Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians have plenty to say about what he has seen so far in camp.

Plenty of comments came out of a media day and head coach Bruce Arians was ready to talk football after watching plenty of drills and practice sessions.

(On the first mini-camp practice)

“Really, really pleased with the speed and quickness and the retention of practice, obviously. We didn’t even meet before we went out for practice. I wanted to see how much we learned on the Zoom calls and it was impressive. I thought the quarterbacks hit some big-time audibles that we made and played correctly. And defensively, [we did] extremely well on our adjustments and coverages. So it was good, good spirit. Loved the two fields; obviously we got a ton of work done and we’re making up for some reps that we might have missed.”

(On how Tom Brady looked in practice)

“He looked fine. I had to pull him out a couple [times]. The first period I said, ‘Okay, you can have four,’ and he kept begging to go back in. The only thing I didn’t want him in was the blitz period where there was some guys that might get around him too quick.”

(On Brady practicing more than originally expected)

“Yeah, the doctors and him – they both said he was good to go. We’ll still be careful with what we’re doing with him, but trying to stop him from playing is pretty tough.”

(On the team’s preparedness)

“We might be behind some teams, but I don’t think I saw that out there today. We got the mental stuff done, we’re in great shape. There might be one or two guys that need to get in a little bit better shape but I was extremely pleased with retention and where we were, the fast [tempo]. I think we were probably 20-25 minutes ahead of schedule. Even on Field Two, they were finishing before the vets. It was nice to see.”

(On the veterans’ energy level)

“You never know, but they always bring energy and one thing I’ve never had to ask these guys to do is work hard. They know what work is and we talked about it in the meeting, that we have set a standard of work ethic here a year or so ago. I never have to ask them about that.”

(On Tom Brady being more comfortable in the offense in Year Two)

“It’s that second, third, fourth read, where the guys are going to be, knowing [where to throw]. He had some really good third or fourth options to Jaydon Mickens today. That’s a guy he doesn’t work with all the time, but he was spot-on in that stuff. All that verbiage isn’t new now, so he can spit it out, he knows what it means, he knows where they’re going to be. Really pleased with the receivers today. Their conditioning and their route spacing was outstanding.”

(On new contracts for him and General Manager Jason Licht)

“It means the world. They rewarded us for doing a good job and it wasn’t necessary but they wanted to do it. I was really happy to see Jason’s extension. He very well earned it.”

(On Navy rookie CB Cameron Kinley having military obligations that are keeping him from football)

“Well, he’s obviously very, very important to the Navy. It’s kind of a Catch-22. I know he wants to attempt to be a professional football player, but he obviously means a ton to the Navy. So I’ll leave that up to them. I would love to have him because I thought he showed promising signs when he was here.”

(On if there is a chance Kinley could return)

“If he can get free by training camp we’d love to have him back. He would miss a lot but he’s a very bright young man, so we’ll take him on to pick him back up.”

(On rookie OLB Joe Tryon practicing for the first time)

“Yeah, he’s full-speed now and he looked really, really good. He’s obviously everything we thought he was. Obviously we’ll learn more in pads. But he’s slippery in shorts and a lot of guys aren’t. He showed some really good skillset.”

(On what he wants to accomplish in Mini-Camp)

“Just that: Set the tempo for where we are and where we want to be. We’re throwing everything [at them]; by the time we leave we’ll have 90% of the playbook in. And making sure that we’re not behind anybody when we come back, and give them a lot of things to go work on their own on.”

(On RB Giovani Bernard working with Tom Brady)

“It’s the first day, but there was one route down in the red zone that I don’t know if our veteran guys…nobody covered ya. So don’t go run you’re route, just run and a get a touchdown – so just little things like that. But Gio’s a pro. He’s been awesome ever since he’s been here.”

(On rookie WR Jaelon Darden not practicing)

“He tweaked…very minor tweaked hamstring. He’s never had a hamstring problem so I’m making sure we don’t have any more. I might let him go Thursday; we’ll just wait and see.”

(On DL Ndamukong Suh not practicing)

“Yeah, his wrist, he’s not ready to go yet. He doesn’t need to practice.”

(On how much more of the offense they can use this year)

“Hardly any. We threw the whole book [at them]. By the end of the season there wasn’t much left when you play that many games. There’s some minor things that we’re looking at that some other teams have done and maybe that fit us. Our coaches do all the research on the top red zone teams, the top third down teams. We do all those research projects and if there’s something another team does well that we have close to it, we may adjust it.”

(On if he has seen any signs of complacency)

“That was the first thing I was looking for today and I didn’t see any. Our guys know how to work, so I really don’t have to say anything. If it’s on offense, you’re probably getting your ass chewed out by [Tom] Brady. If it’s on defense, Lavonte [David]’s probably chewing your ass out so I won’t have to say anything.”

(On what was the most impressive thing Tom Brady did on Tuesday)

“Went full speed.”

(On Brady being a few minutes late to the practice field)

“That’s fine, that’s fine. Getting body work done. Those drills, he’s done a million times.”

(On O.J. Howard not practicing)

“O.J. is really close. And again, we’re going to be cautious with him, but he’s not far away.”

(On Antonio Brown not practicing)

“Yeah, he’s probably got two more weeks. He doesn’t need to be rushed either.”

