Today was a day that I'll never forget. I got to drive an hour and a half to Tampa to experience my first NFL practice and it was with the Tampa Bay Bucs. I won't bore you with all the details of me going through security and finding my way to where I needed to be, I'll just start with the good stuff.
My day included attending press conferences for Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken and QB Jameis Winston, a locker room visit, 30 minutes of viewing practice, and then a final press conference for Head Coach Dirk Koetter. All three press conferences didn't last too long and they all hit on a number of topics but of course the main focus was facing the Cleveland Browns.
Todd and Jameis addressed the media first before we hit the locker room. Walking into the locker room, they had a countdown clock with the Browns helmet on it. A majority of the Bucs players were either walking around or at their lockers. They had some hip-hop music on just jamming out. For the most part, all seemed to be in a good mood. Even Ryan Fitzpatrick was smiles and even showing off some of his dance moves.
Outside at practice, it was brutally hot. We were only outside for 30 minutes and I was dripping sweat while just standing there trying to snap some pictures. I can't imagine what it would be like wearing a helmet, pads, and running routes and doing drills. Again, they had some hip-hop going over the loud speakers. Some DMX and 50 Cent even had me getting pumped.
After our viewing time, we went back inside and hung out for a few hours until they were done with practice and showered. Then Coach Koetter held his press conference and that was all she wrote.
The facility is beautiful and of course surrounded by Bucs flags. They have both an indoor and outdoor practice field although I was only able to see the field outside.
This team very easily could be 4-1 and their attitude, while they meant business, seemed relaxed. I'm hoping to come again and real soon. It was quite the experience.