How many Bulls can you fit under one tent?
Even with a nice breeze -- blowing out to right field, if you're scoring at home -- it seemed that much hotter at the Vero Beach Sports Village, which the Bulls will call home for the next 11 days after a three-hour afternoon session Monday.
We've mentioned that Skip Holtz is breaking up practice with a break in the middle, where players can cool down -- Monday's was definitely longer than the five minutes players had in Tampa, but then Holtz kept them longer, working 28 periods, two more than any other day's practice this year.
Watching the players during the break was fun, as a large majority of the team gathered underneath a large tent set up on the first-base baseline of the baseball field they're using. (For a better picture, fans are roped off in the infield, looking out to where the team is practicing in the outfield, primarily in left and center field.) There must have been 80 players all under one tent, enjoying the shelter of the shade if only for a few minutes.
USF is being very careful about the heat -- body temperatures are constantly measured, and any high readings result in removal from practice for a short time to be safe. Three players -- defensive linemen Ryne Giddins and Cory Grissom and tight end Jeff Hawkins -- saw extended time under the tent, not because they wanted the break but because USF had decided they needed it.
Tuesday shouldn't be as hot, with the first of two two-a-day sessions scheduled for Vero Beach, with one early-morning workout, then a night session under the lights at Holman Stadium. We don't have access to players or coaches until after the night session, so we won't have too much information other than our own observations from the morning practice. ...