FB Mike Alstott (center) and the Bucs opened a long Saturday with the shooting of the team picture
There's no pads, little sweat and some good personal time in the afternoon, but Saturday is far from an off-day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This particular Saturday started mid-morning, with the annual team photo shoot. An organizational feat, the team photo requires the coordination of approximately 60 players, 15 coaches, numerous staff members, photographers, team Owner/President Malcolm Glazer and, this year, the Bucs' cheerleading squad.
The picture went off without a hitch, thanks to the continued good mood of the team. To see some behind the scenes photos of the shoot, click here. Still, it is a minor bump in what is a very predictable schedule under Head Coach Tony Dungy.
"These guys are routine-oriented," said Dungy. "Normally, we just come in, look at the tape, have our practice and get home. The team picture adds about 25 minutes to that."
From there, the Bucs changed into shorts and t-shirts and went directly into the weekly walk-through, a less strenuous but still important capper to the week of practice.
"Usually it's just last-minute things that you've seen in the film that you want to make sure you covered," said Dungy. "We go over the 12 plays that we're thinking about starting the game with offensively, cover some special situations, last-play-of-the-game type deals. And then we do special teams. So it's just one last chance to focus in on the things you expect to see Sunday."
Later, the Bucs will reconvene at the team hotel and run through the same type of schedule they use for road games, including staying the night.
"e try to keep the routine the same all the time," said Dungy of the team's in-town use of a hotel. "You have to go to a hotel on the road, and we like to do it so that every week is the same. We have our meetings at the same time, go over the last-minute details like usual. You don't have to worry about things happening. It's not that you don't trust the players; it's more, what can go wrong at home, traveling to the game, that kind of thing. When we're all in one place, we can get things sorted out."
In between, for eight or nine hours, the players have a little rare afternoon free time. "You pretty much have that time to run your errands, rest, relax, whatever," said Dungy. "At eight o'clock, we kind of get into that pre-game mode. And it allows them to get a good night's sleep. And the guys seem to like it."
The Bucs named their first four inactives for the Chicago game on Friday night. They are: T DeMarcus Curry, S Dexter Jackson, DE John McLaughlin, TE Blake Spence. Jackson continues to work on an ankle sprain suffered at Miami on August 10, though he did return to practice on Friday.
The other three players are not injured, and only Spence was active last week. Spence's deactivation may signal the possible active status for rookie TE Todd Yoder or perhaps a fifth wide receiver. Dungy, however, did not comment on the team's plans for the four inactives to be named on Sunday.
Buccaneers.com will collect Dungy's thoughts one more time tonight at the team hotel. With the team's home opener looming less than 24 hours away, check in with your inside source for Buccaneer information Saturday evening to hear what Dungy is thinking.