Pewter Report Intern
The Buccaneers welcomed 85 players to the Tampa Bay for a rookie mini-camp and rookie tryout. PewterReport.com was there, and offers a glimpse of Friday's practice at One Buc Place.
The first day of Tampa Bay’s rookie camp felt a lot like last year’s training camp. It was hot, sunny, and intense. The start of practice was low-tempo, just stretches, jogging, and individual position drills. But as the practice wore on, the coaches got much more intense and the drills got more difficult. Coach Greg Schiano yelled at the offensive line during a pass-rush drill saying, “Get on the damn snap count, let’s go!”
“Coach Schiano makes sure guys are flying around,” RB Mike James said. “That’s something that we’ve been doing all day. For the past few hours we’ve been flying around and the tempo has been great.”
That was the intensity during the second half of practice. While Schiano was focused on the defense during much of the practice, he also took note of what the offense was doing. Most of the Bucs’ draft picks are on the defensive side, but there are still players to watch on the offense. Obviously third-round draft pick quarterback Mike Glennon had a lot of attention, along with sixth-round running back Mike James. But there were also quite a few undrafted free agent signings in attendance, along with tryout players. Rutgers wide receiver Tim Wright and USF tight end Evan Landi are players who stood out in today’s practice.
WR Tim Wright has great size, standing tall at 6’4, 220 pounds. He showed quick feet in the wide receiver drills at the beginning of practice and does a good job of catching the ball at the highest point, which was being stressed by coaches. However once they moved to 7-on-7 and 11-on 11, Wright had a drop on a well-placed ball and had trouble creating separation from the cornerbacks. But out of all the wide receivers in attendance, Wright was the most impressive and could have a chance to make the team with a stellar offseason because of his impressive size.
Former USF Bull tight end Evan Landi is a player a lot of fans may be familiar with. He had a decent practice, although he had a slow start, dropping a good pass without anyone covering. But once the Bucs went into the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, he was much more impressive. He had a few big catches, but one that really stood out. He was on what looked like a slant route in the middle of the field and caught a fingertip catch from Glennon with three defenders around him. With Tampa Bay’s tight end position anything but set in stone, Landi could definitely have a chance of making the team this year.
The most talked about player in the Bucs’ draft class was probably North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon. Many fans feel the third round was too early to take a backup quarterback. Other fans feel Glennon wasn’t drafted to be the backup quarterback and maybe he will develop into a starter for next year if Josh Freeman is unable to take the next step.
Glennon had an up and down practice. He fumbled two snaps; one in a warm-up drill where the quarterbacks simply take a snap and drop back to pass with no pressure. The other came on the 11-on-11 drill and the fumble was recovered by the defense. On the following play, he fell down while handing the ball of to his running back. This could be due to nerves, but as many fans know, Schiano is very strict about protecting the ball.
But Glennon made up for the fumbled snaps by showcasing his strong arm. He looked very accurate down the field and made a couple great throws between multiple defenders. It’s difficult to judge Glennon’s performance when he’s playing against tryout guys though. Maybe some of the throws he made today would have been intercepted if it were against the Bucs actual defense.
“It’s good to get out here and start running the offense,” Glennon said. “Getting familiar with the terminology and just executing some of the plays. It’s only a very small portion of the playbook, but to get off and figure out what’s going on is definitely a start.”
The Bucs’ other offensive draft pick, running back Michael James, was very impressed with not only Glennon’s physical attributes, but his knowledge of the game as well.
“Mike’s got a great arm,” James said. “He’s really smart. I got a chance to sit down with him throughout the time we’ve been here. It amazes me how much knowledge he has; his knowledge capacity is crazy.”
James wasn’t visible to the media in today’s practice, so it’s tough to say how well he did. During the scrimmage drills, James was off on another field with the other draft picks (excluding Glennon) but got his work in during the running back drills earlier in practice.
“I’m just flying around and having fun,” James said. “Of course there are a little nerves because this is my first NFL practice ever. But I had fun flying around. I had a really good time.”
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