The first day of Bucs OTAs with Todd Bowles as head coach had a great turnout of veteran players joining practice. It was especially apparent at positions where the Bucs drafted players in the 2022 class.
Vets Showing Up
Will Gholston, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Vita Vea were all there talking with second-round pick Logan Hall. Ryan Jensen and Tristan Wirfs were in attendance to welcome the newly traded for Shaq Mason and second-round pick Luke Goedeke.
There was even a great turnout in the secondary, as Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Antoine Winfield Jr. represented the defensive backs.
After practice, Bowles said he was delighted to see the large group that participated.
“It was impressive,” Bowles said. “We had a lot of guys out there – a lot of starters out there. We’ve got a lot of work done – the recall was pretty good. We’re just going to keep going.”
These practices are optional, so no one is required to be there over the next three weeks. There were multiple players not there for various logical reasons.
“It’s voluntary,” Bowles said. “I know where each and every one of them are and a lot of them have good reason not to be [here]. So, we’ll go from there and coach the guys that are here.”
Another Test For The Rookies
As for the rookies, it was their first chance to play against other NFL talent. Bowles felt they held their own after a day.
“They retained the information they learned over the weekend,” Bowles said. “And they fit right in so far. Again, it’s shorts and t-shirts. As the installs grow, we’ll see where their brains go. Then, we’ll see where they’re at in training camp.”
Bowles also gave his thoughts on Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask, who shared all of the reps in practice. Anytime there’s a young, up-and-coming quarterback that could be the future, it garners interest.
“Obviously [it’s] shorts and t-shirts,” Bowles said. “We aren’t tackling, but they had some good poise. They understand where to go so far with most of the reads. We’ll watch the tape and we’ll see. I think it’s very important any time you’ve got a young guy that gets extra reps. Going into training camp, [if he] has a chance to play, you give it to him.”
A Change To OTAs?
There was a thought by quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen that Bowles’ practices could be different. That would be because he’s a defensive coach and we could view more “good-on-good.” Bowles commented on whether or not anything in OTAs would be different this year.
“There will be some competition periods from that standpoint,” Bowles said. “Not always good-on-good, but it will be a little more good-on-good. We’ve got to be careful with that – it’s a long season. We’re not trying to get anybody hurt. But at the same time, we’re trying to get the work in that we need. So, there will be some specialty periods that we’ll have, competition periods, and we’ll go from there.”