TAMPA, FL — Mother nature made her presence felt at One Buc Place Monday afternoon with a couple downpours of rain at the beginning and end of practice.
This time however, no storms, lightning, or thunder interrupted the Buccaneers regiment, getting in all they needed to accomplish.
One of head coach Lovie Smith’s goals is to have his players prepare for anything. And battling the elements is a great practice tool.
“Every day we’ve gone out to practice there’s been a threat of rain,” said Smith. “You’re trying to prepare for the season, odds are we’re gonna have a few wet ball drills, a couple wet days. So you have to take advantage of them as much as anything, and that’s great work.”
Center Evan Dietrich-Smith has a bit of experience in extreme weather conditions. Playing with the Green Bay Packers virtually his entire NFL career, he is used to the weather being abnormal. And with the heat beating down during the dog days of summer, he welcomed the rain with open arms.
“It was refreshing in all honesty,” Dietrich-Smith stated. “Kind of like taking a shower outside. Sitting out there, you’re getting beat down by the sun the whole time and you’re sweating. It was a nice little change up. I didn’t mind it one bit.”
Something that has also changed up has been the offensive line. Most if not all the lineman played below their capabilities in last Friday’s preseason opener against the Jaguars. Dietrich-Smith acknowledged there wasn’t much of a game plan, but says they must be better.
“We’re really kind of showing you guys, on a percentage scale, probably about five percent of what we can really do,” says Dietrich-Smith. “It wasn’t anything super complicated. We weren’t out there trying to trick anybody with anything right off the bat.”
“But at the same time, when you go out there, you keep score. You want to win those football games. You want to go out and you want to have a good showing and obviously, that didn’t happen last week.”
Two players who are having good showings in training camp are rookies Charles Sims and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Both are coming off their first NFL game with some good moments, but also with some things to improve on. Sims in particular is looking to be more physical as a runner, while Seferian-Jenkins noticed that technique is critical in games.
“Just being more physical,” says Sims. “I just got to get used to it. It’s football so you want to be physical all the time. It just comes with the game.”
“It was just the real small stuff and that’s the biggest thing, it was the technique,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Everybody is just really good with their technique. It’s tough to know your technique or remember your technique when you’re in the heat of battle but that’s why we come out here and practice.”
The Buccaneers return to practice Tuesday afternoon at One Buc Place, starting at 4:30pm. For more in-depth Bucs coverage, visit our friends at PewterReport.com for the latest.