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May 21, 2013 @ 10:16 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs OTA Practice Report 5-20: Defense

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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What happened during Monday's OTA practice at One Buc Place? Who lined up at SAM linebacker? Which new coaches made an early impression? Find out the answers in this OTA practice report from PewterReport.com.
Under bright blue skies and warm summer-like conditions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gathered together on Monday at One Buc Place for the first of a three-week long, three-day series of OTAs.

As the media was allowed into the gate surrounding the practice fields, the players were in a special teams period with kickers working on the far west field, kick returners fielding punts on the middle field and new special teams coach Dave Wannstedt running the punt return and block teams on the far east field.

Wannstedt may be the new P.J. Fleck in terms of intensity – and sheer volume – as the former Bears and Dolphins coach was very specific in what angles he wanted both sides of the ball to take.

After the initial period the loud air horn blew and the players all gathered on the middle field to begin their team stretch and warm-up period.

Following the 10-minute stretching period the team broke off into individual groups. Very much like last year, the intensity and tempo was very quick and players were quick to move from station to station. But unlike last year, it was some of the players being vocal and shouting encouragement to one another. It was clear that the returning players knew exactly what to expect as opposed to last season when most spent the first few days of OTAs in a constant state of bewilderment.

Schiano and his staff utilize the entire grassy areas at One Buc including some tucked around corners and metal buildings, making it difficult to see all that goes on.

Close to the media viewing area the defensive linemen worked on quick-firing off of the ball and timing the snap count. A familiar face was back on the field for the first time since Week 3 last year and looked to be close to 100 percent. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn was lined up with the starting line during individual drills but was held out of team drills. The Bucs are counting on Clayborn to team up with Da’Quan Bowers to help the Bucs get to the QB a lot more pressure on opposing QBs than they did in 2012 (just 27 sacks).

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who Ronde Barber recently said he has passed the leadership torch to, was seen a few times taking the younger defensive linemen to the side to go over how a drill was to be run or the technique the coaches were looking for.

Another thing that was quite obvious to PewterReport.com was the coaching of new defensive backs coach Tony Oden. We aren't trying to bash former defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, but right off the bat you can see that Oden is a more hands-on teacher. In one drill he had the cornerbacks divided into two groups with one simulating being a receiver while the other group were cornerbacks in coverage. The coverage guys would drop back into coverage staying low in their backpedal, then as the simulated receiver stopped, the corners had to quickly break on the ball, quickly changing direction. Oden yelled to each cornerback, “Eyes on the ball. Drive, drive, drive!” Again, it appears the defensive backs will be much better coached in 2013.

While the individual drills were going on cornerback Darelle Revis walked across the fields with a trainer and proceeded to the far west practice fields and spent at least 30 minutes running, stretching and doing some shuttle runs. Revis still had a very minor limp early but after the period of rehab he jogged over to his cornerback teammates to watch what was going on.

A lot of the drills the Buccaneers did on Monday were similar to what they do during the first hour of a typical training camp practice. Stations are set up and each group spends a period working on fundamentals, from tackling, taking proper pursuit angles, to even practicing how to jump on a loose ball and wrapping up. While Schiano may have backed off somewhat from the military-style practices, the tempo or the stressing of the basic fundamentals have not changed.

Later in the practice the Buccaneers went to an inside run period then went into full team passing drills with the offensive No. 1’s taking on the defensive No. 1’s and then the backup groups each facing each other.

While it is way too early to try and figure out a depth chart, defensively the Buccaneers has Da’Quan Bowers, Gerald McCoy, Gary Gibson and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim on the defensive line. The starting linebackers consisted of Dekoda Watson at strongside, with Mason Foster and Lavonte David. In their base 4-3 secondary Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron were at safety and Leonard Johnson and Eric Wright were the cornerbacks. In nickel formations Watson came off the field and second-round draft pick Johnthan Banks came on the field as an extra cornerback.

The Buccaneers OTAs continue Tuesday and Wednesday but the media only gets one day of availability during the three days. Tampa Bay has another two rounds of OTAs scheduled before a mandatory mini-camp that will take place the second week of June. After the mini-camp the players will be off until training camp begins in late July.


