There’s summertime heat and then there’s summertime heat in the state of Florida. The Tampa Bay Bucs are one of three teams that knows what it’s like to deal with that type of adversity.
No matter the time of day, the temperature and humidity are always high, making for almost two months of a grueling training camp schedule.
Even the longest tenured Bucs such as Lavonte David, who is originally from Miami, aren’t used to it.
“Even for me, you can’t get used to this Florida heat,” David said. “It’s different, especially further up north, it’s different, but you got to grind through it. You just got to find your second wind somewhere out in practice and just grind through it, push through it, give it effort and you’ll get pretty used to it fast for the most part. Most guys stay hydrated and just push through it, don’t let it beat you down and let it show on film because when people get tired and stuff, it shows.”
“It’s unreal,” right tackle Tristan Wirfs said. “Look at the flags, they’re not moving at all. You definitely got to stay hydrated.”
Bruce Arians hasn’t been happy with the second half of practice so far through the first two days of training camp. Players are getting fatigued by the heat, which has led to mental lapses and dropped passes as they get more accustomed to the weather.
“Our guys right now are giving into the heat,” Arians said. “I’m not really pleased with the last 30 minutes of practice so far. It’s really, really hot in the second half.”
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians gives his thoughts on practice today. He said players are still get used to the heat. He liked the first half of it but was disappointed in the second half of practice. pic.twitter.com/2Zj6ZEspU4
One of the first side effects you’ll see is a lot of weight loss from the amount of perspiration. Believe it or not, Shaq Barrett was wearing a hoodie during practice on Monday, making it even more difficult for him. But it’s all part of his plan for later in the season.
“It makes it a little bit harder right now, but when I get to game day it’s a lot easier,” Barrett said. “Yesterday, surprisingly I lost three pounds, that was it. I put it back on before I started practice today. But I had a long sleeve shirt yesterday, we’ll see where I’m at today. I’m hydrating pretty well because I’m not trying to be out here.”
While Barrett’s three pounds might seem like a lot, it doesn’t hold water to the Bucs’ offensive linemen.
“The scale said five pounds,” Wirfs said. “But I drank like six pounds of water during practice.”
The leader of the clubhouse would have to be Donovan Smith, who said he’s had days where he’s lost double digit numbers.
“Everybody is different,” Smith said. “Everybody’s body is different. Some guys, I’m pretty sure you can get a 10-pound day, I had a couple 10-pound days in my life, more than that. It’s a process, you definitely got to get your body back quick. Hydrating, cold tub, hot tub, really it’s just hydrating. Make sure you eat the right food and feel your body. That’s the main thing, it’s here, it’s inevitable. It’s going to happen, it’s just how well you push through it. Guys lose water weight, a ton out here with the humidity, it’s just how it goes.”
On Tuesday, Arians and the coaching staff made adjustments. About halfway through practice, they brought a majority of the Bucs inside the Advent Health Training Center’s indoor facility for about 10 minutes while the kickers attempted field goals outside. Arians said it was to simulate what it would be like to going into halftime of a regular season game.
What it also helped with was the execution from the offense and defense during the second half of practice. It was the best second half performance they’ve had in the three days of training camp. Arians credited the trip inside for the all-around improvement.
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians was much happier with the second half of this practice. They went indoors at one point to simulate going inside for halftime of a game. pic.twitter.com/bMbIrsS74u