With the recent torrential downpours that have covered the central part of the state, there aren’t too many dry patches of turf to be found. The fields behind One Buc Place have also felt the effect. Combining the squishy conditions outside and the fact that Tampa Bay will be traveling to the Superdome to face the Saints this Sunday, the Bucs packed up players and coaches and headed west to the always 72 degrees Tropicana Field.
Head coach Lovie Smith talked about the reasoning.
“It was a good practice for us and playing on the turf is a different feel,” Smith said. “For a couple of reasons [we’re practicing at Tropicana Field], there’s a lot of rain here and our fields are drenched but it is a different feel inside. Catching the ball, looking in the lights, change of directions, all of those things were good and then it was just a change of pace to do something different for our players. It was a good productive day, no traffic issues, just an easy in-and-out day for us down there and I liked it so much that we’ll probably go back tomorrow.”
“As a general rule, unless rain dictates us going there, we’ll practice on the grass, but we will keep that option open when we play inside. Not necessarily just when we play inside, but when we’re playing on an artificial surface.”
Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo also spoke about the benefits of practicing in a dome.
You’re not going to create New Orleans today, but you’re going to get close and you’re going to try to do some things that are subtle to make them think and lock in a little better, absolutely because it’s going to be that way.”
QB Mike Glennon also thinks it can help iron out some communication challenges that could be coming this Sunday.
“I think any time you’re in a loud environment, whenever you’re on the road, that’s something you want to focus on and make sure things go smoothly, especially in a dome with fans like theirs,” Glennon said. “We know we’re going to have to work on it this week in practice and make sure there are no problems coming into it.”