By Tom Krasniqi (Twitter: @TKras)
Last year, the Patriots came down to Tampa during training camp to practice against the Buccaneers before their preseason tilt. The experience was beneficial for both teams. Now, the Bucs are about to return the favor.
The Bucs practiced Monday morning in helmets and shorts before making their final preparations for their flight to New England on Monday evening. The Bucs and Patriots will hold joint practice sessions this week as they get ready for Friday night’s preseason game in Foxboro. For New England, it’s just another day at the office. Last week, quarterback Tom Brady and the Pats practiced against the Eagles before their preseason opener in Philadelphia. Brady carved up the Eagles during those practice sessions so the Bucs defense will be put to the test.
Head coach Greg Schiano will prepare his team to practice and compete against his good buddy, Bill Belichick, and the Pats. “I think it’ll be an even better situation this year for a lot of reasons,” Schiano said after Monday’s practice. “One, we’re going up there to get out of the heat for a couple of days and our guys could use that right now”. Schiano also believes taking the team out of the area for a few days is good for team chemistry as well.
Schiano wants to model the Bucs after Belichick’s Patriots. “I do happen to agree with a lot of the things that they do,” Schiano said. “It’s great to be able to have a guy that’s been through it and experienced a lot of things….to bounce things off of sometimes. That’s certainly a huge asset for me and an opportunity for me.” Schiano does try and emulate Belichick in many ways—Tough, hard-nosed coach who’s detail oriented and big believers in discipline.
The players are also excited about getting out of the heat and going up to New England. Most importantly, it’ll give them a chance to practice against someone else for a change. Wideout Kevin Ogletree: “To be frank, I’m tired of going against our DBs and guys”.
Even though it’s just a joint practice session, the intensity should be amplified a bit. But make no mistake about it, it will be structured. It also means that fighting or tussling will not be tolerated. “We’re here to get better,” says Schiano. “Sometimes you hear stories of teams [fighting], that gets out of control….that’s not going to happen.”
News & Notes:
- For the first time in camp, CB Darrelle Revis participated in team drills on Monday during 7 on 7s. Vincent Jackson got inside of Revis on a TD pass from Josh Freeman. Schiano says Revis will travel to New England but will work out on the side and won’t participate in the joint practice sessions.
- By the way, Freeman threw the ball extremely well during Monday’s practice. He hooked up with VJax repeatedly.
- DT Gerald McCoy was limited in practice with a calf injury. Schiano says it was precautionary.
- Schiano says the following players will not make the trip to New England: G Davin Joseph (knee), K Lawrence Tynes (toe), WR Chris Owusu (ankle) and CB Danny Gorrer (groin).
- Guard Carl Nicks (toe) will make the trip and could play Friday night against the Patriots. Nicks says his toe injury is bothersome and something that he may have to deal with “for the rest of my life”. Certainly not an encouraging sign for the Bucs.
- Bucs WR Kevin Ogletree turned his ankle along the sidelines and left practice early. Doesn’t appear to be a big deal.
- Schiano says the punt returner position hasn’t cleared up yet. He says WR Eric Page appears to be the leading contender at this moment.
- LB Jonathan Casillas had a nifty INT of rookie Mike Glennon. Casillas looks more comfortable in his new surroundings.
- UDFA CB Deveron Carr committed a blatant pass interference penalty against WR David Douglas on a deep ball. Carr is struggling mightily in camp.
- The Bucs and Patriots will hold joint practices this week before their preseason clash on Friday night from Foxboro. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with the pre-game show beginning at 5:30pm.
- For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage. Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the latest news and audio clips.