The Headline From Camp Today: Bucs Have An Air Raid Down The Field
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The Bucs donned full pads for the second straight day on Sunday at the AdventHealth Training Center. Whether it was planned this way or that’s how it unfolded, the Bucs were continuously taking shots down the field in practice – and connecting.
Led by Tom Brady, the Bucs were consistently running go routes down the field with their first team offense. When 11-on-11s began, they were challenging the corners and safeties often, making for some great competition going for the ball. It wasn’t just one or two plays, though, the Bucs were pushing it down the field on play after play. While it’s expected that Scotty Miller would be one of the top targets on a deep ball, Mike Evans made the play of the day.
WOW! Spectacular catch made by Mike Evans down the field on a deep ball from Brady. Outstretched his arms as much as his could and caught it by the fingertips. Antoine Winfield Jr. and SMB were in coverage. #Bucs
Running down the left side of the field with Antoine Winfield Jr. and Sean Murphy-Bunting in coverage, Brady unloaded a ball right on target. It looked for a moment that it would just be a little too far out of reach, but Evans was able to stretch out his hands and catch the ball with his finger tips to haul it in. The crowd went wild in applause for the play, which opened the floodgates for the Bucs to keep moving the ball. Two plays later, Brady went to Godwin on the right side of the field. The Bucs had an aggressive approach on the day making one play after another.
Bucs Players Out Of Practice
Bucs HC Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It was a maintenance day for a lot of Bucs veterans on Sunday as outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end O.J. Howard all were out. Bruce Arians confirmed so after.
Brown and Howard have both recently returned to practice, so the Bucs are taking it slow with the amount days they’ll participate in. This is the second veteran maintenance day so far in camp for Pierre-Paul. Linebacker Lavonte David returned to practice after being out the last two days.
Outside linebacker Cam Gill missed practice as well. This is now the fourth day in a row that he’s been unable to participate. With so much depth and competition at outside linebacker, the lack of availability could significantly impact his chances to make the roster if he’s unable to see the field soon.
Bucs Practice Notes
The Bucs have talked about the importance of stacking good practices together early on in training. Following a solid practice on Saturday, the Bucs had another good outing in terms of the effort and intensity level on the field. Practice started with some one-on-one drills between the receivers and corners, which saw some fun match-ups between Evans and Carlton Davis along with Godwin and Murphy-Bunting. Both receivers won their rep during that session, but Davis made up for it with a very nice pass breakup against Jaelon Darden as he stayed with the speedy receiver every step of the way.
We have the receivers going up against the corners on one-on-one drills. Godwin makes a good move to separate from SMB and make the catch. #Bucs
In that same session, Kyle Trask threw an excellent pass down the field to Josh Pearson, who was just a step ahead of cornerback Dee Delaney. Trask had good timing with Pearson and Travis Jonsen during the day, connecting with them during multiple different segments. Each player hit it off with both backups as they each scored a touchdown on passes from Ryan Griffin towards the end of practice. They are two backup receivers that have stood out early on in camp.
Trask was once again consistently inconsistent. There were some nice throws and reads in coverage, but he didn’t execute as well in during red zone drills, missing a couple of passes as the offense tried to get in the end zone. The potential is there for Trask as he still learns how to play in this league. For Griffin, he led a great two-minute drive with touchdown passes to Pearson and Jerell Adams. Business as usual for veteran quarterback.
Fun play as Ryan Griffin’s pass intended for Josh Pearson goes off his hands and Travis Jonsen comes down with the reception. Griffin then made a nice pass to Pearson for a touchdown. #Bucs
Competition was at an all-time high when the Bucs moved to 11-on-11’s . You had the aforementioned deep balls to Evans and Godwin, but the defense showed up as well. Jordan Whitehead had a pass breakup along with Devin White. Jamel Dean also had one in the second half of the practice session.
The highlight defensive play was from backup corner Nate Brooks, who knocked a Blaine Gabbert screen pass up in the air and intercepted the ball. It was great timing and balance to have the wherewithal jump, make the initial pass breakup and still come down with the pick. Other notable standouts on defense were Kevin Minter, who had a would be sack on Gabbert and Anthony Nelson, who would’ve up sacked Brady during a drill if you could hit the quarterback. Backup linebacker Joe Jones had another solid day, also recording a sack on the Bucs’ starting quarterback.
Great interception by CB Nate Brooks! Was up at the line of scrimmage, read the screen pass, tipped the Blaine Gabbert pass up in the air and caught the ball. #Bucs
Not everything was all perfect for Brady as the defense did give him some trouble during a two-minute drill. After two straight passes in a row to Evans and Miller, Brady threw a couple of incompletions, including an overthrow on a deep ball to Miller with defenders in coverage. This caused Brady to slam his helmet on the ground and exclaim, “We’ve got to make some plays when we’re tired, fellas!” Later on, Brady was so frustrated with not executing a play following a Shaq Barrett sack that Brady punted a ball around 40 yards to field two. It was a really good looking punt.
Brady would have been sacked on a play and punted the ball in frustration about 40 yards towards field two. A pretty nice punt. #Bucs
Bucs CBs Antonio Hamilton and WR Tyler Johnson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Other players that made a big presence on offense were the likes of Tyler Johnson and Giovani Bernard, who both made highlight reel – worthy plays. Johnson made a terrific one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone with a defender on him, while Bernard dove across the middle of the end zone to come down with a touchdown reception of his own.
It has only been two days in pads but the battle for the “ninth” spot on the offensive line looks to be between two players. Third-year tackle Brad Seaton and second-year guard Nick Leverett. Both players have been getting a majority of the snaps with the second unit. Seaton has been at both left and right tackle spots and has been doing a good job at protecting the quarterback and opening running lanes.
Leverett has been playing all over the line as well. Getting snaps at left and right guard and even right tackle. During one-on-one drills at the left guard and right tackle spots, Leverett did not allow a defender by him, pushing Khalil Davis completely out of the play on one rep. He stood another defender up completely in 11-on-11’s. Leverett also took some reps at center earlier in the offseason during mini-camps. It will ultimately come down to which position the Bucs want more insurance at on the line. The versatility each player has shown will make it a tough decision for the team.
Other notable performances on defense included a big pass deflection from corner Herb Miller on Jaelon Darden. Safety Javon Hagan had a near interception during 7-on-7 drills, reading a slant route intended for Mike Evans. Khalil Davis had another solid showing, during one-on-ones against Ali Marpet, Davis won both reps against the veteran guard. While in the same drill, Alex Cappa got beat twice by Will Gholston, prompting a teaching moment from the coaches.
Khalil Davis beats Ali Marpet I’m two consecutive reps on o-line vs d-line drills
Joe Tryon continues to stand out on defense. In one-on-ones he showed his quickness and strength to bully past tackle Chidi Okeke to get to the quarterback. He also showcased his versatility lining up on both sides of the formation in 11-on-11’s, including a few reps with his hand in the dirt. Tryon drew praise from coach Arians after practice saying he has “more than met” expectations. Adding, “he’s whupping a lot of guys’ asses. That says a lot about him. He’s carving out a real, real nice role for himself.”
All of the effort was not lost upon Bruce Arians as he stated after practice that he’s really enjoying the effort that everyone has put forth during training camp. What he wants to see next is for everyone to play a little bit smarter as there’s been too mistakes in practice.