Bucs continuing gentler training camp schedule
The days of daily two-a-day practices during the hottest times of day are long gone in Tampa Bay.
Under former coach Jon Gruden, the Bucs maintained a relentless training camp schedule that taxed players physically and mentally.
But the for the second straight season, the Bucs will use a new approach, continuing what they started in 2009. Under coach Raheem Morris, the team will again not conduct two-a-day workouts on consecutive days, an attempt to keep players' legs fresher in light of the inevitable fatigue that comes along with training camp. And the Bucs have made even more changes to the schedule this season, beginning afternoon practices as late as 5:15 to escape the overbearing mid-afternoon sun.
The Bucs showed some of these tendencies during OTAs, when Morris began having offensive and defensive lineman hit the showers about 30 minutes prior to the rest of the club. The idea was to pack all their work into a shorter period of time, then get them out of the sun to, theoretically, reduce fatigue.
But make no mistake: the fact that the Bucs will spend fewer hours on the field is not an indication that practices will be a picnic. Morris already has promised a physical camp, a trend that began last season -- his first as head coach. There will again be lots of workouts in full pads and there presumably will be a good bit of contact, a departure from the past.
But that's where this gets tricky. The Bucs sustained a fair number of injuries in training camp last season, and some of those -- like Antonio Bryant's knee injury, for instance -- really set them back. Morris is going to have to be open to cutting back on the physicality if and when it becomes necessary.
In any case, players had better be ready when the time comes. And that time is around the corner. The first practice is 19 days away.