Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Two Bucs joining forces on playbook
By Pat Yasinskas
Josh Freeman isn’t the only Tampa Bay quarterback trying to guide the Buccaneers through the lockout.
In a few hours from now, Rudy Carpenter and Allen Bradford will meet Thursday in Westlake, Calif. for a crash course in Tampa Bay’s offense. Carpenter is one of Freeman’s backups and he’s got something Bradford, a running back and a fifth-round pick, doesn’t.
Carpenter has a Tampa Bay playbook or at least carries one in his mind.
“It’s hard for any young guy to learn the offense when you don’t have the time at the facility,’’ Carpenter said by telephone from California on Wednesday night. “I’m not going to be able to teach him the whole playbook because we install new stuff all the time. But my plan is to go over our most basic running plays and our most basic passing plays with him just to give him something to build on. I’ll run him through the verbiage we use in the huddle and we’ll work out.''
The sessions will be more mental than physical because Bradford is taking part in a conditioning program at the University of Southern California, but the plan is to meet a few times a week and go over the playbook as long as the lockout remains in place.
Carpenter has spent much of his offseason in California and has been on the lookout for other players to work out with. That’s how joining forces with Bradford came about. Carpenter and Bradford have a mutual friend. That’s tight end Jordan Cameron, who played with Bradford at Southern California.
After the Bucs drafted Bradford and the Cleveland Browns used a fourth-round pick on Cameron, Carpenter called Jordan to congratulate him. Then he asked to be put in touch with Bradford to offer up his services to teach the playbook.
“I’ve been looking all offseason to work out with guys that are out in California,’’ Carpenter said. “I did go back to Tampa for the little passing camp (Freeman) did with some of the skill-position players a few weeks back, but I’m in California most of the time and I’ve been able to make the most of it.’’
Tampa Bay receiver Arrelious Benn, who is coming off major knee surgery, has worked out with Carpenter several times and the quarterback said he hopes that continues.
“Arrelious is such a hard worker and he’s done a great job with his rehab,’’ Carpenter said. “He’s running very well and catching balls and we’ve gotten in some good work. We’re also working to help him understand the offense a little better because he was only a rookie last year and got hurt before he could absorb everything.’’
Carpenter said receiver Sammie Stroughter and fullback Erik Lorig, who are spending most of their offseasons in California, also have come by for workouts. Carpenter said he also has attended some group workouts in California with players from other NFL teams.