Tampa Bay Buccaneers Swelter Through 12th Padded Practice

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Swelter Through 12th Padded Practice
The Buccaneers receivers stick together. (photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

FC Tom Edrington spent Tuesday morning at the Bucs' final public practice of their 2012 training camp.

Years ago, we developed a code for the levels of heat during the August-September months in Tampa.

There's broiling, broiling in oil and f-ing broiling in oil, or FBO for short.

It's about 8:30 a.m. at One Buc Place, and it's already broiling and no doubt going to head right past broiling in oil, straight to FBO. I already feel for the guys, and they're not on the field yet.

Hot, humid, uncomfortable, even in the shade, my sunglasses are fogging up.

Gonna keep an eye on Schiano this morning to see where he spends his time.

Horn blows at 8:45 a.m., practice begins. My prediction here is for a more deliberate tempo, as they'll have to fight through the heat.

Offense and defense line up and basically go through their formations, no contact, trying to get lined up correctly for each call.

Luke Stocker is sitting this one out, rather, he's standing out there in shorts, wearing his No. 88 jersey. Yesterday, Schiano simply said Stocker "didn't feel well." There has to be more to it than that—this one has minor concussion written all over it.

They're talking that stuff really seriously now. There's no "minor" anymore—either it is or it isn't. Lawsuits everywhere.

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No sign of Gary Gibson with the defensive linemen. That guy's been out here less than I have.

Mark Barron, Aqib Talib and Dallas Clark all missed the preseason opener in Miami, but they're out there working this morning. Barron looks like he's close to normal. Talib looks fine, same for Clark.

I can see why this is such a grind for the guys. It's the same old, same old. Lots of drills, more drills and situational football.

Schiano is spending a lot of time with the defensive line. Think he might be concerned?

There's no breeze, no cloud cover, the sun is beating down on them. They take a long break around 9:45 a.m. Schiano spends the entire break talking to Ronde Barber.

Schiano said on Monday that he's trying to identify the leaders. Barber should be one, but he hasn't taken on that role in the past. During the great teams, he wasn't the leader, as that role went to guys like Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and John Lynch.

They go back to work, and there is a lot of special teams work. Michael Koenen is punting footballs inside the 10-yard line, and the return guys take turns fielding them. Koenen angles some to the sidelines; he's good at that, a lost art.

I saw nose tackle Roy Miller leaving the field to head inside. I later found out it just may have been a potty break, no injury. Thank goodness. Miller is having a nice camp. He likes the new defensive scheme, and Schiano has indicated that it is a good fit for Miller.

Later, the team goes into some of its pass packages, Freeman takes snaps from the shotgun, three wide and then back in the slot. Sometimes Freeman holds the ball a little too long. In real game action, you have about three seconds to get rid of it, sometimes less.

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Dan Orlovsky, who had a nice outing against Miami, looks good. He throws the ball quickly. A shotgun snap skids along the ground, and Orlovsky fields it but cannot complete the pass. Schiano is out there "discussing it" with them.

They break and head to the south end zone for some situational 3rd-and-10, 3rd-and-7 and 3rd-and-5 calls. Freeman finds Mike Williams in the left corner of the end zone; he makes a beautiful catch and gets both feet down in bounds.

Orlovsky makes a pair of good throws into the end zone, one to Dallas Clark, the other to Preston Parker, the goat from Friday's Miami game.

The team then heads to the other end zone for some 11-on-11 play. There are some penalties and some sloppy play. Schiano is "discussing" it with Freeman.

The team later breaks up into positions, some of the offensive linemen to the south end zone—and then the funniest incident took place.

A guy is strolling out of practice. He looks like he just played a part in an episode of The Sopranos. He's got on a tie, a vest, dress pants, dress shoes. He can't be more than 5'5". He's barking at Jeremy Trueblood: "Hey Trueblood, are you gonna do something at right tackle? If not, we're gonna replace you!"

I know Trueblood could hear him. One person who did hear him was GM Mark Dominik, who was about seven feet from me. Dominik heard the guy and had a puzzled look on his face. Hilarious!

It was all downhill after that. Couldn't stop laughing at that one, and Dominik hearing it made the day.

There was some full-speed 11-on-11 play, and they turned on the piped-in crowd noise for that. Sounds weird. Same old, same old to finish the practice. Good plays, not-so-good plays and guys who were really, really tired.

Long morning. They'll sleep well tonight.

 

Read more Buccaneer news and views at OneBucSite.com.

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