The Dog Days Of Training Camp

August 3rd, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

So the Bucs will practice six of the next seven days. The first worthless preseason game is a week from tomorrow, Aug. 11, against Pittsburgh at The Licht House.

Players have been beating on each other for over a week. So Bucs coach Todd Bowles said after practice in the Glazer Shed on Tuesday night, now is the time when he expects fights like the one that was sparked Tuesday, when camp meat linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle blasted Rachaad White with a forearm shiver to the grill.

“We are in the dog days of camp,” Bowles said. “You don’t have preseason games this week. You are pleased and unpleased, tempers flare, it is about that time of camp when things get antsy.

“Now you have to concentrate and focus on fundamentals, technique, and be playing smart. I am looking for that to increase. We have had the out-of-pads days, we have had the acclimation of pads, and we have had the energetic practices.

“Now we have to sit down and focus on the X’s and O’s and understand the execution of it all.”

And this is the time dudes like Bouyer-Randle try to make a name for themselves by pretending they’re Dick Butkus. If anything, stunts like that grease the wheels to get their keycard deactivated.

One way Bowles thought he might help players stay focused and healthy through training camp is the team’s unorthodox summer schedule.

The Bucs have three practices, then an off day. Then, three more practices and an off day. Teams often have five or perhaps six days of practice straight before an off day.

Joe asked Bowles about this and he said he consulted with various parties and decided three days of practice with a day off may help prevent injuries.

“Usually on about the fourth day, you start to pull something here and there,” Bowles told Joe. “They’ve got to have a day off each week, anyway.

“I sit down in the offseason with everybody – trainers, strength coaches and nutritionists – we thought that was the best way to get some rest and maximize their effort out on the playing field.”

Like Bowles noted, smart play is what he’s seeking now, which means mental toughness to grind through the final practices before the worthless preseason begins.

Smart players don’t go headhunting like this Bouyer-Randle did. Have fun playing games next spring in Birmingham.

30 Responses to “The Dog Days Of Training Camp”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    “worthless preseason game”. Strongly disagree Joe. So you want to anoint our next Qb based on what practice has shown us against the same defense day in and day out? SMH.

  2. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    All it will take is one injury in a preseason game and Joe will feel justified in calling them worthless; but this year the preseason is as valuable as it has been for some time now.

    Obviously we have the QB competition to still unfold. We’re still installing a brand new offense with a first time coordinator. We have a brand new offensive line that needs gelling time. And we have a handful of rookies, especially on defense, who are going to be looking to make an impact this season.

    I agree that three preseason games is still too many. Two and a joint practice week with another team would probably suffice. But Joe couldn’t be more wrong. This preseason is very important for this roster and this coaching staff.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Injuries happen, in practice, in preseason games, in regular season games & in playoff games. Football’s a demanding sport physically, and sometimes a violent sport. Freak accidents happen (like what happened to Ryan Jensen last season), but that doesn’t mean you don’t practice or play ‘tune-up’ games like in preseason.

    Bucs were too ‘soft’ as a team last year IMO, and I think that has a relationship to the many injuries that we suffered. Can’t help but wonder if losing some of our senior leaders (JPP, Suh, Marpet, Gronk, etc) played a role in that. No idea if Bowles’ approach to practice (3 on – 1 off) will work to reduce injuries, but it’s certainly worth a try.

  4. Jenkins Says:

    Seems to me the preseason is “worthless” only because it is undoing the anointing of Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback.

  5. nooyoker Says:

    Is the preseason “worthless” because it is undoing the anointing of Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback?

  6. Eckwood Says:

    This Defense needs a Hardy Nickerson type , especially with Todd’s soft leadership and the strongest personality being Diva White …….. You’re just gonna have a hard time getting that extra gear that 10 percent extra Dog !!! What these guys think is 100 percent is Hardy , Mike Singletary s , Patrick Willis s 75 percent ……. That’s just what you get with Todd . Licht has done a pretty good job with some draft picks , taking shots filling holes , however he needs to put the same stock he puts into small school o lineman with getting an enforcer/ leader in the locker room . Especially with Coach Todd , With Todd the toughness mental makeup is extra important. Licht get good at what you’re not good and comfortable with , your team will be far better !!

  7. RGA Says:

    Ask Adam Humphries if preseason football is worthless.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Preseason games are worthless. Coaches throughout the entirety of camp are evaluating what players are doing under specific conditions on a daily basis. Teams don’t game plan during the preseason. If Kyle Trask is named the starter it’ll be because of he performed during training camp, not how he performed against a pre-season opponent running a base Cover 2.

  9. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Big difference from the old days. I read the Yucs books a few years ago and they were doing two a days starting in mid July. Just a brutal schedule. They must have been exhausted and part of the reason they were so bad that first year.

    You can practice too much, and you can practice too little. I hope they have struck the right balance this year.

