Bucs officially open voluntary minicamp

By Ken Filler
Apr. 24, 2019

The Buccaneers officially opened voluntary mini-camp today under new head coach Bruce Arians.

Arians will have his hands full as he tries to mold this team into one that will compete for the top spot in the NFC South.

Arians held court with the media after the first practice of mini-camp and had a lot to say about a variety of topics.

With the draft coming up on Thursday, Arians said that his philosophy is to always take the best player available on the board. He went to say you only draft for need if the three or four guys you are looking at are equal in talent, then you draft to fill a need.

Arians is real excited about this draft and what it could mean for the Bucs. “there's really six guys" at top of draft that are "once in a generation type players," Doesn't sound like the Bucs are going to be trading down for an extra pick or two.

When asked about the schedule, Arians said that he personally called the league office in New York. “We play them when they're scheduled. Am I happy about it? Hell, no. I think it's ridiculous and I voiced my opinion to the people in New York." The Bucs will not play a home game from September 22 till November 3rd, and will make a trip to Carolina four days after playing in the home opener

Arians went to say that the league did them no favors with the schedule but the only thing they can do is show up and play.

Running back Ronald Jones who was a huge disappointment in his rookie season needs to be a real contributor in the running game if the Bucs are going to take the offense to the next level.

When asked about Jones, Arians said “Talent-wise, no question. As a player, that's what I'm looking for. Popping your fingers up (saying) 'My bad.' We have to get rid of that part. The talent is not an issue."

Sounds like the no nonsense approach is just what Ronald Jones may need.

Arians seemed to be real pleased with the way the practice went today despite the absence of a few key players on defense.

Gerald McCoy who may be an ex-Buccaneer by this weekend, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, Evan Smith, DeMar Dotson, and Kendall Beckwith were the only players not at practice. Arians said he had spoken to those not in attendance and didn’t seemed to be real concerned.

Some players were held out of practice today. Justin Evans, Shaq Barret, Jack Cichy, and Chris Godwin (tooth issue).

Jameis Winston also spoke to the media and was really impressed by the speed of Breshad Perriman. “He can fly. He can really run. It's good to have new guys out there."

Let’s hope that Perriman and Winston have better chemistry than Winston and Jackson. It does you no good if you have that speed at the receiver position and the quarterback can’t hit the receiver downfield.

Winston is learning a new offense and had high praise for Blaine Gabbert and Byron Leftwich saying that they have helped him pick up the new offense quickly.

And so it begins. Another era in Buccaneer football. Will Bruce Arians lead the Bucs back to the playoffs? The excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. I like that from Arians.

Buccaneer fans have been here before and have been disappointed.

But there is nothing like a new like coach with a new attitude and philosophy to ignite that spark In Buccaneer fans.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports