The Bucs took the field on Saturday morning for their first practice since Thursday night's loss to the Ravens? What defensive lineman did his best J.J. Watt impression? How did the offensive and defensive lines look in one-on-one battles? Get these answers and more with the daily Inside Training Camp feature.
Very few clouds covered the fields at One Buc Place on Saturday, making on-field temperatures significantly warmer than usual, around 90 degrees. The team took to the practice fields for their last public practice at 10:10 a.m.
As usual, Tampa Bay opened up practice with some stretching and warm-ups before heading into a special teams and field goal session.
Kicker Derek Dimke attempted four field goals to start off the special teams session and nailed three of the kicks on the skinny field goal posts. Dimke’s final kick nicked left upright on its way through the posts.
Receiver Eric Page bobbled a punt at the beginning of practice, much to the chagrin of some fans in the audience.
The punters had a better day of practice on Saturday. Chas Henry and Michael Koenen only had a few errant kicks the whole practice.
The team broke up into position groups to run some individual drills following the special teams session.
Page continued his lackluster practice with a dropped pass during a route-running drill. The ball clanked off the former Toledo Rocket’s hands on a comeback route on the right sideline.
While the rest of the team worked on near field, the offensive and defensive lineman headed to the far field for a one-on-one pass-rushing session. Donald Penn caught Da’Quan Bowers out of position on an attempted edge-rush by the former Clemson Tiger. Bowers tried to run the arc right past the big offensive tackle, but Penn got his hands inside his pads and drove him to the ground, eliminating him from the play.
William Gholston used a wonderful swim move to disengage from right tackle Demar Dotson. The right tackle got a good initial punch, but Gholston used his hands well and got enough separation to execute a swim move on the big tackle.
A defensive lineman with one of the best motors on the squad is defensive end Markus White, who had a nice session of one-on-ones on Saturday. White worked his way around backup left tackle Jamon Meredith by using his always active hands and violent punch. He’s made a good impression this training camp.
Rookie Akeem Spence got excellent push on a rep against center Jeremy Zuttah. The fourth-round pick drove back Zuttah about three yards into the face of the simulated quarterback. When Spence is able to get leverage, he is a very difficult man to stop because of his excellent strength.
The team joined forces again on the near field to begin their first 11-on-11 session of the day.
Donald Penn’s nice practice continued with a pancake block on defensive end Adrian Clayborn on an early rep. Penn was fired up and gave Clayborn a stare down after the play concluded.
Vincent Jackson burned Rashaan Melvin on a straight go route on the right sideline. The pass was beautifully thrown by Josh Freeman, allowing Jackson to make an easy catch with no contention.
Rookie Mike Glennon made numerous impressive throws on Saturday, including a 30-yard strike to Tiquan Underwood, who was running a deep in on the play. Glennon later hit Underwood again on a deep flag route for a big gain for the offense.
The best play of the day came when rookie defensive end Steven Means picked off a pass thrown by Josh Freeman at the line of scrimmage. Means was engaged to a blocker but broke free, jumped into the air, and pulled down the ball with two hands. The play looked very similar to what J.J. Watt did in the 2011 AFC Wildcard game against the Bengals.
The team then headed over to the 20-yard line to begin some work in the redzone. Gerald McCoy got into the backfield and would have sacked Josh Freeman on a rep early on in the session. McCoy has had a dominant training camp and is poised for a monster 2013 season.
Dan Orlovsky might be a third-string quarterback, but he is still making an impact on the Buccaneers starting unit. The veteran was seen coaching up wide receiver Kevin Ogletree on route-running, following an incompletion during the red zone session.
The defensive made a big play near the end of the session when Cody Grimm picked off a Josh Freeman pass in the endzone. Safety Dashon Goldson made a great play to tip the ball in the air and Grimm was in the right place at the right time to make the interception.
Mike Glennon rifled in a touchdown pass to Tiquan Underwood for a touchdown in the back of the endzone. The two were definitely on the same page on Saturday, making numerous big connections.
A sack was recorded by linebacker Lavonte David, who came unblocked on a blitz from his outside linebacker position. Josh Freeman was the quarterback on that particular rep.
The last session of the day was the usual 11-on-11 two-minute drill, where the team tests out their skills in different game-like situations.
Leonard Johnson made a wonderful leaping play to knock away a pass from Vincent Jackson. The Josh Freeman pass was thrown to Jackson’s back shoulder, but Johnson flipped his head around in time to break up the pass. Another pass breakup was recorded when former West Virginia defensive back Keith Tandy slapped a ball away intended for tight end Tim Wright. The poorly thrown Mike Glennon pass was thrown behind the receiver, allowing Tandy to make the play.
The last notable play from Saturday’s practice came when veteran cornerback Mike Adams dropped an easy interception at the end of the session. Glennon made a poor decision and threw the ball directly at Adams, who was not expecting the pass to come in so quickly.
Josh Freeman went 6-for-16, after compiling his numbers from all of the teams 11-on-11 sessions on Saturday.
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