  10. Brandon Says:

    D-Rome is correct. Teams evaluate every play, every snap, every drill in practice. The game tape is looked at and evaluated and does come into play but in order to get into the games, players must show up in practice. Preseason is usually an opportunity for us to see what coaches have been seeing during camp. That being said, i love preseason because i do like seeing what the coaches have been seeing.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I think the value in the games is the (somewhat) unpredictability of going against a different team. The pace is different and even though the game plans are simplified, you are still getting different looks and different reactions. It is basically another practice but with a fresher attitude. Plus, some of those rookies could probably use the practice on what to do on game days.

  12. Buddha Says:

    Trask has proved only that he has more potential than most folks thought. Mayfield has shown he still has a gunslinger mentality. Both have looked better than average. The decision is going to be a tough one. The real winner has been Canales. His offensive mind is impressive.

  13. Lt. Dan Says:

    @ D-Rome: Difference in pre season games vs. practice for a QB…getting hit for real. How are you going to react when a live blitz comes through the B gap and you’re about to get laid out for real? Like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

  14. Obvious Says:


    I agree with the majority in as far as that the preseason IS pretty much “A Must”. Especially this year.

    But I get a feel of a little baiting going on. And Hey, you’re pretty good at it for quite a few years now. With that said I’m slapping a title on your yearly pre season games, comments. You get the same reaction year after year so I’ve decided it’s a pretty good strategy to gettem stirred up and I’ve decided to give your strategy a title to go with it.

    It seems appropriate…. Simplistic and Effective Every Time

    We’ll call it the good Ole, “Hook, Line, and Sinker”

    Hey, you get me on an average of 20 or so times a year 😉

  15. Obvious Says:

    The Goid Ole “Hook, Line, and Sinker”

    Gets em All the Time.

    Hey you get me on an average of 20 or so times a year 😉

  16. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Worthless or not the 3 games are good ones to have at least in the first few series.

    Of the 23 carried on NFL I don’t think the Bucs got one of them.

    I imagine they will be televised in the local area and some highlights will end up on their Network. Hopefully having Talking heads saying Wow WTF Tampa was suppose to suck.

  17. Obvious Says:

    It wasn’t the spell corrector that got me this time.

    I just can’t see the small letters on the phone. I’m gonna need a less scratched up phone so I can actually see what I’m writing. To be honest it could have been Chinese and I would have thought I was on to something.

    I believe I meant to spell out “Good”. But hey, who knows what the He!! I’m thinking 😂

  18. John Sinclear Says:

    There it is again! “Worthless pre-season game.” There are 90 players in camp today. In two weeks there will only be 56. That’s one third of the roster who are dependent on earning a roster spot by what they do in pre-season. Worthless? Not to them!

  19. Fred McNeil Says:

    When they inevitably go to an 18 game season they may switch to two preseason games.
    3 on 1 off sounds like a sound plan to me. We’ve only had one injury that I’m aware of and it was nothing too serious. Maybe they have something there.

  20. nooyoker Says:

    Buddha Says: “Trask has proved only that he has more potential than most folks thought.”

    No, he’s played quite well and he’s played better than Mayfield. Deal with it.

  21. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    Every year with this nonsense. Dang near every major sport has a preseason. The games are not worthless and the sad this is, you know they’re not worthless.

  22. Obvious Says:

    Joe knows this guy’s. He’s just stirring it up. Great debating going on because of it though.

    We should give Joe credit for being “Thought Provoking”

    Ask yourself in your GUT if you actually believe that he “Actually Believes” that in a year like this one that we don’t “Desperately Need” these pre season games?

    OF COURSE he knows better than that! But he’s done a Stellar Job firing us all up has he not?

    A Job WELL Done sir. You know, the Ole “Hook, Line, and Sinker”

  23. Obvious Says:

    Well said Nooky 👍

  24. Sly Pirate Says:

    the preseason games will be a big help to the coaching staff. Bowles-Canales have never coached together in a game.

  25. Craig Says:

    Yes, now is the time to sit the already known starters and watch next year’s UPS drivers screw up.

    Hopefully it won’t cost us a QB, because the competition is still ongoing, because Todd is stubborn.

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    THIS season PS games are far, far from “worthless.”

  27. Joe Says:

    But I get a feel of a little baiting going on.

    No, “this Joe” hates preseason. The only thing it is good for is getting guys beat up for no good reason and worse, hurt.

    The “other Joe” loves preseason.

  28. DungyDance Says:

    Top five reasons why preseason games ARE important:
    5. The practice squad trainers need to know what flavor of Gatorade to order for the guys that will be playing there.
    4. The teenage son of the local tv affiliate’s manager wants to try out some new info graphics he created on his phone for the broadcast.
    3. There’s still some unsold popcorn left over from the final game of last season.
    2. Byron Leftwich is “this” close to grasping the offensive play calling used during those games.
    1. The owners will not be able to afford new pens for their interns unless they sell preseason tickets for the same price as regular games.

  29. Crickett Baker Says:

    I agree with everything Dooley says. The preseason tells me a LOT and if we don’t win at least ONE this year it will tell me bunches about our team as it did last season.

  30. garro Says:

    My experience is “the dog days” tell you who the real dogs are. Meaning some guys really start to mail it in about this time and others tough through it. I have seen it when I played…in the Tampa heat.

    Rookies are gonna have a hard time because they really have had no off season.

    Go Bucs!