With the heat index flirting with 100 degrees in Tampa, Fla., on Monday at One Buc Place, Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers endured a healthy dose of Florida’s oppressive heat during the fourth day of training camp.Michael Compton photo/Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp]
Smith has scheduled a number of training camp practices late in the afternoon to coincide with the scheduling of the Buccaneers’ first two home games, giving the Bucs an opportunity to prepare for the high temperatures they are likely to experience during home games early in the season.
“The heat in Tampa is no joke,” Smith said, opening his daily press conference following practice. “We’ll be playing of course, at this time, so we have to practice along these lines. Hot days like today when the heat index is up there, we’ll never put the players at risk. We’ll take as many water breaks as we can to and kind of watch them. But the guys have been working hard getting used to this environment with the pads on.”
The Bucs have their first day off from the practice field tomorrow.
"Just like it says, 'day off' – do whatever you like," said Smith. "(The coaches are) going to come in to work and you're always looking ahead. We're looking ahead. We have so much in front of us."
In other training camp notes: Cornerback Alterraun Verner, who has been limited by a hamstring injury, sat out practice.
“A few injuries are popping up,” said Smith. “Alterraun Verner still nurses that hamstring a little bit. It’s always tough when new players come in and you don’t get a chance to practice as much. But it gives another guy an opportunity.”
Verner is often compared to Darrelle Revis, who signed with the New England Patriots after being released by the Bucs. Verner, a fifth-year pro out of UCLA, says the comparisons don’t carry much weight with him.
“It’s not something I’m overly caught up on,” Verner said in an article on Yahoo Sports. “You should never be trying to replace somebody or try to play and be like somebody else, you have got to play within yourself and that’s something that I learned through the years.”
“Putting a couple of cornerbacks on the injured list, you can’t get in a hole. It puts too much pressure on the other guys. When we released Anthony I told him it was a numbers game and we may end up calling you back, (so) stay ready. He never really got a true chance to show what he can do. He made a couple of plays out there today. We’re taking notice.”
Running back Brendan Bigelow and wide receiver Quintin Payton were both released.
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