Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris, Bucs give fans what they came to see
TAMPA - The Buccaneers treated their fans to an array of situational practices Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, but they left the Oklahoma drill back home. Tampa Bay coaches led players through goal-line drills, red zone practice and individual pass-rush competition before bringing back the Quarterback Challenge, testing passing accuracy. Rudy Carpenter beat Jonathan Crompton in the final of the quarterback competition, hitting all four targets. "It's more fan-friendly,'' coach Raheem Morris said of Tampa Bay's annual training camp practice at the stadium. "We want to interact with our fans and we want our guys to have fun.''Morris said it was too early in camp to stage the Oklahoma drill, pitting two players vying for position against each other while a running back tries to run through a confined space. "I did Oklahoma last year in the stadium,'' Morris said. "I took it out this year and traded it for 1-on-1 pass rush. Give them a couple of more days in pads. Our free agents just put their helmets on.'' Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer was pleased with the turnout, with many fans arriving early and most remaining for a post-practice fireworks display. "The crowd was wonderful and it's always good to be back in our home stadium,'' said G Davin Joseph. "This is a great event for fans and hopefully we can put on a show for them this season.'' Standing guard Ted Larsen isn't overly confident in front of a microphone, preferring to let his play speak for itself. Tampa Bay's second-year offensive lineman is in no mood to give up his starting left guard spot after replacing disappointing veteran Keydrick Vincent for the final 11 games last season. "I'm just trying to keep that position and be the best player I can,'' said Larsen, who played at Palm Harbor University High. "It's all a learning experience for me and I'm trying to get better every week.'' Larsen was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round out of North Carolina State and the Bucs grabbed him when New England tried to sneak him through waivers a week before the 2010 season opener. "The guy that personifies the team, really, in a weird way, is Ted Larsen,'' Bucs GM Mark Dominik said. "Nationally, no one knew what was going on in Tampa until we won 10 games. And no one except the people in this building realized Ted Larsen went in there and played great for this organization.'' Just for starters A lockout that lasted more than four months has prompted Morris to consider giving Tampa Bay starters more playing time during the preseason. "I'm just trying to push the snap count up a little bit to get them a little more live bullets,'' Morris said. The Bucs play the first of their four exhibition games Friday night at Kansas City. "Usually you go into that first game with them (starters) getting 12-15 snaps,'' Morris said. "You might want to get up to the 20s right now. Just let these guys play a little bit longer because they missed a little bit of stuff.'' Morris said starters are likely to play at least a half in the third preseason game (home against Miami) before backups take over for the final tuneup Sept. 1 at Washington. "The fourth game is usually when the bottom of your roster is formed,'' he said. Caution flag After participating in Saturday morning's walk-through at the team facility, second-year DT Gerald McCoy sat out the practice at the stadium. McCoy strained his right rotator cuff in a padded practice at One Buc Place on Friday. "I'll be all right,'' McCoy said without elaborating.
Forecast: Dry, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay before severe storms, possible tornadoes arrive ahead of cold front