Aside from some hamstring injuries, left tackle Derrick Deese’s foot strain and center Scott Jackson’s fractured hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have generally stayed healthy through the first week of training camp. But the Bucs are holding their breath that the hip injury that rookie offensive tackle Chris Colmer suffered on Wednesday isn’t too severe.

“We had a good, physical practice,” Bucs coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday morning. “Chris Colmer hurt his hip. We don’t know how serious that is. He’ll be day-to-day or hopefully be back in the morning. No news, really. Juran Bolden returned to practice, as did Ellis Wyms. Derrick Deese still has a little foot soreness; hopefully he’ll be back sometime soon.”

After practice, Gruden was asked if Deese’s foot injury was the same injury he suffered through last preseason.

“I guess it is,” Gruden said. “I don’t really know for sure. I’m sure they’ll give him more tests and things of that nature. I’m going to concentrate right now on the guys who are out here. We’ve got a number of guys who are nicked up and we’re concerned about Derrick Deese, but Anthony Davis is answering the bell and for us that’s a very good sign.”

The Buccaneers mixed things up on Wednesday during 1-on-1 linemen drills by having the entire team cheer on the participants. You can read the details of the 1-on-1 drills here, while Coach Gruden spoke about the spirited session.

“We just want to make sure that we’re all accountable to one another,” Gruden said. “When we’re in seven-on-seven, the defensive line doesn’t get to see their teammates, and vice versa. We want to go down there and see some live one-on-one competition for ourselves and just check the accountability on this football team.

“I think it adds a little enthusiasm to the drill. The players are rooting for one another. That’s the way we want it to be: The offense and the defense working hand-in-hand with some enthusiasm that’s genuine, that you cannot only see but feel. I could feel guys excited right there. If you execute, if you give great effort, if you’re accountable to one another and play physical, you will be rewarded and you will win games, and you’ll ultimately win championships. I’ve been pleased with those four categories throughout the first week of this camp. We’re going to give them this afternoon off. It’s been intensely hot here. We’re going to have a little function as a team and we’ll resume our practice schedule tomorrow morning.”

According to Gruden, the Buccaneers are a better football team right now than they were last year. Of course, it wouldn’t take much to improve on last year’s dismal 5-11 record. While Gruden stopped short of saying the Bucs were farther ahead of where they were at this stage last year, he did note that Tampa Bay has shown some improvement.

“Well, we’re a better football team right now,” Gruden said. “That doesn’t guarantee you anything. If we’re going to turn the ball over on the two-yard line again, we’re not going to win a damn game. We can’t do that. We’ve had three fumbles in this camp. We’ve made tremendous strides. We haven’t turned the ball over very much at all. I’m not going to tolerate turning the ball over inside the 10. It’s just too competitive, it’s too important. But we are a better football team in training camp right now than we’ve been in some time.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for 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:
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