No new facility no surprise
By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 29, 2002
So, the Bucs won't be breaking ground on a new training facility this year.
The news was greeted by players and coaches with the same surprise as Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown just before he kicks it.
Hillsborough County commissioners voted to turn down the Bucs' request to rezone 70 acres off Morris Bridge Road so the team could build three lighted practice fields and 300,000 square feet of indoor space for its headquarters.
Commissioners believed the project would be incompatible with 16,000 acres of public park north of the Hillsborough River.
But the truth is that nearly everyone at One Buc Place has lost hope that the Glazers will ever complete the project that began in 1996.
"I knew we weren't going anywhere when they painted the door frames red a few years ago," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "Who repaints all the door frames?"
Look, you can blame the county commission for making this a political football. But the responsibility for this mess belongs to the Glazers.
Entire careers will be played and Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame before the Bucs leave the antiquated village of trailers off Runway 36 Right.
It's amazing. The same people who canvassed the nation to find coach Jon Gruden cannot locate a suitable spot to put their offices.
* * *
BULLETIN BOARD: Gruden isn't about to let his team take the 0-3 Bengals lightly, not after the Bucs needed overtime last season to win at Paul Brown Stadium following a Monday Night Football victory over the Rams.
That said, he also expects the Bucs to put a severe whipping on the Bengals, who have trailed 20-0 in each game this season.
"I like the way he approaches a game like this," Lynch said of Gruden. "Have respect for your opponent, but this is a team we should go beat, and we should dominate them, we should throttle them. I like that.
"That's the way we should think, and that's the challenge to go do it."
Despite injuries to the offensive line, Gruden has seen improvement, especially on offense.
"There's been some real good signs," he said.
"Right now, we've got to roll our fist a little tighter together and we've got to rally around the O-line and see what happens."
ENOUGH ALREADY: Nobody can justify Keyshawn Johnson's emotional outburst aimed at Gruden during the fourth quarter of Monday night's 26-14 win over the Rams.
Obviously, he needs to exercise more self-control. But sideline eruptions between players and coaches are as old as laces on the football.
That's why you have to get a kick out of the overreaction from players and coaches who weighed in on the Johnson-Gruden confrontation.
"I don't think there's any room for it in football," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.
"I'd fire (Johnson) if I could, but you're probably paying him too much money and the salary cap keeps him there."
To say nothing of the circus catches he made in the first half that helped the Bucs win.
Back to the Bucs
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Bounced, big time
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South Florida: By the numbers
Bulls defense makes improvement
Around the state
Big East: Hokies run to victory
C-USA: Longhorns hold Tulane scoreless
SEC: Gary's return keeps Georgia on a roll 41-10
Pac-10: Washington State rallies behind QB in second half
Big Ten: Hawkeyes withstand comeback, win in OT
Big 12: Iowa State takes charge
ACC: Unfocused Wolfpack defeats I-AA UMass
Around the nation
Holmes wins over Patriots
NFL Game Day: Week 4
Theodore stops 25 in 4-1 victory
Jeff Burton beats Kerry Earnhardt
Time ticks away for Gordon's title hunt
NL: D'backs roll to another West title
AL: Wells keeps Yanks on track for homefield
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Summing up the 2002 season
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Masterson, Mustangs win Red Mule
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Pros and cons of Woods, Ryder Cup