“You Can’t Baby Football Players”

July 22nd, 2018

Wants a tougher Bucs team.

If Ian Beckles wielded any type of power, the only time the Bucs would ever set foot in their new indoor practice facility would be if there is lightning in the air.

Bucs training camp begins Thursday (we’ve just about made it, gang) and Beckles is starting to get worked up for football as a result. How he would go about getting the Bucs ready for the 2018 season seems to be a far cry from how Bucs coach Dirk Koetter may go about it.

In a recent edition of his podcast “In the Trenches,” the former Bucs guard and popular radio personality had no use for air-conditioned practices in July and August for an NFL team rooted in Florida.

This year will be the first football season where the indoor practice facility is fully operational. Last year the facility was nearly finished towards the end of preseason but it was not ready to regularly host a team or allow fans inside. It was more like an expensive pavilion at the time.

Beckles is of the mind that an NFL team in Florida needs to get used to the elements because the Bucs, for example, have to play home games at the Den of Depression, which sure as hell isn’t air-conditioned.

“Bless these guys that have to go out there in that madness,” Beckles said. “There are people dying from heat exhaustion in Montreal, Canada, and we are in Tampa, Fla. It’s just a little bit further south and it’s just a little bit hotter here.

“We are playing football. You can’t baby football players. Because, football players, whether you think it is dangerous for them to go out there and play in that heat, in the few days they have to go out and play in it, being acclimated to it is something that is always a lot better.

“There is nothing you can do about this heat, man. It is hot. …

“The Bucs have that new practice facility. Whether they use it or not – I want to see if Dirk Koetter puts them in there because of the heat. I sure hope not. I hope not, because the one thing this Buccaneer team has to do – and I know you Buccaneers fans will agree with me is – they’ve got to get tougher up and down. They have to be a tougher bunch of guys. And going in a practice facility is not exactly conducive to toughness.”

It is a chicken-or-egg argument. On face value, Joe cannot disagree with Beckles. The Bucs won a Super Bowl without an indoor facility. The Dolphins had a dynasty and never had an indoor facility. How many championships in college football have Miami, Florida and Florida State won and until recently none of those schools had an indoor facility?

And even Koetter has had mixed results. Two years ago he had a circus tent behind the practice facilities and temporary lights installed where the Bucs had nighttime walk-throughs and the Bucs won nine games.

A year later, when the team had some use of the indoor facility, the team was soft as a newborn kitten.

If ignoring the practice facility unless there is lighting would be a sure-fire way to toughen up the Bucs and not wear them out, then, of course, that should be the way to go.

Joe isn’t sure if there is hard evidence either way whether an air-conditioned practice makes a team tougher or softer.

Koetter always has said he goes relatively easy in training camp because he wants his team fresh for the season. The Bucs under Koetter have played better in the second halves of seasons than in first halves.

Beckles encourages feedback on his podcast and welcomes e-mails at IanBeckles@radioinfluence.com

32 Responses to ““You Can’t Baby Football Players””

  1. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I say practice indoors as much as possible. Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.
    I think this applies to the fact where the heat just beats you down and lowers your endurance, ability, and coordination/focus. Injuries also happen more frequently when you are tired and lack form and coordination.
    How do you have quality practices under these conditions?
    Every year northern teams ( who don’t practice in the heat) come into RayJay and beat us no problem. All this get used to the heat BS is not translating into wins, obviously.
    So yeah, let’s listen to Beckles and keep doing the same routine that is not proving beneficial.
    We could beat the heat, get more quality reps in, decrease likelihood of injury, and stay fresher. Seems pretty simple to me. Work smart while working hard.

  2. Trench War Says:

    They need to use it in moderation. Not having it in the past also contributed to some teams to start the season looking exhausted with low stamina. There has to be some recovery time as well.

  3. MattSpy05 Says:

    Sounds like jealousy from Ian Beckles to me. Practicing in the heat has always done the Bucs well since their inception. Oh wait they’ve historically one of thevwirst teams in the league…

    But keep doing it the same way we always do…

  4. Jacko101 Says:

    Practicing outdoors in this Florida heat does not truly give us gains over other other teams (as history has shown). It is great for practice no question, but too much heat does our own players.

  5. Joe Says:

    Practicing outdoors in this Florida heat does not truly give us gains over other other teams (as history has shown).

    Recent history has shown the opposite, unfortunately.

