The Buccaneers welcomed the New England Patriots to One Buc Place on
Wednesday and will spenT 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
Here is what you need to know about what happened at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday, August 23:
• Cornerback Anthony Gaitor is still suffering from a hamstring injury suffered late in the first half of last Friday night’s preseason game with the Titans. Gaitor was walking without any noticeable limp in the locker room after Thursday’s practice, and said he is still day-to-day. The team doesn’t expect him to play Friday night against New England but Gaitor should be ready to begin practicing next week.
• 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
• The Buccaneers and Patriots wrapped up their second of two joint practices Thursday afternoon in preparation for their Friday night matchup at Raymond James Stadium. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano told the media Thursday afternoon the practices have been beneficial for his young football team, particularly when facing a quarterback like Tom Brady.
“Well, you better be precise because he’s going to be precise and they’re going to be precise, Schiano said. “So we need to be precise and we need to pressure the quarterback. You can’t let him just stand back there, he’s too good. At the end of the day you’re looking at a first-ballot hall of famer, so he’s as good as you’re going to see, so it’s good for our defense, great work.”
Belichick addressed the media at One Buc on Thursday and talked about the advantages to the two-team workouts.
“Well I would say the number one thing is not really about beating somebody in practice,” Belichick said. “It is about working with somebody and getting better. We are not here to try to win a drill or trick Tampa on something. That’s not the point of it. The point is to work on what we want to work on and work on what they are working on so that we can become better. When we walk off the field, we are a better team than we were when we walked on it. That’s the way we practice against each other. We compete against each other, but we compete in a way that we can improve each other.”
Gerald McCoy talked about “Patriots Week” in open locker room following Thursday’s practice.
“It’s been fun, but honestly, it’s just some good work for us,” McCoy said. It’s a different opponent, it just so happened to be three-time Super Bowl Champs in the past however many years. Those guys [Patriots], you can see how seasoned they are, how they practice. I’ll speak for everybody when I say Tom Brady is just – he’s on another level and we got to see why he is who he is today.”
• The third preseason game is normally the game in which starters play close to one half and in some cases into the third quarter. Schiano, however, was non-committal when asked how much the starters will play on Friday night against New England.
“I think we’ll see our guys play for a little bit,” Schiano said. “I hate to stand up here and say something and then it not be the case, because you get into a game and like last week, we had nine possession that we defended in the first half. That’s near three quarters. In some games you’re into the fourth quarter with the ninth possession, so to sit here and say they’ll be out and then they don’t go, that’s why I don’t box myself in, but I sure hope if the game goes like a game should that we’re playing them in the second half.”
• Friday’s game against New England will be blacked-out locally after failing to sell out 85 percent of the available tickets. Last week’s game against Tennessee drew just 45,633 fans but Friday’s game is expected to be considerably larger. Unfortunately for Buccaneers fans, the larger crowd will include a fairly large contingent of Patriots fans who now call Florida home.
The Buccaneers are still hoping the opening game against the Carolina Panthers on September 9 will be sold out and able to be shown locally. The organization has made a push to increase ticket sales, announcing half-priced concessions (excluding beer) and also free parking in select lots.
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