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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One Buc Mailbag: Fantasy, Camp

This week's mailbag seeks to give fans an inside look at One Buc Place and the typical training camp day while also touching on the topic of fantasy sleepers.

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*Each week during the offseason, Senior Writer/Editor Scott Smith will dip into the inbox to answer questions from  Buccaneer fans.  This week, we start with an interesting question about the parts of One Buccaneer Place that most fans never see, then move on to a discussion about the typical training camp day for a player. And, since fantasy football is now right around the corner, we talk potential Buc sleepers, as well.

Fans can submit questions for upcoming mailbags via Twitter to @ScottSBucs (#BucsMailbag), through a message on the Buccaneers Official Facebook Page or via email at **.  The One Buc Mailbag runs every Thursday and is not necessarily meant to reflect the opinions of the team's management or coaching staff.

*1. Room of Requirement?

What a great question, Andy. I know you sent it in to both Casey and I, probably intending for us to answer it together in the video mailbag. Perhaps we'll do so as well, but I wanted to take a crack at it here first.

There are many impressive features to the new One Buccaneer Place, which opened in 2006 and replaced perhaps the league's most, uh…shall we say quaint?...headquarters with perhaps its most technologically-advanced. Buccaneer representatives spent more than a year traveling around the league to other team's facilities for ideas to incorporate in the team's new home. No stone was left unturned.

I could wax on for dozens of paragraphs about the features of the weight room and the locker room and the dining room, but that's not what you asked. You want to know about the kind of room only Harry Potter could find, the hidden gems of One Buccaneer Place. Here's a few:

1. Hydrotherapy Room. Definitely the room with the best name in the whole building, and it's one the players are particularly fond of. Ever seen an old football movie – say, North Dallas Forty – where a player gets in an oval-shaped metal tub full of ice? (Note: I don't really remember if there's a scene like that in NDF, but I'd be surprised if there is not.) Yeah, this is nothing like that.

In the Bucs' hydrotherapy room, which is just off to the right after you enter the training room, you'll find three large pools, one of them 8' by 12' and the other two 6' by 12'. The first pool you encounter is called, wonderfully, a "hydrotrack," so named because the entire floor becomes a treadmill when turned on. This floor can be raised or lowered, down to about eight feet, and the purpose is to allow players to rehabilitate leg injuries in a manner that both puts less weight on the legs and adds resistance to their movement.

The other two are called "plunge pools," and they're used more often, pretty much every day during training camp and the season, in fact. Forget dumping ice in a tub, one of these two plunge pools is just one big cold tub. The other one, of course, is a hot tub, for when that is the preferred treatment method. Both of them have step platforms around the side like an enormous Jacuzzi, and they can accommodate multiple players at once.

2. Video Production Room. I doubt it would come as a surprise to many Buc fans that there is a room (or a suite of rooms, really) devoted to the capture, breakdown and distribution of game and practice tape. Every NFL team has a staff of people devoted to that part of the game, not to be confused with a separate group that produces video entertainment for the web site, the stadium video boards and the like.

What fans may not realize is how elaborate the systems are in this room. The main area where the video professionals work on input, breakdown and dissemination looks kind of like the bridge of a Star Trek ship. There's a whole other room dedicated just to storage of old tapes, dating back many seasons. Everything has been stored digitally since 2011, but there is still occasional use for the old tapes. There's another room in the video suite that just houses servers, and another that's for working on cameras and such. The whole area is raised about a foot over the regular second-story floor, with the space underneath used for all the wires.

3. Coaches' Lounge. There's nothing terribly revolutionary about this room; it's mainly just couches and chairs. The interesting part is that it used to be a coach's office. In fact, the first purpose it served, from 2006-08, was as the office of former Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin. It was Lovie Smith who chose to rearrange his staff layout a little bit and to repurpose that corner room. Coaches work an insane number of hours, especially during the season, and I guess Smith just wanted a place where his assistant coaches could just relax for a few minutes, maybe catch a short nap or bounce some ideas off each other.

