TAMPA -- The Bucs are bringing the heat.
Another rainy day forced practice into the team’s indoor facility on Friday, but coach Bruce Arians turned the thermostat in the building up to 85 degrees to simulate working in the Florida heat and humidity.
"Three inches of rain (outside), that's just going to ruin the practice. We've got all the elements we need as far as body temperatures being 101 for practice."
Arians is holding most of the team’s training camp practices at 4 p.m. to get the team accustomed to several early-season 4 p.m. starts, and Friday marked the second of three consecutive days with 6 :30 p.m. practices in an attempt to simulate the Bucs’ 8:30 p.m. road start in Carolina in Week 2.
And though the Bucs have been forced indoors often because of the rain, Arians said the team's sports science department is setting the indoor facility as a temperature most like early September in Tampa.
"That's what this is for, to set up humidity-wise and temperature-wise to acclimate us for the first game," Arians said. "It's not going to be any hotter on Sept. 8 than it is today."
It certainly made for an uncomfortable viewing experience for season ticket holders, who were exclusively allowed to watch Friday's practice. The Bucs kept the air conditioning on for Thursday's Women in Red event, but Arians said he will keep the heat on for all indoor practices going forward.
"It's sport science," Arians said. "If you want to come, come. I'm worried about getting the team in shape."
Kicker Cairo Santos, who is battling for a roster spot, said working in the heat indoors offered a good simulation in preparation for the Bucs' first home preseason game in two weeks against the Dolphins
“It was great," Santos said. "When we play Miami in a couple weeks, it’s going to be a night game here in Tampa. It’s probably going to be in the 80s. Today I think it was 85 indoors. It feels exactly what I think it would be outside. Obviously, you’re going to have a little breeze out there in Raymond James, so it’s probably going to feel a little cooler than it feels right now.
"It’s a good way to practice and to get us ready, Santos said. "It’s raining, we can’t practice outside and deal with those elements, but we still have to deal with the heat and humidity here. ... It’s a long practice. It’s hot, humid and everyone’s sweating. I probably lost a couple pounds here, just kicking balls. It gets us ready.”
-- Inside linebacker Lavonte David missed Friday’s practice with an undisclosed injury. “He don’t like the turf, he don’t like the turf,” Arians said. “He had a little swelling so we shut him down.”
-- Running back Dare Ogunbowale continued to impress working with the third-team offense as a running and receiver.
-- Rookie wide receiver Damarkus Lodge has been out with a hamstring injury he suffered on the first day of practice.
Quote of the Day
"They looked like professionals today, not scrubs."
-- Arians on the team’s receivers rebounding Friday from a drop-filled practice on Thursday.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.