Bucs wide receiver Joey Galloway has never been the type of player that is considered a media darling. However, on Thursday Galloway was extremely loose and had plenty of jokes for the contingent of media that was covering check-in day for the Bucs players at the Celebration Hotel in Orlando.
Galloway, who enters his fourth season with the Bucs, was excited about the prospect of starting a new season, but not quite that excited about the beginning of training camp. In his 13th season in the NFL, Galloway didn’t make it a secret about his dislike for two-a-days and the Florida heat that comes with training camp.
“I don’t want to make it sound like it’s a drag, but I know what it’s about to be and I know what my body is going to feel like next week,” Galloway said. “Yes I’m excited to be here, but that would be like being excited to go to the dentist. You know your teeth are going to get fixed, but you have to go through the pain, it’s one of those things. You kind of have to love it while you complain about it.”
One thing Galloway didn’t complain about and quite frankly didn’t want to dwell on was the amount of playing time he and other players on offense received during the preseason in 2006. Galloway recognized that the Bucs struggled to execute on offense several times last season, but never blamed the lack of reps in the preseason for the struggles.
“No, I would not want to have more reps in the preseason,” Galloway said. “Offensively last year we weren’t great we weren’t good and there were times that we struggled, and I don’t know if there was any time that we ever looked back and said ‘Boy I wish we would have gotten more time in the preseason’. We had our problems that we feel as if we are better now and we will be more successful and you know I’ve gotten a heat problem if you ever hear me say that I would like to get more reps in the preseason.”
Galloway’s light-hearted demeanor with the media had a quiet confidence about what he can do for this team and what the offense can do under the direction of quarterback Jeff Garcia. Galloway didn’t shy away from the fact that Garcia has the reputation for having below average arm strength throwing the ball. Galloway doesn’t see that as a problem and believes that the offense can be successful with Garcia running the show.
The only issue that could arise with Galloway’s lack of reps during training camp and in the preseason is his timing with Garcia. Garcia and Galloway didn’t get to work together much during the organized team activities and mini-camp during the offseason because the Bucs rested Galloway most of the offseason.
Despite the lack of reps, Galloway is the kind of receiver that can step on field on Sunday and is a threat to make a big play on every down. He has established himself as Tampa Bay’s primary receiver by catching 145 passes for 2,344 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Galloway doesn’t think there will be a timing issue with Garcia and likes what he sees from the new quarterback running the offense.
“It’s tough at times just going through mini-camps but I think the first thing that stands out is that he’s a competitor,” Galloway said of Garcia. “He comes to work every single day, when he’s in the huddle you can tell that he locked in and he’s focused. When you look at a quarterback that is the kind of guy you want, a guy that’s going to get in there and be a leader, compete and go after it every play.”
Even though Galloway will turn 36 during the season, he stands by the fact that he hasn’t lost a step. Galloway is still considered one of the fastest wide receivers currently in the NFL and takes every possible chance to let that be known. He got a couple of chuckles during his interview on Thursday when talking about losing a step at his position.
“Eventually, probably when I reach my 30s I will lose a step, but fortunately I’ve been blessed up until now,” Galloway said jokingly. “I feel terrific as I enter my 13th camp, it feels just like the rest of them so I don’t foresee losing a step yet, but when that does happen I will still be the fastest guy in this room.”
Galloway will be excused from Sunday’s practice because he will be attending Arena Bowl XXI to watch the Columbus Destroyers take on the San Jose Sabercats for the AFL championship. Galloway is a senior executive partner of the Destroyers and has a vested interest in the championship contest.
Columbus will be looking to capture its first Arena Bowl championship in the team’s four-year history. Galloway is excited about the game and has enjoyed being on the other side of the business.
“It has been fun to watch the team play and to get emotional and just let the emotions go,” Galloway said. “When you are playing, you kind of have to keep your head, you have to think through things, you have to run the play, you have to go back to the huddle and refresh, but when you are sitting there watching a game and cheering for a team, you get to let the emotions go and that is something I’ve enjoyed doing.”
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