New vantage point
Ronde Barber, for the first time since 1997, is not on a football field during the final week of July. And it suits him just fine.
The recently retired cornerback/safety watched Friday's practice in preparation for his duties as a television analyst for Bucs preseason games and a Fox analyst for regular-season games.
"I'm enjoying being on this side of the fence," Barber, 38, said. "I'm good being at home following it from afar. Twenty-three years or so playing at a high level of football (college and pro), I'm good being a spectator."
How is Barber doing? Just fine, especially as it relates to his golf game. He has played regularly and is now a 2 handicap, he said.
Friday, Barber got his first live look at CB Darrelle Revis. But he was familiar with him long ago.
"I used to spend a lot of time with (former Bucs CB Aqib Talib) studying guys," Barber said. "(Revis) was a guy we always went back to because of his technique on the line of scrimmage. He does a lot of things right. He's certainly a rare talent. But he's also a rare technician, and that makes him the player that he is."
On Aug 3, Barber will be in Canton, Ohio, for former Bucs DT Warren Sapp's induction into the Hall of Fame.
"It's going to be really awesome," Barber said. "I've got a couple weeks getting ready for what I'm doing next, but there was no way I was missing out on going to Canton. I've played with a lot of great players, and he's at the top of the list of deserving guys to be there. I'm glad to share it with him."
Light it up
Today is what has become the annual night practice at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs will don pads for the first time, meaning fans can expect live hitting and intense action.
Coach Greg Schiano said the team will again cater the workout to fans while still including important elements of practice.
"No. 1, I want our fans to have a great experience," he said. "It's huge for us, and it's huge for the fans to get into the stadium. But we can get better and still have some fun doing some different things."
Stephen F. Holder, Joe Smith, Times staff writers
Where: One Buc Place, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (just east of Raymond James Stadium) in Tampa
Tonight's practice: 6:45 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. Parking lots open at 2:30. Autograph vouchers required for active-player signing sessions, distributed through the box office in the South Plaza starting at 3; autograph sessions begin at 4.
Monday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Wednesday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Thursday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 2: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 3: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 6: 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 10: 10:10 a.m.-12:45 p.m.