Buccaneers training camp has started a new week, and the is a lot of focus on improving a glaring weakness fro 2017: defensive line play. Tampa Bay has brought in a former NFL veteran player with a track record of defensive line success in Arizona in Brentson Buckner to help fix that.
Buckner spent the last five seasons in the desert working with players like Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Chandler Jones to disrupt opposing offensive gameplans.
Now, he’s got a mostly veteran bunch that includes perennial Pro Bowl tackle Gerald McCoy, Superbowl champion and Pro Bowler himself, end Jason Pierre-Paul, and two champion Eagles from last year in Vinny Curry and Beau Allen.
So, there’s a lot for the Bucs to be optimistic about with the experience being an asset.
However, Buckner was candid in a one on one interview with WFLA-TV “Newschannel 8” in Tampa on Sunday night. And specifically, he talked about motivating veterans in camp:
— Dan Lucas (@WFLADan) August 6, 2018
“I tell them from the time they got in the league, that the league is trying to replace them,” Buckner said. “You got to come out here and try to make the team every year. Every year you have to get better at something.
When asked about McCoy and Pierre-Paul, Buckner was direct:
“They have a little ego, where they don’t want people to get close to them, and so they work hard. JPP came in and said, ‘there’s a lot of stuff I can get better at. Even Gerald, he’s been the ‘Bell Cow’ here. He understands, ‘if you do what you always did, you get what you always got.’ So we have to change it up a little bit, and he has to become better. So the Bucs can be better.”
In February, when Buckner was introduced, he described getting to Tampa Bay as “This is like Christmas morning.” And that was before all of the moves for Pierre Paul, Curry, Allen and drafting Vita Vea in the first round. And it doesn’t even count young veterans like William Gholston and Noah Spence who are back and eager to learn.
Now, that defensive line has to put the work in, and we get the feeling Buckner is making sure of it.
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