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TBT - Frances Thwarts Bucs' Preparations

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The Bucs lost a full day in preparations for the Skins game, due to Hurricane Frances. We'll take every edge we can get. This time its personal. :laugh:


Frances Thwarts Bucs' Preparations

By ROY CUMMINGS rcummings@tampatrib.com

Published: Sep 7, 2004

TAMPA - As it passed slowly through the Tampa Bay area on Monday, Hurricane Frances took with it a day of preparation for the Bucs' season opener against the Redskins.

With the storm bringing winds and heavy rains throughout Tampa Bay, the Bucs canceled an on-field practice and several meetings at One Buc Place, and advised their players to stay home and tend to personal matters.

The Bucs coaching staff remained at work. Coach Jon Gruden spent a good portion of the day reworking the team's weekly schedule and studying the Redskins.

``I had to come in and check on the old woodshed,'' Gruden said, referring to One Buc Place. ``It's holding up pretty well.

``The roof's a little leaky in a couple of places, but that's it, really.''

Tarps covering an outdoor weight-training area were blown down during the storm, according to Gruden, but the field was not flooded and the building was operational.

``It's fortunate we haven't seen any real disaster,'' Gruden said. ``That's the most important thing. But it does hurt you a little bit when you get a bonus day and you get a chance to meet your team and get going and you can't do it.

``This would have been the first time we've met as a team since we made the cuts on Sunday and it would have been nice to get that done. I mean, I don't want to sound like a whiner, but you'd like to take advantage of that if you can.''

The Bucs scheduled a practice for today at 12:30 p.m.

Monday's cancellation marked the second time since the Bucs arrived at training camp that their schedule has been altered by storms.

Hurricane Charley forced the Bucs to delay their first preseason game two days and cut short their training camp at the Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista.

This also marked the second time in three years that the Bucs' opening-game preparations have been altered by poor weather conditions. A lightning storm in 2002 forced the Bucs to move an entire two-hour Thursday workout to an adjacent covered parking garage.

They wound up losing that 2002 opener at home to New Orleans, but recovered nicely, winning 15 of their next 18 games including Super Bowl XXXVII against Oakland.

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