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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Peek Inside the Locker Room

How do individual Buccaneers prepare for a big game? Let’s take a look


Before QB Shaun King and the Bucs hit the field Monday, they prepared in their own ways inside the locker room

How do individual Buccaneers prepare for a big game? Let's take a look

After spending a long and slow afternoon at the team hotel Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left on a quartet of buses for the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome at 5:00 p.m., local time.

It's a short ride to the Minnesota Vikings' home, so the team was at the venue just a few minutes later. With the game not scheduled to start until a little after 8:00 p.m., there was plenty of time for preparation. More than enough, in fact. Players generally have some extra moments to kill.

Here's a look at what some of the Bucs were doing to pass the time before Monday's game.

Linebacker Shelton Quarles was studying a scouting report given to him during the week that was prepared especially for the Bucs' LB crew.

Defensive tackle Warren Sapp and safety John Lynch were watching ESPN's Two Minute Drill a trivia game show. Actually, a handful of Bucs were watching the competition, but Lynch and Sapp were right in front of the television, playing along. Sapp, in fact, thoroughly outplayed the two contestants, displaying an extremely deep base of sports trivia knowledge.

Safety David Gibson and Wide Receiver Reidel Anthony were paging through the current issue of NFL Insider, the game program. At each NFL venue, an NFL Insider is placed in the locker of every player.

Linebacker Derrick Brooks was listening to music on headphones and putting on parts of his uniform. That routine was briefly interrupted when Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin stopped by Brooks' locker to discuss a particular nuance of one defensive formation.

Quarterback Eric Zeier and tackle Pete Pierson were paging through the playbook.

Rookie guard Cosey Coleman was resting in a chair in front of his locker, with his feet up on the ledge. Coleman simply stared straight ahead into his locker before getting up to get ready to warm up on the field.

DE John McLaughlin was watching ESPN with the others before Head Coach Tony Dungy called him over. McLaughlin was unsurprised to learn that he was being deactivated due to the ankle sprain he suffered on Friday. Dungy seemed reluctant to tell McLaughlin that he wouldn't be playing, but the second-year player agreed with the decision.

Long-snapper Morris Unutoa was taping his wrists.

Running back Warrick Dunn was meticulously laying out his locker contents in perfect order.

WR Jacquez Green was lining his shoulder pads with double-sided tape and then pulling the jersey over them to create a tight fit.

Linebacker Jamie Duncan was wearing plastic gloves and applying analgesic cream to his knees.

There was, of course, various other activities going on throughout the Buccaneer locker room, but none of it was at too frenzied a pace. With just 90 minutes remaining before a critical Monday night test, that was bound to change in just a few short minutes.

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