Ask any coach of any sport and they’ll tell you that the best ability is availability – if you’re hurt, you don’t do the team any good.
It seems Bucs head coach, Dirk Koetter, has taken that to heart this training camp. Even as the pads have come on, Koetter isn’t taking any chances. He’s not asking the defensive players to complete tackles, or even wrap up most of the time (in space), and he won’t even let his starting quarterback, Jameis Winston, take snaps form under center on short-yardage situations where they know he’s just going to hand the ball off. It’s a violent game, and even in what most would think is a controlled atmosphere, anything can happen – they’re learning that by watching big name players around the NFL already go down.
With that said, the team has its veterans on what you’d call a “pitch count” for camp reps. That explains why players like Gerald McCoy, Caleb Benenoch and Donteea Dye were not participants in practice on Monday, and perhaps lends itself to why defensive tackle Chris Baker has taken a few days off, too.