When training camp begins, you always hear players talk about how nice it is to be back on the field. Then, when the pads come on, they’re happy to be back to contact for the first time in months. But after a while, it comes to a point where lining up against teammates day after day grows tiresome. It’s why you start to see some scuffles and a bit of an edge to some days. The anticipation for real football grows by the practice.
That’s part of what makes joint practices so valuable, as it breaks up the monotony of camp. The Buccaneers will get their chance to break up that monotony on Wednesday and Thursday, as the Tennessee Titans are in town for a couple of joint practices ahead of Saturday’s preseason game at Raymond James Stadium.
Veteran tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has seen his fair share of joint practices throughout his career, spoke with the media after Tuesday’s practice about what it will be like to do battle against Tennessee over the next couple of days:
“It’s going to be a good one. It’s going to be a lot of energy. It’s going to be physical. It’s going to be mental too. I feel like they’re going to come out here and they’re going to bring it. All joint practices are like that every time I’ve had them in my career. You have to be ready. We just had two good days – a good day today out here – so we have to bring it again tomorrow and amp up the energy a little bit because the Titans are coming into town.”
If there’s one thing you can typically count on the Bucs for, it’s energy. Just look at the defensive side of the ball and you’ll see a whole host of guys who are sure to be thrilled to have the opportunity to mix it up and talk some trash on the practice fields with another team. Between Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White and the guys in the secondary, you can expect some edge from Tampa Bay’s defense as it goes up against the likes of Derrick Henry, Julio Jones and A.J. Brown from Tennessee.
The Buccaneer offense is sure to have plenty of juice to it as well, especially when you consider the bite that guys like Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans can play with. Plus, when you factor in the guys lower on the depth chart who will be looking to make an impression against a team like the Titans, there’ll be plenty of intensity on the field over the next couple of days.
With all of the energy that’s sure to be on display in these next two practices, it’s no wonder that Bruce Arians is planning to sit his starters on Saturday night.