseason. And it shows a lot of character for such a young team to show what sacrifice needs to be even away from the facility.
“We have a pretty good turnout, especially with such short notice. I got a call last night at about 9 p.m. about a 9 a.m. workout. Some guys are still scattered around the country. Some guys are traveling today so I think there will be a much bigger turnout. But there are about 30 guys in there today so I think it’s a pretty good turnout. But I’m sure there will be a quite a bit more tomorrow. I just wanted to come in a see a couple guys and get a little workout in. Get back into the full swing of things Friday.”
The Orlando, Fla. native said that the worst part of the lockout was just not having a homebase like One Buccaneer Place to work out at.
“You are at a disadvantage just at the standpoint you don’t have the amenities away from the facility as when you are here,” Faine said. “The training staff, the strength coaches, the guys that are familiar as a veteran what you have to deal with. You have to go away and train with a different trainer, you kind of have to get to know one another and that’s a process. There is a little disadvantage in that aspect of it.”
Faine said that the lockout shouldn't negatively affect the Bucs as much as other teams that have to break in new quarterbacks, coaches and systems.
“I think a big advantage is there wasn’t much turnover on the coaching staff, so a lot of the systems are still in place,’’ Faine said. “I think the group at the biggest disadvantage is the rookies. I saw [Bucs' first-round draft pick Adrian] Clayborn walking around trying to figure his way around the facility today. That’s something serious that guys are going to have to do that as rookies – just find their way around the building. And then we are going to just throw up an entire playbook on them in the next couple days. That’s the group that is going to be challenged. I feel pretty good about the veterans and moving forward.”
Faine, a team captain and nine-year veteran, will have to adapt to a new offensive line coach in Pat Morris, who replaces Pete Mangurian, who was with Tampa Bay from 2009-10.
“I spent a little time with him before the lockout,’’ Faine said. “He had definitely been around and I’m looking forward to working with him. I have had a couple old teammates and college teammates that played for him and I’ve heard nothing but great things about him so I’m really excited. He is a guy that has really coached some of the greats so I’m excited to be part of the offensive line he puts together.”
While he is excited about working with a new line coach, Faine is fearful about having to possibly play without right guard Davin Joseph and right tackle Jeremy Trueblood next to him. Both Joseph and Trueblood are unrestricted free agents and could sign with other teams when NFL clubs are allowed to sign free agents on Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET.
“Davin is paramount,” Faine said. “I saw him on the top 5 or 6 wish list for free agency, so I called and asked him for a loan. The only bad thing about this deal is those guys aren’t really going to get to enjoy it. They are going to sign and they are going to be right back into it. I remember when I signed my deal I had time to really let it sink in and really enjoy it, but it is paramount to get those guys back. I think Davin is a special player. I think Jeremy Trueblood is a special player. I think we will have a very good year this year as well. Hopefully, we get both those guys back.”Mark Cook contributed to this report
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