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Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has been coaching in the NFL for over 30 years, but a team this special can still surprise him. On Sunday, Arians gave players the option of a fully-padded practice or wearing just helmets and shoulder pads. To his surprise, the team opted to get fully-geared up in preparation for Week 1.

“I really love how we started the week,” Arians said. “First time I ever asked players ‘should we put pads on?’, and they said, ‘yes’, because of practice the other day. It was like, ‘whoa’. So it was really great to see it. Great speed to the practice. Both of our scout teams did a hell of a job of giving great pictures (to the starters).”

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians Blaine Gabbert

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: USA Today

Most players can’t wait to doff the pads for practice, but the Bucs seem determined to maintain the physical pace until Thursday. That’s when they’ll host the visiting Dallas Cowboys in the season opener. Expectations are sky-high for the Bucs, and their focus and concentration has been on point since the preseason ended.

“Inside, practices were really physical (last week),” Arians said. “So I said, ‘should we put pads on for Sunday?’. And they said, ‘yeah’. Just for our protection. It was a very, very good practice.”

The Cowboys may have finished last season with a losing record, but this is a different team than a year ago. Their offensive is much healthier than last year, especially with the return of Dak Prescott. Offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’El Collins should be good to go on Thursday, after missing most or all of last season. Elite offensive guard Zack Martin will miss the game on the COVID list, but the Cowboys offense will still be one of Tampa Bay’s toughest tests all season.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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2 months ago

Our guys are just hungry dawgs. LFG

2 months ago

Just making sure they all have their heads right. Sounds like these guys are ready to roll.

2 months ago

I’m sooooooooo tired of hearing about Dak Prescott returning and suddenly transforming the Cowboys into a Super Bowl contender when the team was 2 dash 3 when he got injured. Sure enough, he’s a good QB. But my goodness the media pimps the former “America’s Team” like no other. “Now Rout Dem Cowboys!”

Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

It’s become more than tired of hearing about them, it’s rather tedious now. If we only win one game this year, let it be Thursday.

Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

As you well know Scubog, the offseason has always been a time for overreaction and silly prediction for most teams. Dallas’ defense was atrocious last season, but “America’s Team” got Dan Quinn and Micah Parsons, so it should all be fixed right? I am 100% with you on being tired of this sh*t. I’m hoping we have a 40-10 Bucs win when all is said and done.

2 months ago

Love the tenacity! Can’t wait for kick off.

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg