The Tampa Bay Buccaneers left their pads behind and took the field Wednesday sporting shorts, jerseys and helmets as they prepare for their preseason opener against the New York Jets on Friday night.
Offensive tackles Torrin Tucker (knee) and Kenyatta Walker (knee), defensive end Charles Bennett (hamstring) and wide receivers David Boston (rest) and Michael Clayton (toe) missed Wednesday morning’s practice.
According to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, Clayton’s toe injury is not the same type of turf toe ailment that ended his 2005 season.
“He had a little turf toe and we want to try to use today, taking the pads off – we’ve had 11 straight days of pads – to try to get these guys a little physically rejuvenated,” said Gruden. “But Mike has a mild turf toe – he should be ready to go in the game.
Clayton suggested he’s ready to play in Friday night’s preseason game at Raymond James Stadium.
“It’s a bruised toe,” said Clayton. “I could have practiced today if I wanted to. I haven’t missed a day of camp until now. I just wanted to take advantage of the day and let the toe get better and give my legs a rest. I’m ready for Friday.”
Guard Toniu Fonoti (ankle) returned to practice, and free safety Will Allen (fractured thumb) practiced with a big cast on his left forearm.
Bennett, Walker, Tucker, Clayton, cornerbacks Juran Bolden and Brian Kelly, and WR Joey Galloway were held out of the afternoon practice.
Bucs Sign TE Stephens
As first reported by PewterReport.com, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers auditioned defensive backs Cory Bird, Arturo Freeman and Bobby Gray, and tight ends Leonard Stephens and Zeron Flemister before practice on Wednesday morning.
The Bucs came away impressed with at least one of those players. On Wednesday afternoon, the team signed Stephens, who has played in five career games with the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions.
The 6-foot-3, 258-pound Stephens entered the league in 2000 as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers.
In order to make room for Stephens on their roster, the Bucs released wide receiver Terrance Stubbs.
If you’re a fan of any other football team besides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attending training camp practices at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista – beware.
Before practice began on Wednesday morning, several Bucs players, coaches and officials took notice of three people in the stands wearing Baltimore Ravens shirts.
Bucs and Disney security approached the people and checked into the identity of the three men to make sure the Ravens, who play the Bucs in Week 1 of the regular season, did not send team scouts to Tampa Bay’s practice as it would violate NFL rules.
While Bucs officials said the three individuals were later found not to be Ravens scouts, Bucs and Disney security escorted them out of the practice – just in case.
Bucs Announce Radio Lineup
Tampa Bay officially announced the weekly lineup for the 2006 Buccaneer Player Radio Shows, which feature head coach Jon Gruden, cornerback Ronde Barber, linebackers Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles and wide receiver Joey Galloway.
All six shows are broadcast on the Bucs’ flagship stations, 103.5 WFUS and 620 WDAE. The shows start the week leading up to Tampa Bay’s season opener vs. the Baltimore Ravens.
Here is the lineup in its entirety:
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden – Monday at 5PM
Wide receiver Joey Galloway – Monday at 6PM
Cornerback Ronde Barber – Tuesday at 6PM
Linebacker Derrick Brooks – Wednesday at 6PM
Linebacker Shelton Quarles – Thursday at 6PM
Buccaneers Total Access – Friday at 6PM
Pewter Report editor-in-chief Scott Reynolds’ weekly “Buccaneer Blitz” show with afternoon host 620WDAE Steve Duemig debuts today and will be broadcast every Wednesday at 5PM throughout the entire season.
Quote Of The Day
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the defense having the upper hand on the offense Wednesday morning
“In 7-on-7 [the defense] did. I thought in the goal line team work we had three easy touchdowns. We had some lack of concentration today. We’re not good enough today to beat anybody on offense. We had four or five visible mental errors, four or fie visible snap-count violations. It was not acceptable and we’re not going to be a very good team practicing like that.”
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