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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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The daily grind
By JOANNE KORTH
Published July 29, 2006
ORANGE YOU GLAD TO BE A BUC?
Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks isn't ashamed. He wants the Bucs to wear throwback orange uniforms in a game. Brooks, fullback Mike Alstott and tight end Dave Moore are the only players remaining who wore orange before the team changed its colors to red and pewter in 1997.
"I've been vetoed," said Brooks, a first-round draft pick in 1995. "I like the orange. Our younger players, they want to wear it. They're not embarrassed about our franchise history and the colors. They want to wear it, and I want to wear it."
Brooks, who also wants the franchise to create a Ring of Honor to recognize former players, is proud of his first NFL uniform. He has it framed at his home, complete with Bucco Bruce helmet.
The franchise will make its first Thanksgiving Day appearance, which seems a likely opportunity. In recent seasons, teams playing on Thanksgiving were required to wear throwback uniforms.
But Brooks' effort to bring back the color orange seems doomed.
"First of all, the NFL stopped doing that," Bucs executive vice president Bryan Glazer said of throwback uniforms on Thanksgiving. "That's an official thing. They're not doing that anymore. We got a memo awhile ago. Teams might have an option to do it on occasion, but it's not an official NFL thing anymore."
Alstott and Moore liked the idea, too.
"The orange has that losing myth attached to it, so maybe some people wouldn't like to see them back because of those ugly days," said Alstott, who wore orange as a rookie. "But I like them."
PLAY OF THE DAY
Receiver Edell Shepherd livened up an otherwise ho-hum opening practice with a leaping 36-yard catch during seven-on-seven drills. Shepherd went high in the air to make the grab over cornerback Ronde Barber and safety Will Allen.
WHAT'S IT WORTH?
Running back Earnest Graham was willing to change jersey numbers from 33 to 34 so fullback Jerald Sowell could keep the number he wore for nine seasons with the Jets. For a price. An undisclosed price. "I didn't want to extort him or anything," Graham said, "but it was enough."
Rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski looked much more comfortable than during June's three-day minicamp. He called wordy plays, zipped passes and bounced into the huddle. He even had his shoes taped to look like spats, rare for a QB. "I'm trying to be an athlete out here," he said.
WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE LINEBACKER?
Derrick Brooks' top five all-time outside linebackers:
- Lawrence Taylor* Junior Seau
- Derrick Thomas
- Jack Lambert
- Kevin Greene
"The first two days we practice in shorts. We want to get them in a rhythm in terms of our tempo and just get them reacclimated to practice. On Sunday morning, we'll put the pads on and see exactly where we are."
- Jon Gruden
ACHES AND PAINS
Running back Cadillac Williams (back spasm) did not finish the morning practice or participate in the afternoon session.