For the second time in three years, Jon Gruden and the Bucs have been confronted by weather issues during the season's opening week
Hurricane Frances may have weakened into a tropical storm as it made its way across the state of Florida, but it still brought intense and long-lasting weather problems to the Bay area. Waking to still-heavy rains and strong winds, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers elected to cancel all team activities on Monday.
It was to be the beginning of the first regular-season work week for the Buccaneers, who had scheduled a 'bonus practice' for 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. The team will visit the Washington Redskins next Sunday for each team's 2004 opener.
On Monday morning, team officials were still checking weather reports and deciding if there would be further changes to the week's schedule. The current plan calls for the players to have Tuesday off, as they would in a normal regular-season week, before returning for meetings and practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Buccaneers.com will report any further revisions to the schedule.
Though the scope is obviously different, this is the second time in three years that the Bucs' opening-week preparations have been interrupted by weather. In 2002, the team was preparing for its kickoff game with New Orleans when a lightning storm forced it to take its entire, two-hour Thursday practice into a nearby parking garage. The Bucs lost their opener that season but went on to win Super Bowl XXXVII.