Raymond James Stadium was filled Friday with hope from thousands of adoring Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans.
For the first time in the home stadium, the Bucs opened practice to the general public.
Screaming fans greeted players.
Expectations were high for this first look at the new offense and the rest of the team.
"I can't wait to see Vincent Jackson out there getting some touchdowns,” fan Wes Dicus said. “I am looking forward to it."
Before the drills, Jackson surprised fans by going into the stands. He high-fived and signed autographs. Other players also signed autographs.
The fans loved it. Still, among all the people we talked with at the stadium, one name excited them more than any other. He does not play a position on the field.
"I am very excited about Lovie Smith,” Dicus said.
"Lovie is going to be the guy," Brian Murphy said.
Ed Maro said, "Lovie Smith is a great guy, too, and that is a big plus."
The head coach also signed autographs for fans eager to meet him. They believe, the players believe, and little Tristan Rodriguez also believes.
His dad Devin Rodriguez says, "It's our year. It's our year."
The fans saw spectacular catches. The wide receivers also showed off their speed running toward the end zone.
"I can't wait to get out here every Sunday and celebrate the Bucs with Tampa Bay," Dicus said.
Fans have another chance to see the team play before preseason starts. The next practice open to the public is Sunday at the team’s training facility.