The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the practice field Tuesday to get an extra workout in for their next opponent – the 4-3 Green Bay Packers.
The 0-7 Buccaneers still are looking for their first win of the 2009 regular season. Ironically, the team's next opportunity comes Sunday when Tampa Bay is scheduled to wear its throwback uniforms for the first time since retiring the orange and white colors in 1997.
None of the players on Tampa Bay's 53-man roster played for the Bucs during the Bucco Bruce days. In fact, some Bucs players weren't even teenagers when the team last sported the Bucco Bruce logo. However, the players understand the magnitude and importance of Sunday's contest.
"We're honoring the past and working on our future," said Bucs rookie receiver Sammie Stroughter, who was 11 the last time Tampa Bay wore orange and white uniforms. "I think it's special and I think guys are treating it that way."
There are mixed reviews in Tampa Bay's locker room in terms of how the players feel about the Bucco Bruce logo and creamsicle colors.
"I didn't think the uniforms fit that well back then, but now that they are a tighter fit I think they look better," said Bucs safety Sabby Piscitelli. "I wasn't a fan then, but I like these helmets. I don't know about wearing them for every game, but maybe for a few."
Added Bucs right defensive end Stylez G. White: "I like the idea and think we should wear them at least four times per year. Win or lose, it's still tradition and it's important to pay respect to what started it all."
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, their orange and white colors are oftentimes associated with losing, and for good reason.
Tampa Bay sported its orange and white uniforms from 1976-96. During that time, the Bucs had 18 losing seasons, including a 0-26 start from 1976-77.
However, the Bucs have brought back Bucco Bruce for the first time since 1996 in an effort to honor the 1979 team that made the NFC Championship Game, as well as Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, who will be the first Buc inducted in to the team's Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium.
For the players that aren't crazy about trading in Tampa Bay's red and pewter colors for orange and white this week, the tradition will help them adjust to the temporary uniform change.
"It was changed for a reason," said Bucs center Jeff Faine. "I'm not a huge fan of it, but it's part of the legacy of the Buccaneers. We're going to do it and honor Lee Roy Selmon by wearing the uniform he wore."
Since undergoing a uniform change in '97, the Bucs have suffered through just three losing seasons and won Super Bowl XXXVII. The '09 season is dangerously close to being Tampa Bay's fourth losing season during a 13-year span.
The Bucs are the only winless team in the NFL. Ending that dreadful streak would be huge for Tampa Bay, but the Bucs admit a win in the throwback uniforms would be even more special.
"We're honoring the legendary Buc, the guy that started it off," Bucs defensive tackle Chris Hovan said of Selmon. "Whatever uniform they put on us, we need to go out there and get our first win and represent this man they're putting in the Ring of Honor. There's a lot to play for."