(On S Jordan Whitehead not practicing)

“No, he’s a little further off. He’s a little further off, but he’ll be fine by camp. None of those guys will have any problem for training camp.”


(On coming back and how it felt being on the practice field again)

“It was great. It was a lot of fun – fun to be back with everyone is the main thing. It was good to be out there. I felt good.”

(On his progression as a pass protector from his rookie year to now)

“I think it just takes time to develop sometimes – got to put in a lot of work. Get stronger, get more sound, technically. And I’m always trying to get better and then obviously having Tom [Brady] helps quite a bit on that one.”

(On playing well last year and what does he plan to work on this year)

“I think it’s just always trying to get better – really in all facets. People always want certain things, but really you’re trying to improve your whole game. If you’re good at something or not good at something you’re still trying to improve in that area. Just always working and trying to improve on everything.”


(On if today’s practice felt like they picked right back up where they left off and how impressed he was)

“Yeah, pretty much. That’s what it felt like. It felt like we had a couple week break. It feels like we were just here not too long ago. I think that’s one of the l dope things about having everyone returning – so many familiar faces and we’re kind of picking up where we left off. It’s good to be back out there with the guys and you know start this next year. We’re starting this next journey here and it’s cool to be out there.”

(On practicing with QB Tom Brady after knee surgery)

“I think Tom did a really good job. It’s a little weird because you hear about it in the media and stuff like that, but as far as day-to-day, any time we’re throwing with him it doesn’t feel like a thing that he recently had like an operation or whatever. We don’t think about it. If we see him out there then he’s physically able to go and he does a really good job, which is being a professional coming ready to bring his A game. You guys know. He wouldn’t be as successful as he is if he’s not able to lock in. I think he does a really good job of that.

(On how different the workouts are with Tom Brady now when he knows the playbook compared to a year ago)

“I think the biggest difference is that the timing is a little bit better. Like you said, the difference in him knowing the playbook, knowing what he likes and what he doesn’t like, and us knowing what to expect in terms of ball placement, velocity on the ball. All those things really do help. I would say that’s the biggest difference.”


(On the veteran players setting the tone of it being a new season and not allowing last year’s Super Bowl run to lead to complacency)

“I think it’s as simple as it’s a new year. I think Coach [Bruce] Arians did an amazing job of setting the tone in our first team meeting today. Our focus is not living in the past and being able to celebrate that. We will have one more event prior to the season starting when we get our rings, but outside of that, the focus is on what the task is in front of us. This is a start here in mandatory mini-camp and as we continue to progress forward getting into camp, everything that happened last year is really water under the bridge.”

(On Head Coach Bruce Arians allowing veterans time to recover over the short offseason)

“I think we all know that OTAs are not mandatory, but I think it comes from a standpoint of understanding that Coach Arians trusts us in having open communication, dialogue and expectations of how we want to run our organization. Really when it comes to the football side of things, it’s most important in being on the same page. You’re only as strong as the collective unit versus being a bunch of individuals. If we can all be on the same page and have clear expectations, and be able to meet those – and they be fair on both sides – I think that’s where you create a great atmosphere. Coach B.A. does an amazing job to do that. I think that’s one of my excitements of continuing to be here, being a Buc and wanting to play for a coach like that. It’s not seen as I have to do certain things – it’s more or less a partnership versus a dictatorship is how I view the whole situation here. It’s something exciting that I’m happy to be a part of.”

(On if he has ever been a part of a team that returned so many core players on defense and the advantages of that)

“Yeah, I believe I have been on a team similar to this with a lot of cohesion and good starters. I would probably say my 2014 team when I was in Detroit. I think it’s an exciting thing for us to be able to have that, and something that we shouldn’t take for granted. You come in and you kind of can pick up where you left off, and also add different pieces and elements, and it’s not a big learning curve when it comes to a playbook. One thing maybe a lot of people don’t know is that Coach [Todd] Bowles is definitely willing to change and do different things on different levels as he proved throughout the playoffs and the end of the year to find ways to be successful. I think that’s one of the things that allows us to be very versatile. Everyone on this team as a defense understands you’ve got to be versatile and at the same time you’ve got to be a quick learner and fast learner. It’s exciting to be able to have that group back.”


(On the team not being complacent)

“I don’t think nervous is the right word, but it’s something that you always think about after you come off something good. For me, something that always sticks in my mind is something that Coach [Kirk] Ferentz always said is, ‘The hay is never in the barn’. You’re never there, you never made, you always have work to do. I’ve started to write down some goals and I feel like coming to work every day with a good attitude and effort. I think those two things, we can always control that. Just always trying to get better. That’s never going to go away.”

(On comfort knowing QB Tom Brady was the last quarterback to repeat and that he will not take his foot off the gas)

“Absolutely. Tom’s a very motivated person and having him back there he definitely brings the best out of us. And then at the same time, for me and probably Donnie (Donovan Smith) you want to keep him safe. You don’t want anything to happen to him, so that’s really cool too.”

(On the offense execution on the first day of Mini-Camp)

“I thought today was pretty nice. I think it really helped having those Zoom meetings this offseason just so we’re all kind of up to speed and everything, and then coming out with good energy. Regardless of how hot it is we know we’re going to be practicing that day. I thought for being day one – I thought it was pretty good today.”