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Bucs Feeling The Heat Before Preseason Opener

By Trevor DeGroot, on Twitter: @TrevorDeGroot
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(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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Tampa, FL (CBS Tampa Bay) — In what was the final public practice of training camp before their preseason opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and coaches came away with a universal thought afterwards.

“I’ve gotta believe that was the hottest day we’ve had,” says Bucs head coach Greg Schiano in his press conference after practice. “It wasn’t sharp, but boy did they work.”

Bucs 2nd year outside linebacker Lavonte David believes that despite the hot temperatures, the team was able to power through practice. “Today really was a stepping stone, you know even with the heat we were still able to push,” said David.

It’s no secret that August in Florida can be brutal weather wise, but the morning practice was no doubt as hot as any this year from the players’ and the coaches’ view.

While the heat is a given this time of year in Tampa, the competition and depth on the Buccaneers roster has not been. Coach Schiano has preached competition throughout his tenure and he has a lot of it at multiple positions. Tight end Luke Stocker, who recently came off the physically unable to perform (PUP)/active list due to a calf injury, knows he has a lot to prove to solidify the starting tight end spot.

“I’ve played in the league three years, but I’ve never been a true starter, every-down tight end,” says Stocker. “And so that’s what we’re all fighting to be and we’re all fighting for that breakthrough in our careers.”

The players will have their first true test to earn a spot on the depth chart and the team on Thursday night. But it is still uncertain how much playing time the starters will play. Coach Schiano explained that he and his coaching staff have every player on a different plan.

“Everyone’s going to be different, I wouldn’t look for wholesale,” says Schiano. “Every player we’ve created an individual plan for, especially the starters. How many we feel they need, and in what roles. Some guys are trying new roles.”

“If guys have a different role, they may play a little more in that area and not so much in what people are accustomed to seeing them in.”

NOTES: DE Aaron Morgan has missed a few recent practices due to a neck strain, although it is not too serious… Catch of the Day came from recently aquired WR Chris Denton in 7-on-7 drills on a pass from Josh Freeman for a TD reception… Coach Schiano says that QB Mike Glennon needs to play a lot in Thursday’s game against Baltimore. Glennon was placed 2nd on the unofficial depth chart by the Buccaneers staff… G Carl Nicks took it easy in today’s practice after going hard Monday. Nicks is coming off a season-ending toe injury.

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