The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held their second to last training camp practice on Wednesday, and once again, they didn’t impress their head coach Dirk Koetter. While walking over for his daily discussion with the media, Koetter could be heard replying to a fan “not really,” after the fan yelled out, “nice practice.”
“Not good. Not good,” Koetter replied when the obvious first question, “how was practice,” was asked.
Just two days after a day off, and three days since the team ran gassers after practice, Koetter was once again disappointed in his team’s effort.
“Our effort wasn’t good enough,” the Bucs head man told 620 WDAE. “That starts with me. That’s on me. I’ve gotta coach them better. I’ve gotta get them ready to play better.”
Less than perfect effort is often a symptom of the end of training camp, but Koetter wasn’t ready to use that excuse.
“You could say that. That would be making an excuse, but if we want to look for excuses that would be one – usually try not to do that,” Koetter said with a look of annoyance at the suggestion that the date could be a valid reason for his team not having their best day.
While the addition of loud music to practice in recent years is used to simulate crowd noise, Koetter talked today about how it’s also used to drown out the coaches and force players to rely on each other from snap to snap, just as they’ll have to when they’re in crowded stadiums full of opposing fans.
“It has to come from within your team,” Koetter explained. “That’s why we turn that music up so loud, so they can’t hear me yelling, and they can’t hear their coaches yelling. It’s gotta come from the players. If you noticed in all of our 11-on-11, the players were on the sideline. It was just the 22 guys on the field. That’s how it is on gameday.”
Koetter was asked about the health of two of his most important players Wednesday, as Kwon Alexander missed another day of practice, and was joined on the sideline with Jameis Winston’s favorite target, Mike Evans.
“He’s out for right now, but I’ll be fine,” Koetter said about Kwon Alexander. When the conversation moved to Mike Evans who also missed practice, Koetter suggested it was also nothing to worry about. “No, nothing serious, no.”
There’s no question whether it was the effort during practice, or the fact that few players took any time to hang back and talk to the media, Wednesday had the feel of the end of camp. Tomorrow will be the final day of Bucs training camp, and we’ll once again have Ronnie and TKras broadcasting live from camp, and the practice will once again be open to the public.
While Thursday will be the final day Bucs fans can view practice, they open up Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night when they host the Cleveland Browns with stage two of the renovations to the team’s home complete. Be sure to check out our best Bucs coverage page tomorrow night as we’ll have a photo gallery from inside the new, and much bigger Bucs locker room, and the remodeled West Club.
While there will be plenty of new things to see (in the Club anyways) for Bucs fans Saturday, Koetter wasn’t shy about admitting he doesn’t really care how many of them show up on Saturday. While praising Bucs fans and calling them the best, Koetter also urged the importance of filling Raymond James on September 17th against the Bears, and joking that it’s OK if they don’t show up Saturday unless they need the practice!
“Our fans are the best and they’ve proven that,” Koetter said. “Even today when we got school going on and during the week, people gotta work. I know are fans are gonna do their part. Let’s gear it towards Chicago on the 17th. What happens this week is practice. If the fans need to practice, come on out, but we need you on the 17th. If you don’t need to practice, we’ll see you then.”