Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount grabbed the football tied to the loose end of a thick, black elastic band tied to the bottom of a goal post, tucked it under his arm and began running.
His goal during the drill in Tuesday's practice was to reach a series of orange cones at the far reaches of the band's strength without losing control of the ball.
To make the task even harder, fellow running back Kregg Lumpkin battered Blount with a blocking pad as he reached for the cones. Blount's play the past few weeks tells you why.
In his past three games, Blount has fumbled four times and lost three, including once on Sunday during a play that further fueled Jacksonville's rally in a 41-14 loss to the Jaguars.
Blount's troubles holding onto the ball go back even further than that, though. Since he came into the league last year, Blount has fumbled nine times and lost six, both the most among running backs over that span.
The drill he ran on Tuesday then was just the latest attempt by the Bucs to correct a chronic problem coach Raheem Morris said is not a byproduct of sloppy playing conditions.
"A lot of people want to blame it on wet situations,'' Morris said. "I think those are excuses. It's more about knowing your style of running and understanding what is going on in the game and understanding that the defense and everybody is going to hustle. You have to do a better job of securing the football for your team and your coaching staff and for everybody in the organization.''
Blount said he has not lost track of the responsibility he has to his teammates and coaches when he carries the ball or lost his grasp of the fundamentals.
The problem, he said, is defenses are more focused on stripping the ball than stopping him, especially during runs in which he has broken past the line of scrimmage and threatening to break free for a long gain.
"Once I get to that second level, their second thought is to go for the football,'' Blount said. "And this season a lot of teams have been successful. It's just something that I have to work on.''
Blount got that opportunity on Tuesday. In addition to the drill against Lumpkin, which is run most every day in practice, the Bucs devoted two extra practice periods to ball security.
It wasn't just Blount who needed the work. The Bucs are tied with Philadelphia for the league lead in giveaways with 31, so quarterback Josh Freeman, the receivers and the return men needed a refresher, too.
There is little question, though, Blount's struggles holding onto the ball are among those the Bucs are most concerned about. After all, he is their lead ball carrier and ground gainer.
Blount has run 167 times for 737 yards and five touchdowns, but most of his yards come after contact and while fighting off tacklers, which makes him more vulnerable to being stripped of the ball.
He had gained 23 yards and was still being harassed by two would-be tacklers when Blount lost the fumble against the Jaguars. In such situations, Morris said, Blount must emphasize security.
"You hate to take away from a guy's effort and a guy's will to win, but at the same time you have to be smart with the football and you've got to do a better job of securing the ball in those situations,'' Morris said.
Blount heard the message and is eager to correct the problem, he said, because the fallout has the potential to alter the way people in and out of the game perceive him as a running back.
"I don't want to get that label of being a fumbler,'' he said "It's already loaded into a lot of people's heads, so I'm going to have to try to erase that memory for a lot of people, including myself.''
Cowboys at Bucs
Saturday: 8:20 p.m.; TV: NFL Network; WTTA, Channel 38