If a perfect football day in the summer of Tampa, Florida can exist, that’s what we got on Wednesday.
On the final training camp practice before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first preseason game of the year against the Cincinnati Bengals, the offense looked as good as it has since the start of camp. Quarterback, Jameis Winston, was on a roll all day. He was hitting his deep passes, and was efficient with his reads. That can also be, in part, due to great play form his receiving corps as well. All of that was very evident early on when, in the team’s first scrimmage of the day, they took full command of the 1-minute drill.
Here’s how the 1-minute drill set up today. In the past, the offense would be just looking for any points. These 1-minute drills were likely end-of-the-half situations, not end-of-game situations. However, today, the team needed four point, not a field goal, and had to get it with no timeouts starting from their own side of the field.
On the first play, Winston had to be patient. His first and second reads didn’t pan out, but he was able to complete a pass over the middle to Humphries to get things going. However, the clock kept rolling.
On the third play, Winston again looked Jackson’s way out of the no huddle, and once again completed a pass, this time to the sideline. So far, Winston was 3-for-3 on the drive, had marched into enemy territory, and was able to stop the clock. Almost a picture-perfect way to start things off.
Fourth play: Winston goes for TE Cam Brate over the middle; incomplete. Over throws him, but the coverage warranted it. pic.twitter.com/PgyC1KSu7R
On the fourth play, Winston went for it all to tight end Cam Brate over the middle. But, the defense figured that was coming since the two had yet to connect on the drive and had it well covered. Winston over-shot Brate in the back of the end zone, but he had to due to the coverage – either Brate makes a miracle catch or no one gets it.
Fifth play: Winston hits TE Howard (who was lined up in the slot) to get to about the 5 yard line. Clock rolls. pic.twitter.com/lLVRq6fece
On the fifth play, Winston hit tight end O.J. Howard, who was lined up in the slot, to get his team near the goal line with the clock still rolling.
This told us a few things. First, that the team is going to play Howard early on. Second, that Winston already has some trust in him. And, third, that they will line up Howard all over the place to have success.
All three are good signs.
Sixth play: no huddle, Winston rushes a throw to the end zone to Humphries, but over shoots him. Clock stops. pic.twitter.com/YgChEhaeaz
On the sixth play, with the clock running and time winding down, Winston rushed a throw that sailed over the head of Humphries, who got good separation towards the corner pylon. The incomplete pass stopped the clock with under 10 seconds to go.
(Remember, the team was down four points, they had to get it in the end zone.)
Seventh play: Winston somehow (we have no idea how) fits a pass into Jackson who gets both feet down for the TD.
With the clock, the drive and the game on the line, Winston delivered an incredibly accurate pass in the back of the end zone to Jackson who caught the ball, got both feet down and capped off the drive with six points.
This make it back-to-back times that the first team has converted a touchdown during the 1-minute drill, which is a good sign.
The reason we put so much emphasis in our recap towards these 1-minute drills when the team does them is because they are the closest thing to actual game execution as we see in practice. The team has to worry about time, down, distance, and in-game situations, all while on the fly like a normal game.
Today, the offense got the upper hand, and that continued into the rest of practice.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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