New Buccaneers receiver's coach P. J. Fleck spoke with the local media recently and talked about new wide receiver Vincent Jackson and the flexibility in the offensive scheme. Fleck will also be a treat for most fans to watch during training camp, with his apparent endless energy and enthusiasm.
When training camp opens to the public on July 27, and the air first horn sounds representing a new season of football, it won’t matter it is only 8:30 in the morning for one assistant coach. While most will still be sipping their last few swallows of coffee, new Buccaneers receivers coach P. J. Fleck will come racing across the field as if he just took a java filled IV. Like a Fourth of July fireworks show that seems to go on and on, Fleck’s seemingly endless energy will be something for Buccaneers fans – and players – to pay close attention to.
At 31, Fleck, is just two years older than new Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, but the close proximity in age hasn’t been an issue between the two, and Fleck is marveling at the veteran’s willingness to get better.
“There are two words that describe Vincent Jackson – true professional,” Fleck said. “He is extremely talents but also very detailed in the classroom. He is very coachable; and sometimes you don’t get the whole package. He is the whole package.
“The one thing about Vincent is he’s so humble but he’s so talented. Usually, you don’t get that combination. You get one or the other. He’s got both. The one thing about Vincent is this: He’s made it very clear to me that he wants to become an elite player. He’s been very good and he’s done a lot of good things in the National Football League, but I think there’s still a carrot in front of him that he’s chasing.”
Head coach Greg Schiano puts a high emphasis on leadership, as witnessed by the number of draft picks that were team captains during their college years. The Buccaneers obviously felt that last year’s group of receivers may have been lacking in that department, as evidenced by the signing of Jackson back in March.
“Coach (Greg) Schiano always says, ‘If you’re a leader, you lead. You either lead positively or you need negatively. But you’re leading,’’’ Fleck said. “(Jackson) has definitely steered all those guys in a positive direction and they’re buying into what he’s selling. He’s just made the whole room better and he’ll continue to do that on a daily basis. Once that becomes the habit of everybody else, I hope this unit really takes off.”
When discussing what to look for in training camp, Fleck told the media a few weeks ago to not expect the normal one player one specific position approach to the Buccaneers receiving group.
“If you go broader with our whole receiving corps, we are all going to have a greater role,” Fleck said. “The great thing about this offense, everyone can play every position. So when you are thinking X or Z they can all can play every position. And that is how we are going about teaching our system, teaching our scheme. Everyone learns the same fundamentals, and then we go right into the scheme learning as a whole. It’s not just (one guy) learning X or Z. That gives us the flexibility to move everybody around. A guy like Mike Williams can play inside or outside or wherever we want him to. So as a whole, we are trying to go about it with that approach. You always have to have flexibility in your offense so as you go I think you will see everybody play different things. So that is hopefully what will make us pretty hard to defend.”
When Buccaneers fans begin streaming in for the opening of training camp and deciding where they sit, they would be wise for at least one of the days, to find the receivers group to view. And finding them won’t be a problem. Just look – and listen – for the coach running wide open like a bottle rocket – even if it’s only 8:30 in the morning.
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