It’s no secret the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play outdoors in the blazing heat, especially early on in the NFL season. Well new head coach Bruce Arians wanted to make sure that his Friday practice simulated those conditions.
The catch is, it was a night practice…. and it was inside. Which means, instead of the air-conditioning, Arians did the opposite and “cranked up the heat,” literally.
Yes, whether there was truly an ulterior motive, a malfunction in “the AC” or a head coach being unhappy that his schedule practice time would be at night inside (or some combination of all three), the temperature in the indoor practice facility was in excess of 85° Friday night.
Don’t just take our word for how hot the conditions were, here’s ESPN Buccaneers reporter Jenna Laine just before the practice began:
Alright so several of the coaches I talked to believe Arians did turn the heat on in the Bucs’ indoor facility. Mind you, the high was 87 today… https://t.co/Xo1QvOg7EP
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) August 2, 2019
She was not alone as Trevor Siekama of the Pewter Report also made mention of the indoor temperature during the early part of the Friday night workout:
#Bucs have had the heat on full blast in the indoor practice facility all evening to get practice to 85 degrees to simulate game day temperatures in September.
me: oh that’s pretty smart
also me: pic.twitter.com/wuuwEQenuk
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) August 3, 2019
Buccaneers home games, especially at 1 p.m. local time for September will often be in excess of a hundred and five degrees on the playing surface at Raymond James Stadium. It’s long believed to have been an advantage for Tampa Bay, and they always wear their white uniforms and pants believing that it will wear down their opponents in darker jerseys.
The Bucs actually open with a later 4:25 p.m. start on Sunday, September 8th against the 49ers and then in home game two, they play the Giants at 4 p.m. They may get a break from the heat in those games, at least in the second half.B
But, you can obviously conclude that a coaching staff looking to ready their players would want to simulate those conditions for 1 p.m.
And that’s exactly what Arians said, Friday night post practice to the media:
"Oh, it was huge. He read it right, stayed deep within the defense then broke on it and made a heck of a play."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 3, 2019
“We got all the elements we need, as far body temperatures for practice,” Arians said. “That’s what this is setup, humidity wise, temperature wise (inside conditions Friday) to acclimate us for fist game. Not gonna be any hotter September the 8th than it is today.”
Oh, and did we mention one other important variable from Friday? The Buccaneers indoor practice on Friday night was an invitation only event for their season ticket holders, who signed up to be in attendance.
It’s also worth noting the Buccaneers were inside in the air conditioning on Thursday Night for a planned practice and are scheduled to also be inside their facility Saturday night, as well.
So, it appears that the former two time “NFL Coach of the Year” was simply taking this training camp opportunity to challenge his team with something that they probably weren’t expecting – tough humid conditions in an indoor night practice.
Bucs looking for three in row leads our primer
Week 14 of the NFL sees two Florida teams at home and the other one facing a familiar foe in New York. The Bucs try to make it three wins in a row hosting the Colts, the Dolphins travel to play the Jets and the Jaguars have gone back to their rookie QB, while hosting the Chargers.
First in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers come off of back-to-back road wins, where they accumulated 11 sacks and six turnovers defeating Atlanta and Jacksonville. They will take on another AFC South opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are stumbling with three losses in their last four games and have fallen out of the AFC Wildcard picture for the moment.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played better over the course of the last two games, but returns to Raymond James Stadium, where he threw four interceptions it a loss to the Saints three weeks ago. Winston is working with two of the premier receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (above) who both have over a thousand yards this season and look to have a big day today.
The Colts have had success this season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and want to run the ball against what is the best run defense in the NFL, the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay must win to keep slim playoff hopes alive trying to get into a 9 – 7 tiebreaker in the NFC Playoff Picture.
Next, the Dolphins come off a euphoric 37 – 31 win over the Eagles at home for their third win of the season. DeVante Parker had his best game as a Dolphin catching three touchdown passes. And, Miami scored on a trick play that saw punter Matt Haack throw a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders. They now rematch AFC East rival the Jets who were humbled a week ago, as Cincinnati earned their first win of the season at their expense.
The Dolphins also defeated the Jets, and former coach Adam Gase, at home earlier this year
Finally in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have turned back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew. After three dismal offensive showings in a row under free agent Nick Foles, Minshew replaced him in the second half of last week. And, he sparked the Jaguars to a field goal and a touchdown in their 28 – 11 beat down by the Buccaneers.
The rookie did win four games in Foles’ absence due to his broken collarbone earlier this year. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Chargers come in reeling having lost dramatically in Denver a week ago and questions are swirling whether it is the end of the tenure of Philip Rivers at quarterback.
Jacksonville’s defense is beaten up, including putting Myles Jack on injured reserve earlier this week with an injured kneed.
Fantasy Football “Start/Sit” for Florida players Week 14
Everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, that is if you had a good season. The fantasy playoffs are here, and if you made it, chances are some Florida players helped get there.
This week the Buccaneers will host the reeling Colts. The Jaguars will host the under-performing Chargers, and the Dolphins travel to play the ever-disappointing Jets.
The Buccaneers will entertain the Colts, who have the 13th overall defense. The Colts are 1-4 in their last five games and desperately need a win. Last week, they were torched on the ground by Titans RB Derick Henry. However, this was the first 100-yard rusher against the Colts this season.
The Bucs again surprised fantasy players last week, when Ronald Jones was benched in the first half for not picking up a blitz. This led to Peyton Barber scoring two touchdowns, while Jones had zero points. The Colts have surrendered two passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. Last week the Tampa Bay offense didn’t have to do nearly as much as usual.
This week, expect the Bucs vertical passing to be back throwing the ball at least 35 times. With a stout run defense, Jameis Winston will need to be at the top of his game in a big test for this Bucs team.
The Jaguars offense has been rough through the air with Nick Foles back. Now, Foles is back on the bench in favor of rookie, Gardner Minshew. The Chargers come into town with the 4th ranked pass defense, but let Drew Lock and Cortland Sutton connect for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers own the 18th ranked rush defense, and that is music to the ears of Leonard Fournette.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the running back facing some stout run defenses. This weekend look for Fournette to get back on track. With the return of Minshew means the D.J. Chark becomes even more attractive. Chark was still the top guy with Foles in, but he and Minshew have a good connection.
The Dolphins are coming off one of the stunners of the year beating the Eagles in a 37-31 shootout. This week they set their sights on the Jets, who just gave the Bengals their first win. The Jets have the leagues’ best-run defense, which is usually significant. However, the Dolphins can’t run the ball effectively at all.
That means Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing a lot against the 19th ranked pass defense.
Last week Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker destroyed the Eagles secondary. This week they will have all the opportunities to do the same thing to the Jets. With the tight end position a mess, Mike Gesicki is an option again, who has scored in two straight games.