Maybe it’s the fruits of an offseason spent rebuilding what was clearly a crumbled defensive line in 2017. Maybe it’s just the fact that we haven’t seen good defensive line play in Tampa Bay in a long time. Whatever it was, the perception on Saturday was that the Bucs’ defensive line was dominating.

In a very pleasant surprise, Bucs defensive end Will Gholston had a great practice on Saturday.

The Bucs had Gholston playing inside as a defensive tackle for some of the first preseason game in Miami due to the lack of depth with Vita Vea and Mitch Unrein both out. That seemed to play well into his strength as a power rusher, and that performance seemed to give him confidence into Saturday’s practice.

Although Gholston was doing all this against second and third string offensive linemen, you can’t hold his competition against him; you still have to note that he’s performing better than they are.

It’s been an encouraging week for Gholston.

Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson has been easing his way back into the line up and back into football shape after his surgery this offseason, but defensive tackle Gerald McCoy certainly didn’t ease up on him in the rep above.

McCoy got the first sack of 2018 for the Buccaneers in the limited snaps he played as a starter against Miami. With an upgraded cast around him, we could see a renaissance year from the franchise defensive tackle.

The highlight of the defensive line work came from Jason Pierre-Paul, who was purposefully used as the one-on-one defensive end with some of the back up players.

You never know when your number is going to be called due to injuries in front of you on the depth chart. Knowing how thin they are at offensive tackle with Leonard Wester out and Caleb Benenoch now at guard, players like Brad Seaton, shown above, need to get those high competition reps.

As you can see, it’s still a work in progress — JPP isn’t, though.

The Bucs have a day off on Sunday before getting back at it for two practices in Tampa Bay and then the trip to Nashville and the joint practices with the Tennessee Titans.

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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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Ja'crispy
Ja'crispy
3 years ago

JPP just throwing dudes around. Love it.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Lot jackasses posted here before preseason that JPP was a stupid move. Several Said he’s not worth 3rd rd pick and “Giants are laughing their asses off” were exact words by a jackass that shall remain nameless. Those idiots just going to keep looking like the idiots they are as season begins and he shows he’s still an elite talent. I can’t believe they let him go for a third rd pick.

owlykat
owlykat
3 years ago

JPP was great against the run too but Miami drove right down the field on our first string defense and ran at ease with a lot more yardage than we did. Vinny was supposed to be a good run stopper but he was a second stringer with Philly and I suspect it was their first stringers who were the real run stoppers. I hope Vea comes back and takes over on the first string line and stops the run inside. We may need Gholston to take over Vinny’s spot and Stevie T to make the backup position behind Vea. If… Read more »

makski
makski
Reply to  owlykat
3 years ago

Vinny was the 1st and 2nd down player for Philly, they brought in pass rushers to get to the passer on 3rd downs and took Vinny out. He is the run stopper, not the pass rusher. It is just one pre-season game, everybody need to just chill out. Now if we are talking again about Smith playing the CB’s off the line, that is a problem. I thought he learned his lesson last year and from all accounts I got from training camp, they are playing way more press and man during practice than ever! So, why would you go… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  makski
3 years ago

I was asking myself the same thing. Could this be a little misdirection leading up to the season where he will play press/man a lot more as he has in practice? I hope so

Dude
Dude
3 years ago

I was disappointed myself to see the corners playing a soft 10 yards off the receivers once again. I’m hoping that this is nothing more than Smith trying to make it look like they’re not changing anything with the corner play here in the preseason, then when the season kicks off they move the corners up and play some bump and run. If Smith continues to have our corners playing soft again this year we are going to be in for another long season. It’s only preseason game 1, so I’m not going to put much stock into what I… Read more »