TAMPA (FOX 13) - Dirk Koetter has been waiting four months for this day: His first opportunity to walk out on the field with his team as an NFL head coach.
"I got to admit, I was a little nervous today," laughed Koetter. "I don't why, it's coaching football, you've been doing it your whole life. It was nervous in a good way."
This voluntary minicamp is a bonus for Dirk Koetter. The NFL allows this extra camp for first-year coaches to get extra work in. Normally at this time of the year, rules limit what teams can do. Offenses aren't allowed to line up against defenses, but the Bucs get extra days to give players a taste of the new schemes that are being installed.
"The offense can go pretty fast right now because it's not new," said Koetter. "All the same terminology. The defense is having to catch up, learning a new language as far as communication. So for our defensive coaches and players to be able to have that experience getting just three practices and two walkthroughs in, that's going to help us so much. Where we can probably have a more substantial OTA period than if we just wouldn't have had these three days."
"We're terrible right now," said Bucs defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. "But that's to be expected at this time of the year. Nobody knows anything. I mean, if the staff told you they wanted us to come out here and get 90 percent of it right or 100 percent or 80 percent, they'd be lying to you."
Jameis Winston is the one player that stands out the most. In the eyes of his teammates, it's for a different reason.
Winston spent most of the offseason getting fit under the guidance of Tim Grover, a fitness guru who has worked with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade. The extra work hasn't gone un-noticed. Winston has shed 18 pounds.
"He's lost a lot of weight,'' said Mike Evans. "I was joking with him the other day. He took his shirt off and I was like, 'Hey, what happened to the belly?' He's got a six-pack like me.'''
"Jameis was very dedicated this offseason program," said Koetter. "Like Jameis always says, he knows how to work and hard work pays off. He looks good."
After this week, it's back to the NFL's Phase One workouts, which mainly centers on player conditioning.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston is in outstanding shape after working out under Kobe Bryant 's trainer Tim Grover. pic.twitter.com/yVWLMkhb1a— Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) April 26, 2016