First and foremost, the noticeable absence at practice on Wednesday was defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team’s first round draft pick in 2018 who suffered a knee injury on Tuesday and had an MRI later that night. Following practice Bruce Arians stated that the original prognosis was good but that there was fluid in the knee and that Vea would be go through another MRI on Friday before there was a timetable or any more information available. Tampa Bay has signed defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, the Bucs’ seventh-round pick in 2017, in Vea’s absence.

Wednesday was the Bucs’ final day of practice before they head to Pittsburgh for the team’s first preseason game against the Steelers on Friday. It was held in the indoor facility, away from the rain that poured outside, and while they were in shells and moving in full speed, it almost seemed like a glorified walkthrough. Practice was cut short to roughly an hour and a half and consisted of just a short period of 11-on-11 drills and 7-on-7 drills.

There were a number of players held out of practice, both with injuries or days off, but Arians clarified post-practice by listing the players that officially won’t be traveling with the team to Pittsburgh.

Linebackers Making Plays In Coverage

With Lavonte David being ruled out following a minor procedure on his knee to repair a “little meniscus tear,” Deone Bucannon has been tasked with sliding into the first-string interior linebacker spot across from Devin White. The two appeared to be getting along well together so far as both of them made impressive plays in coverage today.

In the 11-on-11 period Jameis Winston dropped back and fired a pass intended for Mike Evans, but it was broken up by Bucannon.

Bucannon would add another pass breakup later in the period on another pass out of the hand of Winston. The Bucs and their fans are surely hoping that David will be ready to go by the time week one rolls around, but it’s a promising sign if Bucannon is able to make an impact in his place for the preseason, especially if the injury lingers into September and the regular season.

A few minutes later in the red zone it was White’s turn to get in on the action, breaking up a pass from Winston that was thrown over the middle of the field. White’s impact in run support and as a blitzer has been well-documented to this point in camp but being a player that Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would like to keep on the field for all three downs, it’s crucial for his coverage skills to be sharpened and improved continuously.

Matt Gay Shows Off Leg Strength

The kicking battle between fifth-round draft pick Matt Gay and five-year veteran Cairo Santos has been one of the more exciting kicking battles over recent years in Tampa. While Santos has been nearly perfect of late, Gay clearly has the edge in leg strength.

Earlier in camp Santos had a great day where he drilled kicks from 58 and 61 yards before being lined up for a 65-yard kick that he couldn’t convert on, while I should note that Santos’ attempt came outdoors. Well today Gay got a chance to try for himself.

Despite taking just a few kicks in his designated kicking period, hitting them all, he was lined up for a 65-yard attempt and split the uprights with a few yards to spare.

All things considered this battle is far from over, and while Santos was listed as the first-string kicker in the Bucs’ initial depth chart, there is still plenty of time for that to change before Tampa Bay kicks off on opening day.

Winston And Brate Remain In Sync

Since Winston joined the Bucs in 2015 he’s had a noticeable connection with tight end Cam Brate. The duo has flashed impressive chemistry throughout the entirety of their careers, especially in the red zone.

Since 2016, Brate’s 19 red zone touchdowns ranks him first among all tight ends over that time span. Even despite suffering a torn labrum in his hip that hampered him for the whole 2018 season he still overcame his lowest receiving yards and receptions total since 2015 to haul in six touchdowns.

O.J. Howard should still be the number one receiving option from the tight end position in Tampa Bay, but Brate and Winston will always be a dangerous duo. Now healthy, they showed that on Wednesday as Brate came up with a number of big catches in practice.

White Watch – Coverage Coming Along

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.

Tonight’s practice was not a long one, so there were only a handful of scrimmage periods for White to really show his stuff.

In the opening run fit drills, White was once again very good. This is an area of his game that we can transition from “pleasantly surprised” to now “expected.” We still need to see these run stopping instincts show up in game, but I don’t expect there to be much of a drop off at all.

White’s biggest contribution on the day came in pass coverage. Throughout the 11-on-11 drills, White was asked to drop into man coverage on many occasions. For the most part, he was able to play the tight ends he went up against well. But when it came to covering O.J. Howard, that was White’s only bad rep of the night.

White is getting more and more comfortable in coverage, and that’s a good thing because they didn’t draft this guy No. 5 overall to just stop the run. They need him to be able to go up against the top tight ends in the NFL and not be any kind of liability in nickel formation with just two linebackers on the field. White dropped back into zone coverage only twice in the main 11-on-11 drill near the red zone, and in that rep he had a great pass break up over the middle.

