The defense was all over the offense on Tuesday, and for some of the position groups it was the same story on Wednesday.

But, for others, Wednesday was a big wake up call.

Staring with the positives, the defensive backs really had a great day all around.

Other than not being able to cover Chris Godwin, the rest of the assignments went well for them. Ryan Smith, in particular, who has been on the unfortunate end of heavy criticism over the last year, made some nice plays on Wednesday.

Smith had a pass break up that went for an interception in the first clip, and in the clip directly above he held his own and even should have had an interception against wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the one-on-one drills.

It was a strong day for a player who really needed one, as he is still slated to be the second starting outside cornerback.

And speaking of good cornerback play, rookie Carlton Davis was a treat on Wednesday, getting the better of wide receiver Mike Evans not once but twice in one-on-one opportunities.

Evans has been having a very good camp thus far, one of the best we’ve seen from him — which is saying a lot — and yet Davis totally locked him down on Wednesday.

Davis was starting with the first team as an outside cornerback due to Brent Grimes missing his second day of practice. We’re not sure when Grimes will be back, but nothing seemed to alert us that he is hurt or doing anything more than taking a few days of rest.

For now, Davis is holding Grimes’ position for him — and holding it very well.

In a final praise to wrap up the cornerback recap from the day, Vernon Hargreaves had a very good day of camp.

He held all of his assignments without a catch in the one-on-one drills, and had a few pass break ups during the full scrimmage that rounded out his day about as strong as he could without having a turnover to put it over the top.

Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t a positive day for everyone on the defense.

The Bucs’ trench players went through double team work on Wednesday, which is one of the most physical drills you can do in a training camp practice. In it, there were two offensive linemen going up against one defensive lineman. The odds are obviously stacked against the defensive players, but the point of this drill is to push them.

The drill wasn’t the only thing pushing these players, as defensive line coach Brentson Buckner was all over the defensive players who weren’t holding their own — and there were many. It was very clear that Buckner was not going to settle for whatever happened last year, and that what the players were used to wasn’t good enough.

It was a lot of tough love from Buckner to his defensive line on Wednesday. We’ll see how they adjust and react in the mock game on Thursday.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for 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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3 years ago

Hey Trevor, anyway you could give me some feedback as to who the Quarterbacks were in the majority of these sessions? Or for each one individually?

These training camps battles are always a catch 22. Just would like to know if it was poor QB play and which one was responsible.

Thanks and I really appreciate the articles, as most of us do.

Reply to  eac1029
3 years ago

Yeah particularly on that Jackson vs Smith one on one. Not great coverage by Smith, he was jittery and looked panicked. Jax hit him with a good move and if Smith didn’t have good recovery speed he would have had even further separation down field. Ball was underthrown which made it look like Smith had nice coverage

3 years ago

Good stuff, thanks!

3 years ago

Coach Brunson is impressive, and a reminder of Rod Marinelli in terms of his expectations and zero tolerance for taking plays off. Bucs have invested heavily in veterans and #1 draft pick to bolster the DL. I am hoping that tough love will result in better play, better execution and better outcomes.