Bucs Training Camp Notebook: Wednesday

July 31 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers practiced with pads for the first time in training camp on Wednesday morning. Bucs RB Michael Pittman, who was nursing a spraind ankle, surprisingly returned to action for the afternoon practice. Pewter Report has compiled a notebook with news and notes from Wednesday's practices.

INJURY UPDATE

Bucs weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks (calf) and tight end Ken Dilger (thumb), who were both sidelined for Tuesday afternoon's practice, participated on Wednesday.

Bucs running back Michael Pittman, who is nursing a sprained ankle, didn't participate in the morning practice.

"He (Pittman) is frustrated right now," Gruden said after the morning practice. He wants to show everybody that he's the real deal. He's frustrated a bit, but he's working hard and we expect him back out here in a day or two."

Pittman did, however, return to practice for the afternoon session, which the players sported shorts, jerseys and helmets for. Pittman was held out of a few drills as a precaution. Gruden didn't approve of Pittman's return and sidelined him shortly after the practice started.

Rookie RB Travis Stephens saw more action at tailback since Pittman was sidelined, but the extra work led to dehydration for Stephens, which temporarily sidelined the former Tennessee Volunteer during the morning practice. Stephens, who was also suffering from a blister on his foot, returned to the morning practice. Despite his injuries, Stephens impressed Gruden with his play on Wednesday.

"I think Travis Stephens did some good things," said Gruden. "He took a lot of reps today. He was sick early in practice and had blisters yesterday, but the guy is showing me some toughness and some quickness and some good aptitude for what we want done here."

Bucs fullback Mike Alstott, who also saw more action at the tailback position on Wednesday morning, was pulled out toward the end of practice due to cramping.

Tampa Bay second-year right guard Cosey Coleman received a cut on his nose in a line drill during the morning practice, which required some stitches. But Coleman returned to practice.

BUCS PRACTICE WITH PADS
Tampa Bay practiced with pads for the first time this training camp on Wednesday morning. Bucs head coach Jon Gruden eased his players into the camp process by having them sport mini-camp gear -- helmets, shorts and jerseys -- for the first two days of practice. Despite extremely hot and humid temperatures, the players were happy to finally put the pads on.

"You've got to do it (put pads on) at some point," Bucs strong safety John Lynch said. "It was time for us to do that and we got our feet underneath us a little bit. Actually, my legs felt better today than they felt the first two days, so that's good. "When you put pads on, you can be a little low on energy, but we kept our energy up. I think it's because this team is focused and Coach Gruden expects us to have an up-tempo in practice and I think we've given him that."

The Buccaneers held three mini-camp workouts during the offseason, and while the players feel they accomplished a lot in shorts, jerseys and helmets, most of them welcomed the pads, which the players believe will allow them to accomplish even more.

"I was anxious to get out there," said Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp. "This was the first time I had been in pads since January 16. You can only get so much done running around (in shorts, jerseys and helmets), so now we can really get some more accomplished."

Gruden was pleased with his team's first practice in pads.

"I was pleased with this morning's practice," said Gruden. "We still have a long way to go in terms of zeroing in on our execution and limiting error in our play. But guys are working hard out there."

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Sapp when asked what he liked about Gruden:
"I can go out and party with the guy", said Sapp.


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