TAMPA — More than 50 former Buccaneers attended Tuesday afternoon’s practice, reminiscing about NFL days gone by while observing current players work as the end of training camp approaches.
“Lovie Smith was absolutely the right hire as head coach,’’ former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson said. ”He brings a quiet confidence and I thought signing Josh McCown at quarterback was also a good move. He can be that coach on the field and he has an athleticism you need when things break down.’’
Carlson was joined by ex-Bucs Martin Gramatica, Chris Hovan, Michael Clayton, Stylez White, Mark Royals, Mark Cotney, Greg Roberts, Tyrone Keys, Ian Beckles, Mark Robinson, Council Rudolph and Horace Copeland in the next-to-last practice before camp breaks late Thursday afternoon.
“We had this Buccaneer alumni day at a practice this spring,’’ said Barry Smith, a wide receiver with the inaugural 1976 Bucs. “Lovie is talking to us with the team and said, ‘By the way guys, we are getting rid of the Buccaneer alumni group.’ And we are all going, ‘What the heck?’ And then he smiled and says, ‘There is no more Buccaneer alumni, from now on you are all legends.’ It was so cool. Guys always said, ‘Well we were always legends in our own mind!’ We loved that.”
Play of the day
Rookie WR Robert Herron generated some applause from the crowd Tuesday. Working against the first-string defense, the sixth-round pick out of Wyoming split two defenders and made a leaping grab of McCown’s pass down the left hash mark.
“Robert Herron stepped up today,’’ Smith said. “You want some of your younger players to do that, guys that have a chance of making your ballclub.’’
Quote of the day
“It’s a motivation factor. Once you see him (DT Gerald McCoy) getting off and making plays like that, it brings up the level of play for everyone else.’’
— Bucs LB Lavonte David, referring to McCoy’s tackle for a 5-yard loss on the first preseason snap from scrimmage Friday at Jacksonville.
Did you know?
NFL rosters must be reduced to a maximum of 75 players by Aug. 26, four days before the final cut to the 53-man regular-season roster limit.
Training camp schedule
Thursday’s practice session at One Buccaneer Place, free and open to the public, is the last of training camp.
Thursday: 2-4:30 p.m.
Game 1: Jaguars 16, Bucs 10
Saturday: 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