QB Akili Smith will vie for the Frankfurt starting job during camp at Tampa's King High School
Akili Smith, who is looking for a career revival in the NFL Europe League this spring, hasn't yet made it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice field. But he's about to get very close.
Smith was signed by the Buccaneers a week ago, thus becoming one of the team's 10 allocated players to the NFLEL. After finishing his first NFL Europe tour in June, he will presumably join the Bucs training camp in Orlando in July and, later, team headquarters in Tampa.
Smith's first practice in Tampa will be much sooner than that, however. On Tuesday, he'll join the rest of the Frankfurt Galaxy's allocated players for their first workout at King High School on Tampa's east side. King High, located on 56th Street will be the Galaxy's headquarters during the NFLEL's month-long joint training camp in the Bay area. There, Smith will vie for the starting quarterback job with Houston's B.J. Symons and the New York Jets' Kevin Eakin. The Galaxy will hold two practices on the typical camp day, the first beginning at 7:50 a.m. and the second at 10:00 a.m.
Four other Buccaneer-allocated players will be across the bay, participating in the Cologne Centurions' practices at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport. That will be the camp home for safety Kalvin Pearson, tackle Mitch White and defensive tackles Delbert Cowsette and Bryan Save. The Centurions will start the usual day with an 8:30 a.m. practice, then hit the field again at 11:00 a.m.
Two Buc receivers will run routes for the Hamburg Sea Devils at Dunedin High School, also on the Pinellas side of the bay. Derek McCoy and Terrance Metcalf will be looking to establish themselves as top receiving options for the Sea Devils during daily practices beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Adams will experience his NFLEL training camp where the Buccaneers used to hold their summer sessions – the University of Tampa. Located just across the river from downtown Tampa, UT will play host to the Rhein Fire, which will hold two-a-days beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 4:10 p.m.
The Berlin Thunder, defending league champs, will hold their practices within walking distance of One Buccaneer Place, at Jefferson High School in Tampa. However, there are no Buc-allocated players on the Thunder roster, and the same is true of the Amsterdam Admirals, who will practice at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg. That could change; Buccaneer allocates Todd France and Brian Simnjanovski, a kicker and punter, respectively, have yet to be assigned to a specific team.
Though the six NFLEL teams will be widely spread around the Bay area, they will get together at a single location on four occasions during March. Each time, the six teams will conduct a series of combined practices or game-condition scrimmages, rotating so that almost every matchup will be played before the scrimmages are complete.
Three of those scrimmage days will be held at the 31st Street Complex in St. Petersburg during a nine-day span. On Tuesday, March 8, the competition will kick off with a 9:00 a.m. rematch of last year's World Bowl, won by the Thunder over the Frankfurt Galaxy. Cologne will meet Hamburg at noon and Amsterdam will square off against Rhein at 3:00 p.m.
A similar schedule of scrimmages will take place on Saturday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 16. On Saturday, March 19, the final round of matchups will be held at the University of Tampa. Below is a detailed schedule of the scrimmages.
Tuesday, March 8 (combined practices) – 31st Street Complex, St. Petersburg