TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the 2014 season with two home games, one against Carolina that has a 4:25 p.m. kickoff and a second against St. Louis that has a 4:05 p.m. kickoff.
The starting times of those games is one reason why Bucs coach Lovie Smith has decided to tempt Mother Nature by starting most of his training camp workouts at 4:30 p.m. The fans are the other reason.
“I know that most people work all day, and that’s the time where if you’d like you can come over and still be able to catch some of our practice after you go to work.’’ Smith said. “We want to be fan-friendly with it.”
Fans can get their first look at the Bucs this Friday, when they hold the first of their 13 open practices at One Buc Place beginning at 4:30 p.m. It is one of eight workouts scheduled to start at that time.
“And there are a couple of reasons for that,’’ Smith said at the end of the Bucs’ mandatory June minicamp. “Starting our season, we play our first few games about that time.
“(When I was coaching the Bears) we’d have training camp practices at 12 o’clock because we played then or at 1 p.m. Eastern time. We’re also trying to practice in the heat as much as anything. That’s a home-field advantage that we have.’’