The Bucs' first practice of camp will be on the morning of July 28, opening up a rather taxing nine-day stretch
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2006 training camp is scheduled to last one day longer than their camp of a year ago.
If you don't think that's a big deal, try toiling through one day of training camp as a player.
Apart from that added day on the end – the Bucs will break camp on Thursday of the third week in Orlando, rather than Wednesday – this year's training schedule is nearly identical to what it was in 2005. And 2004. And so on. This is no accident; the Buccaneers' coaching staff believes in the camp program it has devised and sees no point in making wholesale changes.
That means this year's training camp will open in the same grueling fashion as it did last year, with eight straight two-a-days before the first scheduled afternoon off. As previously reported, Buccaneer players will report to camp on Thursday, July 27 and begin practicing on the morning of Friday, July 28. Two practices on that opening day will be followed by seven more morning-and-afternoon pairs through the following Friday, and another morning practice on Saturday, August 5. The first planned morning or afternoon break is on that Saturday afternoon.
That's a total of 17 practices over nine consecutive days, accounting for half of the scheduled work at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, where the Bucs will train for the fifth consecutive summer. Overall, the schedule promises at least 33 practices, with one other morning still to be determined, and not including a short "walk-thru" on the day before the August 11 preseason opener in Tampa.
Most of the two-a-days scheduled begin with a two-hour morning practice starting at 8:30 a.m. and conclude with another two-hour session in the afternoon starting at 2:45 p.m. The team then uses most of the evening to conduct meetings and film sessions back at the Celebration Hotel, where the team is housed.
Of course, there are some hidden breaks in the schedule, as always. Three of the two-a-days will be capped with a special teams-only practice, which is not only shorter (approximately one hour long) but also doesn't require the attendance of any player who is not going to be used extensively on special teams. Thus, many veteran players essentially get the afternoon off on those days.
In addition, Head Coach Jon Gruden has been known to reward his team for sustained effort by erasing a practice or two and substituting a trip to the movies or some other team-building exercise. And, of course, few training camps in Central Florida go by without some rather sudden interruptions by inclement weather.
The Buccaneers released the daily practice schedule for this year's camp on Tuesday (see below), also confirming that it intends to leave Central Florida on August 17. The team's plan is to go directly from training camp into its new state-of-the-art facility located just east of Raymond James Stadium.
As usual, all of the Bucs' training camp practices at the Wide World of Sports Complex are open to the public and completely free. All practice dates and times are subject to change with little notice, of course, but the majority of the scheduled practices will be conducted at the times outlined below. In instances of time changes or weather interruptions, Buccaneers.com will report the updated schedule immediately. Buccaneers.com will once again devote an entire special section to the daily coverage of camp.
Here is the complete daily schedule for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2006 training camp:
|**Day**||**Date**||**Morning Practice**||**Afternoon Practice**|
|Friday||July 28||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Saturday||July 29||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Sunday||July 30||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 5:00 p.m.|
|Monday||July 31||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 3:55 p.m. (ST)|
|Tuesday||August 1||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 5:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday||August 2||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 5:00 p.m.|
|Thursday||August 3||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 3:55 p.m. (ST)|
|Friday||August 4||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 5:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||August 5||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||None|
|Sunday||August 6||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 5:00 p.m.|
|Monday||August 7||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 3:55 p.m. (ST)|
|Tuesday||August 8||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Wednesday||August 9||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Thursday||August 10||10:15-11:15 a.m. (WT)||None|
|Friday||August 11||**N.Y. Jets at Tampa Bay - 7:30 p.m. ET**|
|Sunday||August 13||AM: TBA||2:45 - 4:30 p.m.|
|Monday||August 14||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Tuesday||August 15||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Wednesday||August 16||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||2:45 - 4:45 p.m.|
|Thursday||August 17||8:30 - 10:45 a.m.||None|
Practices marked with an "ST" are the aforementioned special teams-only workouts. Again, fans should be aware that some players do not attend these practices. The "WT" notation indicates a walk-through on the day before a game. These practices are very brief and are run at half-speed.
The Bucs' stay in the Celebration Hotel (in the Central Florida town by the same name) is also a repeat of the last four years. During the duration of camp, the Celebration Hotel is devoted exclusively to housing the Bucs and is accessible only by team personnel. Fans interested in autograph opportunities are advised to attend practices rather than visit the hotel; at the end of most practices, a rotating group of players is brought to the stands to sign autographs.
As it does each year, Tampa Bay's training camp will last three weeks, ending shortly before the second preseason game. The two mandatory roster cut-downs, which will reduce the roster from 80 players (plus exemptions) to 53 will occur after the team returns to Tampa.