Buccaneer Camp Dilemma: Will It Rain on Raheem?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJuly 7, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 06:  Fans take cover from the rain before the ICC Twenty20 World Cup match between New Zealand and Scotland at The Brit Oval on June 6, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

For those of you marking your calendars, it's a mere 25 days and counting.

First Buccaneer training camp practice is Saturday morning, August 1. The guys report the day before, July 31.

For those unfamiliar with the Tampa Bay area consider these facts:

The Buccaneers will open camp during Tampa's rainy season.

The Tampa Bay area is often called the "Lightning Capital of the World" and we're not talking about the NHL hockey team.

Add to these circumstances that since head coach Raheem Morris is making drastic changes to the organization, this training camp will be a significant variation from those held by former coach Jon Gruden.

For starters, there will be only eight two-a-day practice sessions.

There will be six single day practices.

There will be three days off (Aug. 2, 9 and 16).

There will be a walk-through practice (Friday Aug. 14) before the first preseason game (Aug. 15 at Tennessee).

There will be one-hour special team practices on three of the camp days.

Raheem's typical double sessions will go from 10:15 to 12:25 in the mornings and 4:55 to 6:50 in the afternoons.  Times will vary somewhat.

While all eyes will be on the players, the Bucs better have some eyes on the Doppler radar.

August is a HEAVY rainfall month and is smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season, yes those pesky hurricanes that haunt Floridians.

Weather can play havoc with training camp and the Bucs have no indoor facility.

At Disney, the Bucs used a hotel ballroom when weather drove them off their fields.

But it's not the rain that's the real danger, it's the lightning. It can come from nowhere, even when the sun is shining as it did last week and claimed the life of a Lakeland man and injured 18.

Thus, the Bucs could be off the field, even when it's NOT raining.

There are a lot of safety factors to consider, especially with these high-priced athletes.

Yes, from the looks of it, it's less practice time than under the Gruden regime.

Morris says his sessions will be more up-tempo, more sessions in full pads, more contact, more speed, more energy, and hopefully less rain.

Opening Saturday has the morning session (10:15-12:25) at One Buc Place then the evening practice at Raymond James Stadium from 6:45 to 8:45.

Although practices are open at the Bucs facility, spectators will be limited to 4,000. No limit at Ray-Jay that Saturday night.

Still, ALL of the Buccaneer plans are subject to change.


Just ask any Doppler radar.