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Bucs coach puts kids first for autographs

Signings of the times

Lovie Smith knows the Bucs haven't given their fans much to cheer about over the past couple of seasons.

"It's important for us to interact with our fan base and let them see us," he said.

That's why players continue to sign autographs after practice. But a wrinkle to that tradition is a new area exclusively for kids to get autographs and get close to players.

"Everyone that wants an autograph, you would like to be able to give it to them, but you can't," Smith said. "So who has priority? It will always be our younger fans and a chance to get on the field; get up close and personal. In my nine years (as coach in Chicago), I've had some kind of line like that for the young kids to be able to get autographs."

Special fans

The Bucs hosted more than 80 athletes from Special Olympics Florida following Sunday's practice, an annual event at training camp.

"It's great whenever you get to interact with someone that meets you with a big smile; love the Bucs and great advice," Smith said. "You know a lot of advice there today is that we need to win every game. Hey, I'm all in favor of that.

"They know our players and … this is a special day for them. Of course, they're a special group of people."

Quote of the day

"True fans know there was a lot of growing pains with getting this defense down."

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy to Hall of Fame DT and TV analyst Warren Sapp on the NFL Network on Sunday

Rick Stroud, Times staff writer

Training camp

When: Through Aug. 14

Where: One Buc Place

Public workouts

Today: 1-3:30 p.m.

Thursday: 2-4:30 p.m.

Friday: 7:30-9:30 p.m. (Raymond James Stadium)

Aug. 3: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 4: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 5: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 10: 2-4:30 p.m.

Aug. 11: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 12: 4:30-7 p.m.

Aug. 14: 2-4:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Tickets: buccaneers.com, (813) 870-2700

Note: Times subject to change. For the latest updates, see buccaneers.com.

Preseason schedule

Aug. 8: at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8

Aug. 16: vs. Dolphins, 7:30, Ch. 8 *

Aug. 23: at Bills, 4:30, Ch. 8

Aug. 28: vs. Redskins, 7:30, Ch. 8 *

* Subject to blackout

Bucs Beat

For opinions and news from training camp, go to tampabay.com/blogs/bucs.

Bucs coach puts kids first for autographs 07/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2014 8:37am]
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