The Bucs held one of their final training camp practices at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex on Tuesday morning. With that practice in the books, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have only four planned training camp practices remaining.
Starting quarterback Jeff Garcia practiced for part of the session before leaving early to receive treatment from the training staff. Garcia returned to the field after treatment and worked out lightly. Garcia did the same thing on Monday. While the team was scrimmaging, Garcia was throwing passes to injured wide receiver Joey Galloway. The veteran receiver donned his helmet for the first time, ran some routes at half speed, and caught balls from his quarterback.
After practice, head coach Jon Gruden discussed the status of some of the injured players.
"We got (Garcia) back on the practice field," Gruden said. "He took some individual work, which we said he was going to do. After we got done with that we got him some more treatment under some careful supervision. We'll do that again this afternoon. Hopefully by the end of the week he is getting close to being full-time again."
Gruden was asked if Garcia would be held out of Sunday's preseason game against the New England Patriots.
"If it doesn't get a lot better then it was today then yeah," Gruden said. "We'll make that decision in a few days from now. He hasn't practiced in a long time, and he is not moving around at 100 percent. The New England Patriots aren't a team you want to send out a guy at half speed."
Gruden also did not have a timetable on the return of Galloway.
"You can talk to Joey and [trainer Todd Toriscelli]," said Gruden. "He's still coming back from that thing. He's working his tail off. The flights are canceled. The airport is closed until further notice. That is the best way I can put it."
Tight end Ben Troupe and cornerback Sammy Davis (hip) did the same thing as Garcia in that they practiced for a while before sitting out the second half. Gruden indicated that Troupe has a mild foot injury and it is sore. Both Troupe and Davis are day-to-day. Defensive tackle Jovan Haye missed practice again with a groin injury.
During the 11-on-11 scrimmage, a brief skirmish broke out between wide receiver Brian Clark and linebacker Ryan Nece. Nece knocked down Clark, and Saturday's touchdown receiver took exception to it. Clark got up and grabbed Nece's facemask. Nece grabbed Clark's back. The pair started to tussle briefly when teammates Ronde Barber and Maurice Stovall, among others, stepped in to break it up before it escalated into a fight.
"[Clark] is a good player," Gruden said. "He's had a very good camp. He's made a lot of plays here. He's playing a lot of different roles for us as a receiver and as a special teams man. He's competing for a job here, no question about it, and we've liked what he's done."
With training camp about to conclude, Gruden said the team does not have a particular focus at this point. Gruden seemed happy with certain aspects of the team, but the blocking was something he wanted to see improve.
"Zero in on everything really," said Gruden. "We're trying to see who can step up and help us. Also we're trying to get ourselves ready to handle a team that won 18 straight games, one of the more physical, potent, football teams that I've seen. We want to continue to get better. We like what we are doing. No penalties, no turnovers, we ran the ball; we threw the ball with pretty good success, and didn't allow a touchdown. We want to continue to get better. That is the big thing we are emphasizing, but it is not good enough. Nothing is good enough."
"[The offense] was pretty good at times. At the end of practice, offensively, we didn't block very well. There were some good spurts on both sides."
When asked about running back Michael Bennett and his productive night against Miami last Saturday, Gruden returned to the subject of the team's blocking.
"Well, we gave [Bennett] an extensive work load," Gruden said. "That's what we're going to continue to try to do this preseason, get him some work. I thought he ran hard. We got to block better. We have to become a better blocking football team. Not just talking about the line either I'm talking about the receivers, the tight ends, and our fullbacks. We got to get better, and I think our backs will get better. He did some good things. There are some edges that he has to take care of, but he is getting better.
"I think our first four or five runs they didn't do a very good job. Again it is a work in progress. If you want to be honest we came out and threw the ball repeatedly for the first half to three quarters. We got some things done in the running game as the game unfolded. Miami is a 3-4 defense and they are very physical, and New England will be really physical as well. We got to continue to make an effort to run the ball and improve in all areas."
SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW
Various media outlets have reported that Bruce Springsteen and the "E Street Band" will be the half-time entertainment for this year's Super Bowl in Tampa.
GLAZER FAMILY FOUNDATION HELPS SCHOOL DISTRICTS, STARTS MUSEUM
The Glazer Family Foundation donated $50,000 in vision screening equipment to Orange and Osceola school districts. The equipment is essential to assisting children with early detection of vision troubles and enhancing their overall learning experience.
The Glazer family, who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, started the Glazer Family Foundation in 1999. Recently, the foundation donated $5 million toward the construction of a new children's museum in downtown Tampa. The museum will be named the Glazer Childrens Museum.
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