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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giant Takeover

The New York Giants, in town to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, utilized Buccaneer headquarters on Monday


The Giants' first steps on their Super Bowl practice fields at One Buc Place were deemed worthy of video capture by starting right tackle Luke Petitgout

There were red jerseys hanging in the lockers at One Buccaneer Place again on Monday, but only three of them.

A trio of crimson practice shirts were put out for the New York Giants' quarterbacks but otherwise the visitors' blue-and-white color scheme had taken over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' locker room. Later, the Giants themselves took over the Bucs' practice fields.

One Buc Place has been designated as the Giants' practice facility for the week leading up to Super Bowl XXXV, to be played in Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens will use the facilities at the University of South Florida for their game preparations.

The Giants arrived by bus a few minutes after 1:00 p.m. with a full police escort. As the players departed the buses and strode across the practice fields to the locker room entrance, dozens recorded the 'action' on their own personal video cameras. After a brief meeting inside and a chance to change into that practice gear, the New York coaches and players took the field around 1:30 wearing warmup gear but no shoulder pads.

A short walk-through and a 45-minute practice followed as the Giants eased into their final week of practice. Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel indicated over the weekend that his team managed to install 85% of the game plan during last week's workouts.

It wasn't a hard practice by any stretch,'' said Fassel.I wanted to get out here, get them stretched out, break a sweat. I wanted to go over some things special-teams wise, so we touched on some areas special-teams wise. Then, we just hit on our areas of kind of the basics on offense and defense, normal downs, third downs, some run area.

``I think as much as anything today, it was get their mind right back on what we're doing. They were good. They've been good all year. Even though it wasn't full speed, they were focused, and they practiced good.''

Giants personnel may have approved of their surroundings at One Buccaneer Place, which underwent an extra round of preparations last week befitting the magnitude of the occasion. However, at least one aspect of the facility didn't perform as planned.

The giant wind screens that the Buccaneers have installed on the south end of the practice field were never raised. The screens are designed to shield the view of onlookers from a neighboring office building and parking garage, but it was deemed too windy for them to remain raised on this brisk but fair Florida afternoon.

Instead, a team of NFL Security officials patrolled the parking structure to keep them clear from uninvited observers. Fassel admitted that the issue of practice security crossed his mind, but he didn't let it disrupt his team's efforts.

I'm concerned about that,'' Fassel said.I don't know anything about these buildings, but we had security up in the parking areas on every level. I think some of that stuff is a little bit overplayed. You can get a few things, I guess. I don't know if you've got to be a trained eye, but you've got to know what you're looking for. You've got to know personnel. It'd be pretty hard, really, to do it.''

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