On Tuesday, the Bucs’ practice fields at the AdventHealth Training Center were fairly dull and uneventful as Tampa Bay’s pre-draft mini-camp began. The music of past coaching regimes was just a memory, as the players and coaches all seemed to be feeling each other out.
Wednesday’s mini-camp practice was a complete reversal, although there was still no music blaring and drowning out the voices of the coaches and players. But there was more of a bounce in the Buccaneers’ step and the intensity of the coaching staff was ramped up as well. Tuesday was a day for players to get used to their new coaches and teammates, and for the coaches to see what they had in their players. On Wednesday it was a totally different vibe.
Practice was in a similar format as it was on Wednesday, with some individual group work combined with specials teams drills. Once again, offensive line coach Joe Gilbert spent some individual time with Alex Cappa off to the side, but this time he also included Caleb Benenoch, who has moved to right tackle, as well as Cole Boozer.
During the previous individual period, Gilbert was much more animated demanding in the drills. At one point, Gilbert pointed out that guard Ali Marpet’s first step out of his stance was too big.
The last part of the practice was the 11-on-11’s, and once again the offense looked sharp. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans connected on two deep passes, and Winston also hit new wide receiver Breshad Perriman on a deep pass down the middle. Winston did throw his first interception of the two-day mini-camp. It appeared to be miscommunication as safety Orion Stewart seemed to be as surprised as anyone that the ball hit him right in the chest as the receiver ran the wrong route.
On other side of the ball, the defense lined up with multiple looks on nearly every other play. Bucs rules this mini-camp prohibit the media from reporting who was playing what position and also being too descriptive of specifics, but defensive lineman Vita Vea mentioned following practice on Wednesday, and Bruce Arians said that Vea has – and can – play all three defensive line positions in the Bucs 3-4 scheme.
Vea looks noticeably slimmer and admitted that he lost weight this offseason. He said that he played in a 3-4 scheme at the University of Washington and is prepared to play all three positions.
Arians said on Wednesday that left tackle Donovan was not on the field the last two days due to an illness, and said he hopes to have Jason Pierre-Paul here next week. Linebacker Lavonte Davis was back on the field after missing Tuesday’s mini-camp practice.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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