With their season opener in mind, Buccaneers welcome work in rain

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA – Coming as it will right after what is usually the peak of the hurricane season, the Buccaneers-Dolphins Sept. 10 season opener down in Miami could prove to be a rather wet affair.

That’s why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter didn’t mind that the Bucs had to spend a good portion of their last week of OTAs working in the rain and slop caused by the deluge that hit the state of Florida this week.

“It’s good for us … (because) it’s hard to get good work in wet weather,’’ Koetter said. “And here, even though our fields are tremendous, the guys still have to wear different shoes and things.

“They still have to handle the wet ball, and then there’s the whole quarterback-center exchange. (The Rain) makes it a little sloppy but it’s actually good for us in the long haul.’’

The Bucs still have no choice but to work in and around the rain. The indoor practice facility that they’ve been needing since the franchise was granted is still just a shell of what it will be.

But at least there’s a shell. Or part of one. About a third of the steel skeleton that will support what eventually becomes the Bucs indoor practice facility has gone up in the last week.

The structure, which is being built on the south-west end of One Buc Place behind the current practice fields, is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but it should be read shortly thereafter.

The Bucs are hoping to start making use of the structure in September, and it should finally alleviate the need to move practices or cancel them altogether when stormy weather hits.

That could give Koetter a slight advantage that the likes of John McKay, Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden never had during their tenure in Tampa Bay, and Koetter admits he’s looking forward to having that advantage.

“Yesterday we had to change our whole schedule around because of the rain,’’ Koetter said, “so it’s going to be so nice when we can just walk out there and get our practice done. We are thankful to say the least to have that coming.’’

 

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