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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers practiced for about an hour and 15 minutes outside at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex on Wednesday afternoon. The second practice of the day was held under cloudy conditions and cooler temperatures in the 80s. Despite the nice temperature, the Bucs went inside to their tented facility for the second half of their workout.
Tampa Bay sported full pads this morning, but the Bucs were in just shorts, jerseys and helmets this afternoon.
Buccaneers tight end Ben Troupe returned to practice after sustaining a mild concussion on Tuesday. Sitting out the workout were: Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, Cato June, Ike Hilliard, Kevin Carter, and Warrick Dunn. To start the practice, the players worked on kickoffs. From there they warmed up in their position groups and then stretched.
The offense and defense split up to work on a short installation period. The offense had some of the equipment crew, and some of their other staff put on black jerseys to fill spots for a defense.
The athletic offensive line was getting worked out as the Bucs were installing a lot of screens and perimeter runs. Many of the runs were pitches to running backs. The backs were also the primary receiver in the screens that were being executed. The linemen were concentrating on getting downfield and making blocks in the second level of the defense.
There were some interesting players getting reps with the first-team offensive line, running backs, and quarterback Jeff Garcia. Those players were wide receiver Micheal Spurlock and fullback Byron Storer. Both players have had a good training camp up to this point, and were rewarded with some first-team reps.
In the next period of practice, the defense came over and the two sides started to scrimmage. The Bucs ran a nice double reverse that got them a decent gain. The defense was running a number of different blitzes, including some zone blitzes, but up to this point in camp the offensive line has been pretty adept at picking up the extra pass rushers.
Garcia began his reps by finding wide receiver Maurice Stovall, who got himself open in zone coverage. Garcia had good protection on that play, but the next play he would have been slammed for a sack. Defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson and defensive tackle Ryan Sims came free and met at Garcia. It was unclear how the protection breakdown occurred, as it was pretty quick, but both defensive lineman closed in a hurry and would have had clean hits with momentum at the tackle.
Garcia got rid of the ball sooner on the next snap. He threw a dump off to running back Earnest Graham who made a nice finger tip catch. Graham got only a few yards though as the Bucs defense flew to the ball. Leading that charge was rookie linebacker Geno Hayes.
"Way to run, Geno," shouted linebacker coach Gus Bradley. Linebacker Adam Hayward also showed speed in pursuit during this scrimmage.
On the next pass, Garcia missed an open Michael Clayton along the sideline. Clayton sat down in the middle of zone coverage, but Garica's pass was overthrown. Garcia followed that by overthrowing receiver Paris Warren in another zone coverage. Warren was about 10 yards downfield and was close to the far hashmark from where the ball was snapped.
Luke McCown came in after Garcia and his first pass was a beauty. Stovall was running free deep down the down the sideline. McCown put the ball on the money to Stovall about 35 yards downfield, if the pass was a touch earlier Stovall may have gone uncontested into the end zone. Safety Will Allen got to Stovall, but it is unclear whether he could have made the tackle if the players were in pads and tackling.
On the next pass, the defense bounced back. McCown completed a screen to Bryant, but the play would have gone nowhere as linebacker Ryan Nece was in the backfield to make a tackle for the loss.
"Great job, Ryan," yelled Bradley.
Brian Griese got the next reps at quarterback and almost threw an interception in his first pass. Griese threw in the flat to Warren, but linebacker Quincy Black dove and got both hands up to block the ball. If Black had been just a little quicker he would have had an easy interception with open field to the end zone.
The next pass from Griese was a completion to wide receiver Chad Lucas. Against cornerback Aqib Talib in man coverage, Lucas ran a 12-yard curl route and was open. Griese hit Lucas who probably would not have had any yards after the catch as Talib closed, and other defenders were close by.
Griese hit Clayton, who was open about 15 yards downfield in a soft spot of the zone. Talib had blitzed and was picked up. Clayton had a nice run after the catch on that play.
The team went into the tent for about 40 minutes to finish practice. They had speakers blaring with crowd noise at different times.
After practice, quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Chris Simms were working with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson. Stovall and Spurlock were catching passes from the quarterbacks. To end the day with a little athletic recreation, Simms, Johnson, and Spurlock, a college quarterback, were standing at the 20-yard line and were throwing passes trying to hit the crossbar.
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