If the details can be worked out, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be taking an extended trip during the 2017 preseason.
Last summer, in his first year as the Buccaneers' head coach, Dirk Koetter arranged for his team to conduct a handful of "joint practices" with two of its preseason opponents. First, the Buccaneers headed to Jacksonville early to work out for two days with the Jaguars before their Week Two contest at EverBank Field. The following week, the Buccaneers welcomed the Cleveland Browns to One Buccaneer Place for some combined work before their Week Two game at Raymond James Stadium.
Koetter found the joint practices to be useful…to a point. The Buccaneers hope to have another round of joint practices this coming August, but with only one team.
"We're only going to do one this year," said Koetter on Tuesday while at the NFL's Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "I like joint practices a lot, but we felt like [one was enough]. Right after we finished the second one last year I sent out a survey to all the coaches and I talked to a lot of the players and we just felt like two was maybe a little bit too much."
The NFL has not yet put out its 2017 schedule, including preseason games, so Koetter and the Bucs can't finalize their plans at this point. But if they do succeed in setting up one week of joint work, it would take place away from Tampa. The Buccaneers will play their first two games on the road to accommodate ongoing upgrades at their own home field.
"In a perfect world, we would be doing one the second week, before the second preseason game," said Koetter. "We just need to get the approval from the league when the schedule comes out. We would be working with somebody in Week Two. We do have a team in mind, we have a team that has agreed to do it."
Last August, the Buccaneers arrived in Jacksonville on Tuesday, took part in lengthy joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday and then played their game against the Jaguars on Sunday. The team will probably try to follow that same template this summer.
"We went away last year and I got some good feedback from the players," said Koetter. "It was just the right length, like five days. You do get a little bit of that training camp feel. It breaks up the monotony, one hotel to another. I thought we got some good stuff out of it, so we're going to do it again if it works out."