Antony Auclair will begin his third season in the NFL at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The tight end believes he has taken the lead in the last campaign, he who donned the uniform for the 16 meetings of the regular calendar.
The Quebecker took part in the team’s mini-camp a few weeks ago and is still preparing for the real camp at the end of July.
“It’s going really well,” said Auclair during the Le bag du quarto podcast with Didier Orméjuste on Tuesday. This is the first summer that I am healthy. The first two years, I was hurt. It was a recovery period and I was losing some time there instead of getting ready for 100% for the coming season. So it’s a plus for me this year. OTAs (organized team activities) went really well, I was able to do them all. It’s really a time when you can improve without any real consequences. You can give everything you have, but there is not the issue of games. “
Auclair feels a bit more like a veteran today. Becoming better acquainted with his environment at 26 now makes him more confident.
“To know how to go about everything in the city, the physios, the appointments, how to make an effective routine, I think it’s something that I’ve improved a lot, which makes sure that as an athlete you become more efficient, it stresses you less, “says the former Rouge et Or who enjoys doing yoga to meditate and visualize.
There has been a lot of change in the Bucs during the off-season. Bruce Arians, who has been successful with the Arizona Cardinals, is now the team’s new coach and Auclair appreciates his style.
“With the change of coach, I felt a bit like a rookie because you learned a new game book and you get to know the new coaches, it’s like you’ve changed teams completely. At the same time, it’s been two years that I’m in the league and the games are not alike.
“When you change coach, you change the entire staff. We even changed the physical trainers. For us, it’s a completely different world. Bruce brings something really cool. He is a truly authoritarian person and he even goes close to fighting with the players in practice. It makes sure that the players respect it. Not because of fear, but because he is serious, he wants to work. I think players follow him because of that. His game book is still complicated, especially for the quarterbacks, but it’s fun, I think it’s a good playbook. He coached Ben Roehtlisberger, Carson Palmer, Andrew Luck and he did well. He is doing this with Jameis Winston and our team. “
Speaking of Jameis, he has had some ups and downs after being drafted first overall in 2015, but Auclair comes to his defense after criticism that the 25-year-old quarterback has received.
“Jameis has had some ups and downs, but it’s a team effort. Often, in defense, we gave a lot of points so it forced Jameis to play games that he would not normally do. He forced the game a lot and it led to turnovers. I think that as a team you have to improve in every phase and help our quarter. You must not just blame him. In what I saw in the OTAs, he really improved to protect the ball and make the right decisions, but for him too the game book is new. He really understands the situation. “
Auclair, meanwhile, expects its use is rather similar to that of other years.
“We have a lot of games too with three wingers close on the field, so for me it’s even better. I am no longer considered a blocker, so I will be used in situations to make blocks on the ground, by the pass and so on, “he explains.