Tuesday marked the first day of Bucs OTAs since before the 2019 season, but not many Buccaneers players were present. Around 35-40 players took the field at the Advent Health Training center for Tuesday’s optional practice. The Bucs starters on either side of the ball were not among them, although a handful of veterans did attend.
Over a month ago, Bucs players released a statement that they will not participate in voluntary offseason workouts, under the advisement of the NFLPA. QB Tom Brady later urged players during a union conference call to negotiate hard for optimal workout conditions before attending offseason activities. We know from Brady’s instagram that he and a plethora of Bucs players held their own workout at Legends Field on Monday. Arians suggested after practice that Bucs starters weren’t going to be on the field even if they had been present.
Some of the players in attendance at OTAs were also at Brady’s workout on Monday, including QB Ryan Griffin and RB Giovani Bernard. Bernard is the Bucs lone new veteran on offense, so it’s understandable he would be trying to soak up as much knowledge of Bruce Arians’ offense as possible. The 8-year pro should help out immediately on passing downs once the season begins.
Veteran Bucs offensive players that were present include:
QB Ryan Griffin
RB Giovani Bernard
RB C.J. Prosise
WR Jaydon Mickens
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn
TE Tanner Hudson
TE Codey McElroy
OLB Anthony Nelson was the biggest name in attendance defensively. Rookie OLB Joe Tryon was there, but just spectating as he works his way back from a minor procedure on his knee. TE O.J. Howard, OG Alex Cappa and S Jordan Whitehead, all working their way back from injuries, were not at practice.
The Bucs will have one more day of on-field OTAs open to the media on Tuesday, June 1. Mandatory mini-camp will be held from June 7-9, with another week of OTAs to follow.