On a muggy Monday morning with temperatures in the upper-80’s, Tampa Bay took to the practice fields at One Buc Place to continue to prepare for their first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, which is this Thursday at Raymond James Stadium.
Players that were seen with the training staff on Monday include Adrian Clayborn, Erik Lorig, Myron Lewis, Luke Stocker, Gary Gibson, and Derek Dimke. Tight end Luke Stocker was activated from the Active/PUP list on Monday, but only participated in walkthroughs.
The team started practice with a new installment of a punt coverage situation. A simulated punter was lined up in the back of the endzone and the kicking team was forced to audible into a full protect formation from their usual punt coverage formation. The gunners quickly ran to their positions and the ball was snapped. This drill was repeated with different players about four or five times.
Next up, kicker Lawrence Tynes got his chance to show off his leg during a field goal period. The former Giants kicker missed all three field goals during this session. The first kick sailed right of the goal post and the second and third kicks were yanked left of the goalpost. That being said, Tynes was kicking into the skinny field goal posts but it would have been nice to see him make one.
Dekoda Watson would have recorded a blocked punt during the team’s final special teams session, but the linebacker backed off so the ball was able to be punted. Watson has earned high praise from head coach Greg Schiano this training camp for his great special teams play.
New addition to the squad, linebacker Marvin Booker, came up limping after one of the teams final reps of a punt coverage drill. Booker was signed by the Buccaneers on Monday and played his college ball at Rutgers.
It’s always nice to see a veteran coaching up a young guy, and that’s exactly what Vincent Jackson did during individual drills on Monday. After Owusu made a nice sideline catch in warm-ups, Jackson congratulated Owusu but showed him a technique that would better protect the football. Jackson has embraced his leadership role with the Buccaneers.
After the team was through with individual drills and teaching periods, the offensive and defensive lineman moved to the far field to perform one-on-one drills.
Donald Penn didn’t budge an inch on a Da’Quan Bowers bull-rush to begin the session. After getting off of the ball quickly, Bowers struggled to use his hands and failed to disengage from the veteran left tackle.
Rookie Akeem Spence pushed fellow rookie Cody Wallace about five yards into the backfield and into the simulated quarterback on a very powerful bull-rush.
Demar Dotson showed great bend against a rush by rookie defensive end William Gholston. Dotson got good leverage and didn’t allow Gholston to gain much ground.
Da’Quan Bower appeared to have quit on a rush against reserve offensive lineman Jamon Meredith during this session. Meredith gave Bowers a powerful first punch and threw off the Clemson product’s plan for the rep.
“Don’t stop,” yelled an assistant coach.
Newcomer Gabe Carimi got a great first punch on a rep against Andre Neblett. The former Wisconsin Badger succeeded throughout the one-on-one session.
Rookie Mike Remmers was kicked inside to guard for Monday’s practice and Jamon Meredith was the primary second-team left tackle. Remmers was driven into the backfield hard by William Gholston on a rep, drawing a remark from an assistant coach.
“Don’t sit there and ride the wave,” yelled the coach.
Defensive end Markus White destroyed Howard Barbieri on a nasty club move. The offensive lineman was tossed to the side and there was no contention against White as he made his way to the simulated quarterback.
William Gholston made a great play after being initially beaten by tackle Gabe Carimi, as the big defensive end performed a nice spin move to get to the quarterback.
Markus White destroyed rookie Mike Remmers on inside club move that left the young tackle in the dust.
The team then transitioned into their first of two 11-on-11 sessions that took place at Monday’s practice.
Quarterback Josh Freeman was on fire during this session, completing 6 of his 8 passes and fitting some balls into very tight windows.
Vincent Jackson made an excellent bobbling catch on a back shoulder throw from Freeman. The play resulted in about a 20 yard gain for the offense.
Jackson later made the play of the day, when he executed a terrific one-handed back shoulder catch on the right sideline for a big gain, drawing a roar from the fans in attendance.
Another player continuing to impress is defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who has been a one-man wrecking crew so far this training camp. The pro bowler would have made a big sack on Freeman within a few seconds of the ball being snapped.
A few players on the second-team offense stood out during this session at Monday’s practice. Rashaan Melvin Made a wonderful diving pass breakup on pass thrown by Mike Glennon intended for receiver Chris Owusu.
Following 11-on-11’s, Tampa Bay went into their usual 7-on-7 session, but this time it focused on their redzone offense and defense.
Tom Crabtree caught a touchdown from Josh Freeman in the right side of the endzone. It looked like there was some miscommunication by the defense, as the tight end was wide open for the score.
Mike Glennon fit a ball into an extremely tight window to tight end Danny Noble near the end of 7-on-7’s. Noble ran a seam route in between the safety and linebacker, jumped up into the air, and made an excellent catch for the touchdown.
After a water break and some walkthroughs, the team headed into their second session of 11-on-11’s. During this drill, Tampa Bay’s coaches wanted to focus on their no huddle offense and its tempo.
Safety Sean Baker tipped a poorly thrown pass from Mike Glennon and ended up being picked off by veteran cornerback Mike Adams. The rookie quarterback tried to jam the pass into tight coverage but Baker made a nice read on the play, allowing him to bat the pass up in the air.
Jonathan Casillas made a nice tackle behind the line of scrimmage on running back Peyton Hillis. Mike Glennon handed the big running back the ball on a draw play, but Hillis was quickly met by the linebacker in the backfield.
The last notable play of the final 11-on-11 session was a miscommunication between Mike Glennon and Danny Noble. The tight end was running a seam route with his head looking downfield. Glennon threw the ball and it hit Noble right between the numbers on the back of his jersey.
The last session of the day was the usual two-minute drill, started off by Josh Freeman and the rest of the first-team offense.
This was easily Freeman’s worst session of the day, as he completed just two of his six attempted throws. One of those throws was not his fault, as receiver Kevin Ogletree let a ball clank off of his hands for a drop.
Freeman had a problem keeping the ball down during this session. The former Kansas State quarterback over threw Mike Williams on a crossing route on second down, and later threw a very high pass for Vincent Jackson on third down, who managed to haul in the errant pass. After gaining the first down, Freeman recorded just one short completion and then proceeded to overthrow Kevin Ogletree on the next two passes for incompletions.
After calculating all of Josh Freeman’s passes from all of the team’s 11-on-11 sessions on Monday, the quarterback completed 10 out of his attempted 18 passes.
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