Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joint workout benefits Bucs and Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Bucs coach Greg Schiano and Patriots coach Bill Belichick wanted to maximize this week's three joint practices.

And if Tuesday's first workout was any indication, each should be quite happy with the results.

After a spirited and highly competitive practice at the Gillette Stadium practice fields, there was no doubt the colleagues' plans went as intended.

Tom Brady threw darts through the Bucs secondary. Josh Freeman rifled off passes while evading the likes of Vince Wilfork. Meanwhile, WR Mike Williams tangled with former Bucs CB Aqib Talib.

It was the kind of stuff you typically get only on game day, with the unique arrangement giving both teams game-like scenarios.

"You want to go out there and win, especially when it's against another team," Williams said. "When you practice against each other, you go out and try to get done what you need to get done. But when you go against another team, you definitely want to win."

Going against Brady provided an education for some young Bucs. With CB Darrelle Revis kept out of contact drills as he rehabs his left knee injury, the Bucs deployed rookie Johnthan Banks as their top cornerback. He had some rough moments against Brady, but the net effect is positive, Schiano said, citing an opportunity for learning.

RB Doug Martin, accustomed to seeing familiar defenders in practice daily, used Tuesday's practice to try some moves he has not used on opponents.

"It's a good opportunity to try your system against another team," he said. "In the one-on-one (drills) against linebackers, I can try my moves that the coaches teach me against them. It's an opportunity to go up against another team."

The Bucs and Patriots play on Friday night, the second preseason game for both. But before that, they'll have two more days of work.

The Patriots firmly believe in these kinds of workouts. They just completed a week in Philadelphia ahead of Friday's game against the Eagles. The Patriots also did this twice in 2012.

Given Schiano's affinity for Belichick, expect this to be a consistent approach for the Bucs, too.

Belichick "is a big influence," Schiano said. "When I've had the opportunity, when I visited here as a college coach and when he would come to Rutgers, just to talk football and see the game through his eyes and his visions. Like anything else, when you're around someone who's doing the things that you like to do, you have an opportunity to learn so I try to take advantage of that."

TEBOW'S CHANCES: One of the big questions in New England this preseason has been about the likelihood the Patriots would be willing to carry former Gators QB Tim Tebow on their roster, though his chances of seeing the field behind Brady and Ryan Mallett seem remote.

Belichick said it was too early to decide, adding that there's "a lot of competition out there and we'll see how it all plays out."

NO COMMENT: Talib was happy to see old teammates, greeting them before practice. But he was a little less eager to talk about his four-plus seasons in Tampa Bay, which ended with his trade to the Patriots last year.

"I don't want to comment on nothing about being in Tampa or the Bucs," he said. "That's behind me. I'm a Patriot now."

GOOD SIGN: G Carl Nicks (foot) did extensive team work, a positive sign despite the fact he says he'll be playing through pain for the foreseeable future.

Comments
USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

When Nigel Harris chose where to play college football, he wanted to stay home in Tampa at USF. And now, after playing for the Chargers and Giants as an NFL rookie, he's grateful for the chance to again prove himself in Tampa as the newest member of ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

What would you do?If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?Well, you could go to Hooter’s and order a pitcher of beer and dozen wings. Then, Monday, you could go be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor.I’m talking about after that.Would you stay i...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

Rick Stroud and Tom Jones answer a lightning round of questions.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Published: 12/13/17
Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Published: 12/13/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week.
Published: 12/13/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Published: 12/12/17