The feeling-out process between Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and coaches continued Monday on the brink of a mandatory minicamp that will serve as the final teaching tool before the start of training camp in late July.
The staff assembled by new head coach Greg Schiano is eager to greet players Tuesday morning for a three-day camp emphasizing fundamentals, technique and discipline.
"We're making progress,'' said offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, who won two Super Bowl rings with the Giants as an assistant on Tom Coughlin's staff. "Things are coming along and coaches are working very hard.
"Players have adapted well and we're all starting to speak the same language. We're right about on track. As coaches, we're looking forward to putting finishing touches and getting ready for camp.''
As Sullivan installs Tampa Bay's 2012 offense, said he has forged a common vision with Schiano.
"We're in 100 percent agreement,'' Sullivan said. "Coach Schiano's a tough-minded disciplinarian who wants to make sure we're playing smart football. He believes in the run game and play-action passes. …Those are the same values I share.''
Senior offensive assistant Jimmy Raye knows the Bucs are trying to create excitement after going 17-31 during the Raheem Morris era, amid chronic blackouts at Raymond James Stadium.
"Fans want to support a winner,'' Raye said. "That's the nature of the business of pro football. They're with you all the way – win or tie. Details mean a lot in this game. In this league, if you don't beat yourself and do the little things well, you've got a chance.''
For defensive assistant Bryan Cox, it's difficult to gauge the roster's talent level until the pads come on in training camp. Cox, a former NFL linebacker for five teams during a 12-year career, is determined to work with the front seven to improve a spotty pass rush that contributed to last year's 4-12 record.
"You like to make the quarterback a little nervous,'' Cox said. "The really good quarterbacks, you don't affect them too much, but there are a number of quarterbacks in this game where if you get around them, you can have an effect. The best way to sum it up is we've got a bunch of parts and we're trying to figure out how they all fit.''
The minicamp sessions are not open to the public.