FC Tom Edrington reports from Friday's seventh day of Buccaneer training camp.
It is a hot, humid Tampa morning, no breeze, welcome to August. This figures to be a tough morning if you're in full pads.
Ronde Barber is back out there, Amobi Okoye is back, Michael Bennett isn't. I'm wondering to myself if his problem is concussion related? It's certainly not heat effects if he's missing another day.
Mark Barron is dressed, but I'll bet he doesn't do a lot today. He's got a toe issue and they're not going to take any chances with this guy, he's being counted on too heavily.
Over on the far field, Donald Penn is running, looking better. He'll probably be fine by the second preseason game, at least it looks like he's moving a lot better than he was a week ago.
An hour into practice they're going through some 11-on-11s. Anthony Gaitor is out there in place of Eric Wright. Which leads us to the question—what's up with Wright? He's been the flop of camp so far.
When we were here earlier this week, I could tell he was in discomfort in a simple position drill. He was bending over, grabbing his ankles to stretch which leads me to think it might be his lower back. We all know how that feels.
Gaitor steps up, picks off Freemanj. He's much improved so far. He's one of the surprises of camp so far. So is Myron Lewis. Lewis finally appears to be totally healthy. He's been nagged by hamstring injuries and that simply won't help a defensive back improve.
Just as we thought, Barron's limited and Barber is not getting much work out there today. At age 37, he has to listen to his body. Can't believe he's still playing after 15 years. With Barron and Barber out, the starting safeties are Ahmad Black and Larry Asante.
They're working on the two-minute drill, Freeman looks pretty good. I think they've cleaned up his mechanics from last year.
Dallas Clark takes a short pass and goes 60-plus yards for a touchdown. Where were the safeties?
YIKES! D' Anthony Curtis just caught a short pass from Freeman and was destroyed on a hit from Lewis. I'm not sure Schiano will be happy about that.
Man it's hot, these guys have to be struggling out there.
This one ends mercifully when the horn sounds around 11:15 a.m.
Later, in his post-practice presser, Schiano wasn't too thrilled with Lewis' hit on Curtis You can check it out at Buccaneers.com.
Schiano confirmed what we suspected with Wright, it's his back. He confirmed as well that he wasn't overjoyed with the Lewis hit. "We need to protect each other," he said. Schiano said he'd prefer Lewis put a hit like that on one of the Dolphins next Friday.
Schiano was also asked about his thoughts on players fighting in camp. There have been none here and sounds like there won't be. "Fighting is a waste of time," says Schiano. "One, you might get hurt and two, if you're fighting, you're not practicing."
He also confirmed what we were feeling with the heat, calling this the toughest day yet. "Mid-practice, I didn't know if we could fight through it but we did," he said. "It wasn't pretty but we fought through it."
Things should be much easier tomorrow when the team holds a night practice at Raymond James. There may be some live hitting but it may involve the younger players on the team.