Bucs cranking up the heat

With an expected high of 88, the Packers will be wearing green jerseys on Sunday.

The heat will be on the Green Bay Packers, and not just because they are trying to avoid their first two-game losing streak since 2006.

The mercury is expected to reach a balmy 88 degrees for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. It only got that hot once or twice during training camp this summer, though Mother Nature did the Packers a favor by cranking up the thermostat to about 80 this week in Green Bay.

Maybe he was playing psychologist for his team, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy called the heat "refreshing to a point," and said it was harder for a southern team to play on a cold northern day than the other way around.

He recalled being an assistant coach for New Orleans in 2002, when the Saints were in the thick of the playoff hunt and playing at Cincinnati on Dec. 22.

"(Head coach) Jim Haslett and I, we're both from Pittsburgh," McCarthy said, "and I'm not lying to you, I looked at him during the game and said, ‘Are you cold?' He goes, ‘I'm freezing my butt off.'"

McCarthy said it was 34 degrees — not exactly frigid, especially for a couple guys from the Steel City — "It felt like it was 50 below."

McCarthy said fluid consumption was a focal point for his team all week, especially with the Packers being forced to wear their green jerseys on the road and the Buccaneers likely to use a no-huddle offense for a second consecutive game. The last time the Packers played in a hot-weather game was 2006, a 34-24 win at Miami when it was 86 humid degrees.

"Mentally, it's definitely harder going from the South to the North, but I'd say physically, it's probably going from the North to the South," McCarthy said.


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