Normally when we do these daily recaps, there are three, four, maybe five things that we learned. But, due to the shorter week and the schedule change, there was a lot more to learn with Winston, Koetter, Monken and Smith all at the podium with practice open for the media for the first time in the indoor practice facility, too.
Here were our seven takeaways that every Bucs fan needs to know.
For starters, the Bucs’ indoor practice facility is impressive. When you get in there yourself, you see how cool it is with the facility using so many windows to create an open atmosphere. The facility isn’t complete yet, but the field portion with the turf is good to go and that’s what the players worked on today.
Inside the facility is where we got our “unofficial” injury report for the day.
Safety T.J Ward was back out there, but Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David and Keith Tandy were still missing in action. With this being the team’s only real practice of the week, it’s unlikely that Alexander and David will play, and the chances of Tandy playing are better, but still limited with him missing practice.
Quarterback Jameis Winston was the first to take the podium in a busy day at One Buc Place.
With the Patriots coming into town on Thursday, the first few questions were about their quarterback Tom Brady. Winston said that Brady is an inspiration. He said that Brady’s work ethic and his success over the course of his career is something that he and all young quarterbacks should look up to.
Winston even said he’s thinking about what he’s going to say to Brady since it will be the first time he’s ever met him.
Winston said Brady is an inspiration. He knows Brady's working hard getting better and better (at his age), so he has to, too. pic.twitter.com/netLSlnYdp
The New England Patriots have been one of the NFL’s most long standing dynasties thanks, in part, to their offensive success over the course of a changing football landscape.
Buccaneers defensive coordinator, Mike Smith, knows this and says it’s tough to game plan against them because the Patriots offense can take different shapes depending on their opponent. He noted that certain things don’t change, like the need to get Brady uncomfortable. But also said that it will be a game of adjustments for them to get the last laugh.
The Return of Doug Martin
Doug Martin is back and was getting the first team reps right off the bat during the early portions of practice. pic.twitter.com/gWPfizJwMt
Doug Martin returned to the Bucs’ locker room this week to the delight of everyone on the roster. There were all kinds of big smiles and hugs from other players to him as he came back to his locker space yesterday, and I’m sure there were smiles from the coaching staff today seeing him out in a helmet and cleats.
Martin was getting the “first team” reps early on in practice and should be the team’s go-to back despite him being away from game experience for five weeks.
DeSean Jackson’s Desire For Production
Jackson on lack of production: "[Winston's] never played with a guy like me… I'm just doing what I can to help the team." pic.twitter.com/o4vfhYS0pF
It’s no secret: Winston and DeSean Jackson haven’t been on the same page yet this season. There have been a handful of times Jackson has been open only for Winston to miss him deep or just not see him at all.
Jackson has a lot of pride in him, and with that comes production and the desire for it. Those are good things, but it also gives way to frustration with him being so competitive. Winston and the coaching staff know they have to get Jackson more involved and connect on those big plays to beat the big teams.
There’s a pretty big one coming in on Thursday. What a game it would be to finally get the Winston-Jackson connection going.
There’s a saying by the MMA fighter Conor McGregor that goes, “I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over.”
That’s essentially what McCoy was saying in the locker room on Tuesday when referencing what it’s going to be like welcoming the Patriots to town as their opponent. McCoy had plenty of praise for the Patriots and the dynasty they’ve built, but made sure to add the sentence, “We’re not here to see the show.”
They’re here to beat it – and be it.
Koetter versus Belichick
Koetter on looking up to or looking forward to coaching against Belichick like Winston does with Brady. pic.twitter.com/WWXZEBfjtQ
Earlier in the day Winston talked about the honor of playing against a legend like Tom Brady. Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter didn’t exactly share that same sentiment when going up against Bill Belichick as a coach.
Not that Koetter didn’t have his respect for Belichick, he obviously does with all the success he’s had. But, Koetter said, “it’s not me versus him; it’s team versus team.”
Throw out the past success. The scoreboard starts 0-0 on Thursday night.
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: email@example.com