On the day of the Hard Knocks debut, Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter created a Hard Knocks moment for his team.
Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Koetter stopped Tuesday’s practice around the halfway mark, and called his team together to bark at them.
“We just weren’t practicing very good,” Koetter explained. “We were just going through the motions. If we’re going through the motions we need to practice better or go in.”
They did go on and finish the session, their 11th of camp. And being Florida, it’s hot, so the sloppy play that drew the coach’s wrath has mitigating factors if not excuses.
“We got to get ready to play real football here,” Koetter said. “It’s going to be good to play preseason football. We’re at that point. Today was really that day, today was the first day of training camp where we were just kind of dragging all day. The heat has something to do with it but you can always tell when it’s getting close to that time. You get into that preseason game and you find out you’re not as good maybe as you think. Pluses and minuses.”
This is generally the point in camp when teams lose focus, because they’ve been staring at each other for two weeks. So for at least one reason, preseason football is coming at a good time. The Bucs play the Bengals Friday night. But it’s also worth wondering whether Koetter would have been so obvious with his displeasure and made such a dramatic scene of it if there weren’t cameras around 24/7.