    Only one team has a worse home record since Chucky was fired than the Bucs. That’s Cleveland.

  6. Fire the glazers Says:

    Teams come to Tampa and beat the hell outta the Bucs all the time…
    some of them done teams, some of them northern teams.
    I’m not buying the ‘soft’ argument.
    They should practice outside, mostly.
    But leading up to games, I think it helps to have practice indoors where they can focus on play selection a little more and also be shielded from other teams taping practice with drones.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I wanted to reply to the previous post about Cameron Lynch on TV, The submit comment tab goes away on my android phone so i can’t post
    Willie and LT were like man how times have changed. Youve got 5 new DL and 3 new DBs and you talkin Video games durring camp.s I like Cameron Lynch as a player. He hustles to the ball and is physical. Life long Bucs fans are starving for victories and we want to see dominance and nothing less from our football team right now.

  8. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The major advantage to having an indoor practice facility is you do not miss practices because of inclement weather. That said , Florida heat has not given us a noticeable advantage in recent years IMO. Lack of talent and depth ,especially
    on defense has probably attributed to that.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … ” Koetter always has said he had soft training camp practices because he wanted his team fresher down the stretch.” Soft training camps are THE problem IMO, not whether or not we have an indoors practice facility (that facility will be a fantastic addition, IF used discriminately) which is all Beckles was suggesting I think). Buckner & our revamped DLine can set the tone for this entire team in terms of developing toughness in the preseason … IF Koetter lets them. A more aggressive DLine will force our OLine to toughen up also (or get the living snot beat out of them). It all starts in the trenches.

  10. BucNole Says:

    The best use of the indoor facility will be when there is lightning in the area – too much heavy rain/wind that creates a dangerous situation on the practice fields (altho they will practice in the rain of course to prepare for that – just not the real heavy stuff)
    It will save several practice opportunities that would otherwise be lost.
    AND to prepare for dome teams that play on turf.

  11. Roy T. Buford Says:

    It is well known in human factors that trying to concentrate under heat stress is difficult and learning in such an environment is not as effective. It is said athletes are more susceptible to injury in the heat.

    For years and years we’ve heard the Bucs can’t play when it’s cold. And now the cocnern is they’d have trouble playing when it’s hot?

    I don’t think it makes any difference; they basically suck at random. Too often it seems they just can’t play.

  12. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I do know from reading their releases for practices this year that in holding two plus hour practices, the Bucs will spend the first half outside, and the second half indoors. It is probably a good thing their evening walkthroughs are indoors only because of thunrderstorms.

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Joe says: “Only one team has a worse home record since Chucky was fired than the Bucs. That’s Cleveland.”

    OMG. If the Bucss don’t shape up, the Browns fans will soon be calling their team Tampa North.

  14. Darin Says:

    I agree with him here. Dirk needs to stop the comforting. Most of the people dying from the heat are older people, not top conditioned athletes. In my early 20’s I worked outside all the time without a problem. Of course now 20 years later its alot harder. The heat will only benefit them in games if they come out in the first half and put a whoopin on the other team. Make them tap out so to speak. I remember watching the bucs play the bills early in the season years ago, the bills team barely all made it to the tunnel before it was time for them to come back. That was mostly due to the beating they took. Heats not gona matter if the other teams winning.

  15. Offbrand Says:

    Coach Raheem had large oversized coolers for the guys and they were “the best team in the NFC.”

  16. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    85% of the NFL is nothing but Cry Baby Millennials are you kidding me?! Training camps a joke, nobody can hit anybody, it’s a joke to get paid all that money and still crying and whining about everything not hit each other it’s just a joke! Fireman know they might get burned when they sign up for their job and possibly die. So make these Cry Baby sissies sign a waiver about concussions and be done with it! I’m sick of all sports in a bunch of Cry-Baby millionaires almost billionaires whining and crying every minute I see them!

  17. JabooBuc Says:

    First of all, it’s inevitable if it keeps raining like it has been. Second, use the indoor facility as a reward for consistent good practices outdoors. I promise these guys want to be indoors as much as possible so make them earn it.

  18. Mayhem41 Says:

    Ian’s teams all went 3 a days in notoriously bad conditions under Ray Perkins and continued with outdoor practices under Wyche. Those teams went 5 – 11 every single f-in year. Sound and fury, signifying nothing (per usual). Go back to telling us how much McCoy sucks and how every football evaluator is wrong about him. Oh, wait, Ian played O-line and his opinion trumps everything…. I forgot.

