Buccaneers players released a statement last week saying that they would not participate in voluntary, in-person portions of the team’s offseason program.
Earlier this offseason, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that veteran players love not having a regular offseason of work because it means younger players are not getting developed. The Buccaneers have a lot of veterans and they’ve lost very few players from their Super Bowl champs, which may explain why Arians isn’t ruffled by the announcement from the players.
“I can’t wait to get on the field with them and it’s not time yet,” Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “The opting out thing doesn’t bother me at all. We were going to be virtual until the middle of May anyway. Get it going, get it started back in your brain.”
While Arians said that there are “no strangers” in the locker room thanks to the continuity from last year, he said the team will “have to start back at the bottom and get our fundamentals and get everything going” because things don’t just carry over from year to year. Last year’s experience likely makes it easier to contemplate doing so without in-person participation.