The list of players not participating at Bucs camp continues to be a bit lengthy. There wasn’t much of an update for most of these players, although after practice Arians did say that pass rusher Shaq Barrett is “day-to-day” with an ankle injury and that he hopes defensive tackle Vita Vea will be ready for Week 1. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and offensive tackle Demar Dotson were also missing from practice, as they both had a veteran’s day off.
In a quick special teams note, the Bucs’ kick returners were running back Ronald Jones, wide receiver Bobo Wilson and running back Andre Ellington. Ultimately it’s likely that Ellington handles the return duties there, but on another note, running back Dare Ogunbowale was the main blocker in every rep, which can lend itself to a special teams role and something that helps Ogunbowale make the 53-man roster without just being the kick returner.
Monday’s practice was shorter than normal. Arians said after practice that with the Dolphins joint practice scheduled for the early morning that they didn’t want to overwork the players. That’s also why the team was only in shells and shorts instead of full pads.
Because of the limited time, there was limited work in scrimmage drills. There wasn’t much 7-on-7 or 11-on-11, but there was some. In it, the stars of the show were quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans. Those two connected on two fade routes for touchdowns on passes that were nearly impossible to defend.
In the first red zone drill of practice, Jameis Winston found Mike Evans for a long touchdown pass.
Winston did throw an interception to safety Kentrell Brice later in the drill, but that seemed like it was a miscommunication more than a bad throw. Arians later confirmed that tight end O.J. Howard was supposed to run a different route, and if he did that would’ve been another touchdown on the day for Winston.
Practice is scheduled to start a bit earlier on Tuesday when the Dolphins make their way up to Tampa and the 10:00 a.m. EST start time will be a nice change of pace for the Buccaneers.
As for the potential fights that happen during training camp joint practices, don’t expect to see many, if any at all. Arians said that “if you’re fighting, you’re out of here,” saying that these practices are great tools for learning your craft against different competition, and he won’t waste them.
White Watch – Showing The Track Down Speed
Bucs rookie middle linebacker Devin White is entering his first NFL training camp in Tampa Bay this season. With some high expectations for the fifth overall pick in the draft, White has already been installed as the play-caller of a brand new defense. PewterReport.com will chronicle each of White’s practices during training camp in the White Watch.
With the Miami Dolphins coming to Tampa for joint practices with the Bucs on Tuesday and Wednesday, in preparation for their week two preseason matchup on Friday, Monday’s practice was another light day, as practice ran for just an hour. The players weren’t in full pads and numerous veterans had a scheduled day off.
Much of the early portion of practice was centered around special teams and positional drills and even when the practice shifted to the team portion, the starters got their reps few and far between and the periods didn’t last very long.
Even with the abbreviated day, Devin White was still able to make some plays, even if it’s reinforcing what’s expected of his role in the defense. White spends much of his time lined up over the A-gap as well as his base linebacker position, whether he ends up blitzing or bluffing and dropping back into coverage. This sometimes leaves him catching up to make up ground, but that’s where his speed, instincts and agility plays a huge factor.
A major staple in Todd Bowles’ scheme, that can be seen thus far, is that he will often put multiple defenders at the line and mix up where the pressure will come from to confuse the quarterback and offensive lines that are trying to counter with protections. White can be seen creeping up to the line or even bluffing base positioning before making a late rotation to rush off of the edge.
White had a couple nice plays in coverage, but one was also a busted play intended for O.J. Howard. In one scenario, he lined up across from Cam Brate and stuck to him like glue, eliminating any chance of a smart pass being sent his way. On the other, White locked up Howard as he attacked the seam in the team’s red zone period, but what looked like a miscommunication led to Jameis Winston firing a ball into the corner of the end zone, toward no discernible receiver, where it was eventually intercepted by Kentrell Brice.
The two upcoming joint practices will be a great proving ground for White, as he’s able to get a little more experience against guys who don’t line up in red and pewter. At this point in his career, every rep helps. There will also be two live periods, a goal line and a two-point drill, at the end of each joint practice where White will be tested.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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