TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Bucs opened Training Camp in an unconventional way. For the first time in their history, players didn't parade in front of the media upon their arrival.
With the rookies on the field, working out with coaches, veteran players were given an 'open window' to report at their convenience, as long as they checked in before 1:00 p.m. for a team meeting.
It didn't reduce the excitement for the first day of the season. Gerald McCoy made a mad dash to meet with the media wearing only a t-shirt and a bath towel.
"I just got off the cold tube and didn't want to miss doing interviews with you guys, so I ran down here in a towel," McCoy said, tongue in cheek.
There's an obvious renewal of enthusiasm about the new season. Players seemed even more optimistic than in year's past.
"As an offense, I'm confident in what we're going to do this year," said Martin. "I'm very optimistic on this season. I'm really excited. I'm very anxious to get going, to see what this team can do, see how we're going to improve. I can't wait."
"The maturity level of the team is much different than it's been in the past, even with us having a lot of young guys," said McCoy. "There's not really many egos. That goes a long way on winning football teams."
The confidence level is raised for multiple reason. There's talent, a solid coaching staff and maturity, but the key factor is that veteran players are sick of losing.
"You're tired of losing," said Lavonte David. "You know, growing up, Gerald was always messing with me. Your whole career, you were always winning... I'm like, 'I'm not used to this.'"
"If he's says he's tired of losing, it's most likely coming from both of us," smiled McCoy.
Rookies have been working out since Monday. They'll join the veterans for the first official practice Thursday morning at 8:45.