The Bruce Arians era got underway at AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place on Tuesday, with the Bucs’ first mini-camp practice of 2019. There weren’t any rah-rah speeches, and it was a fairly subdued practice compared to what we have seen in year’s past. There was no music or dancing on this warm afternoon in Tampa, and it was clear from the beginning the new staff wants to drill fundamentals – at least early in the practice.

Arians was doing his best Bear Bryant impression, riding around in a golf cart, and observing his coaches working with the players. There were also very few raised voices under the afternoon Tampa sky that checked in at 83 degrees when practice started.

Bucs RG Alex Cappa
Bucs RG Alex Cappa – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Even the offensive line coaches – Joe Gilbert and Harold Goodwin – weren’t ranting and raving like one would see from most O-line coaches. Absent from the offensive line group were starting tackles Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson. Those weren’t the only notable absences during the team’s first voluntary mini-camp, as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul were also no-shows on Tuesday.

Early in practice, after the interior offensive line had worked on some unit drills, Gilbert took Cappa to the side and worked with him one-on-one for about 10 minutes. They appeared to be working on hand placement and driving through the defender using his lower body as well as have a balanced base.

Balls were flying all over the field from the very start, but they weren’t footballs. Instead, it was a number of volleyballs were used in early drills with the theme being “attacking the ball.”

The defensive line was divided into two groups, with one group working on splitting double teams, while the other group was pushing the sled and shedding to swat the ball. Both groups had to swat a thrown volleyball down as they got off their block (or sled), simulating a quick throw from the quarterback.

Bucs K Cairo Santos
Bucs K Cairo Santos – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles must have gotten sick watching Saints quarterback Drew Brews pick the Bucs apart last season when the reviewed film of the last few years. A slow developing pass rush, combined with a quarterback who gets rid of the ball on his third backpedal step is a nightmare, and it was clear the Buccaneers defense wants to try and disrupt Brees and other quick release quarterbacks in 2019 with at the very least contested throwing lanes.

It wasn’t just the defense that was practicing batting down balls. Tampa Bay’s coaching staff spent a good part of practice working on field goal blocks with players diving on mats to block volleyballs thrown up to simulate a field goal kick.

Offensively the Bucs looked sharp according to Arians who has high praise for quarterback Jameis Winston.

Arians noted he wasn’t surprised with how sharp Winston and the offense was, and he knew the Bucs offense had plenty of weapons, mentioning the point output in 2019.

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Bucs traded for JPP last year by giving NYG a 3rd round pick. In a draft shocker, do they turn around and trade him away for better compensation? He had 12.5 sacks last year, which was double his last year in NYG. His trade value will never be higher.

    Rating: -25. From 51 votes.
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  2. Bucs might be able to get a 2nd round pick for JPP.
    Bucs might be able to get a 5th round pick for GMC.
    Bucs might be able to trade back in the draft from 5 to 11 and get Cincinatti’s 2nd and 4th round pick.

    The Bucs would have pick at #11, three in the 2nd round, one 3rd, two 4th, two 5th, one 6th and one 7th.

    4 picks in rounds 1-2 and 7 picks in rounds 3-7. 11 picks total.

    Bucs could get QUALITY STARTERS at OLB, DT, CB, and DE in the FIRST TWO rounds.
    Bucs could use 5 picks in rounds 3-5 to draft BPA OL, RB, LB, DT, S.
    Bucs could use their last two picks on small school phenoms.

    Rating: -19. From 33 votes.
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  3. Also, I LOOOOOOVE reading that they are finally drilling on getting their hands up on the defensive line. Everyone always talks about the stats not mattering to down linemen, but this is one stat that makes a huge difference. Swats and tips lead to incompletions and turnovers.

    Rating: +27. From 27 votes.
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  4. Do we have to write/read this whole thing out every time? “AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place” Are they paying you to promote AdventHealth also?? If not, you can drop it. 🙂

    Rating: +11. From 25 votes.
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  5. It seems this coaching staff is all in with the current players on the roster. Of course that could change with the draft.

    Really, really interested in seeing which tackles on the OL actually perform without DOT and D. Smith out there.

    Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
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    This shows that this team is going to be focused by a coaching staff taking care of business.

    Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
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  7. Not seeing Spot 5 for any move up who has QB needs. The top players seem to be at DT, DE, OL, OLB, CB, LB

    Rating: +1. From 3 votes.
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  8. Bucco63, the Bucs also play their home games at Raymond James Stadium.
    Good to see the music has stopped at the field practices although I don’t think it’s as important at this voluntary one as it is when they real camp begins and while the season is going on.
    I also love seeing the Bucs working on getting their arms up to block the passing lanes.
    For years I have been screaming at the TV, especially during Saints games, for the Bucs to get thier hands up but to no avail.
    It’s hard to sack a QB on a 3 step drop but you can harass him in other ways like the one they are practicing.
    And finally, what’s the big idea with Donovan Smith missing this camp. Does he think he is to good to doa little extra curricular work like Ali Marpet.
    I used to support Smith but recently I have changed my tune and have suspected he was one of those players who was okay with losing as long as he was a millionaire.
    Looks like I might have been right.

    Rating: +5. From 9 votes.
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  9. Sombrero, for once I completely agree with your thought process. McCoy and JPP gone isn’t what most of us want to see…. Personally, I would like both of them in pewter and red this season. However, building depth would be addressing the weakest part of this club. Four selections in the first 50 would go A LONG WAY in that area. Also, moving to 12 in the first round, probably still have a good chance at either Devin Bush or Juwaan Taylor. Both of whom would be legitimate day one starters. Who knows? Perhaps we see an unexpected fall from one of the top guys, as we did with OJ just two drafts ago. Solid commenting, though I’m sure some read it and scoffed.

    Rating: 0. From 6 votes.
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  10. @grayballs Thanks for your kind words. As far as other people scoffing at my comments, I hope they have a good scoff and enjoy giving me the thumbs down they know I deserve.

    Rating: -4. From 6 votes.
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  11. @BigSombrero lol a lot of these posters anymore read like JBF transplants. The ones who are worried about using the same tag on both sites

    Rating: -2. From 2 votes.
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