Sometimes the practice routine at training camp becomes a little old, but that wasn’t the case on Friday morning when the Buccaneers held their two-hour practice in shells.
Toward the latter part of the two-hour workout, Bucs head coach Jon Gruden decided to make things interesting by having the entire team form a ring on the field for one-on-one (offensive lineman vs. defensive lineman) drills.
“They have a one-on-one drill every day,” said Gruden. “Sometimes a little peer pressure from your teammates adds to a drill, but these guys have been doing one-on-one pass rush forever. Calling a guy out against another guy in front of their peers and having a little incentive sometimes is a good way to create some enthusiasm, which we certainly need this time of year.”
The first two players Gruden called into the pit were rookie guard Davin Joseph and nose tackle Chris Hovan. With the players and the crowd cheering each of the players on, Joseph held his own against the veteran. That irritated Hovan, who slammed his helmet in frustration and briefly attempted to go after Joseph before his teammates intervened.
“Those are two great players,” said Gruden. “Right now those two guys are setting the standard around here that all of us admire. They are working their butts of and that was a good way to start.”
Gruden and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin always have had a friendly competition in practice, but which one of the coaches’ units won the battle in the one-on-one session on Friday morning?
“Well, I think the offense won today in the one-on-ones,” Gruden said. “I am sure I will be criticized for saying that by some, but I like the competitiveness there and I thought the offense won today.”
Allen Sidelined Indefinitely
Bucs safety Will Allen, who sustained a fractured thumb in practice earlier this week, will be sidelined several days with the injury, which will require surgery, according to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden.
He is going to have some medical procedure done,” said Gruden. “I have not see Will nor do I know the extent of it, but he is going to be out for a couple of days. We will update you when I have his official status.
In the meantime, Kalvin Pearson, Donte Nicholson, Blue Adams and Steve Cargile will attempt to fill the void left by Allen at the free safety position.
Bucs rookie defensive end Charles Bennett (hamstring) and tackle Torrin Tucker (leg) also were held out of practice.
Tackle Kenyatta Walker also was held out of the workout. Walker has missed several practices while returning from knee surgery.
“Every year we have been very careful with him during training camp,” Gruden said of Walker. “He is a guy that is on our program and we are keeping a watchful eye on him and doing what we think is right to get hi ready for the regular season.”
Defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, tight end Alex Smith and defensive end Dewayne White were held out of the morning workout in an effort to keep each of the players fresh and healthy.
Bucs’ Walk-Through Cut Short By Rain
Tampa Bay was scheduled to hold a practice from 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
Instead, the players took the practice field in shorts, jerseys, sneakers and hats for an afternoon walk-through practice. According to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, the walk-through was an opportunity for the coaches to test the players’ knowledge of their respective systems.
“This afternoon will be an examination for a lot of these guys,” Gruden said after Friday morning’s practice. “We are going to reduce the tempo, but we are going to increase the reps by 10. We are going to put them in a number of different situations, we are going to get the coaches off the field, and we are going to find out who knows what. I do like this team. I like the way they are working. I see progress.”
Tampa Bay’s walk-through was cut short by about 30 minutes due to inclimate weather.
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