As Karl Williams (86) and Ronde Barber demonstrated, the Bucs were intense on Tuesday afternoon despite a long run of hot practices
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a lot of work near the goal line on Tuesday afternoon. With 22 men operating in a very tight space, and the remainder of the roster standing within a radius of about 20 yards, such workouts become a cauldron of intensity.
And it's telling that the Bucs remained intense during these drills, with both 'sidelines' loudly pushing their guys on. Since opening camp on Monday of last week, the Bucs have called 11 practices requiring either full pads or shells. Unusual scheduling over the next week and a half is the underlying reason for that 'hit-the-ground' running type of regimen.
"We kind of set it up this way," said Head Coach Tony Dungy. "We knew we were going to have a tough first week because we were playing a Friday game (the second week). We only have three padded practices this week, then next week we'll only have two. So we had to get a lot of work in."
That meant a lot of contact early on in camp, which leads to various bumps and bruises but, thankfully, nothing much worse as of yet. For instance. WR Keyshawn Johnson came back from a seven-on-seven pass play limping, thanks to having a foot stepped on while providing a downfield block. He was not seriously hurt, however.
"We practiced more in pads the first week then we normally would and we expected to have some minor things," said Dungy. "Fortunately, we stayed away from the big injuries, but now our contact should gear down and hopefully we'll get some of these guys back toward the end of the week."
Only two injuries have provided any more than minor concern so far: Damien Robinson's strained hamstring and Jason Odom's sore back. Robinson's hamstring injury is neither unusual nor terribly concerning; he has made normal progress and hopes to be back very soon. Odom's back has become more troublesome as it has evaded diagnosis. An MRI on his back showed nothing alarming to the team but has been sent to the specialist in Charlotte, North Carolina who performed Odom's back surgery last fall. The Bucs have not yet heard from that physician, Dr. Craig Brigham, with his analysis.
"Actually, we've been trying to get in touch with him today and haven't made contact," said Dungy. "I know Jason was supposed to look at the MRI, the most recent MRI we've had, then we're going to go from there.
"He's a specialist, and we don't really have any information as to what the problem is, what's causing the pain right now. We're hoping he can shed some light on that."
Otherwise, the Buccaneers have not ruled anyone else out for Friday's game against the Redskins. The Bucs will practice four more times between now and then, once in shells and three times in shorts, and will begin studying the opponent over the next two days. After an off-day on Saturday, the Bucs will begin an accelerated week of two-a-days on Sunday but will include only one practice in pads before an August 10 game against the Dolphins in Miami. The team will fly to Miami and back on that same day.