Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs players return ready to practice after Hurricane Irma

TAMPA — As logistics go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger challenge than making sure 53 football players all get back in town for a busy week of practice in the aftermath of a major hurricane.

But the Bucs have pulled it off, going 53-for-53 in getting their roster back safely to One Buc Place as practice resumes in full today for Sunday's season opener at home against the Bears.

The NFL mandates that players get four consecutive days off during a bye week, and when the Bucs' Week 1 game at the Dolphins was postponed to November, they had to honor the bye-week requirement, sending players off for the long weekend, knowing Hurricane Irma could make return travel exceedingly difficult.

Doing that right starts with Bucs ownership, which chartered five planes to take 130 players and football and business staff to Charlotte, N.C., for those who wanted to escape the threat of the hurricane. Under the oversight of chief operating officer Brian Ford, the Bucs took on the task of setting up return travel, an uncertainty until Tampa International Airport announced it would re-open Tuesday.

Tim Jarocki, the team's senior manager of team operations, coordinated not only the Charlotte trip, but the challenge of bringing together a roster spread across the country — rookie TE Antony Auclair even went home to Canada over the weekend. Duke Preston, the team's director of player engagement, kept in touch with players and their families as well.

The Bucs scheduled a walkthrough practice for Tuesday evening, this after just two full practices in 12 days since the preseason ended Aug. 31. But the three most important days of practice ­— today, Thursday and Friday — are in place as normal as Tampa Bay prepares for Sunday's home game against the Bears.

Big homecoming

With the official announcement Tuesday that the Bucs-Bears game would be played as scheduled Sunday, the game should have a strong crowd as the Tampa Bay area still recovers from Irma. Tickets on the secondary market were selling for $65 on TicketMaster — above face value for season-ticket holders — and last year's Bucs-Bears game had the second-highest announced attendance of any 2016 home game at 62,898.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

 

 

Bucs players return ready to practice after Hurricane Irma 09/12/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 2:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  2. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — D Victor Hedman said the joke in the Lightning locker room before Friday's exhibition game was that the over/under on slashing penalties would be six.

    "It was the over again," Hedman quipped.

    Wing Ryan Callahan, left,  pursues the Predators’ Colton Sissons, being careful how he uses his stick given the crackdown on slashing in the preseason. “It’s hard to defend when you’re so used to doing something for so long and now it’s a penalty,” Callahan says.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.