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It didn't take long for the injury bug to bite one of the best players.

Linebacker Derrick Brooks did not practice Saturday due to a slight hamstring pull.

Brooks, 34, was injured late in the workout Friday afternoon, and the Bucs aren't sure how long he will be sidelined.

"I don't know how severe it is," coach Jon Gruden said. "Sometimes they say it's tweaked and it's two weeks, sometimes they say it's tweaked and they say that's two days."

With Brooks out, Colts free agent Cato June took some reps at weakside linebacker. June is expected to start this season at strongside linebacker, but he is considered Brooks' heir apparent.

BEAT THE HEAT: Hey, it worked for Joey Galloway. The Bucs have decided to give many of their veteran players more practices off, rather than wear them out during the two-a-days of training camp.

"We did some things researchwise that we're going to try to put into action," Gruden said. "We've got to earn the right to have a day off, if you know what I mean. There are some guys under the medical watch of our staff, guys that need time to lift properly during this time and guys that need to stretch more properly and obviously guys that could use some additional rest and rehab to be explosive and physical when they do show up in practice."

Both Michael Pittman and Greg Spires benefited from the extra day of rest on Saturday.

"You can see results when they do it for Joey, how fresh he is," Pitt- man said. "Going just once a day, I know for a fact my body will be a lot fresher going into the season."

PADDING UP: The Bucs will be in pads for the first time this training camp beginning with today's morning workout.

"I think we've been in shorts a long time," Gruden said. "We had so many injuries last year, I don't think we practiced often in pads all last season."

WEIRD QB ROTATION: Because the Bucs have four quarterbacks they want to look at, they are alternating reps so that one of them doesn't get many reps during team drills each practice.

Normally, the fourth quarterback in camp is a rookie free agent who may not throw a pass except in individual drills. But with Luke McCown coming off a knee injury, all four passers need reps.

"The quarterback rotation will be unique throughout this training camp. You'll see a lot of Chris Simms this afternoon and a lot less of someone else," Gruden said.

''Luke is a guy that earned the reps, and he took advantage of some of them today. Some of them he needs to learn from, but I thought he did some good things."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Pittman isn't hurt. We thought his biceps could use a little work." Gruden, on why the Bucs running back was held out of the morning practice.

ARENABOWL-BOUND: Galloway was excused from the afternoon workout to fly to New Orleans for the ArenaBowl, where the part-owner of the Columbus Destroyers will watch his team take on the San Jose SaberCats today.

"I would like somebody here to do their work and find out, maybe privately, what percentage of the Destroyers he owns," Gruden said. "That is being investigated, and I have had no success.

Gruden joked that other players tried to convince them they needed to be excused as well.

"Yeah, Spires, he owns the San Jose SabreCats. And I got two phone calls that one of our players owns a dog at the Tampa Bay greyhound track."

Gruden's brother Jay coaches the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators.

TRANSACTION: The Bucs signed defensive tackle Justin Frick. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent in May and was released July 22.