The Bucs currently are putting in work as they prepare for their title defense, but the reigning Super Bowl champions aren’t doing it all together.
Tampa Bay, like most teams across the NFL, kicked off organized team activities this week. Tom Brady, as well as a number of Buccaneers pass-catchers, have not been present for OTAs, instead choosing to work out on their own.
Bruce Arians, as he explained to reporters Tuesday, is fine with Brady and others training away from the team. In fact, Tampa Bay’s head coach believes these player-led workouts are “great.”
Arians did admit, however, he’d prefer if Brady and Co. worked out at the Bucs’ facilities “for their own protection,” per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Arians, so as long as he has earnest feelings, makes a fair point. The NFL has strict (and arguably unfair) financial rules about offseason injuries sustained outside of team facilities. A brighter light recently was put on these rules when now-former Denver offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James tore an Achilles away from the Broncos’ premises.
But Arians trying to get Brady, and likely the quarterback’s receivers, back in the Bucs’ building before training camp probably is a lost cause. Brady reportedly “delivered an impassioned” speech during an NFLPA conference call earlier this month in which he “implored” players to skip voluntary OTAs.
Ultimately, this is a non-issue, as all members of the Bucs will be ready to roll when camp starts. But Arians’ admission nonetheless serves as a reminder that serious conversations about OTAs and the offseason, in general, need to be had.
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