The hard truth the Buccaneers have to accept about training camp

It’s easy to get sucked into the early gears of training camp where the guys are playing without pads. Buccaneers fans can’t fall for the trap.

Buccaneers training camp is finally underway. Football is back and it’s easy to get excited about every little thing.

It seems like reports are coming out every day of players making miraculous plays and feats of athletic wonder being on display from start to finish, but it’s important for fans to recognize what camp really is, especially this that happened in the last few days.

So far, the Bucs have spent most of their time in camp with little more than helmets. Contacts are limited. It’s not the football game people watch. Therefore, no one should take this information regarding a player’s talent as gospel.

A receiver made an incredible hold on a defender who couldn’t get his head off? A quarterback threw a bomb 60 yards after he was in the pocket for six seconds? A kicker hit all his kicks from range while defenders were handcuffed in their strategy?

We do not care?

It’s like saying “my child is going to be a great driver because he knows how to keep his hands at ten and two and uses one foot for the brake and accelerator pedals”.

Yes, the child does some of the driving work, but how he will do it when actually controlling the high-speed multi-ton vehicle is different.

Someone won’t be a great football player because they can bench press 300. A cook won’t be great just because they can recite the recipe. These things obviously help, but applying the skills under the pressure of the game is what counts.

This is not an indictment against this part of the camp – in fact, it is very necessary. The guys need their games and their covers. It’s almost entirely for the guys to get the mental side of things on a high before the speed really kicks in. It helps, but it should be the bare minimum for guys to look good when there’s absolutely no pressure. Guys who look bad when it’s all made easy, that’s where the worry should start.

The arrival of the pads will be a step in the right direction. The pre-season games will be even better. Before that, no one should get too excited about guys not making the practice squad because they made a good move in a football adjacent game.

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