Getting their feet wet
Rain moved Thursday's practice up by 30 minutes, then cut it short. But there was a silver lining.
"For some reason when it rains, it makes it fun," LB Lavonte David said. "You're out there in the mud. You kind of want to slide on purpose."
Remember the Panthers game last season? That was actually a question asked by coach Dirk Koetter during his opening comments at his postpractice presser.
The Bucs lost 37-23 in the rain on Oct. 4 at Raymond James. They turned the ball over five times, including four picks by Jameis Winston. Former K Kyle Brindza missed two field goals and an extra point.
"We had only really worked in bad weather one time in practice with wet ball conditions before we played that Carolina game, and it definitely came back to haunt us in that game," said Koetter, the team's offensive coordinator last season. "So that was some good work (Thursday). We cut a few periods out, we had to cut a couple short, but we did get some good work in. That's the key."
Aside from getting to slide in the mud, David said it was a good opportunity to work in less-than-ideal situations.
"It gives us a chance to work on wet games like this early in practice so we can get acclimated to it, get comfortable with it," he said, "so when it hits us on game day, we won't be surprised."
Former Sunlake High LB Xavier Johnson, who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a tubing accident in May 2015, and his family were guests at practice, spending time with players, including David and WR Kenny Bell.
"Our entire family was honored by both (Bell) and (David) … 4 them 2 take time & talk w/ us was special," Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Bell, who with David made the "X" symbol with his arms in a photo with Johnson, responded on Twitter: "Incredibly grateful for the love & support (Johnson) and family has shown me. Thankful we got to meet!"
(8:45-10:50 a.m., unless noted)
Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Aug. 13, Aug. 15, Aug. 24 (9:45-11:50, practice with Browns)
Note: Admission, parking free at One Buc Place. Times subject to change. Check buccaneers.com for updates.
Aug. 11at Eagles, 7, Ch. 8
Aug. 20at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8
Aug. 26vs. Browns, 8, Ch. 10
Sept. 1vs. Redskins, 7:30, Ch. 8
Greg Auman and Roger Mooney, Times staff writers