• Practice began at 11:50 a.m. under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 90’s at One Buccaneer Place. The players donned full pads for Thursday’s practice, which was closed to the media all but 30 minutes.
• Carl Nicks, Tom Crabtree, Rashaan Melvin all were held out of practice on Thursday according to head coach Greg Schiano.
Fullback Eric Lorig and running back Mike James were limited in Thursday’s practice.
TAMPA BAY ROSTER MOVES
• The Buccaneers did not announce any roster moves on Thursday.
THE BIG NEWS AT ONE BUC PLACE
• The 2013 season begins Sunday and the players have decided who will be the leaders on offense, defense and special teams with the revelation of the team’s captains for the upcoming season on Thursday.
The players themselves vote on the honor and elected defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and safety Dashon Goldson as defensive captains. Offensively guard Davin Joseph and receiver Vincent Jackson were voted to wear the captain’s “C” on their chest. And lastly, linebacker and special teams standout Adam Hayward was given the honor to represent the Bucs special teams in 2013.
Goldson was pleased with the designation.
“Coming in from a different organization and being elected captain, I’m very humbled and honored by it,’’ Goldson said. “It speaks volumes about how they feel about me as a player and as a man. It’s really a great honor and I’m very gratified.’’
Somewhat surprisingly QB Josh Freeman, who was a captain last year, was not elected this season. Let the debate and speculation begin.
• Josh Freeman gave his weekly press conference to the media on Thursday and said he is not affected by criticism from the media or even opponents. On Thursday Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson took a shot at Tampa Bay’s starting QB saying Freeman shows on film that if he is pressured enough, he makes mistakes on his own.
Freeman said it doesn’t bother him at all.
My preparation isn’t really adjusted,” Freeman said. “I’m no more motivated by the Jets saying something than someone in the media saying something. It comes from within. The work we do, the coaches, you know you have to hold it tight because you can’t let someone else saying something change the way you go about your business. Otherwise you are going to change and you are going to be off base from that regard.
“You have to have emotion but people can say what they want, but Sunday is the proving ground. You have to go out and do it and whatever anyone says, it is not going to affect how I go about my business and how I play on Sunday, either way.”
• Schiano hasn’t given up completely on Carl Nicks being able to go, but with Nicks unable to practice all week it may be a long shot to see No. 77 on the field Sunday in New York. Schiano explained his contingency plans on Thursday in the event Nicks is unable to go.
“Well we have [offensive tackle Gabe] Carimi, we have [guard] Ted [Larsen], and we have [offensive tackle} Jamon [Meredith],” Schiano said. “All three of them are options for us at the guard spot and I’m comfortable with all three. Whichever one we finally decide is the guy that should be there, then that means we’re most comfortable with that guy but I am confident that all three will get in there and play well.”
BUCS QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I think the nice thing right now – God willing everybody stays healthy – we’ve got some depth. We can rotate guys through and I think a lot of guys – but we’ve got to do a great job on the first and second and getting people into second-and-long. We’ve got guys that have natural pass-rush-ability; whether its [defensive tackle] Derek [Landri] and [defensive tackle Gary Gibson] on the inside or [defensive ends] Da’Quan [Bowers] and [Adrian Clayborn] AC, those kind of guys and getting [defensive end] Trevor Scott on the roster, I think all of those guys have some natural pass rush ability. And the nice thing is, I can say, we can rotate them in and then they’re not going to have to play 60 straight snaps. I’m anticipating a much better pass rush.” – defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan on his expectations for the defensive line and their ability to generate a pass rush
TAMPA BAY’S NEXT PRACTICE
The Buccaneers will go through a shorter practice on Friday beginning at 11:15 a.m. as they finalize their install for Sunday’s 1 p.m. road trip to New York.