The Buccaneers welcomed the New England Patriots to One Buc Place on Wednesday and will spend two days practicing against the Patriots leading up to Friday night's preseason game at RJS. Read the latest happenings and notes in this PewterReport.com feature, Bucs News To Know.
Here is what you need to know about what happened at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday, August 22:BUCS INJURIES
• Bucs tight end Luke Stocker returned to practice on Wednesday. The second-year pro practiced Monday, but sat out Tuesday because he wasn’t feeling well. He hasn’t been feeling well, although no official diagnosis of his condition has been reported by the team. Stocker returned to practice on Wednesday and did not want to comment on his health with reporters afterwards, only saying that he was fine and 100 percent.
• Quarterback Josh Freeman was back at practice after missing the end of Tuesday’s practice with cramping in his left leg.
• Cornerback Anthony Gaitor was still sidelined with a sore hamstring and did not practice.
• Cornerback Eric Wright who left practice early on Tuesday with a minor back tweak was back on the field Wednesday and told the media after practice he felt fine.
• Wide receiver Arrelious Benn (knee), cornerback E.J. Biggers (foot) and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (Achilles) remained sidelined.TAMPA BAY’S ROSTER MOVES
• There were no Buccaneers roster moves on Wednesday. THE BIG NEWS AT ONE BUC PLACE
• After practicing in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) on Tuesday, the Bucs were back in full pads against the Patriots on Wednesday for the joint practice session. The practice was closed to the media after the first 30 minutes, but the Patriots worked on 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills during the practice, which lasted over two and a half hours.
• Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that because his team played on Monday night against Philadelphia it had done no film study of the Buccaneers yet and that the joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday prior to Friday night’s preseason game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa would be helpful for New England.
• Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps was going to be at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday – regardless of whether he signed with the New England Patriots or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because the two teams were holding joint practices this week prior to Friday night’s third preseason game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
As it turned out, the Patriots won the recruiting battle and Demps, who played football and ran track at the University of Florida, is thrilled to be playing with the Tom Brady and Co. and didn’t have a hard time deciding between New England and Tampa Bay.
“No, once I talked to the Patriots I got the feeling that that’s where I wanted to be,” Demps said. “Everything was family-based. It was like I was already part of the team. It wasn’t hard for me to decide to go with the Patriots.”
Demps practiced with Patriots for the first time on Wednesday.
• The media was allowed to view just the first 30 minutes of practice which were pretty much uneventful. After the workout ended the media was allowed back on the field and had interview opportunities with Patriots players. As one would expect Tom Brady drew the largest crowd including local media, Patriots beat writers and ESPN reporter Bob Holtzman.
• QB Josh Freeman took to the podium after practice on Wednesday and talked about the workouts with New England.
“It’s a great opportunity to practice against a quality opponent and try to get better,” Freeman said. “Today we went out at a number of things and had a chance to really go out and push ourselves. It was fun to do, fun to see.
“It was definitely good work. We got to come in, see some different looks, practice against somebody who’s not your own teammates. I thought it was very productive. I can’t wait to get in this afternoon and review the film.”
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