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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Wait Out the Rain

Tampa Bay's second practice on Monday was threatened and nearly washed out by a furious storm, but the team eventually took the field


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were supposed to run out to their backyard at 5:15 p.m. on Monday to begin the second half of their training camp two-a-day. The only thing hitting the grass at that hour, however, was an absolute deluge of rain, sweeping across the three practice fields in great sideways sheets.

It certainly looked, at that moment, like the fifth practice of Camp '10 would be the first casualty to Florida's unpredictable August weather. The storm had rolled over One Buc very swiftly and appeared to be settling in.

And then, just as suddenly, it was gone. Buccaneer coaches simply snipped a handful of individual-position drills off the schedule, rallied the players and got in the rest of their afternoon work as planned.

Score one for the immaculately maintained and engineered grounds behind One Buccaneer Place, which took the storm's pounding without any trouble. The grass was wet, of course, but the ground was firm and thus the day's second practice was as sharp as the first. In some ways, it might have even been a welcome respite from the brutally hot and humid blanket that had been hanging over the first four practices of camp.

In fact, the contrasting two workouts on Monday proved to be a useful set of conditions for a team that wants to be ready for just this sort of weather surprise when the games start in September. Third-year quarterback Josh Johnson, who wasn't surprised at all by the sudden rain or the fact that practice still went on, said he preferred the day's soggy ending.

"It was cool and I like the cool," he said with a smile. "I can deal with the rain when it's hot. It will good for us when September comes around, it will be a benefit to us because other teams aren't working in this right now. We're going through two-a-days of grueling training camp. Everyone is going through training camp, but not everyone is going through the 95-degree weather we are. Right now it's a fight but it will be beneficial in the end."

Players occasionally kicked up splashes when they dived for footballs in the early going of camp, but even those puddles had mostly burned off by the workout's midpoint. Early on, Johnson and his fellow quarterbacks saw the benefits of some "wet-ball" work, something coaches occasionally emulate by dunking the footballs in barrels of water.

"It was good work for us quarterbacks, because at any time and any moment out here it can start storming," said Johnson. "I've experienced a couple times, just being on the sidelines, a storm suddenly blowing in from sunny skies in the morning. It was good work for us. [Josh] Freeman and I were trying to preach to the new guys that you've got to embrace it because it's going to be around sometimes. These storms aren't going anywhere, so it was good practice for it."

The wet track didn't even stop running back Cadillac Williams from returning for the afternoon practice, as had previously been planned. Williams missed part of Sunday's work and the first practice on Monday after twisting his ankle but was back at full speed for the later workout. Though a few veterans like Ronde Barber and Ryan Sims were given a scheduled rest in the afternoon, the Bucs' injury report continued to be virtually empty.

Getting in both practices on Monday allowed the Buccaneers to stay on schedule through the first half-week of camp. The team might have rearranged some of its workouts had they been forced to cancel the second practice, but now they can move ahead with the original plan, which calls for just one practice on Tuesday. Not only is that a continuation of Raheem Morris' alternating two-a-day/one-a-day schedule, but it also calls for the first special teams-only practice of this camp. As usual, that practice will be shorter, roughly an hour long, and it will not include the entire roster.

Two-a-days return on Wednesday with the same late-morning/late-afternoon schedule, and the first of those two practices will be open to the public. For a schedule of the remaining open practices this week, visit the training camp information page here on

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