TAMPA - These are the dog days of training camp. The thrill of getting started has faded, the bumps and bruises are starting to take a toll and the first preseason game is still several days away.
It's times like this that players and coaches look to inject a little more fun into the daily workout grind, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did that Saturday.
Hoping to crank up the intensity a bit, the Bucs turned the period devoted to third-down plays into a competition in which the unit that fared the worst had to pay a physical price.
"I figured since we're going to make things competitive, let's have a punishment for the loser,'' Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "The requirement was 10 (pushups), but I'm sure there were some liberties taken.
"But it was good because it was very balanced. I talk about back and forth, back and forth, and it really was. Sometimes as a head coach you aim them in that direction, but I didn't today. I just let it unfold."
Coaches were not exempt from the punishment. Assistants on both sides of the ball were required to do the pushups, as well. Even Schiano.
After the period ended, the entire team and coaching staff gathered at midfield and surrounded Schiano, who pumped out about 20 pushups.
"I was forced to pay for all of our sins,'' Schiano said.
"He really banged them out,'' CB Leonard Johnson said. "He got after it. It was fun.''
Nothing to it
An ESPN report in March 2012 said RB Peyton Hillis contemplated leaving the game after the 2011 season to possibly join the CIA. Hillis said the story was false.
"Especially in this business, there are a lot of things said that you have to take with a grain of salt,'' Hillis said.
You don't have to take this with a grain of salt: After two difficult seasons in which hamstring and ankle injuries limited his effectiveness, Hillis was looking at a virtual forced retirement when he joined the Bucs.
"There were not a lot of other teams looking to sign me,'' said Hillis, 27. "This is my only option, so I'm going to try to do the best I can with it.''
Hillis ran for 896 yards and gained another 192 as a pass catcher the past two years, but he believes he still has the talent to produce the way he did in 2010, when he had 1,177 yards rushing and 477 receiving.
"You just have to find yourself again and I'm looking forward to doing that here," he said.
After leaving Friday's workout with a hamstring strain, WR Mike Williams felt good enough to practice on Saturday but was held out anyway. Schiano decided that, with a scheduled day off today, it made little sense to push Williams back onto the field when all players can use a day or two to recharge.
"He wanted to practice,'' Schiano said. "He even came up to see me about it. That guy just loves playing football. But he'll be back and ready to go on Monday.''
Schiano remained unsure about the status of DE Adrian Clayborn, who has missed the past three workouts with a groin strain but has not been ruled out for Thursday's preseason opener against Baltimore.
Must be the shoes
PK Lawrence Tynes missed practice Saturday with a toe injury caused by the tight shoe he wears for field goal duties. Tynes and rookie PK Derek Dimke have rotated kicking duties on a daily basis, but Dimke took Tynes' spot in the rotation Saturday.