With no media event on Friday night, it was just good ol’ fashion training camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
The Bucs were without their starting middle linebacker Lavonte David for Friday night’s session, but David sitting out was just a scheduled rest day. Safety Justin Evans remained on the sidelines, as well, as did rookie wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, who we were told by head coach Bruce Arians has a hamstring injury and there is no timetable for his return.
#Bucs have had the heat on full blast in the indoor practice facility all evening to get practice to 85 degrees to simulate game day temperatures in September.
As an added wrinkle, the Bucs also turned on the heaters inside the indoor practice facility to a controlled 85 degrees. The point of this was to try to simulate the heavy, hot air of a September game in Raymond James Stadium.
This was one of the many ways Arians is making sure this team will be ready for anything come time for the regular season.
Defensive Speed Steps Up
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#Bucs DC Todd Bowles continues to get creative with his defense. Here he has 335-pound Vita Vea at left defensive end.
When it came to Buccaneers who were practicing on Friday night, defensive tackle — or should I say just defensive lineman — Vita Vea continued his productive training camp.
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been getting more and more creative with all of his defensive pieces, and Vea is no exception. We’ve seen Vea at nose tackle, 3-technique and now even 5-technique at a defensive end position.
There are no limits to what Bowles might do to throw the opposing offense out of their comfort zone.
#Bucs DE Noah Spence (left DE) is playing FAST this training camp. His best camp in pads, I’d say.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: defensive end Noah Spence is having a great training camp.
But it’s true! The clip above shows an example of just how explosive Spence is as a speed rusher off the edge. After practice Arians said that he’s very impressed with what Spence can do as a pass rusher, but that Spence needs to get much better in run support.
We’ll see how Spence can translate this camp production to game production next week.
The former Wisconsin back has been really productive with his touches a week into camp. After practice Arians said that they like what they’ve seen from Ogunbowale. In fact, I mentioned that he had “a few good days” and Arians corrected me to say that every day has been good. Arians also said that Ogunbowale has a chance to be the “nickel back” for this team, meaning the third down back.
#Bucs K Cairo Santos went 7-for-8 in the field goal period. Better day than Gay had yesterday, but Santos clearly has the less powerful leg.
It wouldn’t be a Buccaneers training camp update without a kicking battle to report on.
It was Cairo Santos’ day to kick, and he preformed well. He missed from 59 yards, but hit everything else, including two from beyond 50. The downside, though, is that despite being more accurate than fellow kicker Matt Gay, Santos clearly has the inferior leg power.
Winston was hot and cold at practice on Friday, but when he was hot, he was practically unstoppable.
During the red zone period, Winston had more touchdowns that he did incompletions. After practice Arians said he might have called this Winston’s best practice yet just because of how good he was in the red zone.
That offense was lethal in the money area.
In the final scrimmage drill, Winston marched his team all the way into field goal range.
But an interception by rookie S Mike Edwards stopped the offense cold on 4th and 5 (had to score situation). pic.twitter.com/8oF6gr3Cqg
But Winston wasn’t able to carry that momentum all the way through the final whistle.
In the 2-minute drill, Winston did a decent job of leading the Bucs down the field into field goal range, but in this drill they needed a touchdown. The play above was the final play of the drive on fourth down where Winston threw an interception to rookie safety Mike Edwards. On the pass right before it he almost threw and interception to Vernon Hargreaves.
Overall more good than bad for Winston. Plus, a red zone day that good has to be the main takeaway.
We’ll be back tomorrow for Saturday Night Lights!
White Watch – Getting Experience Against The Number One’s.
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.
Lavonte David was given a rest day on Friday, so White was the head man in charge. He wasn’t completely alone, though, with the Bucs moving Deone Bucannon to “moneybacker” for most of practice.
White has continued to really pounce on the ball in the run game, blowing up plays from the start before they can even develop. It started from the very first play of practice, when White read the run to the motioning Scotty Miller. Over the last two practices he has reacted rapidly and letting his speed to the rest. It’s obviously early, but it’s a strong start in this area of the game for the LSU rookie.
After an 11-on-11 session where we saw White hold his own covering running backs, White got some big time experience red in zone drills. He started working against the first team offense, which meant he was matched up with tight end O.J. Howard. So far in camp these two haven’t been with each other in drills, so it was great to finally see them opposite each other.
This had to be White’s toughest test so far in terms of coverage during training camp, and while he stuck to them well, the powerful and quick Howard got the better of him, scoring this touchdown during the drill.
White may have been on the short end of that exchange, but it’s definitely a learning experience for him. With the talent that both of those players possess, it will make for some great battles during the rest of training camp. That can only help White’s progress. Howard is considered one of the top tight ends in the league, so there’s a ton of value that White can get from playing against him every day. He met Howard again later on in practice while playing in a zone, and was quick to track him down.
The normally blitz happy White was not utilized as much in that role on Friday. His responsibilities were more about making calls and staying in coverage with running backs, mainly Andre Ellington and Bruce Anderson.
In the latter half of practice, there was another 11-on-11 drill, along with a 2-minute drill, where White stuck to his assignment and not many passes were thrown his way. It was a solid day of learning for him, but not much time in the spotlight. He still has some work to do with sticking to his man in pass coverage, but he’s progressing well as a leader of the defense.
Bruce Arians was brief on his comments about the star studded matchup between White and Howard, but his sentiment got the point across.
“It makes me smile,” Arians said about the two of them battling. “They’re going to be here for a while.”
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@example.com
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