As expected, Saturday’s unpadded and final training camp practice was a more relaxed version of a normal one, as the Buccaneers prepare for their first preseason home game of the year Monday night against the Bengals. Temperatures were steamy and very warm with “feel like” temperates in the triple digits.
Following position drills, the team flipped from 7-on-7’s and 11-on-11’s throughout the afternoon, as well as flipping sides of the field.
The Buccaneers once again mixed first and second-team units, as Glennon took the opening series of full-team scrimmage against first-team defense.
As for first-team offensive line (who matched up at times against second and third-team defense), Reid Fragel started at right tackle but had equal amount of reps as Gosder Cherilus. After practice Lovie Smith was asked about Cherilus’s status for Monday, saying the former Colt wouldn’t start but will still get plenty of reps. It’s likely Fragel will be in for the opening drive.
All other players on the O-Line were in their normal spots, while the defensive line featured McCoy and McDonald on the inside and Melton and Johnson on the edges. Melton shifted inside at times, leaving Larry English to take his spot at left defensive end. No word on Jacquies Smith’s status for Monday, but it’s safe to assume that he won’t dress after sitting out of practice this week.
11-on-11 scrimmage included runs to start, as Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, Dominique Brown and Mike James all took handoffs. The Bucs have the potential to be very deep at running back this season.
As for the passing game, Winston was connecting with all receivers Saturday, hitting Vincent Jackson, Robert Herron, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Mike Evans multiple times throughout the day. Keep in mind it was no pads, so defensive linemen were going half-speed, but it was encouraging to see the rookie look sharp from the pocket, nonetheless. Jackson especially stood out Saturday – for both Winston and Glennon – as the Pro Bowler was involved heavily and targeted often. Herron also looked good, catching a short pass one handed and jetting down the field on one particular play.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins had an impressive day, catching a few posts from Winston.
The offense then moved to red zone install, which consisted of mainly running plays. On the O-Line Ali Marpet continues to look more mature and experienced than he is, as the coaches are testing his ability in various situations. On Saturday he could be seen being pulled to the opposite side to set the lead block. That type of move is usually reserved for a particularly athletic guard, which the Bucs seem to already think they have in the Hobart product.
The 7-on-7’s period consisted of passing offense and a nickel defense. Leonard Johnson started at the nickel position, but rotated with Sterling Moore throughout. Both players had great days, each with a few deflections and Moore with an interception. The former Cowboy read Seth Lobato’s eyes perfectly to step in front of the tight end and make the play. Moore didn’t start out at nickel, but it appears the battle has come down to him and Johnson.
During Round 2 of 7-on-7’s, Jackson was all over the place and appears to be building a better rapore with Winston every day. Rannell Hall also made a few great catches during 7-on-7’s and 11-on-11’s and it will be interesting to see him Monday. The undrafted camp standout missed Week 1 due to a hamstring injury, but will be back this week and should see some good time in the second half.
The second portion of 11-on-11 included a few screen passes, where Bobby Rainey looked fast and fresh coming out of the backfield. This period also featured a bit more running, though Glennon had a few connections with Jackson and Russell Shepard.
Moore and Lansanah each had an INT during 7-on-7’s, but D.J. Swearinger recorded the only full-team scrimmage pick. Swearinger closed-in on an underthrown ball from Lobato and took it the other way.
The Buccaneers finished practice with a couple of 2-minute drills, before heading into the locker rooms and calling it a training camp.
The next time the Buccaneers hit the field it will be for their Week 2 preseason game at Raymond James Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org