It's not unusual to see Bucs receivers working on their hands after practice with the Jugs football passing machine. It has two fast-spinning wheels that launch the football to simulate quick passes, and can simulate punts or kickoffs from far away.
But how about from 1 foot away? In addition to normal hands work, Bucs WR Russell Shepard and rookie TE Cameron Brate were among players holding their hands just inches from the mouth of the machine after Monday's drills, testing their reflexes and their finger strength with quick catches just as the balls were launched.
New job offer
Former USF S Mark Joyce woke up Monday morning expecting to enjoy his last day off before beginning a job Tuesday with an advertising company in Wesley Chapel.
Then his agent called with another job offer … from the Bucs.
"I'm just sitting on my couch, watching TV, and I got a call from my agent, so I got right over there," said Joyce, wearing a No. 45 jersey and carrying the pads of several teammates after his first practice.
Joyce, who had 181 tackles and three interceptions in his Bulls career, had participated in Bucs rookie minicamp in May as a tryout player but wasn't signed. While he was working out to stay in shape, he hadn't talked to his agent in a month or so.
"This is really cool, just to have a chance to live out my dream once again, to be around all these great guys," said Joyce, who was in meetings with starters Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson just hours after the phone call. "It's a brotherhood and I love it. It's a lifestyle I could always get used to."
Quote of the day
LB Jonathan Casillas said position coach Hardy Nickerson (right) quickly earned the unit's respect: "We were just joking the other day, we saw a Nike commercial on him," Casillas said. "That's some swag right there."
Greg Auman and Matt Baker, Times staff writers
When: Through Aug. 14
Where: One Buc Place
Today: 4:30-7 p.m.
Sunday: 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.
Tickets: buccaneers.com, (813) 870-2700
Note: Times subject to change. For the latest updates, see buccaneers.com.
Friday: 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