Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs expected to announce they'll play Sunday in Tampa

Coach Dirk Koetter went to his office at One Buc Place to work on Sunday, with televisions tuned to both NFL games and the Weather Channel watching Hurricane Irma.

"All good here,'' Koetter said in a text Monday morning. "Just waiting now. More anxiety.''

Koetter's wait will end soon. The Bucs are expected to announce today that Sunday's home opener against the Chicago Bears will be played at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium as scheduled.

The Bucs were still working through a bunch of logistics problems Monday. First they had to wait to see what damage to the infrastructure was done in Tampa Bay the giant storm. But it appears much of the area avoided what could have been a worse wallop.

The Bucs plan to have a team walk-through workout on Tuesday evening and begin workouts and a normal schedule Wednesday at One Buc Place. The team had made a contingency plan to practice at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday. Gophers' head coach P.J. Fleck was a receivers coach on the Bucs' staff under Greg Schiano. But it never came to that.

A good sign came early Monday when Tampa International Airport announced that they would resume full flight and terminal operations Tuesday. The Bucs ownership chartered five small planes Saturday to take 130 football and business staff members, players, coaches and their families to Charlotte, N.C.

But many players are scattered throughout the country. Quarterback Jameis Winston is at his family home in Alabama. Gerald McCoy returned to Oklahoma. Some players returned to the west coast.

"Good morning,'' McCoy tweeted Monday. "Praying everybody is ok. And made it through the night.''

Getting 53 players and 10 practice squad members to reassemble in Tampa Bay by Wednesday is no easy task. Some will have to rely on commercial airline carriers, others may need charters. Still others could have to navigate highways strewn with debris from the storm.

That doesn't include the support staff the Bucs rely on to operate One Buc Place and host a game at Raymond James Stadium. In some cases, homes may not be accessible or could be damaged, meaning the team will need to secure hotel space in Tampa.

The Bucs regular season opener against the Dolphins in Miami was postponed until Nov. 19. As a result, players were excused for their bye week. The Bucs planned all along to begin practice Wednesday. The Dolphins relocated about 150 staff members, players, coaches and family to Oxnard, Calif., on Friday. The team plans to practice at the Dallas Cowboys training camp practice facility before playing the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday.

Despite all the contingencies, the Bucs are very committed practicing and playing the Bears in Tampa on Sunday.

Contact Rick Stroud at [email protected] Follow @NFLStroud

Comments
Ali Marpet making move to left guard appear easy, and a big pay day awaits

Ali Marpet making move to left guard appear easy, and a big pay day awaits

NASHVILLE — Ali Marpet's move to left guard, his third position in as many years, has been pretty seamless. A big reason for that is his close relationship with left tackle Donovan Smith.Both came to the Bucs as second-round picks in 2015, Smit...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota share practice field

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota share practice field

The Bucs are in Tennessee for joint practices with the Titans, so Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota — drafted first and second overall in 2015 — are sharing the same practice field.What do they think of each other? Also, how did the Bucs ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

NASHVILLE — Here at the intersection of Marcus Mariota Place and Jameis Winston Way, the quarterbacks of the Titans and Bucs continued to go in different directions.During the teams' joint workout Wednesday, the quarterbacks never got closer th...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

NASHVILLE — DeSean Jackson turned Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler around and hauled in a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during one-on-one drills. Mike Evans leaped over Logan Ryan, plucking the ball with two hands off the top of t...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

NASHVILLE — The Bucs didn't know what they were getting when they traded for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They believed he would be a good pass rusher to help the league's worst defense.But they got so much more.The Bucs have been im...
Published: 08/15/18
This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

If you were putting together the NFL's Perfect 53-Man Roster, you might overlook the Bucs altogether.If you were inclined to include a player, you might consider defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Or wide receiver Mike Evans. Linebacker Lavonte Davi...
Published: 08/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy’s message to the Bucs

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy’s message to the Bucs

During a news conference Tuesday in Tampa, Tony Dungy spoke about what it means to him to be added to the Bucs Ring of Honor and what he told the current players when he spoke with them.Plus, Rick Stroud is in Tennessee, where the Bucs are getting re...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs GM Jason Licht pays tribute to a mentor and friend

Bucs GM Jason Licht pays tribute to a mentor and friend

Perhaps nobody in pro football has had a bigger impact on Bucs general manager Jason Licht than Tom Heckert, Jr., who died Aug. 3 at age 51 after a long battle with amyloidosis. Heckert spent four years as the Broncos pro personnel director, helping ...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

TAMPA —  It seems a little odd, but Tony Dungy is just now being installed in the Bucs' Ring of Honor, two years after his bust was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Leave it to his former team.As if it matters to this man. Dungy...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Tony Dungy addresses Bucs and tells them the devil is in the details

Tony Dungy addresses Bucs and tells them the devil is in the details

Tony Dungy's team's were known for being disciplined and not beating themselves with penalties and blown assignments. But the ones that reached the postseason or went deep into the playoffs always played the game the right way.When Dungy addressed Bu...
Published: 08/14/18