Bucs prepare for Sunday’s unique challenge in London

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LONDON, England (WFLA) — Any resident of London will tell you that the weather can change for the worse on a moment’s notice. So, after a sunny, mild day on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were greeted with a much different climate upon arrival early Friday.

The open space at Blackheath Rugby Club in London’s west side was breezy and cool, with temperatures in the low 50’s. The practice session was the Bucs first taste of what it will be like to play a critical NFC South matchup against the Carolina Panthers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

“It’s fun to get out in the rain and the cold and a little bit of wind,” head coach Bruce Arians said. “Almost hurricane action.”

Arians joked about one particular pass play where the ball arrived nearly five feet from its intended target.

“A lot of us might say, oh it was kind of chilly or it was windy,” quarterback Jameis Winston said. “But in Tampa it’s windy and it’s hot breezes. There ain’t no cold breezes.”

The Bucs may be used to warm bay area winds but weather will not be on their minds come Sunday, playing a Panthers team that is on a three-game win streak since losing to the Bucs in week two of the season in Charlotte. The pressure of a division game will be met with an atmosphere that will resemble a Super Bowl celebration. The NFL has grown in popularity in England, with many pubs showing games that keep fans awake into the late night on Sundays. Fans will fill the pristine new home of Spurs Premier League soccer team, enjoying the American game in person.

It may be week six of the regular season but this will be a game that no player will forget.

“I always enjoy the NFL experiences and this is one of the most unique ones for me, being in the U.K.,” Winston said.  “I’m excited to play in front of our fans, in front of a lot of fans. I expect to see a lot of different jerseys in the crowd. That’s one thing that we get to be privileged to play in this league.”

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