TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are calling their weekend gathering at One Buc Place a rookie minicamp. Outside of the short three-day schedule of meetings and practices, though, there is nothing mini about it.
When the camp began under a broiling late summer-like sun on Friday afternoon, there were 75 rookies running around in red and white Bucs uniform shirts, including 44 who were invited to camp on a tryout basis.
Even some of those names were big. Jordan Jefferson, the former LSU quarterback who guided the Tigers to last season's BCS national title game against Alabama, was one of the 44 trying out.
"He's a big, strong-armed athlete, and we want to see where he is in his development," said Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who barked at his rookies the same way he did his veterans during their first minicamp two weeks ago.
Shortly after completing the calisthenics portion of the workout, Schiano detected a tempo in the position drills he didn't like and shouted, "You guys want to make the team and you're (slacking) out here? Let's go."
"The intensity level is way up there for us and the expectation level is way up there, too," said former Boise State running back Doug Martin, one of the Bucs' two first-round draft picks.
"I mean, just the amount of details coach wants you to follow, like having two drinks with you in the meeting rooms at all times and having your feet behind the line (during warm-ups). It's details, details, details."
Some did more detail work than others Friday. For example, first-round safety Mark Barron and sixth-round cornerback Keith Tandy spent part of the practice working on a separate field learning the drills the Bucs defensive backs will do during the regular season.
Schiano said that was done in an effort to get the players that will definitely go to training camp with the Bucs a better feel for how they'll do things once regular workouts begin.
"It was different, but it was good work," Barron said. "It was more attention to detail and when you get one-on-one coaching like that it's always easier to pay more attention to the details."
Schiano spent the bulk of his time running between two fields and paying attention to the 16 players the Bucs signed as undrafted free agents last week and the 44 players in camp on a tryout basis.
"We had our draft picks that we know are going to be with us (on one field where we) were actually teaching them more in-depth technique stuff," Schiano said. "And then the other two fields we were utilizing more as tryout fields.
"We were doing more evaluation (there) and we were doing some drills there that are more like what you would do if you were going to work a guy out at a college campus. So there was a lot going on."
Schiano didn't have to spend too much time evaluating former Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros and former Rutgers tackle Desmond Wynn, both of whom were working out mostly on the two tryout fields.
"Desmond is a Rutgers guy who I recruited and know very very well and I thought he did a good job out there today," Schiano said. "And Zach is a guy I faced several times as the head coach at Rutgers who is just a proven winner.
"He may not have the height and some of those other things that you want (in a quarterback) but we had the opportunity to get him here and I'm anxious to see how he does the next couple days."
Martin is anxious about the next couple days, as well. Though he continues to wear the blue shoes he wore at Boise State, his shirt is now a white Bucs jersey and that change has already had a big impact on him.
"Playing in the NFL has been my dream since I was in high school and it's a dream come true now and it's really hitting home now that we're actually out here practicing," he said. "This is big."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers