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July 27, 2012 @ 2:00 pm
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Weather A Hot Topic At Bucs' First Training Camp Practice

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 Thousands braved the sweltering heat to watch the Buccaneers hold their first training camp practice Friday morning at One Buc Place.
The Buccaneers opened training camp Friday morning in front of a packed house under the covered canopies that shielded the sun from the bleachers. What the organization couldn’t shield was the heat.

The drills moved quickly and organized with a couple short breaks after every few. The players were constantly given water to stay hydrated and drinks were available for fans.

Aside from a few players who were physically sick, including Josh Freeman a few times, the only casualty of the heat seemed to be an assumed cramp with Mason Foster, who walked off unassisted but rode the cart from the practice fields into the facilities.

Practice concluded around 11:15 as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees, without a breeze, and with 60 percent humidity.

Afterwards players met fans for autographs for a few minutes, and then both players and coaches spent time with the media. Coach Schiano Greg Schiano addressed the heat after practice, when he was asked if the heat took a higher toll on his players than expected.

“No, I think with the fact that you’re in a one-a-day practice, the new CBA, it really quite frankly would be better to have two (practices) instead of burning them up, but we have to get the work on so really, you saw we had two five minute breaks, that was our attempt to work through it and we’ll get better at it.” Schiano said. “We’ll get accustomed to it, and get acclimated again and that’s got to become an advantage of ours as we progress without running ourselves down at the same time.”

The second of two first round picks for the Bucs in April, Doug Martin cites the heat as something he is trying to get accustomed to, and is confident they will be able to move past it.

"Yeah, you know, it goes back to this weather, and getting acclimated, getting used to this hot weather and this humidity. It's day one, and you got to get it all out, I'm pretty sure it's going to be better down the line."

Two new additions to the 2012 squad, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and tight end Dallas Clark, put the Tampa weather in perspective.

“It was hot for sure, but I don’t think it’s hotter than or more humid than Houston.” Okoye said. “Four years out there definitely prepped me for any type of hot, humid weather and then Chicago prepped me for cold weather, so I think my body’s kind of like, we’ve seen this before.”

“Actually this is cold,” Clark said. “It’s been hotter in Iowa, surprisingly. But this is a beautiful day. I think we’re stealing this one. But you guys should have been in Iowa in July, it’s been a bear cat up there.”

The Bucs' 2010 first round draft pick defensive tackle Gerald McCoy views the heat they will be practicing through over the next few weeks as a positive.

"I just know it was hard.” McCoy said.  “But we made it through. Today was a test of our will, to see if we would go, you know, buckle under the pressure when it's hot. But this is our advantage. We got to learn to play through it so when those other teams come in, it's like...[we’re] used to it."

Regardless of how the players feel about the heat and humidity, third-year receiver Mike Williams summed it up best.

“It’s hot,” Williams said. “You just got to work through it though. We’ve been here and it’s Tampa, we expect it.”

Last modified on Friday, 27 July 2012 19:42

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    It's hot everywhere.
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    Clark is right about Iowa. At least when I lived in Tampa, there was the beach to go to.
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