TAMPA, Fla. — Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off their voluntary offseason workout program this week — a week earlier than most teams in the NFL.
The change in head coach allows the Bucs and nine other teams with a change at the top to have the option to begin workouts up to two weeks early.
With Bruce Arians stepping aside and former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles taking over as head coach, players believe the transition will be seamless.
“I love it. I love the move,” linebacker LaVonte David said. “Since I already knew Coach Bowles, nothing is going to change. Just a new guy in charge. Once the offensive guys get acclimated to him, get to know him, it’s going to be a great thing for the football team.”
Bowles has been Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator for the past three seasons — working directly with team captain David.
“He’s funny when he wants to be funny, he’s hands-on,” David said. “He knows how to teach, that’s one of the things you love about him. He knows how to get a guy’s attention, and he helps guys learn in a way they know how to learn.”
With Bowles moving to head coach, the Bucs will have co-defensive coordinators with Larry Foote and Kacy Rodgers. On the offensive side, Byron Leftwich will remain offensive coordinator, despite several interviews for other head coaching positions.
“That’s huge for us,” offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs said. “I would have been really happy for Byron if he got a head coaching job. I’m glad he stayed here. I’m being a little selfish. I know he has a lot of trust in us, and we have a lot of trust in him. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
The NFL Draft begins on April 28 and the Bucs will begin mandatory mini-camp on June 7.