White has been stopping the run well all camp, and his confidence there is just where it should be going into the first game. Now we’re seeing that confidence bleed over into pass coverage, too.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. No Kwon No McCoy No JPP No Vita I knew this show would come unraveled before season I just never thought it would be this bad after only 1 week of camp.
    Never mind all the Int’s from the pupil of a “QB whispering” even with no hit policy in effect.
    Hopping for a new GM next year to save this team.

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    • 2018-2019 Buc-Ass-Bob: Vea is awful and fat!

      August 2019 Bob: No Vea, we’re screwed!

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      Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
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    • No Kwon, no McCoy, no problem. They were overrated anyway.

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    • BAB..If we don’t finish at least 8-8 this yr? I don’t think this team is salvageable. Licht should have gone 2 yrs ago.

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    • keep “hopping” jackass

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  2. Sorry Buc Ass, I see a lot to be positive about. Cappa has nailed down the right guard position, ROJO has looked very good. Perriman looks like what a 1st round pick at the receiver position should look like. The corners have stepped up and so have the Safeties. Will we be a playoff team? Probably not. But maybe 8-8 or 7-9. I would be thrilled for a first BA year. As long as Winston stays out of trouble and our receivers stay healthy, I think we are going to be much improved. As long as we get David, Vea back.

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  3. BAB, I have some friends that would be happy to treat your endless sadness. Do you ever see a silver lining in anything?

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    • Where you been there sir?? Hard to see a silver lining or not have endless sadness for a team..our team which has been in the top 5 cellar dwellers for yrs.

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  4. Like a methadone clinic?..

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  5. 6’1.5″ 375LBS HOWEVER LET’S SAY 6’3 355 LBS FOR PROGRAM
    1.HUGE
    2.FAST
    3.RELIABLE
    PICK TWO
    SPORTS TRAINING 101
    HEY JASON LICHT DID YOU
    EVER NOTICED THE TOP DL IN LAST FEW YEARS 6’5″-6’7 AND SLENDER 275 – 310
    JPP – MYLES GARRETT, CHUBB TYPE BODY.S —-HUM?

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  6. BAB is beyond help. Total loser mentality. Likes to bitch and cry like a little girl.

    All he’s done is criticize Vea and JPP since day one. Now he’s crying because they are injured lol. Make up your mind you dumbass.

    McCoy was replaced with Suh. Suh is better period. McCoy was soft.

    White is and will be better than Kwon. Kwon constantly missed tackles and was out of position a lot. So many games you never heard his name mentioned.

    Winston will be fine if this defense and run game is average at least which I believe it will. I think the defense will be better than most expect. Winston could cut int’s in half, make pro bowl, win 10 games, make playoffs, and you would still be crying and complaining. Yeah but he still threw some int’s. Yeah but he will regress next year. Your a moron Boob.

    So you go on and cry like a little bitch like you always do but there is much to be excited about this year and this is best team and coaching staff we have had since the good old days.

    Go Bucs!

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    • @fredster you’re 100% right buddy. The funny thing is that dumb ass bob is comparing defensive ends weight and height to a defensive tackle. It just shows how lost he really is. Just to clue you in BAB, the average DT in the NFL is 6’3” 310lb’s. Will you ever learn to be right? I’m doubting it. What else can a prove you wrong at today?

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  7. Tanner Hudson is quietly putting together a nice camp. Wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks because that type of play is nice from the TE position to have for depth.

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  8. Yes Chef. and it was caused by collision not from making a cut and being overweight. Vea is in great shape and lighter this year too. That Injury has 0 to do with his weight. Just like Lavonte David’s knee has nothing to do with his weight.

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    • There was no contact below waist on that play his leg went out under strain….
      This main was dominate in college against small pac 10 lineman when he lines up in pros against bigger stronger man It’s a whole different game

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  9. Any details on injuries to Jack Cichey and Jamel Dean?

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  10. Please ignore the Troll. He touches himself when he gets 5+ responses. Trolls are gonna be sent under their dirty bridge this year. Injuries happen all the time, we have better players this year than last year minus JPP and we still don’t know how he would do in the 3-4. So new GM, New Coach, whatever, I just wanna see better play and these guys flyin around and hopefully having fun this year and every year moving forward.

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