Cleaning out joint practice notebook

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
6:00
AM ET
TAMPA -- Cleaning out the notebook from joint practices between the Patriots and Buccaneers:

1. Wednesday was the largest media turnout for the Buccaneers since training camp began, with about 50 credentialed members of the media. That's about double the normal crowd. Nationally, ESPN had live TV reports throughout the day with Bob Holtzman and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports was another national presence.

2. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia doesn't talk to the press often, but he made himself available Wednesday with the rest of the team's offensive coaches. Listening to Scarnecchia is always a pleasure. He shoots it straight. Asked in a lighthearted manner what made Wednesday different in terms of speaking with the media, Scarnecchia said, "I don't know, but this is it." And with a smile, and several handshakes, he was on his way.

3. Defensive coaches are scheduled to be available for interviews after Thursday's joint practice.

4. Heard on local television that the Patriots-Buccaneers preseason game Friday is blacked out here in Tampa. Longtime Patriots fans remember what that was like. Amazing to think a game hasn't been blacked out in New England since 1993. Those in Tampa hoping to watch can do so on tape delay in the 11 o'clock hour.

5. Leftover soundbite from running back Jeff Demps on the uniqueness of linebacker Brandon Spikes: "I’ve been with Spikes before at Florida. He’s crazy.”

6. Maybe a hint that Brian Waters isn't coming back? When asked about the return of left guard Logan Mankins and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer from the physically unable to perform list, Scarnecchia said: "As much as we can, we're able to get bodies working side by side that hopefully will be working side by side when it's for real in September. We tried to keep Logan with Nate [Solder] and tried to keep Sebastian over there with [Dan] Connolly, and just give them some reps together. I think that's always a good thing. I think the most important thing for their own self-comfort, I guess, is to be able to get out, test themselves and see how everything is working and the mending process is going. It's only a good thing."

7. Running backs coach Ivan Fears might be part of the "all-name" team for assistant NFL coaches, but it turns out players call him something altogether different. In a lighthearted moment, Fears was asked if he has the best name among coaches. He laughed. "The guys call me 'Coach If.' What does that mean?" Fears cracked.

8. Tight end coach George Godsey on the return of Daniel Fells from the physically unable to perform list: "He's getting a little bit better so as much as we can work him in, we'll take it from there. He's taken all the mental quizzes and tests the other guys have. He's a veteran, [so] he knows what it means to be a professional. He's put his time in there mentally."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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