Richard Zeller and his 8-year-old daughter, Hailey, are staking a powerful claim as the most loyal fans at training camp.
The Zellers, who live in Brandon, have not missed one public practice since camp began July 25, including the night workout at Raymond James Stadium last week. On Monday, they looked on from the front row of the bleachers as Tampa Bay continued preparations for Friday night’s preseason opener at Jacksonville.
“We’re here every day and we love the Bucs,’’ Richard said. “My daughter knows all these players, too.’’
Hailey, who goes by the nickname “Princess Nasty,’’ is a 4-foot-4, 66-pound whirlwind who says her favorite Buc is two-time Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy.
“I have a bunch of orange shirts and red shirts at home,’’ said Hailey, who predicts an 8-8 season for Tampa Bay this fall.
Richard is going with a 10-6 mark because of a new attitude he sees at One Buc Place.
“They’re more prepared and their hearts are more in it this year,’’ he said. “The coaching staff has re-energized these guys. The players feel like it’s a game again, where last year it seemed like a job.’’
Play of the day
During one-on-one drills, rookie CB Keith Lewis lined up across from WR Louis Murphy as the former University of Florida standout flanked out to the left side. When Murphy and QB Mike Glennon tried to connect on a fade pass in the left corner, Lewis established perfect position and intercepted the slightly underthrown ball as Murphy looked on helplessly.
Quote of the day
“Today was the worst practice I’ve had since I’ve been a Buc. I’ve got to come out tomorrow and get better for my team.’’
— Rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who said he struggled as a blocker during Monday’s drills.
Did you know?
The Bucs have gone five consecutive seasons without posting a winning record at home
Stat of the day
Tampa Bay scored only 50 points in the fourth quarter last season, 25 fewer than any other NFC team.
Training camp schedule
The following practice sessions are open and free to the public, with all practices at One Buccaneer Place:
Today: 4:30–7 p.m.
Sunday: 2–4:30 p.m.
Monday: 4:30–7 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 12: 4:30–7 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 14: 2–4:30 p.m.
NOTE: Dates and times subject to change.
Friday: at Jaguars, 7:30 p.m.
*Sat., Aug. 16: vs. Dolphins, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 23: at Bills, 4:30 p.m.
*Thu., Aug. 28: vs. Redskins, 7:30 p.m.
NOTE: Preseason games on NBC, Ch. 8
*-Subject to blackout