The Bucs second- and third-team players are looking forward to Wednesday night’s game. The weather, not so much.
Bucs WR Kenny Bell – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Due to storm concerns from Tropical Depression Nine, Tampa Bay moved it’s preseason finale against the Redskins a day up, but it’s unlikely they’ll avoid rain entirely. And for skill position guys trying to make enough plays to earn a roster spot, a wet ball and field isn’t ideal.
“That’s just unfortunate,” wide receiver Kenny Bell said. “Like, just to really stack it against you. You’re talking about trying to make a team as a receiver and to know that a tropical storm is coming that’s going to mess up the field and there’s going to be a wet football, that’s tough. As life is throwing punches your way, you just have to try to dodge them, but that’s certainly a big one.”
Underscoring Bell’s stance was Akeem Spence, a defensive lineman, who essentially said he enjoys playing in the rain for the same reasons a wide receiver doesn’t.
“You know you’re going to get a heavy run game and the ball will be slippery,” Spence said. “Higher chances of turnovers, so I like playing the rain.”
From a coaching standpoint, Dirk Koetter said rain can make for good practice. The head coach said if the weather were unsafe – lightning, severe wind etc. – then players wouldn’t be on the field. He credited Bucs management’s caution and the Redskins’ cooperation in moving the game, before turning to the positive side of it all.
“It was just like today, it rained out there. We need to play in rain sometimes,” Koetter said. “That’s great work for us. I don’t know what kind of conditions we’re talking about. If it’s bad enough that it’s unsafe, they have rules in place to handle that. Lightning, we have a lightning delay.”
Skill position players, particularly receivers, can also look at this in a positive light. Playing in tough conditions provides a real opportunity to showcase hands and ability to keep footing on routes, two things that could separate a receiver from a competitive field. Bell might be better off rolling with the punches than dodging them.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Check that headline, Zach. I’m sure you meant Wednesday.
Here’s a tip for Bell in life? You don’t wait for the breaks; you create the breaks. Looks to me the rain will be more north of Tampa so at least the field won’t get that torn up. Some of these guys might have to play offense and defense. Ha Ha. I doubt we’ll see the first 40 players. Go Bucs!
Last summer we needed to complete the construction of a new school by mid-August in time for the teachers/students return. It rained nearly 30″ in July and August 1st it rained another 6″. To say we were impacted is an understatement. No one cared or gave us an excuse. Kids were coming. As Larry the Cable Guy says, “Git er done”. We did. Suck it up Kenny.
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