Training camp finally kicked off Friday morning at One Buccaneer Place. The players began practice at around 8:45 AM and shortly before that, Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik spoke to the media about a few things, including quarterback Josh Freeman and the Brian Price trade.
First, Dominik addressed Freeman’s weight loss over the off-season and was asked if that speaks for his maturity. “No, I think it does,” Dominik said. “He gets that he’s got to get himself into the right type of shape, and when you look at the guys that have had long-term success, their bodies stay together,” Dominik added. Over the off-season, Freeman lost about 20 to 25 pounds on his own, and Dominik reiterated that his weight loss wasn’t mandated by the Buccaneers. Certainly, a leaner Freeman will benefit the offense, in that he should be more mobile and more agile.
Of course, the Buccaneers made many free agent acquisitions this off-season and the many new names are in Tampa with the team. Dominik addressed the significant roster makeover. “It’s a different roster. I think it’s completely different than 2009,” he said referring to the major transition and decision to get younger three years ago. “This year, a big part of what we wanted to do, was not only bring in some quality players, but bring in some leadership to this football team.” And the Buccaneers did do that this off-season, signing some of the top free agents in wide receiver Vincent Jackson and offensive guard Carl Nicks.
On the Price trade, Dominik said, “You know, it is what it is. I mean, we’ll do the right things for this football team to make sure we not only have the right 90 guys out there, but that we have the right 53, and then the right 46 playing on Sunday to give us the absolute best chance to win football games.” Dominik also said that he wouldn’t be shocked if Price did well in Chicago, and that he has a lot of “respect” for Price. He did not say whether the fact that Price failed the conditioning test was the final straw, or not. Earlier in the day, appearing on WDAE 620, Dominik said that this move was something that he had been thinking about for a couple of weeks.
Dominik was able to touch on some of the important things coming into camp, and touched upon the decision to trade Price.
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