TAMPA - The pads will go on right along with the bright lights of Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers move their workout from the practice fields of One Buc Place to their home stadium. The workout is open to the public and Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano has put together a program that should serve the dual purpose of entertaining the fans and improving his football team. "We can get better and still have some fun doing some different things," Schiano said. "So, we're going to do a two-minute drill, we're going to run our offense and defense up the field and do some kicking stuff. "There will also be some competitions going on, so there will be some fun things for the fans. I want the fans to have a great experience, so the fans should come out and see it."
Schiano is looking forward to getting the players in pads because that's when the best form of evaluation can take place. He's not the only who's eager to get into pads. "I'm definitely looking forward to it,'' DE Da'Quan Bowers said. "It's been a long time since we had a chance to hit, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting the pads on and playing some football. It should be fun." The workout is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. Admission and parking are free and parking lots will open at 2:30 p.m. with the gates opening at 3 p.m. for season pass members and 4 p.m. for the general public. The Bucs also will hold a pre-practice autograph session from 4-6 p.m. Vouchers for the autograph session can be obtained at the box office in the stadium's South Plaza. Pressure, but no pressure The Bucs ranked 30th in the league in sacks with 27 last year and have now gone five straight seasons with fewer than 30 sacks each. A marked improvement there seems critical to the team's chances of improving its 7-9 record in 2012. But LDE Da'Quan Bowers doesn't believe the Bucs are under any unique pressure. "It's not pressure at all, it's our job,'' said Bowers, who was challenged Thursday by former Bucs DT Warren Sapp to hound opposing quarterbacks more. "Our job is to put pressure on the quarterback and make him make bad decisions. It's easier said than done, obviously, but we just have to toughen up and do our jobs and the rest will take care of itself. It's that simple.'' Secondary shines Veteran CB Michael Adams has set a simple yet ambitious goal every day he takes the field, be it for practice or a game. "Every day I go out there I want to catch at least one interception or get a pass breakup,'' Adams said. Adams met his objective on Friday, picking off rookie quarterback Mike Glennon during a seven-on-seven passing drill in which the secondary shined. In addition to the pick by Adams, rookie Johthan Banks picked off quarterback Josh Freeman and knocked down another pass just one play later. "We want to get our hands on as many balls as possible and I think we did a good job of showing what we can do today,'' said S Dashon Goldson, who batted down a Freeman pass on a blitz. "We had a lot of guys step up big-time today.'' Bucs coach Greg Schiano was excited about the play of the secondary. At the same time, he was a little perturbed by the play of the offense during that period. "As a head coach, you sit back and think, 'Well that was our offense that just gave it to him,'" Schiano said. "Just so long as it's back and forth. "I don't want one side to dominate the other. That's not going to be a good thing for any of us." McCoy the mentor The closest thing DT Gerald McCoy had to a mentor when he first came into the NFL four years ago was Stylez G. White, whose carefree approach to the game ended his career after that 2010 season. McCoy believes his development was slowed substantially by the absence of a teammate who could serve as a tutor and doesn't want other rookie defensive linemen to suffer the way he did. That's why McCoy, a 2012 Pro Bowler, has been teaching an early-morning class each day for this year;s rookies: DT Akeem Spence and DEs Williams Gholston and Steven Means. "We have a little extra time in the morning so I get all the rookie D-linemen together and I bring them out with me and we work on different fundamentals and stuff," McCoy said. "That's what I never got. When I first got here I didn't have anybody to help me or coach me or take me under their wing. I had to learn it all on the go and I don't want these rookies to go through the same thing. "I want to be that guy that helps them out and shows them the way, so that they don't have to say the vets didn't teach me. The better they are, the better we'll be. So, I'm doing all that I can to help them." Roy Cummings
Bucs camp schedule
Several practices at One Buc Place are open to the public, no ticket required. Admission and parking are free. Fans also can enjoy discounted concessions, autograph sessions and appearances by the Buccaneers cheerleaders and Captain Fear mascot. The team facility is located east of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The night practice at Raymond James Stadium is tonight at 6:45. Parking lots will open at 2:30 p.m., with autograph vouchers — required for all active-player signings — distributed through the box office in the South Plaza starting at 3 p.m., and autograph sessions beginning at 4 p.m. A fireworks show will end the evening.
Practices open to the public (dates and times subject to change):
Today: 6:45-9 p.m. (at Raymond James Stadium) Monday: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Wednesday: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Thursday: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Friday: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Aug. 3: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Aug. 6: 8:45-11:30 a.m. Aug. 10: 10:10 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Preseason schedule Aug. 8: Baltimore, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16: at New England, 8 p.m. Aug. 24: at Miami, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29: Washington, 7:30 p.m