Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On a Roll (September 14)

The season will surely have its midweek ups and downs, but right now the Bucs are practicing with precision

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CB Brian Kelly used portions of Thursday's practice to prepare for the Lions' excellent trio of wideouts

The offense started to move just as the rain began to fall.

As they often do, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended practice on Thursday with a pair of two-minute drills. For a Buccaneer offense that seems to be hitting its stride, Thursday was another encouraging day.

"The offense actually did well," said Dungy of the practice-ending session. "Took it down and scored with our first drive; took it down again, but had a mistake and threw an interception in the end zone on the second drive. But it's good to see us functioning and moving the football."

It was a good ending to another strong practice, something that has been surprisingly routine this year. While it sounds repetitive, Dungy gave his team another good grade on Thursday.

"Our tempo was good," said Dungy. "I thought our guys were into it. I know they expect a good game and I think they'll be ready."

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Another trend that the Bucs hope will continue, knock on wood, is nearly full participation in practice.

Only two players failed to hit the field on Thursday: rookie QB Joe Hamilton and G Kevin Dogins. No new injuries occurred during the workout, either, although there was brief concern over WR Reidel Anthony.

Anthony felt tightness in his left hamstring early in the practice and sat out a few drills. However, he did return later in the workout and didn't even visit the training room afterwards. Anthony was not added to the injury report.

"We actually did pretty well injury-wise today," said Dungy. "Dexter Jackson did fine. The only guy really out is Joe Hamilton, he has the tonsillitis thing. I think we're going to be okay, injury wise. Kevin should be able to work tomorrow. We just kind of kept him out as a precautionary thing."

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As much as the Bucs expect a rugged, grind-it-out game against the Lions and RB James Stewart, it would be foolish to ignore the Detroit passing attack. WR Johnnie Morton has been troublesome to the Bucs in the past, WR Germane Crowell is a rising star and long-time standout Herman Moore can't be discounted.

Tampa Bay's defensive backs kept that in mind during practice on Thursday.

"We definitely focused on that aspect, the passing attack," said CB Brian Kelly. "Charlie Batch is back, so we're very focused in the secondary knowing that they have three good wideouts."

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