On the final practice before the Tampa bay Buccaneers’ 2017 season and home opener against the Chicago Bears, the Bucs roster looked relatively healthy on a predominantly special teams practice.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said he was pleased with how his team has handle the time off and how the last three practices have progressed, and certainly gave the sense that he and his team are just ready to get out there.

Here are the four things we learned from One Buc Place on Friday.

Injury Report

Earlier this week, players like Kwon Alexander and Evans Smith had missed practice time due to illness. Both of those player were back on the practice field today, and appear to be good to go for Sunday.

After practice, Koetter said that only one player looks like they’re going to be completely ruled out on Sunday, which is great news overall – we assume that player will be linebacker Devante Bond, though he was at practice in a limited role this morning.

Baker Bares All

As of late, we’ve seen players like Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith don the short shorts at practice, but today, defensive tackle Chris Baker made sure people knew that that sort of attire isn’t exclusive to the little guys.

Baker said he got the idea from new comer T.J. Ward, who also had some short shorts at practice, though he has less body to cover. Baker paired the shorts with a crop top jersey, too, which completed the package, in his mind.

It’s Time To Play

After practice, Koetter addressed the media and fielded some questions, but through each question, no matter the topic at hand, the theme was usually the same. They’re just ready to get out there and play.

Bucs Colors Only

It’s been well documented that Koetter believes the only colors he should see in the lower bowl at Raymond James Stadium are Bucs colors. He doesn’t want Bucs fans selling their tickets to opposing fans or even not coming to the games themselves. He wants a passionate fans base, and he reiterated that on Friday.

With all the hype around the team, all the anticipation waiting an extra week, and now getting their first action at home, hopefully Koetter gets his wish.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

5 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t completely agree with Koetter’s comment of “He doesn’t want Bucs fans selling their tickets to opposing fans or even not coming to the games themselves. He wants a passionate fan base.” I have been a fan since the beginning, growing up in Titusville and starting to follow football when the Bucs’ started. In spite of not living in Florida since 1984, I am still a passionate fan and always will be, just like my brother who started following the Packers’ when we lived in Wisconsin in the 60s and is still a loyal Packers’ fan (trust me, I’ve tried to convert him).

    I live in San Antonio now and fly in for as many games as I can afford. I did 5 last year and am coming in for 5 this year (starting Sunday). I have one season ticket (next to Garv) and the games that I can’t make, I sell my ticket to a co-worker who is also a Bucs’ fan, and he flies in from Oklahoma for the games. My preseason tix were donated to Vettix. I used to have 2 club seats, but could no longer afford them.

    I believe that I qualify as a “passionate” fan, even though I am not meeting Dirk’s criteria.

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    • Randy, I think you DO qualify and for the following two reasons. I’ve SEEN you at the games, you are definitely a passionate fan. and the fact is when you can’t make it you make sure another Buccaneer fan is in your seats. Coach Koetter is referring to the jackwagons who sell their tickets to the highest bidder no matter who those people may support. As a #StickCarrier we have a Facebook page and try to make sure that when a Buccaneer fan cannot attend a game for whatever reason, that he or she try to sell it at coast to a fellow Buccaneer fans.

      It’s simple really. We want Buccaneer fans at Buccaneer home games. And as the team gets better, more and more will jump on board and that will happen. There will always be some opposing fans in the Ray Jay and that is true throughout the NFL. But the levels of those fans of the Bear, Giants etc. has been unacceptable. I don’t like it. WE don’t like it and we know the Buccaneer players, coaches and obviously Coach Koetter don’t like it.

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      • I live in Philly so I’m disconnected to all the local fan movements. Do the fans actually carry sticks? I know it’s based on Koetter’s speech, but is there a group of people carrying wooden stakes or something?

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        • In name only. HATE is a member. BOID tried to join, but his application was denied for unknown reasons.
          Their fearless leader if Justin Pawolski, also know as the Commish.

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  2. Having been to every Bucs game the past 40 years I’m fully aware of the “infestation” of opposing fans, most of whom live right here in sunny Florida. In the old days, with so few season ticket holders, there were plenty of seats available. Difference was there was no “aftermarket” except holding up tickets on the corner. Season ticket holders were often willing to sell their tickets for any price and to anyone. Bears, Packers, Lions and other fans actually felt entitled to take over the stadium.

    Then at Ray Jay the team got better and it was all Bucs season pass members who eagerly attended the games. When the original 10 year commitment ended, many of those folks didn’t renew. Profiteers and businesses bought the tickets solely to sell them for a profit on the many aftermarkets. That made it much easier for the Broncos, Seahawks and now Bears fans to once again take over our home turf. Season ticket holders who signed up to sell the tickets, not because they are Bucs fans started “sleeping with the enemy.” These aren’t the ones who just can’t make it to the game. These are side ventures to make money.

    After 40 years I moved all of my seats ($12,000 worth) from the east to the west side to reduce the number of opponent’s colors around me. I applaud the Bucs efforts to clamp down on these ticket brokers. There are plenty of Bucs fans who may now purchase those seats………for face value.

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