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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs hot reads: Combined practices have Rutgers feel

Published:   |   Updated: August 14, 2013 at 06:53 AM

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The only NFL coach seemingly more fond of Rutgers football players than former Rutgers and current Bucs coach Greg Schiano? Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick has nine former Rutgers players on the New England roster, which is one more than Schiano has on the Tampa Bay roster.

Rutgers players have shown a tendency in recent years to come out of college as NFL ready, Belichick said, at least in terms of how they practice and prepare for games. That's a nod to Schiano's coaching style.

With 17 former players here this week, Belichick thinks Rutgers fundraisers may be missing out on a great opportunity.

“They should be here,” he said. “Get them all at once, right? Get some alumni donations going.”

Play of the day

The Bucs and Patriots spent more than an hour working on various 11-on-11 situations. New England QB Tom Brady spent a good part of that time picking apart Tampa Bay's defense.

The most impressive play of the day, though, came from Bucs QB Josh Freeman, who was right on target with a pass WR Vincent Jackson caught in stride on a slant route.

Jackson caught the ball at midfield and so quickly separated himself from defenders he would have gone for a 60-plus-yard touchdown had it been a real game.

Bold prediction

Hidden deep within an answer he gave to a question about Bucs rookie CB Johnthan Banks on Tuesday was a prediction from teammate Darrelle Revis that Bucs fans might find rather interesting.

Speaking about Banks' talent level and ability to adjust quickly to the NFL, Revis said Banks is playing well enough to start on opening day and that he'll do so alongside a notable colleague.

“He's young and he has to improve, but I'm helping him with that learning curve and we should see him on the field for Game 1,” Revis said. “He'll probably be on the other side of me.”

Quote of the day

“Oh yeah, he's still the same old guy. I tell him he still can't win even now that he's over there with them.''

— Bucs WR Mike Williams, on facing noted trash talker and former teammate CB Aqib Talib

Preseason schedule

Aug. 8: Ravens 44, Bucs 16

Friday: at New England, 8 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)

Aug. 24: at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (Ch. 8)

Aug. 29: Washington, 7:30 p.m. (Ch. 8)

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