Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Let's Go Camping: July 27

With the Bucs’ preseason game dates now set, the rest of the scheduled preparations for the ‘06 season can fall into place, including the day players must report to training camp

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LB Barrett Ruud and the rest of the Buccaneers will find themselves back at the Celebration Hotel on July 27

Orlando is a busy place all over, but perhaps nobody in Mickey's town is busier in August than DeJuan Roy.

That's Chef DeJuan Roy, the man who shapes the culinary creations at the Celebration Hotel in the purposely quaint town by the same name on Orlando's outskirts. Since the Celebration Hotel becomes home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their training camp at the nearby Disney Wide World of Sports Complex every summer, Roy is also the man responsible for satisfying the appetites of 90 very large and active men for those three weeks.

So here's a friendly forewarning for Chef DeJuan: Better get those cupboards stocked by July 26.

Buccaneer players will arrive in Celebration on Thursday, July 27 for the beginning of their 2006 training camp. All players under contract will be required to arrive at the Celebration Hotel by a designated time on Thursday afternoon, and Head Coach Jon Gruden will kick things off with a team meeting early that evening.

The team will first hit the field at the Disney complex on Friday morning for what will likely be a full week of two-a-days to open camp. Specific dates and times for the practices have not yet been released, but the team rarely deviates from its typical camp schedule. Expect morning practices to begin in the 8:30 range and afternoon practices to start somewhere around 2:30.

The start of camp fell into place when the team's preseason schedule was finalized. The Bucs will play their preseason opener on Friday, August 11, at home against the New York Jets, and from there it's just a matter of counting backwards.

Teams are not allowed to start their mandatory training camp until 15 days before their first preseason game. Of course, the common procedure is to start one's camp exactly 15 days before the first game, getting started as early as possible. Why wait when there is so much to be accomplished?

That's how the team's report date happens to fall on a Thursday for the second straight year. The Bucs opened their 2005 preseason on Friday, August 12 and thus reported for camp on Thursday, July 28. Had the Bucs opened their preseason on a Saturday this year, as many teams do, they would not have been allowed to report until Friday, July 28. As it is, they can essentially duplicate their practice regimen from last year, scheduling two-a-days that begin on Friday and continue all the way through the following week.

A set date for the team to break camp has not yet been announced, but it could be impacted by the planned move into the Buccaneers' new state-of-the-art headquarters and practice facility in Tampa. General Manager Bruce Allen confirmed on March 28 that the team is on schedule to go directly from camp in Orlando into the new facility.

As always, all of the Buccaneers' training camp practices will be open to the public. There is generally an admission fee to get into the Wide World of Sports Complex, but fans attending practices are not charged. The Celebration Hotel is restricted to team personnel for the duration of training camp, however.

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