The Buccaneers released kicker Rob Hart and running back Byron Hanspard on Tuesday afternoon. Both players were signed to one-year contracts during the offseason.
Tampa Bay also traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for tackle/guard Cornell Green. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound tackle signed with the Dolphins as a free agent on January 15, 2002. Green entered the NFL in 1999 as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons. He was waived by the Falcons in the same year and has since spent time with the Jets and Dolphins. He played his college ball at the University of Central Florida.
WASHINGTON RETURNS TO PRACTICE:
Bucs temporary starting right guard Todd Washington returned to practice on Tuesday morning. He sat out of Monday afternoon's practice with swelling in his knee. Washington still is in pain, but he said he just has to play through it.
"You've got to (play through the pain)," said Washington. "This is the NFL. You don't get a lot of chances to show what you can do. Whether you're hurt or not, you've got to do it."
In other injury-related news, Bucs starting middle linebacker Shelton Quarles was held out of practice again with a sore calf muscle. Tampa Bay defensive end Greg Spires did, however, return to practice after being sidelined with a hamstring pull.
"We held Shelton Quarles again today," said Gruden. "He's getting better, but he's still sore in that calf. Greg Spires returned to practice. We think he'll be ready to go (Saturday). "
Bucs running back Michael Pittman (ankle) went full-speed in all of the team's drills on Tuesday morning.
GRUDEN CANCELS AFTERNOON PRACTICE:
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden decided to cancel the team's scheduled afternoon practice, which would've been without pads. The team will have a film session at 4:00 p.m. and from there, the team will head to Disney Celebration for dinner. Gruden said the players deserve the afternoon off.
"We're going out to Celebration," said Gruden. "We're going to have a little comradery celebration of some type.
"I think our players deserve it. They worked their butts off here."
BUCS' DEFENSE FARES WELL AGAINST SKINS' OFFENSE...SORT OF:
Tampa Bay's pass defense fared well in 11-on-11 drills on Tuesday morning. Bucs strong safety John Lynch and linebacker Justin Smith both hauled in interceptions during the drill. But Gruden said there was no reason to worry about the offense's turnovers and struggles in the passing game. In fact, Gruden thought it was encouraging since he had his offense simulate the Redskins' offense to give Tampa Bay's defense a feel for what they might see on Saturday night.
"Well, it was a service squad," said Gruden. "We were servicing the defense this morning representing the Redskin plays. The defense had 12 plays against the Redskins offense and the offense had 12 plays against the Redskins defense, and we did the drill again. Our defense is good. We will have our hands full with the Redskin attack."
The Bucs will hold its final training camp practice on Wednesday morning. It may or may not be held in pads. From there, the Pewter Pirates will travel back to Tampa and conduct its practices from its headquarters -- One Buccaneer Place.
"We've been here three weeks," said Gruden. "That's a long time. It's time to move on and look at the regular season. We still have to finish strong. We've talked about that from the very beginning. I think we're ready for a new setting now."
As for the last practice, Gruden said the it will be similar to the one they ran today.
"We're going to try to have like we had today where we give our players some feeling for the Washington Redskins in terms of their scheme and system," said Gruden. "We're going to try to have a full and energetic morning practice. Then we'll break camp and head back to Tampa."
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