Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs trade the gridiron for the diamond

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — As Bucs QB Jameis Winston serenaded his teammates with Take Me Out to the Ball Game in warmups, it was obvious something was going to be different about Monday's practice.

Thunderstorms that dumped rain on the practice fields at One Buc Place forced a closed practice at Tropicana Field. Aside from not wearing pads as planned and a little post-play dustup with the offensive line by DE Robert Ayers, coach Dirk Koetter was pleased with the way the Bucs handled the audible.

"They did fine. They did a good job on that," Koetter said. "It's a change of environment. Different. Adjust and improvise. That's what we do. There's not many options on a day like today. We did fine. We'll see what the tape looks like here in a little bit. We got our work in. That's all we could do."

With the forecast calling for similar conditions, Koetter said it's likely the Bucs may return to the Trop today, but no decision has been reached.

"If the weathermen are right, I'd say there's a decent chance we'll be going back there," Koetter said. "But we'll play it by ear. These fields drain fast."

Two Bucs players were slightly injured Monday as a result of the hard turf. RB Charles Sims received treatment on his ankle and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins iced his hip after falling hard on a catch in a red zone drill. Koetter said neither injury was serious enough to keep them from practice today.

"We did have pads scheduled for (Monday and today), but I just didn't think with going over to the Trop and the way it was going to be set up with the fields on the turf and not having the lines, all that kind of stuff, I just thought it would be better if we went in shells," Koetter said. "That automatically makes those guys back off a little bit and I wanted to keep those guys off the ground so we weren't hitting the turf. But we got all our reps."

Getting physical: Ayers was involved in a little post-play altercation with the offensive line after a deep competition from Winston to Mike Evans. Ayers said he is looking forward to Thursday's preseason opener at Philly.

"It's an opportunity to come out and take out our frustration on another team," Ayers said. "They got a lot of talent over there. Their expectations are high. Ours is high, too.

"Now, when you win your rush, you don't have to slow off … you get an opportunity to go against some guys that don't have that filter, that level of taking care of each other. There's no more of that. It's no holds barred. They're seeking blood and so are we. It's going to be a good challenge and we're looking forward to it."

Ayers didn't apologize for the scuffle.

"You're battling against someone every day," Ayers said. "You're supposed to be mad and responding with anger and emotion. It happens. The good thing about that is we have a lot of pros and it's in the past. We'll move forward and get better. If something happens (today) — if I get beasted — I'm going to get mad and try to respond. If I beast them they're going to get mad and try to respond. There are a bunch of guys going against each other's neck and that's a good thing."

Missing Buc: G/T Kevin Pamphile had his third excused absence from practice for personal reasons. He is expected to return today.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Comments
Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

TAMPA ó The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said itís too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner."We havenít turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sundayís game at Atlanta. "Itís ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Published: 11/22/17
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macyís parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.ííItís a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17

Koetter says Bucs not distracted by Jameis Winstonís off-field issue

The Bucs are 1-0 since news broke last Friday of Jameis Winston being accused by an Uber driver of groping her during a ride in March of 2016.That's really all the evidence coach Dirk Koetter needs to say the issue has not been a distraction to the t...
Published: 11/22/17
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Published: 11/22/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucsí practice squad and why Julio Jonesí stats have dropped off this season,...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Simeon Rice — teammates on the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl championship team — are among the 27 semifinalists to be considered for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame class.Lynch is a semifinalist for the sixth st...
Published: 11/22/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Itís a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they canít win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

TAMPA ó The most valuable player for the Bucs is Brent Grimes.It felt odd typing that, but itís time to say it.In Grimesí two seasons in Tampa Bay, the Bucs havenít won a game without him. This season they are 4-3 when he plays, 0-3 when he doesnít.H...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA ó Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sundayís game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17