The Bucs Training Camp Diaries are an annual feature on PewterReport.com and we have two gems this year in veteran nose tackle Beau Allen, who will give PewterReport.com readers insight into the Bucs defense during training camp and the preseason, and rookie running back Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick, who will offer his perspective on the offensive side of the ball.
Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht needed to revamp the defensive line this offseason and the first free agent addition was signing Allen, fresh off winning the Super Bowl with the world champion Philadelphia Eagles. Allen, who was a run-stuffing role player in Philly, enters Bucs training camp as the starting nose tackle next to six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. At 6-foot-3, 327 pounds, Allen has the size and power to not only be a force against the run, but also collapse the pocket. Playing primarily on first and second downs, Allen notched 87 tackles and two sacks in his four years with Philadelphia, and had 20 tackles and a sack last year as the Eagles won their first Super Bowl.
Playing in the pass-happy NFC South, Allen looks to get to the quarterback more often as a Buccaneer, as the likes of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton often pass the ball on first and second downs. While Allen’s roster spot is assured due to his three-year, $15 million contract that features $7.25 million in guaranteed money, he is fighting for playing time in Tampa Bay’s defensive line rotation. Follow Allen’s first training camp in Tampa Bay in his Training Camp Diary exclusively on PewterReport.com, as he and the team’s ultra-talented defensive line look to come together, rush the passer and get the Bucs into the playoffs in 2018.
I’M GETTING A LITTLE SICK OF ALI MARPET
As told to Scott Reynolds
It’s hard to say how we finished the week on defense. We did some good things and some not-so-good things. I don’t want to comment on that until I see the film because sometimes your gut reaction isn’t how things actually went. Sometimes you need a little reality check in Week 3 of camp. There is an age-old saying in the locker room that the film is never as bad or as good as you think it is, but hey, we’re off to Miami now.
Bucs LG Ali Marpet and DT Beau Allen – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
There really isn’t a lot of prep work that goes into these preseason games. You just line up and play ball. It will be fun to go against someone other than our offensive line. I’m getting a little sick of Ali Marpet as much as I love the guy. I’m excited to go up against the Dolphins.
We’re at the point in camp where you feel like you see the same guys every day and you get sick of battling your own guys. You love them, and you love going against them and figuring out how to beat certain guys and seeing different techniques guys use, but you want to see some fresh O-linemen lining up against you and we’re getting ready for that.
I’m definitely ready for it. You want to go against different guys. You want to see different schemes, different looks, and different talent across from you. It’s exciting. This is Year Five for me in the NFL and you don’t take any game lightly. A preseason football game is still an NFL football game – it doesn’t matter how much you’re playing or who you’re going against. If I’m in there I’ll be playing as hard as I can and doing anything I can to win, and I know I’m confident it’s the same thing for the rest of my D-linemen. I’m excited for that.
In these preseason games you have to fall back on your technique. You have to have that focus or you’re going to be in trouble. We’re not going to be game-planning for the Dolphins, so you just have to rely on what you’ve been working on these last couple of weeks and try to play as hard as you can. That’s all I think about – playing as hard as I can with as much technical focus as I can. If you do that, it will take you a long ways in these preseason games – especially for our young guys.
Coach Buck (Brentson Buckner) has been getting us ready. He’s great. One thing that I like that he’s done is a lot of history of the NFL-type stuff, and I haven’t had that before. He’s brought up different defensive linemen that have elevated the game to what it is now and we’ve talked about them and what they’ve done and what their signature moves are. Now it’s time to incorporate what we’ve learned and go to work.
Bucs DE Patrick O’Connor – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
One of the guys that I think has had a really good camp is Pat O’Connor, and I’ve told him that. One thing I really appreciate about Pat is that when he messes up, he messes up at 100 miles per hour. He has no fear going inside and playing inside, too. I think he’s a real twitchy, explosive player and you see that. He has a really nice get-off. I’ve been really impressed with him and his attitude in camp. I hope he doesn’t read this because I don’t want him to do anything different.
We had the “rookie talent show” and the rookies really have to work on their singing voices around here, man. We put Vita Vea up there and he did “A Haka” the second time. The first time I think he was a little shy with some stage fright, and the D-line let him know that it wasn’t cool. We’re not scared. So he did “A Haka” the second time and it was very cool. It was a traditional Polynesian song.
Now the other defensive linemen’s songs were just terrible – absolutely terrible and really disappointing. Evan Perrizo did a good job with a Temptations song, but otherwise it just wasn’t good, man. The bar around here when it comes to singing is really low! (Laughs)
Follow Bucs veteran nose tackle Beau Allen on Twitter at @Beau_Allen
The next Allen Bucs Training Camp Diary will be posted in a few days as well as regular RoJo Bucs Training Camp Diaries. Be sure to visit PewterReport.com multiple times throughout the day during training camp for new stories and updates from practice live from One Buccaneer Place, and follow us on Twitter at @PewterReport.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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