Thursday’s Bucs camp practice was labeled a “mock game” due to the team running in-game scenarios for the entire practice instead of sprinkling in some position drills.

There were some end-game situations that the team went through, like defense to the side lines during last-second plays and odd punt coverage calls just to make sure they were ready for anything, but there were plenty of crucial, more normal situations that the defense ran through against the first and second team offenses

For the most part, defense had the better day.

When Bucs fans say Vernon Hargreaves’ name they often say it with some frustration in their voice due to how he’s struggled over the last two years trying to play outside corner in an off-coverage scheme.

However, starting this offseason, as early as the OTA practices, Hargreaves has been seen in more of a press coverage role, and he seems to be thriving in it. On Wednesday, he didn’t allow a single catch in practice, and on Thursday he was seen locking down wide receiver Mike Evans out of press technique.

Let’s hope defensive coordinator Mike Smith allows this trend of close, press coverage to continue.

The mock game — or mock scenarios — wasn’t too kind to the offense on Thursday, as there were more interceptions than there were touchdowns.

The first interception of the day came from safety Chris Conte. It was a slow-pace play, but that was the start of a bad trend for the offense. On the other hand, it fueled the confidence of the defense.

Even the Tandy Man, Keith Tandy, got in on the action with a takeaway in the red zone drill, which was one of a handful of takeaways and stops the defense made from inside the 20-yard line.

It wasn’t just the first team players making their mark. There were plenty of second and third string defensive backs who were showing off in the indoor facility, too.

Defense dominated the spacing during the red zone portion of practice. You like to see that, but on the other hand you remember that it’s your own team failing to find space on the offensive side, too.

The defensive backs were confident and suffocating on Thursday, and with that being the first practice with only in-game scenarios, it’s safe to say they’re one-up on the offense in camp when it comes to being Week 1 ready.

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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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surferdudes
3 years ago

Winston still throwing head scratches picks. Does he think Tandy was a wide open receiver?

Wausa
Wausa
3 years ago

Terrible decision by FItz on the Conte interception

MWD
MWD
3 years ago

Am I the only one who sees that on that last clip, Fitz telegraphs where he is going the whole time? No look off or anything. That’s an easy pick waiting to happen.

MWD
MWD
3 years ago

Even on the Conte pick, if you slow it down like some of us HS coaches do while watching film on HUDL, Conte just reads the eyes/head of Fitz and because he does absolutely nothing to freeze anyone, he jumps the route and ends up with a pick.

Ken Grant
Ken Grant
Reply to  MWD
3 years ago

That’s also how Conte gets himself in trouble in real games. Gets manipulated too easily by the QB.

MWD
MWD
Reply to  Ken Grant
3 years ago

Ken, don’t even get started on Conte……

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

All of you armchair Joe Gibb’s need to read Koetter’s Q and A to understand why all those picks were occurring.

MWD
MWD
Reply to  drdneast
3 years ago

drdneast……Koetter’s Q and A, I guess we should take those to the bank right? I mean after all, he’s an expert as the craft. Now, Joe Gibbs you mentioned, I’d listen to.

SappAttack
SappAttack
3 years ago

Winston being Winston… and don’t say “it’s a training camp practice”. You play how you practice.

Dude is a fucking bonehead. Super pissed about it, he’s going to set this franchise back another 5 years now.

scubog
scubog
3 years ago

One of things you folks looking to analyze and criticize what they hear or think they see at Training Camp, you have to remember, it’s not a game…………it’s practice. They are doing things that are designed to achieve certain goals of which we are often unaware. In the case here where the naysayers want to criticize the QB’s (especially Jameis) for those ineffective red zone plays, you at least should have understood what was the intent of the drill. You also need to realize the defense knows it is a last attempt pass play. That’s the point. No, I didn’t… Read more »