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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a very brief outdoor practice on Tuesday afternoon at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The players practiced for only 45 minutes outside before going into their tented facility, and part of the outdoor time was the players stretching. The Bucs practiced in shorts, jerseys, and helmets.
A number of players were sitting out the afternoon practice, they included: tight end Ben Troupe, running back Kenneth Darby, wide receiver Ike Hilliard, running back Warrick Dunn, linebacker Matt McCoy, linebacker Cato June, linebacker Derrick Brooks, and cornerback Ronde Barber. The last three came out to practice late and met their teammates inside the tent. It appeared that the trio would be taking an observation role inside.
In position group warm-ups, the wide receivers looked a lot better at catching the ball then they did in the morning session. Head coach Jon Gruden was watching them closely, and his brother Jay Gruden was throwing them passes.
Two receivers dropped balls. Rookie Dexter Jackson had an uncharacteristic drop, and Paris Warren was other culprit. Wide receiver Cortez Hankton made a beautiful one-handed catch in the end zone as the receivers warmed up.
The first period after warm-ups was a goal line walk-through. The speakers were blaring crowd noise as the offense and defense practiced forming different goal line plays. Working with the goal line offense was defensive end Kevin Carter, who was taking snaps at tight end. He even got some work outside of blocking as a pass receiver.
Before going into the tent the first and second team offense got one drive in the two-minute drill. The second team offense started the session off and was quarterbacked by Luke McCown. The offensive line in the second unit struggled with pass protection as McCown had little time to throw throughout the drive.
The first play was a draw to running back Clifton Smith, who had a decent gain. The next play McCown threw high downfield for tight end Jerramy Stevens the pass went over the leaping Stevens and was nearly intercepted before falling incomplete. McCown did complete some short passes to move the ball. McCown was sacked on the next play by defensive end Greg White. White came from the right end and was on McCown in a hurry.
With the ball at midfield McCown threw a pass about 15 yards downfield to Hankton. Safety Jermaine Phillips dove but came up short and Hankton hauled in the pass. The receiver took off downfield with nobody between him and the end zone. Cornerback Aqib Talib almost caught Hankton from behind inside the 10-yard line, but Hankton crossed into the end zone for the score.
Defensive backs coach Raheem Morris spoke with safety Sabby Piscitelli about a blown assignment, but Piscitelli explained something to Morris who said okay in response to what Piscitelli had done and seen.
After the second team scored a touchdown, the first team offense came in with quarterback Brian Griese under center. The first team offensive line provided Griese with much more time to throw then McCown had.
Griese started off by completing short passes to wide receiver Maurice Stovall on consecutive plays. Griese then threaded a pass through traffic to wide receiver Michael Clayton. Safety Tanard Jackson was the closest man to Clayton who was about 10 to 15 yards downfield.
The next play was a run to Earnest Graham who had a decent gain. The Bucs killed the clock after the run. Griese then completed a pass to wide receiver Antonio Bryant along the left sideline, and Bryant had a nice run of around 10 yards along the sideline before being pushed out of bounds.
Griese threw incomplete and behind Bryant on the next pass. Then the final pass of the two-minute drill was incomplete as Griese overthrew tight end John Gilmore. Gilmore was between safety Will Allen and linebacker Antoine Cash.
After that stop by the defense the horn sounded and the players went inside to the tent.
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