ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – While every pair of eyes is scanning the field, I am scanning the stands in search of an additional member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff. I spotted him sitting in essentially the same seat on both Monday and Tuesday inside Tropicana Field. He chose a seat extremely close to the action and I learned why that proximity is crucial to his enjoyment of the event.
“Watching Coach Caldwell and cussing him out from the stands and being a heckler.”
Todd Bowles, the Buccaneers defensive coordinator, is only kidding about his favorite part of attending the practices ahead of the East-West Shrine Bowl. He is actually here to watch these football players.
“For this to be so close and getting a chance to see talent early before the combine I think is important,” said Bowles, “so we get a head start on some things.”
I used the word “additional” earlier in this story because the Buccaneers are already well represented at the East-West Shrine Bowl in St. Petersburg. Mike Caldwell, who is the Buccaneers inside linebackers coach as well as the heckling target for Bowles, is the head coach of the East Team. Antwaan Randle El, who is an offensive assistant for the Buccaneers, is working under Caldwell as the wide receivers coach. Finally, the assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Buccaneers, Chad Wade, is also a member of the coaching staff.
Bowles told me the representation is beneficial for the Buccaneers organization.
“It gives you a good feel of certain guys you do not get to watch very often,” he said.
The game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock.
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