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  • avatar

    owlykat is speaking about football IQ and it´s pretty aparant Lavonte David has a very high football IQ (diagnosing plays; understanding angles etc). LB positions seem okay, barring injurys. D-line (Bowers) and CB (Revis) i´m worried about. Hope the bucs can bring in a better 3rd WR, or DE/DT until season starts. This team will be exciting to see, GoBucs!
  • avatar

    Boy it is a loooong offseason. Let's go to 18 reguar season games with 2 bye weeks and expand the number of playoff teams. That would be a month more of real football.
  • avatar

    Don't worry about Revis, he'll be good to go by the opener. Since the Jets practically play in my back yard, I can tell Buc nation that you will be very pleasantly surprised when you see this guy week in and week out. Simply put, he's the best corner since Dion. I'm also very excited about Banks. Look for him to get plenty of action from day 1 and it shouldn't take long for him to crack the starting lineup. He reminds me a lot of Bobby Taylor the old Eagles corner.
  • avatar

    it's funny how posters hear about Revis having a slight limp and its panic city, its May people he still isn't 100% surely you knew that already? God forbid PR says Revis coughed during practice and fellow posters worry about him having influenza, lol
  • avatar

    So now we have posters determining a players IQ and others agreeing with their invalid assessment. I presume the unnamed Pittsburgh QB is Terry Bradshaw. I guess you don't realize that his "country bumpkin" act was just that. It was contrived by my hometown media before the boy from Louisiana started winning a string of Superbowls and ending up in the HOF and a sweet TV gig. Pretty good for a dumba$$. Can't remember the last time I saw #56 getting a sack. I think it was a whopping ONE last year, yet he's "gifted". Just not in the scholastic sense huh Owly? Talib played with a limp but I think it was his "Swag Strut" similar to the one George Jefferson had.
  • avatar

    Scu I agree with you on this one not only is it funny that OwlyKat can know a players IQ and called Dekoda Watson a "gifted sacker" but "HORSE" agreed with him thats like agreeing with Dan Quayle that he spelled "potato" correctly, lol
  • avatar

    I was very happy to hear Leonard Johnson was out there in Reavis place! I believe he will develop into an important play maker for us. Now, I expect by opening day that Banks will be the nickel corner, and that is fine, because he has an important future with the Bucs too and is a fine CB. But this is a hint that Johnson will be there this season when they go to their dime package. As far as Dekota Watson at SLB, I am glad he is getting a chance to show what he can do. He is a gifted sacker. His weakness is lack of football IQ, but we all know a former great Steeler's QB who still has a number of Super Bowl Rings who didn't have much football IQ when he started but he finally learned his offense with many reps and became a star. Hopefully David will step across and help Dekota learn the position and his keys for various offenses. David has a super IQ to call all the defensive calls as a rookie. But if that does not work out, no worry, Goode can step in this year and star there. Gibson can't play long games as a DL, but as a rotational player he has already proved his worth to the team. I am glad Spence will have to earn his starting job, and he will. He is the strongest player on the Defense. If Bowers will step up this year, I think we are looking at a top five NFL Defense.
  • avatar

    owlykat, I completely agree.
  • avatar

    I like hearing about the linebacker coach. I recall remarks to the effect that Cooper did so little coaching that Ronde took over that duty often. Hope our special teams improve their return game....
  • avatar

    Even the slightest minor limp has my attention. I hope someone ask Coach about that?
  • avatar

    Protecting a healed injury becomes routine. Break a wrist, elevate it throughout your day for 6 months. Even after it is 100% you still hold that arm high from muscle memory. I'm not a trainer, and I don't know where Revis is in his rehab. But I do know what a complete train wreck the Jets are. I have faith in Dom, and Todd. My glass half full take is that Free & we get better because of this 2ndary.
  • avatar

    I think Revis will surprise some people with how productive he is. Wish I could say the same about the rest of our defense. Although with the talent now they have a chance...
  • avatar

    No I would not be concerned. It was barely noticeable truthfully. And when he came back after being on the field I didn't see it. When he was here after being signed I didn't notice it that day.
  • avatar

    Mark, Should we be concerned about even a slight limp in Revis after 8 months (injury occurred in September last year)? Adrian Peterson must be one tough guy to have both an ACL and MCL in December of 2011 and return to camp full go in July 2012, then have the record-breaking season he had last year! I hope Revis is ready to go for July training camp or I'm going to get a little nervous about September!
  • avatar

    let's not be hasty. maybe that's just the way he walks. I see a lot of dudes walking with a limp at the mall
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