Bucs WR Vincent Jackson's close relationship with military personnel and their families has helped earn him the team's Man of the Year honor for three years in a row. And in appreciation of that, Alan Houchens, retired after 30 years in the Air Force, presented Jackson with a Chief's Coin, a tradition with history and respect.
Such coins are often custom-made for an individual. The one Houchens presented to Jackson was inscribed: "Dedicated to those who walk the walk." Houchens, 55, diagnosed earlier this year with colon cancer, is a longtime youth football coach with the Pinecrest Pilots in Lithia.
The two men spoke briefly and shared a hug after practice as Houchens presented the coin. Jackson spent time signing autographs and taking photos last week with veterans and their families after a practice that was open only to retired and current military personnel and their families.
Coach Dirk Koetter splits his red zone offense into "high red zone" (from 20-yard line to 10) and "low red zone" (from 10 to goal line), and parts of Friday's workout were dedicated to the low red zone, much to fans' delight. In one period, the team worked receivers one-on-one against defensive backs on routes in the end zone. Koetter didn't want to declare a winner, but the offense looked to come out ahead more often. The team also has had a full crew of NFL officials on hand the past two days, not only to officiate practices and go over violations with players but to show a video explaining 10 rules changes and six points of emphasis for this season.
(8:45-10:50 a.m., unless noted)
Today, 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.
Thurs.at Eagles, 7, Ch. 8
Aug. 20at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8
Aug. 26Browns, 8, Ch. 10
Sept. 1Redskins, 7:30, Ch. 8
Greg Auman, Times staff writer