Friday was not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ best training camp practice thus far, in fact, far from it. Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady expressed their frustration due to missed reads and communication errors across the offense after a strong first few days on the gridiron this month.
However, that didn’t stop Arians from giving Tampa Bay’s offense credit where it was due. Last offseason, the Buccaneers underwent instrumental change offensively as Brady had just signed with Tampa Bay, and as such, the offense was tweaked to meet his strengths and allow players to mesh with their new QB.
Now, Arians says, the Bucs’ offense is finding a much better rhythm in training camp and is able to trade shots with Tampa Bay’s defensive unit.
“It’s night and day,” Arians said on Friday. “Last year our defense knew what they were doing, offense had no clue. So, it’s a real good competition. Both sides are winning.”
Last offseason, Arians felt as though Tampa Bay’s defense was on the dominant end of the spectrum, able to capitalize on the changes within the Buccaneers’ offense and make plays. Now that Brady has a year of familiarity with the scheme and his weapons under his belt, Arians is happy that the units are both fairly in sync and able to exchange big plays.
“Like I said, you don’t want one side winning all the time, but they’re competing against each other,” Arians stated. “We’ve just got to execute way better, both sides of the ball.”
Now that the offense is seemingly comfortable, Brady and Co.’s knowledge is positively affecting new teammates. Running back Giovani Bernard, who signed with Tampa Bay in April, expressed as much on Friday.
Bernard took part in Tampa Bay’s optional workouts this summer, despite being an eight-year seasoned vet, in order to learn the ins and outs of the offense and build chemistry with his counterparts. Those counterparts have been a tool for Bernard, as he’s learned the scheme by asking questions of his teammates and taking every rep that he can.
“I think coming in and learning a completely new offense is always tough for any NFL player. There is a little bit of an adjustment period,” said Bernard. “During mini-camp, I made sure I was here and even now I continue to learn every single day by asking questions, asking the players what they see, how they see it and how things develop. I learned the process through repetition, understanding it and being accountable.”
Surely, the Bucs hope to not repeat the practice that occurred on Friday at the AdventHealth Training Center. However, even on bad days, the team can pull positives entering year two of the Brady era that were not present in preseason practice a year ago.
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