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Tiger Woods visits Bucs players

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Jon Gruden promised a surprise and came through big time.

Tiger Woods came to the Celebration Hotel on Tuesday, giving players a chance to spend time with the golfer the Bucs coach believes is the world's greatest athlete.

"I'm the president of his fan club," Gruden said. "He is the No. 1 superstar on all the sports lists (and) on my list.

"He hits all the shots all the time. He has complete mental control. He's unbelievable, and hopefully some of that rubs off on us. He's high class, high character, a great role model for just about every phase of life. I can't say enough about him."

Gruden often arranges for sports icons to speak to players, but this might be his biggest get yet. Earlier in camp, ex-Cowboys standout Everson Walls visited.

Still, the meeting with Woods was unique.

"What an inspiring guy," Gru­den said. "It was awesome."

PETITGOUT NOT CLOSE: Gru­den said Luke Petitgout's rehabilitation is still a long way from completion.

Petitgout, who began 2007 as the starter at left tackle, tore his right ACL in September and has been on the physically unable to perform list since the beginning of camp.

"He doesn't seem close to coming back on the practice field," Gruden said. "But he is working hard, and it's a credit to him. It's a hard time for him."

NO NEEDLE ZONE: There has been extensive use of intravenous fluids in past training camps at Disney, but the Bucs have seen a marked reduction this year with the addition of an air-conditioned indoor facility.

The Bucs used the 40-yard tent for many afternoon practices. All morning practices were held outdoors.

"We had over 120 (IVs) last year. We've had close to 40 this year," Gruden said. "So I think from the heat standpoint, we haven't sacrificed reps. If anything, we've gained reps by moving indoors.

"I think it's been a huge upgrade to our training camp here, and I'm very thankful to the owners for going to that expense to provide that for us. Hopefully, it's going to be a winning edge for us."

The Bucs return to Tampa today and will discontinue two-a-day practices.

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Tiger Woods visits Bucs players 08/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:08pm]
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