Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy knows what fans are thinking.
All that noise about "toes on the edge,'' all those youth-league conditioning drills, all that running new coach Greg Schiano had the players doing during a three-day minicamp – it's kid's stuff, right?
Well, yes, it is, McCoy admitted. But he was quick to point out the Bucs are, in fact, a bunch of kids.
With an average player age of 25 years, 340 days, Tampa Bay was the youngest team in the NFL when the 2011 season ended, and it hasn't gotten any older in the past three months.
When the team reported to One Buc Place this week for the voluntary minicamp, the average age of the 63 players on the roster was 25 years and change, so McCoy doesn't mind the youth-league approach.
"I know people are saying it's like kiddie (stuff), but it's really not because it's establishing order and discipline and you can always increase your discipline, no matter what age you are,'' McCoy said.
"There's nobody complaining out here. You just deal with it and go about your business. What are we going to say? 'I'm not doing it.' Coach would be like, 'OK, thanks for your services.' ''
Cornerback Ronde Barber is entering his 16th season with the Bucs. He contemplated retirement before agreeing to return and said the discipline Schiano is instilling is a necessity.
"A team that has as many young guys as we have definitely needs that, because it's hard to police yourself,'' Barber said. "And there aren't enough veteran guys around here to do it, so this is what we need.''
Former coach Raheem Morris took a more laid-back approach with the Bucs, who warmed up and stretched to rap music during the early days of his tenure. Now, the sound heard above all others will be the bellowing of Schiano's voice.
That certainly was the case on the first day of camp, when Schiano stalked the field during stretching drills shouting, "Football is about the details and it starts here – toes on the edge, toes on the edge!''
"It's a big discipline thing, because it takes a lot of discipline to be a good football player,'' running back LeGarrette Blount said. "So it's fine. Right now everything is looking good.
"We made a lot of progress just in the first two days that we were out here. We've made a lot of progress since the first meeting we've had, so there's nothing bad you can really say about it.''
Newcomer Vincent Jackson, the eight-year veteran wideout signed to a five-year, $55 million contract during free agency, certainly hasn't found a negative in the disciplined, high tempo approach.
"This is the most efficient approach I've ever seen,'' Jackson said. "Everything we've done in this building, from the workouts we were doing before the organized things to the way Coach has the training staff working, to our meals and our meeting times – everything is precisely planned out to benefit the players and the team and to maximize our time together.
"And I think it's going to pay off. I love it. Especially with a new staff and with all of us having to learn a new system, having that detailed approach is going to help us all pick things up a lot faster."
"Not only that, but we are going to need to be one unit moving in the same direction at all times as we go forward here, because that's the only way we're going to be successful, and this will help.''