TAMPA — The Bucs often attempt to create a game-day atmosphere during practices.
Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, the large and lively crowd at their annual open practice made that easy. Throw in the use of headset communications and the stadium's bright lights, and you had a realistic, game-like environment.
It provided a chance for players and coaches to gauge their status as Friday's preseason opener approaches. The first-year staff was particularly interested as it learns to work together while on the clock with a noisy crowd and amid sideline madness.
"It was good for us coaches to be on the headset in live situations," coach Greg Schiano said. "Although some of us have been together in other places, the unique chemistry when you put it all together was good for us. I have a bunch of notes. (With) every preseason game, I'll have more."
PRESSURE'S ON: It's far from a given that CB Myron Lewis will make the team, but the 2010 third-round pick has given coaches a reason to take note. While still showing some propensity for mistakes in one-on-one coverage, Lewis has gotten his hands on several passes and often been in good position against receivers. That continued Saturday night.
Lewis knows he's under pressure to produce. "A lot of pressure," he said after a recent practice. "I've been hurt the past two years. Nobody's really seen me play."
Lewis has been limited by hamstring injuries during his two seasons but played little, even in the 20 games for which he has been active. He knows the Bucs won't wait forever.
"I'm just trying to stay healthy and do my job," he said. "I know I can play. They drafted me for a reason."
Attendance: The Bucs said about 30,000 came to the scrimmage and autograph session beforehand.
GOING DEEP: With the first preseason game Friday at Miami, look for the first depth chart to be released soon. It's unlikely coaches will put much stock in it, but it can provide guidance in determining where players stand.
Quotable: "He's been beyond our expectations. He's really taken to the community. The fans have taken to him in such a way that's been great. And the team has, too. The players who have been here before plus the players who are new are really responding to him." — Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer on Schiano