Here is what you need to know about what happened at One Buccaneer Place on Friday, September 13:
• Practice began at 11:00 a.m. under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 90’s at One Buccaneer Place. The players were in just shorts and helmets for the 1.5-hour workout.BUCS INJURIES
• TE Tom Crabtree was once again held out of practice as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain that took place in the Bucs final preseason game against the Redskins.
Head coach Greg Schiano on Friday ruled Crabtree out of Sunday’s game with the Saints along with cornerback Michael Adams.
• The Carl Nicks watch continued on Friday with Schiano still not able to say if the former Saints All-Pro guard would play against his former team.
“Certainly conditioning is a concern, because, when he was fighting the infection, it wasn’t like he did light conditioning," Schiano said. "He did nothing, and that was mandatory by the doctors. He has to get back into playing shape, [and] how you do it is play. You can run, you can jog – you’ve got to do that, don’t get me wrong – but then there’s that other step into a much greater degree, kind of the way we handled [cornerback] Darrelle [Revis]. I see that’s how it [is going to go]. When he’s gassed, he’s got to let us know. We have other guys that can play. And then, eventually, that becomes more and more and more. I’d say Darrelle built up all during training camp though, all those one-on-one routes he did. It’s going to be a little bit of a process, no matter when that first time he plays [is]. But we just keep moving it forward, because Carl’s a dominant player, and we need to get him back.”
Nicks has practice in a limited capacity the last two days, and was seen running on one of the empty practice fields during Friday's practice.
TAMPA BAY ROSTER MOVES
• The Buccaneers did not announce any roster moves on Thursday.THE BIG NEWS AT ONE BUC PLACE
• Friday’s are typically the slowest news days across NFL locker rooms and today was no different in Tampa. Head coach Greg Schiano did speak to the media as usual but even that was shorter than normal.
With the majority of the questions asked about the controversy of team meetings, captains and quarterback Josh Freeman’s sleeping habits out of the way for now, Schiano talked more about the Saints on Friday.
One Saints player in particular that worries Schiano is Darren Sproles.
“[He’s] very dangerous – [on] screens, down in the red zone, tight red zone," Schiano said. "[He’s] the most prolific scorer in [the] red zone, maybe, in the history of football, this guy. [If] you look at last year, he had so many points, down in that area, per touch. You’re looking at a guy who is elite at what he does. They don’t ask him to do everything, but what they ask him to do he’s the best in the game at right now.”
• Both safety Dashon Goldson and linebacker Lavonte David received the dreaded FedEx package from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week for hits that resulted in penalties during last Sunday’s game against the Jets.
On Friday Schiano talked about they penalties, but also not wanting his defensive backs – or any defensive player – to be timid when tackling..
“I don’t want penalties, nor do I want fines,” Schiano said. “I want us to play the games within the rules. I respect the game of football. Does it affect receivers? I think, if you’re human, it does. Nobody wants to get crocked. The thing that I know when I watch our tape, although I don’t totally disagree with every one of the calls – I do with some, but that’s life, you’re always going to – as I watched it, none of them were intentional. But we’re not here to judge, and nor are the officials or the league here to judge intention; it’s what happened. Our guys aren’t trying to do that.
“They’re trying to play within the rules, just sometimes, when you’re moving at high speeds, illegal acts occur. So, we just keep working at it. We’ll get it right. Every once in a while, you’re going to have one. That’s the nature of the game.”
Thursday, during his weekly press conference, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan also commented on his defense and how they must learn to hit within the confines of the new rules.
“We definitely respect the fact that the league wants to protect players. Heck, they want to protect our players, and we do too,” Sheridan said. “So, they’re going to foul players for either hitting their [the opponents’] helmets or hitting the opponents with their helmets, and that’s the League rules, and we teach that, and our players are aware of it. We don’t try to skirt that or coach technique around it or disregard it at all.
“Again, we don’t want our own players to get hurt. It is very difficult, at the moment – you know, the ‘bang, bang’ point in a play – to modify your entry angle into contact, but we watch those films and we coach all the guys on defense this is why those fouls are being called, and as we go forward, guys, we’ve got to understand that we don’t want to injure ourselves by leading with the crowns of our helmets, and, second of all, if we hit other opponents in their helmets, it’s going to be called as a foul.
“So, regardless of the fines and all that stuff, it ends up hurting us defensively, because those are personal fouls, and it changes the field position. Of their first downs last week, probably half of them came through either the quarterback scramble or penalties against, self-inflicted penalties.” BUCS QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Consistency of the five (offensive line) components, first – we haven’t had that, consecutively, yet, although we’ve never had that. The reality is [guard] Carl [Nicks] and [guard] Davin [Joseph] just never have played a regular season game together yet, right? But it’s more than just that; it’s moving people around, then [in preseason] game three, [offensive lineman] Gabe [Carimi] moves into left guard. So, there’s been some moving around, but we’ve got to play better too. We will.”– Schiano on the struggles to move the ball in Week 1
UP NEXT FOR TAMPA BAY
The Buccaneers will welcome the Saints to Raymond James Stadium for their 4:05 p.m. matchup. Good news for local fans that do not have a ticket – the game will not be blacked out and can be seen on WTVT-FOX 13.
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