4. Draft Room. The average Buc fan would know that there is a draft room (sometimes referred to as the "war room," though using such military terminology has gradually fallen out of favor) at One Buccaneer Place. But the average fan is never going to see what's inside it, beyond some images from a draft cam on NFL Network. Heck, the vast majority of Buccaneer employees never go in that room. It's a rare treat to be allowed into the draft room when the boards are uncovered. Obviously, the team's evaluation of players is never meant to leave the building, so it makes sense to have that information seen by as few eyes as possible.  I've personally only looked at our draft boards a few times over the years, but I've always enjoyed the experience. You're looking at a big part of the industry that so few people get to see.

5. Teleportation Room. Just kidding.


2. Camp Days

You suspect correctly, Martin. Training camp may be a little bit easier on the players' bodies since two-a-days were eliminated, but it's still three weeks of almost total football immersion. Since the Buccaneers hold their camp at their own headquarters, that means many, many hours spent at One Buccaneer Place. (The players stay in a nearby hotel during off hours for those three weeks and are shuttled back and forth by the team.)

The specific hourly schedule can vary a bit from day to day, but the typical camp day starts at 8:00 a.m. Players can arrive at the facility as early as 6:30, and most will get here in time for breakfast at least, but the first round of meetings is usually at 8:00. In the morning, there are various activities such as the aforementioned meetings, weight-lifting sessions and on-field walk-thrus. After lunch, the team usually holds a two-hour practice in the afternoon, after which there are more meetings, hours' worth of them. The day generally wraps up at 10:00 p.m. with a "snack." I put that word in quote because if you've ever seen a team snack in the NFL you know you could easily eat two or three full meals at it.

Now, there are definitely times built into the schedule for players to relax and recuperate, and strict attention is paid to the need to rehydrate and refuel. There is also time for players to visit the trainers, if needed, and to get taped up before practice. But it's a very busy day, and if you consider that some players use their time after the end of the work day to study their playbooks, you can see that there's time for almost nothing beyond football during training camp. It's probably the most formative time of the entire year for an NFL team.


3. Buc Fantasy Sleepers?

What do we want to say constitutes a "sleeper?" Is it just a late-round pick that might produce better than expected, or is it any pick that you can get several rounds lower than the more popular players at a given position that will provide similar returns as those players? I ask because I'm tempted to say the Bucs' defense is a sleeper. With the obvious improvement during the second half of last year and the addition of such players as Bruce Carter and Henry Melton, the Bucs' defense might be on the verge of returning to fantasy elite status. However, many people wait until the last couple rounds to draft their defenses regardless, so it's hard to call any pick at that position a true sleeper.

Doug Martin was a top five pick in 2013 drafts; now he's ranked 37th among running backs and 87th overall by Charles Sims is 39th and 91st. These rankings are probably fair because we don't really know how the workload is going to shake out yet. Keep an eye on those two in training camp, however. They're probably in a timeshare, but if one of them clearly pulls ahead of the other, they could return second or third-round value for a seventh or eighth-round pick.

Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are 12th and 22nd, respectively, among receivers on, and that seems fair, so there's no apparent sleeper value there. Watch who gets the primary slot receiver job between those two, however. If it's Kenny Bell and he can provide the type of big plays he did in college, he could return some value for a late-round pick, especially if opposing defenses are preoccupied with those two six-foot-five 1,000-yard receivers flanking him.

The best answer to your question, however, is probably tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. has him 17th among TEs and 214th overall, so he might not even get drafted in your league. That's fair, too, considering he had just 26 catches last year while struggling with injuries. The good news for the Bucs, and possibly your fantasy team, is that he's completely healthy now and possibly primed for the type of big season the Bucs envisioned when they drafted him high in the second round in 2014. Seferian-Jenkins has all the physical tools, and if he's healthy and has a more productive quarterback/offensive line situation to work with in 2015, the breakout season may come. It's probably worth a late-round pick and at least a few weeks on your roster to see if he does anything in the early going.

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