CONDITIONS: The afternoon session was in helmets and shorts. For the most part the team seemed a little heavy-legged and that's not surprising after a hard double practice Wednesday in full pads.
HAMSTRUNG: The big news was the injury to fullback Mike Alstott. In a red zone drill he was a running a pattern in the right corner of the end zone. As the play ended and Alstott slowed to return to the huddle his left cleat locked into the turf. Alstott immediately went to the ground on all fours trying not to put any pressure on his injured left hamstring. The former Purdue University started was in pain and visibly frustrated with what had just transpired. The medical report was a strained left hamstring with a minor tear, and the the prognosis for recovery is a minimum of two weeks.
Alstott can't seem to make it through training camp without injury. In 1996, his rookie season, he suffered a groin pull. In 1998 it was an injured hip that forced him to miss almost all of camp as well as three preseason games. In 1999 it was an ankle sprain, followed by a hamstring pull last season.
"It's been one of those situations where he can't seem to make it through camp," Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy said. "But he's usually been able to come on at the end, and that's what we're hoping for again.''
ON TARGET: The quarterbacks had a pretty good practice. Most of the routes in perimeter (7-on-7) and team (11-on-11) were of the three- and five-step variety. Brad Johnson did not participate in any of these drills but did get involved in the individual periods and looked extremely sharp. Johnson threw tight spirals and showed no ill effects from the leg cut that has kept him out of drills until this afternoon.
Shaun King continued to look impressive. King is stepping up and producing in training camp. His passes are not the prettiest, but, for the most part, they are effective and accurate. Ryan Leaf also looked good. He had a little bit of trouble with the one-to-five-yard touch passes. It still appears that Leaf is struggling with the Tampa heat. Joe Hamilton did a credible job directing the third stringers during team as well.
GEARING DOWN: A good 30 minutes of practice was a walk-through teaching session on both sides of the ball. The offensive line worked on blocking schemes and the rest of the offense worked on coverage recognition as well as pass routes. The defense went through their paces working on timing in blitz packages.
NICE CATCH, KJ: Keyshawn Johnson was, again, head and shoulders above the rest of the receiving corps. His short-to-intermediate patterns were crisp and he caught three long balls in individual period against the defensive backs. He caught the only touchdown in the red zone period. He ran a fade route and the ball was "a perfect underthrow" by King.
CHEESEHEAD: Kicker Martin Gramatica was 5-for-6 in the field goal department during perimeter and team. He sliced a 43-yarder wide right (shades of Green Bay) but the other five split the uprights from 19, 32, 33, 35 and 49 yards.