After another long period of stretching and position work at Thursday’s practice, held again at 9 a.m., the Buccaneers gathered on Field 3 to begin full-team scrimmage.
Reid Fragel got the start at right tackle, though Gosder Cherilus rotated in frequently. Matt Masifilo and Logan Mankins were also rotating at guard, as the Buccaneers continue to monitor and lighten the 11-year pro’s workload during camp. Ali Marpet, Evan Smith and Donovan Smith were in their normal roles throughout practice.
Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
On defense, it’s become all but certain that Kwon Alexander is the Buccaneers new Mike linebacker. In fact, Bruce Carter began the afternoon at Sam alongside Alexander and Lavonte David on first-team. With the Bucs set to pay Carter $4 million this season, Alexander’s rise could leave Danny Lansanah as the odd man out. Even if Carter becomes the Sam linebacker Lansanah should still see legitimate playing time as the former practice squad journeyman has been lights out throughout camp.
Regarding the defensive line, the Buccaneers have made an adjustment in the absence of Jacquies Smith and T.J. Fatinikun. Thin at defensive end, they’ve shifted Henry Melton, a natural tackle, to the outside. While it may just be temporary – Smith said Melton is a DT a few weeks ago – it at least shows their belief in Melton’s versatility. Smith said after practice that you need players who can swing positions and play up to the standard. It looks as though Melton will be next-man-up in the event of an injury to Jac Smith or George Johnson.
The first few plays during 11-on-11 were run heavy, as Doug Martin and Charles Sims each took a few inside handoffs from Jameis Wisnton. The latter was also used frequently in the passing game all afternoon, and by both quarterbacks. From outside screens to short comebacks, Sims was a favorite target and making the most of his receptions. The second-year pro was even seen split out wide during portions of 11-on-11’s and 7-on-7’s.
Bobby Rainey also had a good afternoon, catching a number of Glennon’s passes and running full-force into defenders.
Passing plays during the first portion of 11-on-11 play were mostly intermediate patterns, as the defense was bringing the blitz often. Winston did a nice job adjusting to pressure, finding Mike Evans on a few quick slants as well as Kenny Bell running short, lateral routes.
The highlight of 11-on-11’s, however, was not a particular play, but another mini-scuffle. Although nothing got out of hand, the intensity from Wednesday carried over – especially from Clinton McDonald. After a quick slant from Winston to Evans, McDonald was seen getting in the face of some offensive player before numerous other players came to exchange words and pull people apart. Gerald McCoy was seen walking away in anger, trying to cool off from something as Major Wright was calming him down.
Coaches were quick not to let anything escalate, as they had a very brief team meeting in the middle on the field. Once everyone was calm, practice continued.
As offensive and defensive linemen assembled to the far end zone of Field 1 for isolation batter, the rest of the team joined at the 20-yard line for red zone 7-on-7’s.
Winston’s first pass was intercepted by Johnthan Banks, who cut in front of the tight end right at the goal line to make a great play.
This time around it was Lansanah in at Sam, while Bruce Carter ran with the 2’s. The best two plays from linebackers during this period was Alexander’s jumping, falling back deflection of Winston’s pass thrown to the end zone, and Lansanah’s single coverage on Seferian-Jenkins for an inside slant.
Winston started off a little shaky, often missing high to Seferian-Jenkins (remember it’s red zone, you have to put the ball up), but made a few nice throws to close out the period. The best throw and catch of 7-on-7’s was Glennon to Evans on a deep seam to the end zone.
After back to back good throws from Winston, finding Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson for touchdowns, he threw a deep out to Seferian-Jenkins that was broken up by Bradley McDougald. Safeties had a few nice plays in coverage, as Wright was also able to lockdown on a tight end a few times and leave little room to throw.
Over in the corner of the south end zone, 1-on-1’s featured a few notable moments. George Johnson was able to beat Donovan Smith with another spin, as the rookie still adjusts to initial moves from NFL defensive ends. Smith came back strong, though, engaging Johnson a few times to win the battle. Smith got a little intense as the period progressed, getting into a brief shoving match with Jamaal Young.
Bucs LB Danny Lansanah – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
William Gholston has looked better these past three days than ever before, as he’s getting a good push during scrimmage while showcasing some ability during Iso’s. On Wednesday he beat Mankins on one rep.
On the O-line, Cherilus had a great session of 1-on-1’s, winning a few against Larry English and Henry Melton at right tackle. Patrick Omameh also had some good reps at right tackle, defending a spin move from Delaire, who beat a few guys with the technique Wednesday.
Gerald McCoy jumped offside a couple of times, as the All Pro is always trying to get that jump before getting low and dominating the guard.
The final play of Round 1 11-on-11’s ended with a great touchdown pass from Winston to Brandon Myers.
Round 2 of full-team scrimmage began at the 20 yard line for red zone practice.
Lansanah was back at Sam, while Melton and Johnson lined up on the edges of the defensive line. Along the offensive line, it was Gosder Cherilus this time around at right tackle.
Standouts during this period included Kwon Alexander and Ryan Delaire, who was second-team defensive end. Reserve linebacker Larry Dean also had some good plays in coverage.
Practice concluded with back-to-back two-minute drills starting from the offense’s own 20, first one led by Winston and second by Glennon.
Winston sailed his first pass over Vincent Jackson, even going too high for safety Major Wright (if you’re going to overthrow the target, better to also overthrow the safety). Winston came back to find Charles Sims for a swing out, as the West Virginia product turned on the jets and flew by Johnthan Banks. A few plays later, Winston clocked the ball before the Buccaneers sent out their kicking unit for field goal attempt. Patrick Murray was good from 50-plus yards to end practice.
The Buccaneers have the day off Friday, before returning Saturday for the final practice of training camp.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Where’s our DE’s? I sure hope GM is out trying to put a trade together.
Lovie announced today that he was taking Defensive play calling responsibility away from DC Leslie Frazier, and taking over that responsibility himself. I wonder why that wasn’t newsworthy, and why you keep a DC that you don’t trust to call plays.
Melton is the best DE prospect we have and he is great against the run from that position too. We also need Gholston to step up as he did today. He is not only strong inside, when you hit a strong running team we need Gholston playing opposite Melton at the other DE position. He is tough against the run. If we hit a team that easily stops our speed rushers put Melton and Gholston on the ends and bull rush and collapse them backwards from each end. Underweight McCoy will never make All Pro until he gets back up to 300 pounds. He is less dominating than McDonald right now. No wonder he is chippy and angry these days!
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