TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved into Phase 3 of their offseason workouts. Tuesday was the first day that this year's rookie class joined the veterans for the first Organized Team Activities (OTA). It was a good turnout for the voluntary practice, but there were some big that didn't show up.
The most noticeable no-show was quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was one of six offensive starters that didn't show, but tight end Cam Brate said they knew their leader wouldn't be there.
"Not a surprise," said Brate. "He lets us know when he's coming. Tries to get as many guys here when he's here as possible."
With this being voluntary workouts the Bucs aren't saying when Brady will be at OTA's. Todd Bowles, who hasn't shown a lot of his personality in the past, was asked how often does he stay in communication with his starting quarterback.
"No, I don't think that has to be public knowledge how much me and my girlfriend dates," laughed Bowles. "We talk and we're on the same page."
The Bucs have said Brady doesn't need reps at this time of the year. Really this is an opportunity for guys like Kyle Trask and this year's rookies that need the work. Brate can relate to this year's new Bucs because this is how his NFL career started as an undrafted free agent eight years ago.
"This time of year we can move a little slower and work on the teaching and fundamentals," said Brate. "Cause once we get into camp it's all about preparing to win some games. This stage right now of the offseason is just huge for those guys' development."
This is the first of 10 OTA's the Bucs will have followed by a three-day mini camp over the next four weeks.