TAMPA — It didn’t take long for the threat of thunderstorms to derail the Tampa Bay Buccaneers plans for training camp.
Nine minutes after taking the field at One Buc Place for the first of their 4:30 p.m. workouts, the threat of lightning and storms in the area forced the Bucs off the field.
Bucs coach Lovie Smith has been asked repeatedly about his decision to challenge Mother Nature’s fickle late-summer Florida weather patterns, but he considers the late-day workouts key to the team’s success.
He said the team’s first two games, both at home and one starting at 4:25 p.m. and the other starting at 4:05 p.m., are the biggest reason the Bucs are attempting to hold late workouts.
“(When I was coaching the Bears) we’d have training camp practices at 12 o’clock because we played then or at 1 p.m. Eastern time. We’re also trying to practice in the heat as much as anything. That’s a home-field advantage that we have.’’
NFL rules require that the team stay off the field for at least 30 minutes once the lighting siren forces them inside. It was uncertain, however, how long this delay in the workout would last.