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Tampa Bay Buccaneers to spend week in London ahead of this weekend's game

TAMPA — The Bucs' weeklong stay across the pond is under way.

With their game against the Bears at London's Wembley Stadium approaching Sunday, the Bucs departed Monday via a chartered Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet from Tampa International Airport. They arrived at London's Heathrow Airport late Monday after an eight-hour flight.

The decision to spend the week in London ahead of this weekend's game is a major shift from the team's approach to its 2009 contest in the United Kingdom. That time, to stay on East Coast time, the Bucs practiced in Tampa during the week before arriving in London on Friday evening. They went on to lose 35-7 to the Patriots.

This time, the Bucs will settle in for the week, hoping the transition is smoother. But the turnaround from Sunday afternoon's game to Monday's 8 a.m. departure was difficult.

"I'm glad we're going early, but man, it's early," TE Kellen Winslow joked Sunday night. "It's 9:12 right now, and we have to be on the bus at 7:30 (a.m.). You have to do what you have to do. It's a long flight."

The Bucs will practice and lodge 30 miles southwest of London in the town of Bagshot. They are expected to spend the weekend in downtown London.

BOUNCING BACK: CB Ronde Barber called the Bucs' 45-point loss to the 49ers last week an "aberration," and Sunday's upset of the Saints suggests that's true.

But what explains the dramatic turn of events from one week to the next? Preparation (or a lack thereof) might have something to do with it.

Raheem (Morris) said it last week: Good teams take that beating and find a way to bounce back," Barber said. "If you ask Rah, some of what happened last week started on Wednesday and Thursday. We definitely had a more energized practice (last) week. We were on our details. We didn't try to beat ourselves."

TALKING IT OUT: Yes, Winslow and QB Josh Freeman did quarrel after an incomplete third-down pass Sunday, but the net result of their disagreement appears to be positive.

"I felt like we came together out there," Winslow said. "We had some arguments out there. It was real heated out there. But I'm kind of glad it happened because it really brought us together."

MORE WINSLOW: Asked about his fourth-quarter hurdle of Saints CB Jabari Greer, Winslow had what might have been the best postgame quote, in which he made light of his wobbly right knee:

"Honestly, I don't even know where that came from. I didn't know I could do that anymore. I'm on one leg out there, but it's all about helping your team out there. You can hurt later."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to spend week in London ahead of this weekend's game 10/17/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2011 9:55pm]
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