Lovie Smith praises his players for choosing to show up for voluntary work


NFL rules prohibit coaches from chastising players who choose not to show up for voluntary work.  But the rules say nothing about praising those who do.

On the first day of a voluntary minicamp, two weeks after the offseason program launched, new Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said that his new team has had perfect attendance in the offseason program, so far.

“Yes, everyone is here,” Smith said.  “Everyone has been here all offseason really and that’s what you expect.  It’s voluntary work, but if you want to get better, why would you pass up an opportunity?  I appreciate that from the team — again they want to do something.  All you can do at this time in April is just show up each day and get better and they’ve done that.”

The Bucs have a minicamp now because teams with new coaches are permitted to have an extra voluntary camp.  Smith recognizes the value of that.

“I think it’s a must,” Smith said. “That’s the good part about being a new staff, when you get this extra minicamp in.  It’s one thing to watch guys on video, but you want to see them on the football field to know in a lot of ways.  Of course, we want to see our roster but, too, with the draft coming up, to see exactly what we need.  Maybe we’re not as strong or maybe we’re a little scrawny at some of the positions.  And that’s what they’ll tell us during these next two days.

“So I can’t tell you how much it helps.  And, for the team, they’re wondering, ‘What is it like?  What’s the practice routine?  How are these guys going to coach?’  And they know that now.  So we’ve gotten a lot of those questions answered quickly.”

We won’t get answers about whether the Buccaneers are any better until September, when the real games start.

17 responses to “Lovie Smith praises his players for choosing to show up for voluntary work

  1. I am not a bucs fan but if I were I would be awfully happy with the way this offseason has gone. Lovie really seems to have come in and grabbed this team by the balls and put them in the right direction in a hurry.

  2. This long time Bears fan wishes Lovie well but he now has zero excuses. He brought in his people to staff the Bucs. The turn-over in Chicago for OC’s & DC’s was ridiculous especially when you consider none of them left for a promotion. They were all fired. You can’t blame all of that on Angelo.

    Good luck Tampa and we’ll see you in Chicago this season.

  3. I don’t know, after hearing him speak for 10 years or what ever, I can’t but have a BAD gut feeling.

    I wish Tampa, Lovie and most of all Josh the best of luck this season.

    “Rex is our Quarterback…..”

    Wait for it.

  4. I’m rooting for Lovie and the Bucs even though I’m a Bears fan. Schiano was a joke. The Bucs are going to benefit from a cool, calm and collected coach like Lovie. They still have holes to fill so he’s going to need time but glad he’s back in the NFL.

  5. If evaluating the team on the field was so important to him, he wouldn’t have already tossed out half of the starters over the last 3 months…

  6. It’s voluntary but:
    “that’s what you expect”.
    And “I think it’s a must”.
    Voluntary… uh huh.

  7. You mean they don’t have to bribe their players to workout like in Green Bay??? Amazing. A team with some work ethic and standards.

  8. I don’t think Lovie gives out a lot of compliments to his players (individually). He seems like a “Tough Love” kind of coach.

  9. “Yay! A bunch of millionaires showed up to exercise.”

    Funny. But even funnier.. There are only like 10 players on the Bucs that are millionaires.

    The only ones really getting paid are Gerald McCoy, Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks (soon to be cut), Michael Johnson, Dashon Goldson,
    Alterraun Verner, Anthony Collins and Josh McCown.

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