  19. AlteredEgo Says:

    Ian has not been out of pro football that long, but sounds like an old man talking about walking 5 miles to school through the snow……Yes …Ian the game has changed and the players are babied partly to the CBA and partly to the culture these pampered college players grow up in and partly for clubs protecting their expensive assets ….TC is NOTHING like it was when Ian was playing….

  20. K_Bassuka Says:

    Idk, what Beckles said sounds good, but then why have we gone all those years being a bad football team? Up north teams or teams that have indoor practice facilities come down here and Miami and don’t seem to struggle. I haven’t seen these call advantage gained from practicing outside yet.

    I have been to some of the hottest and after getting acclimated to the heat on the first trip my body was able to get re acclimated to the heat even after a long time without feeling such heat. What I mean is that you don’t need to be outside in the elements every day to get used to it as long as you expose your body to it some of the time.

  21. BucFamous Says:

    This is just a stupid perspective by Beckles because there is a huge sample size of teams who regularly use indoor practice facilities and it hasn’t caused any issues (see: Alabama, and every other major college team).

    Just griping to gripe…

  22. D-Rome Says:

    Practicing in the heat doesn’t make you tougher. In my sport some places I practice at has air conditioning. Other places have no A/C. My performance isn’t better in A/C or worse in the heat.

  23. Sumo Says:

    Shut up and play some damn football. Hot or cold doesn’t matter. We play the game outside.

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:

    With all due respect to Ian…used to listen on the radio…he would have a lot more credibility about tough teams and winning if he had ever played on a tough winning team but Ian was part of the “sucking randomly” (nice line Roy lol).

    Ian did not start his rookie year in ’90 so I didn’t include that record of 6-10.
    But given the record his six years as a starter…32 and 54!!!! I don’t think he needs to be chastising today’s players. IF Ian knows anything about winning…he certainly was far from a winner with the Bucs.

    As far as the heat I agree with Alaskan and some others who point out besides sucking randomly hot or cold…it’s hard to have “perfect practices” if your brain is boiling.

    If they were simply interested in getting tough for the heat they could practice starting off indoors and then after the actual “learning” part of practice and the hitting…they could go outside to run their gassers and other physical training.

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I laugh when people question the “manhood” or the bravery of today’s NFL players. They are DRAMATICALLY bigger and faster than their predeccessors.
    The collisions are brutal and anybody who steps on an NFL field is either very brave or foolish.

    I had a chance to be on the sidelines for an N.E.-Steelers pre season game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. The thing that stood out to me was the incredible violence of the collisions combined with the fact that the focus seemed to be totally on hitting with the actual down and distance and score taking a back seat to the chance to lay some serious wood on an opponent.

    As for concussions…has anybody seen Jim McMahon’s life these days or any number of guys…some of whom end up killing themselves because of the effects of CTE. I love the big hits as much as anybody but at some point we have to ask how bloodthirsty are we. Why not see if they’re real men and give them swords and shields and turn them into real gladiators?

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    I would think the Glazers could have afforded a for then high tech plastic dome for RJS. Or some insight building the proposed new Rays stadium in Ybor. A combination football baseball stadium indoors could be had for maybe another half quadrillion. Instead we have the team and fans collectively known as the Tampa Bay Sweltering Sweat Hogs.

  27. Joe Says:

    use the indoor facility as a reward for consistent good practices outdoors.


    Joe likes that!

  28. Destinjohnny Says:

    If they aren’t doing two a days….
    Practice outside
    If you are doing two a days practice inside

  29. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Roy T. Buford Says:
    July 22nd, 2018 at 6:36 am
    Joe says: “Only one team has a worse home record since Chucky was fired than the Bucs. That’s Cleveland.”

    OMG. If the Bucss don’t shape up, the Browns fans will soon be calling their team Tampa North

    That last sentence blew my mind. Embarrassing.

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    What would Mike Ditka do?

  31. Gman Says:

    Since this crappy team plays so poorly in the beginning in the season, they need to do something different. I agree with Ian, but leading up to games in domes, it makes some sense to practice indoors.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Sapp/Lynch/Brooks amd the ole school Bucs never practiced in AC. And they hit harder, got more sacks and more wins too. Spare the Rod and spoil the man..I mean child!!