Bucs to practice in morning to avoid Florida heat


The Florida heat can wilt even the strongest people over time, so the Tampa Bay Buccaneers plan to try and avoid it as much as possible.

New coach Dirk Koetter moved OTAs to earlier in the morning and will likely keep the two-hour practices at 10:30 a.m. ET through the preseason.

"We did a little study and in August when we're out here it's on average 11 degrees cooler at 8:45 a.m. than it is at 2:45 p.m., so I did quick Idaho State math and figured that out and said, 'Jeez, it's 11 degrees cooler. Why don't we practice in the morning?'" Koetter said laughing, via the team's official website. "So it didn't take a brain surgeon."

The average might be cooler in the morning, but, in the end, trying to pin down Mother Nature is a fruitless cause that could turn even a brain surgeon mad.

Koetter, who previously coached in Jacksonville in Atlanta before spending last season as offensive coordinator in Tampa, believes avoiding the heat as much as possible could have a positive long-term effect.

"The last 10 years I've been coaching in the South I really do believe there is a cumulative effect over the course of the season, from August until the end of the year, when you're out here, even if it's for walkthrough at 12, 1, 2 (p.m.) and it's 95 degrees and the sun is beating on you," Koetter said. "I just think there's a cumulative effect. We are going to do everything we can to try to chip away at that. There's some things we can't get away from, but we're going to do what we can."

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who has spent his entire seven-year pro career in Tampa, believes Mother Nature will be a bother regardless of practice time.

"I feel like the weather has a personality and it knows when we move practice," McCoy cracked. "So I don't think the heat in Tampa cares. It's like, 'We're going to practice in the morning, guys. 'Great!' And then the temperature is like, 'Well, I don't care when you practice, it's going to be 175 (degrees).'"

Conspiracy Theory! Mother Nature hates the Bucs.