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At right around the middle stage of the Bucs’ “mini-Bye Week,” if that’s what you want to call it, players, coaches and media alike once again gathered at One Buc Place to resume football activities.

The first day of the week is usually the biggest day with the most drama, so here’s what we learned from a packed day up in Tampa.

The Boys Are Back

Though there is plenty to talk about, the biggest news of the day came from the injury report and that linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David were back out on the practice field.

This marked the first time since before Week 2 that the tandem was both out there practicing. Though we’re sure they each practiced in somewhat limited roles, participating on the first day of the practice week is a good sign going forward for both.

Safeties Keith Tandy, T.J Ward and Josh Robinson were also out there practicing today. It had been reported that Robinson was in the concussion protocol, but he must have passed.

Evans vs. Peterson Round 2

Last year, as a part of the Buccaneers getting their rear ends handed to them at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, Mike Evans and cornerback Patrick Peterson went to battle all game long.

Evans ended the game with 70 yards and a touchdown off six catches, but had 18 total targets. Evans said today that Peterson was the best he faced all of last year, and seems to be looking forward to the rematch.

Justin Evans Maturing

The Justin Evans picked was a controversial one when it went down on draft weekend. It seemed that Bucs fans either loved it or hated it. The reason for that was because, though Evans is very gifted athletically, he had fundamental and discipline issues when tackling and being a last line of defense.

After getting his first start last Thursday, he displayed to his critics that it is something he is getting over, and that he only missed one maybe two tackles the entire game.

Evans talked about exactly what has helped him mature as a player and become a better tackler, and if he’s already maturing in just the first quarter of his rookie year that’s a good sign.

Mike Smith on Hargreaves

A topic of debate lately has been with the Buccaneers cornerbacks situation.

Obviously, the fans the players and the coaches wish things were going better. One way many fans wish that is in the play of Vernon Hargreaves. The specific topic surrounding him is how far he plays in off coverage. Today, at the podium, defensive coordinator Mike Smith was asked about that very detail and he said depth in drop is up to the players, not so much the scheme.

This sort of puts a lot more blame on Hargreaves than we may have originally thought, even if the scheme calls for off coverage. Hargreaves has to be more aggressive, and if it’s in his hands, it’s all on him.

“Guess Who’s Pat? Pat Again.”

Following their continued kicking woes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope they finally have things figured out with the signing of kicker Pat Murray.

Murray was the Bucs kicker back in 2015, but was released because of an injury.

On Wednesday, he told us that though he may have not been happy about being released before because of an injury that everything happens for a reason, and he’s just glad to be back.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: trevor@pewterreport.com
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4 years ago

VH3 has become the Achilles heal of our defense. QBs know they can just light him up. He needs to be benched before he loses us any more football games.

4 years ago

Tell him to play closer to the line of scrimmage and if he can’t then put somebody else in who will.
I am a little surprised Coach Smith is kind of throwing Hargreaves under the bus and he himself as a coach isn’t taking any responsibility. Maybe I’m reading too much into what was actually said.

Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

That’s what I was thinking. This makes more cense since I usually see Hargreaves on his own island;. I don’t believe that was ever the plan if we had a pass rush.

4 years ago

all the corners are playing way off… not just VH3

Reply to  gafikdetail
4 years ago

The difference is that Grimes has the athletic ability and instincts to make up for that space. Hargreaves does not just yet. We hope he can come to it, but you can’t teach speed, he needs to be a bit closer as they are just barbecuing him on slants.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
4 years ago

That is a big fail from Coach Smith.

It is his defense and he is responsible for making adjustments with the 31st pass defense in the NFL.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976(@robmckenz17gmail-com)
4 years ago

If the pass rush improves the DB will benefit from it. Bucs really need some D Linemen to step up. If Kwon is healthy the D will be better he just seems to be the spark for our defense.

4 years ago

Typical New York knee jerk reaction to any problem nybuccfan. Much like our moronic President from New York. Don’t think, just react.
So who are you going to replace him with and if you think he is better, don’t you think the coaches would already have him in there.
Geeesh, no wonder are country is in so much chaos. You think like he does.

Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

You have a real knack for weaving your political views into a comment about a cornerbacks depth. Herein you are able to sweep a broad brush stereotype over the residents of largest city in the country, yet fail to exclude the city’s mayor whose view on governing you no doubt share. Love it when you stick to football.

4 years ago

Guys, he’s 4 games into his second year, let’s cut him some slack. I think it’s good Smith is letting his corners find their comfort zone with the space they put between themselves, and the receivers. I’m sure this comes easier to Grimes, but VH will get there. As he grows within the system, and himself, he’ll find that sweet spot. We all hope it comes sooner, rather then later, but I’m sure that light will come on.

Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

VHIII will have to get better. I think he will, but we’ll see. There are some legitimate reasons why he’s played off coverage (as gafikdetail wrote, it’s not just VHIII playing off) as explained by Trevor. With Justin Evans playing strong and TJ Ward coming back from injury, maybe we’ll get closer to the Goldilocks secondary we all fervently wish for. Getting more pass rush would also help. Better last week, but still needs improvement. We should be knocking off 4 sacks and a dozen QB hits a game. That’s when a good secondary starts to shine, taking advantage of… Read more »

4 years ago

Politics, and religion two topics that should never be discussed with strangers. Since the can is open, I’d just like to stick up for the people of N.Y.. They didn’t vote for the “moron”, not my words.

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