New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
There was no cut off sleeve hoodie, nor a bitter cold tone in his voice as Bill Belichick addressed the media this morning at One Buccaneer Place. The three-time Super Bowl winning Head Coach of the Patriots said his team is excited to be in Tampa Bay.
For the next three days the Buccaneers and Patriots will be in close proximity to each other as they practice side-by-side on Wednesday and Thursday. New England's visit will culminate with a showdown with the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium in their third preseason game on Friday night.
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The fact the Patriots have come to One Buc Place to train has been something in the works since Greg Schiano took over the Head Coaching job in Tampa Bay. Schiano's position is one Belichick may have had some influence on, since the Buccaneers brass reached out to him during their head coach hiring process.
"I think the world of Greg, I think he's a good coach, he's got a good personality and he treats his players well," said Belichick. "He's smart, He's tough and he did a great job with the Rutgers program."
Belichick was very complimentary of Schiano, who just happened to coach his son last season with the Scarlet Knights program.
Wednesday morning, prior to the two teams' workouts, the two head coaches visited with one another and periodically Schiano could be seen gazing over at the Patriots squad. The two practice sessions could be a big boost for Schiano and his Buccaneer team, who struggled against the Titans in their home preseason opener last Friday night. Belichick didn't say whether he would offer up any advice to the rookie head coach, but he does see this as an opportunity for both teams to improve.
"Every practice is challenging. It's a challenge for us to go against each other, but it's a challenge for us to go against somebody new, somebody you don't know as much you kind of have to figure it out," said Belichick.
The Patriots are in the middle of a swing of three games in just 10 days, so they've had no time to prepare for the Buccaneers thus far. The practice session will give them better than a taped version can offer; instead they'll get a firsthand look.
The practice session was closed to the media after the first half hour, but player interviews and Schiano's press conference will begin following the training sessions.
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Tight End Luke Stocker returned to practice, he had been out with concussion like symptoms.