TE Dauntae` Finger Goes Down / Rookie Diary

August 6 – After the shocking heat-related deaths of two college football players and Vikings' Pro Bowl LT Korey Stringer, the Buccaneers received a scare of their own when rookie TE Dauntae' Finger was taken to the St. Joseph's Hospital Monday afternoon. Buccaneer Magazine had sat down with Finger to discuss his training camp experience just hours before paramedics took him to the hospital. Here is our third installment of Finger's diary along with an update on his condition.

Just minutes into the Bucs' second practice on Monday, TE Dauntae' Finger left the field and experienced an irregular heartbeat, dizziness and shortness of breath. Monday afternoon was the hottest day of training camp for the Buccaneers so far, but head coach Tony Dungy insists Finger's problems were not heat-related.

"Dauntae' is doing fine," said Dungy. "He experienced a little irregular heartbeat and some shortness of breath. Everything appears to be normal. They are going to do a couple more tests. We wanted to take all precautions. He was a little light-headed, but it does not appear to be heat-related."

"I din't feel quite right out there," said Finger. "Obviously it is really hot out there, but I have been taking the necesary precautions to hydrate myself like the trainers and coaches have been talking to us about. I feel fine and I am looking forward to getting back with my teammates."

Tests were performed on Finger after he was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa and so far, those tests have come back negative. More tests will be conducted on Finger this evening, but he will stay overnight in order to perform those tests.

Buccaneer Magazine editor-in-chief Scott Reynolds and staff writer Jim Flynn had sat down to talk to Finger just three-hours before he was taken to the hospital. Here is what the Bucs' seventh-round draft pick had to say to us about his training camp right before the afternoon practice.

1) HOW DID THE TEAM SCRIMMAGE TREAT YOU LAST SATURDAY?

The scrimmage went well. It was a lot of fun. I was kind of anxious about getting it over with. Everybody did a good job. I made some mistakes, but that's kind of expected. Not really wanted, but expected in the first week. Everybody is looking forward to this week. We know it is going to be a tough week, but I'm trying to get through it.

2) DID THE SCRIMMAGE GIVE YOU A GOOD FEEL FOR WHAT A REAL GAME WILL BE LIKE?

It did a real good job for me as far as the pre-game warm-ups and substitutions. I kind of know what is going to go on now. For next Monday, I will know what's up.

3) HOW WAS APPROACHING THIS MONDAY VS. YOUR FIRST TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES LAST MONDAY?

Going onto the field last Monday, I had so many things going through my head. I wasn't really comfortable, yet I was excited. I was ready to get it on. This Monday, I just walked out there calm, cool and collected and ready to go.

4) HOW ARE THE ROOKIES BEING TREATED BY THE VETERANS SO FAR?

There haven't been any rookie hazings yet and hopefully there won't be any. The veterans have been real good with us offensively. Everybody's been cool with me. They really have not given me a hard time at all. The veterans have a few jokes for you now and then, but everybody's been good to us.

5) HOW DO YOU LIKE THE CAFETERIA FOOD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA?

I'm adapting to it. It's good, but it's not my grandma's cooking. I've been getting used to it.

6) WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PLATE THAT YOUR GRANDMOTHER MAKES FOR YOU?

She makes some homemade chicken and dumplings. They don't make that here and nobody makes that as good as she does.

7) ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SCRIMMAGES AGAINST MIAMI AND YOUR FIRST GAME AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM AGAINST THEM?

I can't wait. To go onto the field in that uniform-Raymond James Stadium. With all of the fans, people and family there, I'm excited about it. I'm going to have about 8-10 friends and family at the game on Monday night. Even more people want to come, but I told them that there we just going to have to catch the next game. The tickets are not free and they cost a lot of money. I can't wait. I have a friend who plays for Miami, so I'm excited about seeing him.

8) ARE YOU READY TO GO UP AGAINST SOME NEW PLAYERS?

In college, you went through two-a-day practices so long, you get tired of playing against those guys. Some of them are real good and some of them are not as good as some of the others are. We are going to get to change it up next week and scrimmage somebody else. It's cool that we get to scrimmage them.

9) HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS SINCE JOINING THE BUCS?

I know they started mini-camp last week. But I don't know how things are going. I think they have one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. Their first four games are unbelievable. They open up with Oklahoma and then they have Texas. They play East Carolina is going to be a tough game. Florida St. is one of the first games, so it's going to be tough.

10) ARE YOU GOING TO GO BACK TO SEE A FEW TAR HEEL GAMES?

I'm going to try during our off week if I can. I think we play Florida St. during our offweek and I can get tickets easily. Granted, if I'm healthy, I'll fly back for that game.

11) WHAT'S IT LIKE HAVING A FORMER TAR HEEL LIKE MARCUS JONES ON THE TEAM WITH YOU?

It's great. I first got here and I was kind of lost and lonely in my little hotel room. I called him up and he came and picked me up and we went to the mall and got something to eat. I hung with him and his little girl for a little while during the day. He told me he knew what I was going through because when he first got here, there were no Tar Heels on the team. He's been good to me.

12) DO YOU HAVE A TV IN YOUR SUITE?

No, I don't have a TV in my suite. I've got a little radio in there so I can listen to some music. I'm just one of those guys that flips through channels watching TV. Whatever is on is on. I've got the digital cable so I can scroll down and watch TV at the same time. I probably miss that digital cable a little bit right now.


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