Bucs UK Member 17-year old Harrison has just been to training camp in Tampa and wrote us a review… [photo gallery at the end]
Game Day –
Although the result was a defeat, it still had a few positives to take. All three quarterbacks (Trask, Mayfield & Wolford) got a good run out during the game. Mayfield appeared to be the better the quarterback for the game. A few wide receivers looked lively which could be problematic for the oppositions defensive teams to deal with. However the Bucs’ defence seemed to be the weakness during the game.
Great to see the togetherness in the team during and after the warm ups. Players encouraging each other to get motivated for the game during the warm up drills. After the drills, before returning to the locker room, they huddled showing they stay together as a team. Being from the UK and the main sport being football (soccer) it was interesting to see how the training drills and warm ups for English football are extremely similar to those used by the Bucs. The training exercises are the same just executed slightly different to make it specific to their football.
The Buccaneers may have lost the game but that’s not always a bad thing as weaknesses can be identified. Being a preseason friendly it is better to see the weaknesses now rather than during the season. The defence seemed poor but that can be worked on during training before the season starts. All three quarterbacks got game time and all seemed like great options for the season. During the game Mayfield appeared to be the better the quarterback.
Training Camp August 13 –
Training was indoor due to the extreme heat and training being 1-3:40PM. The team’s togetherness could be seen again starting the training session with a team huddle followed by a team warm up. Training was then opened with practice punts followed by the players branching out into their smaller groups and performing drills specific to them. After warm ups and drills had finished the team began to practice the plays. Mayfield, Trask & Wolford swapped after each play meaning they got plenty of practice. After training, fans were allowed to wait round the outside of the pitch to get players’ autographs and photos. It was great to see so many of the players providing time to do this for the fans and to thank them for their continued support.
Training Camp August 14 –
August 14 was also Creamsicle day so it was amazing to see the fans in attendance all dressed in orange creamsicle merchandise. Training was outdoor at 8:30-10:40AM. Before the team performed their warm up together at around 8:30, a few players came out earlier to perform a few exercises on their own. This was amazing to see as it shows their professionalism to take it upon themselves to target areas they know need further warming up. Training was the same from the day with the practice opening with punts, followed by the team going off into smaller groups each to perform specific exercises and drills for their position. This seemed to be better outside as they had access to all equipment due to the increased playing area size. After that they got into running through the plays again with all three quarterbacks rotated for the plays (Trask, Mayfield and Wolford). Again, at the end of training, the players had time to go over to the fans and show their appreciation.
One Buc Place
After training had finished, we met with Brian and Eileen who invited us into the lobby to have a look at the clubs history and achievements. We met with Mrs Selmon, who was a wonderful woman.
Creamsicle Day (August 14) –
In the evening we attended the Creamsicle day celebrations at Armature Works. There was many activities for all ages and pop up tents. It was amazing to see some of the legends in attendance to sign memorabilia and take photos with fans. There was an excellent firework show with the city building illuminated in orange to match the firework display.
Additional Information –
For anyone looking for an amazing American breakfast, I would highly recommend the Metro Dinner. The pancakes and waffles are my personal favourite.
The Tampa Riverwalk is another activity I would highly, especially at night as the walk is lit up all different colours. Additionally, if you look closely in the water on the walk you may be able to see the Florida Gar sunbathing just below the surface.
The Weedon Island Reserve Parkrun is another great way to see parts of Florida while staying active. Parkruns are held worldwide, including the UK, and are free to take part in. All you need to do is to create an account where they will give you a personal barcode. The locals are all super welcoming and the organisers super helpful. Parkruns are only 5km with this one being 5km through the nature reserve and mangroves.