By Leo Haggerty

The last of the triad of night practices concluded in a very warm and sticky indoor facility.  That was not a surprise because HC Bruce Arians told us that they were going to, literally and figuratively, “turn up the heat” to make it seems like the normal outdoor daytime practice conditions.  I can attest to the fact that it worked.

If the Buccaneers coaching staff and players had their druthers, I would guess they would rather practice outdoors.  The problem being that Mother Nature is not cooperating with the 4:00 PM scheduled start time.  Henceforth, the Pewter Pirates have moved their Monday practice up to 10:00 AM to see if that works.

This would be extremely helpful, according to the Bucs head honcho, especially with special teams.  It is impossible to effectively do punt coverage as well as punt return indoors.

Also, check out the “King of the Kangol” comments below especially the initial one on what positions will be the most difficult to pare down.  In my opinion, it’s not the positions he chose but the ones that he didn’t.  Very interesting to say the least.

LH : I know it’s early but which position will be the hardest to cut players?

BA : Oh, gosh.  Receivers, defensive backs, inside linebackers, outside linebackers, even tight ends because a couple of guys are really showing up each week. It’s a good problem to have.

LH : For lack of a better description, Matt Gay kicks the football violently.  Could a lineman break his hand trying to block a field goal attempt?

BA : I hope so. We ain’t blocking him in practice.

LH : Are you starting to see the second and third team players making big plays?

BA : Yeah, especially on the defensive side. That’s what you’re looking for. Devante Bond, some of those guys, and De’Vante Harris too.  There’s two or three or four guys making plays over there every day.

LH : Are you encouraging Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles to show the Buccaneers offense as many different looks as possible to start off training camp? 

BA : Oh yeah. We’ve got to throw everything at them, early, and then repeat it.  For them and for us.

LH : After a week, what part of practice needs to pick up heading into the next week?

BA : Consistency in all phases. We need to get outside so we can punt and cover punts.  That is the hardest thing in here.

All photo by It’s Sports Magazine photo-journalist Trace Crisp.  Enjoy.