It felt like seeing this Buccaneers’ defense all lined up together in training camp was a long time coming, and with now a plethora of options to choose from, especially along the defensive line — imagine that — there were questions as to which players would be starters and which would be coming on in what the Bucs are hoping is a “second wave” of a deep pass rushing and run stuffing rotation.

In base defense (meaning four linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs), the Buccaneers put their beef on the line first with Vinny Curry, Beau Allen and Jason Pierre-Paul playing next to Gerald McCoy — none of which started next to McCoy or were even on the team last season.

The other interesting things to note were Vernon Hargreaves as the starting outside cornerback and Ardarius Taylor as the team’s third linebacker on run downs.

The second team defense featured three rookies: cornerback Carlton Davis, safety Jordan Whitehead and defensive tackle Vita Vea.

Vea was a high draft pick in last year’s draft, and him not in the starting lineup means no rookies were listed as starters, for now. We’ll see if he works his way up ahead of some of the vets.

No Noah Spence in on base defense, to start, but those formations are mainly use for early downs and run plays. Spence would have likely been in the rotation and maybe even starting for pass rushing formations.

Though he wasn’t in on the first or second teams for base defense, rookie cornerback M.J. Stewart may have had the best day of any defender.

Stewart, who played in just about every spot a defensive back can play in during his career at UNC, made his first play as a slot cornerback in the play above. Stewart is a motivated and physical defensive back who provides the Bucs with a safety/nickel cornerback hybrid option, which is becoming popular around the league.

Stewart’s second play of the day actually came from the outside cornerback spot. Stewart uses physicality to play receivers close and forces a quarterback to either hit a perfect throw or risk a pass break up or interception.

He likely had the best day of any rookie and maybe even any defender.

Near the end of practice we were given a treat of a play in an interception by Gerald McCoy.

If you called McCoy being the first Bucs player to get an interception in training camp, I’d like to have a conversation with you about next week’s lottery numbers.

A fun way to start camp for the veteran defensive tackle.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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nitey
nitey
3 years ago

When you said ‘You don’t see this everyday…’ I was hoping it was Winston NOT throwing an interception. :(

Ja'crispy
Ja'crispy
3 years ago

Wow MJ nice coverage on the outside.

JJ
JJ
3 years ago

Why’s Vita not on starting base defense is what I’m curious about.

Heard Rojo had a bad day of catching? Is this being blown out of proportion? We need to take advantage of him in space and if he cant catch I’m worried Dirk won’t know how to use him, Koetter isn’t the most creative guy ya know.

calibucsfan16
calibucsfan16
3 years ago

I’m probably the only one interested, but was Stevie T out there? Great story, I hope he can develop into a rotational run stuffer on occasion in his career.

JJ
JJ
3 years ago

Trevor, why is Vita not on starting base defense?