Training Camp Rookie Diary: Part Two

August 3 – Check out the second installment of Buccaneer Magazine's Training Camp Rookie Diary. For this year's diary, we are meeting with rookie TE Dauntae' Finger twice a week to get an idea of how life in an NFL training camp is treating him.

1) HOW ARE YOU ENJOYING THE COOL WEATHER WE HAVE RECEIVED IN TAMPA COMPARED TO THE USUAL HEAT IN FLORIDA?

The weather has been absolutely great. The first two days, it was hot. I adjusted to it well. I kept putting fluids in me and I didn't cramp up at all.

2) ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT HAVING TO ADJUST TO THE HEAT AGAIN AFTER THE PAST FEW DAYS OF COOL TEMPERATURES?

No, it's not a concern. I tried to keep myself in good shape and keep hydrated. I eat well and work hard everyday. I'm getting used to the system and know how fast to go at all times. I'm actually looking forward to the heat. I'd rather be out there sweating than cold. This is nice weather-don't get me wrong. But I'd rather be here than Buffalo.

3) WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S PRACTICE WITH ABOUT 5,000 FANS AT PEPIN-ROOD WHO CAME TO WATCH?

Man, it was awesome. I could have gone every snap. We had scrimmages and bootleg games in college, and we'd get about 4,000 people out there to watch, but see at the professional level and have all of those people screaming your name, it was fun.

4) WAS IT NICE TO GET A BREAK FROM THE HEAT BY PLAYING UNDER THE LIGHTS AT NIGHT?

It was different. It felt like a game, a Monday night game or something. It gave me a whole new look on my pro experience as far as practicing out there. I had a good time.

5) HOW ARE THE OTHER TIGHT ENDS ON THE TEAM HELPING YOU ADJUST TO LIFE IN THE NFL?

They are a great help to me. If I have a question to ask in practice and the coaches are busy helping somebody else, then I can talk to them. They are good with helping out and making sure I know everything. They try to make sure we know everything as well as they do.

6) HOW IS LIFE OFF OF THE FIELD WITH THE TIGHT ENDS?

I'm not rooming with any of them right now. In-between practice and everything, we kind of talk and shoot a couple of lines with each other, laugh around and have a couple of jokes. Everybody's is cool, especially in the tight end room. We all try to stick together like a little family. We have to be brothers in there.

7) WHO IS YOUR ROOMATE RIGHT NOW?

We have suites right now. It's me, Jeff Chaney, Jameel Cook and Shane Grice. At nighttime before we go to bed, we always get together and pick on each other and good around. Everything's going well.

8) ARE YOU CONCERNED WHEN YOU SEE THE INJURY BUG GOING AROUND, i.e., MARK ROYALS, FRANK RICE, RUSS HOCHSTEIN?

Football is just one of those games. You know, if it happens, it happens. It Mark Royals case, it was one of those things where somebody was going full speed, trying to do their best and tried to pull up, but it was too late and hit him. Football is that type of sport. Anything can happen at anytime. If you're not careful, a team can beat you. It's one of those things you think about, but in football, you have to keep your feet moving at all times. You can't stand still. If you stand still, you're asking to get hurt. You know, knock on wood, you want to stay healthy, especially somebody in my situation. I'm a young guy, coming in as a rookie, I'm trying to get on the field and trying to play. The way you do that is to stay healthy. It's scary, but it happens.

9) YOU HAVE THREE CREDITS TO FINISH BEFORE YOU RECEIVE YOUR DEGREE FROM UNC IN COMMUNICATIONS. ONE OF THE CLASSES YOU ARE MISSING IS A PYHSICAL EDUCATION CLASS. HAVE YOU TRIED TO HAVE UNC MAKE AN EXCEPTION IN YOUR CASE-SEEING AS YOU ARE A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE?

Personally, I think they should make an exception, but I don't think the colleges see it that way, so I am going to have to go back and take one of the PE classes. I want to take a golf class, but at Carolina, you have to pass a swimming class and exam, so I'm going to take a swimming class. I can swim, but I'm not the greatest swimmer of all times. If I'm not careful, I will get in the water and sink like a rock. I just have to keep moving. My endurance in the water in not that great, so I'll take that class and finish up.

10) HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET INTO THE WEIGHT ROOM DURING TRAINING CAMP?

We worked out yesterday and Tuesday. Throughout this camp, we are going to have two-a-day workouts, two days a week. The first time I went in there, I was absolutely shocked. Every time they put some weight on there, I'd try to do my ten reps, but I'd get to seven and eight, and then I would be struggling with my ninth and tenth. Sometimes I couldn't get my last two or three reps in because it's so tough. Yesterday I went in there and my muscles had a chance to relax a little bit, so I did well. You can't save yourself for the field at all. You have to go all out. That's why we go into the weight room-so we can keep our muscles up and keep our strength.


Bucs Blitz Top Stories