Wet Ball Days Numbers

June 13th, 2017

Likes the rain.

It always amused Joe when clouds began to gather in the west-central Florida skies in August.

When it rained during Bucs training camp, fans totally went berserk on Twitter. No, it was not a reaction from the fans planning to attend practice, it was from fans near and far who were (perhaps) high and dry.

They were completely convinced a rainy practice meant the Bucs’ season was doomed. “Build an indoor facility, NOW!” They’d rage.

Joe tried to explain, but to no avail. First, football is not baseball. Games are held in the rain. And the snow. And the sleet. And damned near anything Mother Nature can throw at you short of lightning or a tornado or a hurricane or a wildfire.

Not only didn’t players mind it — practicing in the rain is significantly cooler — but coaches absolutely love practicing in the rain. Why? Wet ball drills.

Last week at the final OTA of the underwear football season, it rained off and on. It was like the outer reaches of rain bands from a tropical storm were passing by. One minute it was raining; three minutes later the sun was out and five minutes after that, it resumed sprinkling.

And winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was good with that.

“It’s good for us,” Koetter said of practicing under raindrops. “We had it a couple times early in the season. Preseason [and] that first game down in Miami – I’ve been in several games in Miami where it’s wet.

“It’s hard to get good work in wet weather. The field – even though our fields are tremendous – guys have to wear different shoes, handling the wet ball, quarterback-center exchange, all the ball-handling. It makes it a little bit sloppy at times but it’s actually good for us, I think, in the long run.”

Coaches freely admit that dunking a football in a five-gallon bucket to replicate practicing in the rain doesn’t come anywhere close to the real thing.

Sadly, those days are numbered. If you look at photos of underwear football practice or video, in the background you can see construction of the promised Team-Glazer-financed indoor facility. The Bucs believe it should be ready for the regular season. It is not expected to be open for training camp.

So the days of practicing in the rain should end for the Bucs come September. No more wet ball drills, unless there is a spare bucket lying around.

15 Responses to “Wet Ball Days Numbers”

  1. Dreambig Says:

    Part of the draw of a indoor practice facility from a fans perspective, I think comes from the inability of our previous bad coaches to have the team prepared to play on opening day. It seemed like we were a month behind the other teams, and missed practice from lightning storms and excessive heat prevented quality practice time. Maybe it was just bad coaching.

  2. Larrywoods3 Says:

    I think people should stop automatically assuming that because of the indoor facility all practice in the rain will stop. It’s literally a matter of the coaches saying move in or move outside.

  3. tnew Says:

    You can always train outside, if it is raining, but this keeps you out of the searing summer heat. I am a fan that cheered when we had a rainy training season because this meant the players could train at higher intensity. I have seen studies done on this regarding training. Players regulate intensity based on heat. Day after day in blazing hot conditions causes the body to naturally slow itself down. Recovery is more difficult but more important. In Tampa we are hit with a triple edged sword of training at sea level, high humidity and heat. Coaches are forced to adjust. The previous notion that this makes you tougher, is just a notion. Many readers on this board may remember coaches withholding water (I remember this) to toughen you up, but it did the opposite. You as a coach can try convince a player that this readies them for the heat (which is what I have done, knowing full well I was lying) and that may give a mental edge but a player training at a consistent higher intensity will be in better condition than one that has to regulate intensity due to heat. This is what the bubble is about… Now if they could also regulate the oxygen concentration so that we could simulate training at altitude.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    It’s not the rain folks, it is the lightning.

  5. tnew Says:

    I rethought my statement, best case would be to regulate the oxygen in their sleeping quarters simulating altitude then train at sea level. That would be best. I wonder what that cost analysis vs performance benefit looks like?

  6. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    It’s also now been established that constantly practicing in extreme heat does less to condition players than it does to drain them. The indoor facility will provide more balance.

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Makes sense that they appreciate a good rain at practice but I don’t see much benefit when it rains every single day nonstop. Indoor facility is needed cause Florida can have summers like that.

  8. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    As mentioned above, it’s not about rain. It’s about lightning that causes teams to lose practice time. This is the lightning capital of the world. Do other places get lightning? Sure. But, not as much as here, therefore putting the Bucs at a competitive disadvantage.

    And that’s especially true now with the most recent CBA curtailing the amount of available practice time. They need the ability to not lose any practice time whatsoever. The IPF does that.

  9. tnew Says:

    They always had the opportunity to train at Tropicana field, which they did frequently but I know there is a difference between a football specific Artificial grass versus a multi sport (which I think the Trop has) or a baseball specific Artificial grass. Based on the input from many outfielders the turf at the Trop was exceptionally hard on players legs, especially knees. Having the facility at One Buc is long past due.

  10. Mikadeemas Says:

    I figure Dirk is smart enough to still practice out in the rain some.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    This is becoming like Fox News. The same anchors just wash rinse and repeat what eachother say or report on. Happens a lot lately Joe and it’s not going unnoticed. How is this new from Rock Riley’s report…yesterday? I get it. It’s new because it’s in print and not in video. In fact Rock reports on a lot of stuff you’ve already covered only this time it happened in reverse. I guess it’s nice to double it up. Fans must like hearing and reading the same quote over and over again from yesterday into the next day? Then comes Ira with his take on what Koetter said about the rain even though it’s basically the same take.

    Too many cook’s in the kitchen?

    My take : Should have never tried to improve what’s not broken. Redundancy is boring.

  12. Edgar Perez Says:

    Are teams allowed to build/use devices to simulate rain? You know like a sprinkler system not directly on the field?

  13. Joe Says:


    How is this new from Rock Riley’s report…yesterday?

    Read this post again and then go back to Rock’s video. If you still cannot tell the difference, please get back to Joe.

    And, yeah, if you know the difference between the typed word and video, why bring it up?

    Videos and stories are two wholly different things. Joe does not dictate what Rock produces nor will Rock tell Joe what to write.

    And as always, if you don’t like the subject of a specific post, there are 30k stories in Joe’s free archives you may browse.

  14. Joe Says:

    Are teams allowed to build/use devices to simulate rain? You know like a sprinkler system not directly on the field?

    That’s actually not a bad idea. Sort of like a miniature version of how Midwest farms are irrigated.

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    Yesterday was the most humid day yet this year by far, a sweatathon. Will the indoor facility have air conditioning or just big fans?