The Bucs took the field at the AdventHealth Training Facility on Wednesday, June 8 for the second day of mandatory mini-camp. Temperatures were close to 90 degrees under sunny skies. Everyone was in attendance, including rookie running back Rachaad White, whose absence on Tuesday was excused.

Several Bucs players on offense were held out of practice due to injury, including receivers Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Scotty Miller. On defense, safeties Antoine Winfield and Keanu Neal were both absent, in addition to cornerbacks Rashard Robinson, Don Gardner in the secondary. Linebackers Lavonte David and Grant Stuard, and outside linebacker Anthony Nelson were also out.

Speedy WRs Step Up

While Mike Evans made a few big plays in the passing game, it was some of the team’s young, small, speedy receivers that really stepped up on Wednesday. Jaelon Darden continues to stand out, but undrafted free agent Deven Thompkins also showed off his speed and electric run-after-catch ability. Thompkins hauled in a bomb from Tom Brady and also was active running some end-arounds.

Bucs WR Deven Thompkins

Bucs WR Deven Thompkins – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On one of those end-arounds linebacker K.J. Britt recognized the play from the start. Playing the “Mo” linebacker position in nickel defense, Britt stayed home and began to pursue wide receiver Kaylon Geiger, who was running laterally behind the line of scrimmage. Britt showed good speed in tracking down Geiger for a minimal gain.

Cornerback Dee Delaney has had a great offseason, but got victimized in the end zone by not having tight enough coverage on rookie receiver Kameron Brown. Unlike the other small, speedy receivers, this rookie has plenty of size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. Brown used that size to out-jump Delaney and high-point the ball for a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone.

Thompkins and Geiger were the main acts of the show. But Brown’s great catch was the best play of the day.

Bucs Secondary Also Made Some Plays

It wasn’t all bad news for Tampa Bay’s secondary. The defensive backs weren’t beaten all day and the unit did make its share of plays. Jamel Dean had an interception on Tom Brady near the end of practice in two-minute drill. Dean stepped in front of Tyler Johnson to create the turnover.

Cornerback Carlton Davis III and rookie safety Nolan Turner had some pass breakups and rookie cornerback Zyon McCollum snatched a ball out of the air. But a called sack negated his pick.

Bucs Ss Keanu Neal and Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Bucs Ss Keanu Neal and Antoine Winfield, Jr. – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Without Winfield and Neal available, Mike Edwards and Logan Ryan got plenty of work at safety on Wednesday. Ryan is such a huge upgrade over Andrew Adams from an experience and ability standpoint.

Reserve defensive back Ross Cockrell could have had an interception on a bobbled pass across the middle, but couldn’t haul it in. Cockrell looks noticeably thinner this offesason. Listed at 6-foot, 191 pounds, Cockrell looks like he’s down in the 180s. Perhaps he’s trying to shed some weight to get faster. Cockrell was replaced in the slot by Edwards last year after a few games when he was subbing in for the injured Sean Murphy-Bunting. The addition of Ryan and Neal and McCollum may squeeze Cockrell out of a roster spot.

Hainsey’s Day At LG

The Bucs have been pretty consistent in starting Aaron Stinnie at left guard throughout the offseason, but Robert Hainsey got the start on Wednesday. It’s safe to say that the job is Stinnie’s to lose right now, but Hainsey and second-round pick Luke Goedeke are also in the mix. Goedeke usually sees second-team reps, but was getting third-string reps behind Hainsey and Goedeke today. Nick Leverett has seen most of his action as the second-team right guard behind Shaq Mason.

Trask And Gabbert Continue To Battle

Trask continued to get extended work and made the most of his reps. He had some nice tight window throws including one to Tyler Johnson. His confidence and command of the offense seems to be growing daily.

It was a bit of a tougher day for Blaine Gabbert who would’ve been sacked multiple times. Keep in mind he is working behind the second unit line, but there were some plays he’d like to have back, especially during the situational period of practice.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Brady went 26-of-34 on the day. His incompletions came on two overthrows, two drops, three missed connections and Dean’s pick. Brady was fiery on the field, at one point yelling to his teammates, “We don’t have all day!” Brady continues to drive the tempo and example at practice with players saying his competitiveness and expectations are unwavering.

Bucs Tight End Battle

The tight ends had a pretty good day as well with Cam Brate and Codey McElroy each finding the end zone and reeling in multiple targets. Brate did have some uncharacteristic drops. However, the catching ability of sixth-round rookie Ko Keift really stood out as made multiple catches on the day, including a diving effort grab from Trask.

Open Competition At Kicker

Jose Borregales handled kicking duties during that portion of practice, with Ryan Succop watching from the sidelines. He went seven for seven and boomed three of his kicks through the uprights and into the parking lot. Bowles said there is an open competition at the position that will play out in training camp.

Bucs D-Line Continues To Keep It Moving

The defense continues to show up making plays with several sacks pass breakups and interceptions. For the second straight day Rakeem Nunez-Roches found his way into the backfield for a would-be sack. Outside linebacker Elijah Ponder notching one too. There’s been a ton of conversations about the other defensive tackles here, but Nacho has made sure that he’s in the group as well.

In the two-minute drills, the second defensive line unit really stepped it up. They caused a lot of issues for Blaine Gabbert, getting to the quarterback on the first snap on the session. It appeared that rookie outside linebacker Andre Anthony created the pressure, taking a lot of time off the clock.

The defense held steady as they didn’t even allow a first down during the drive. On fourth down, the offense was called for a delay of game with four seconds to go, which causes a 10-second run off and finished the practice.

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Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
26 days ago

It is good that the young WRs are stepping up. At some point when the pads come on somebody has to make a play to earn a roster spot.

Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
26 days ago

Deven Thompkins runs a 4.35 and good hands but only 155 pounds. Lets hope he is durable

26 days ago

Darden always excels in shorts and t’s. It’s when the pads come on and live action starts is when he starts losing his “concentration.”

Reply to  drdneast
26 days ago

He does seem to shy away from contact now doesn’t he? I’m not ready to give up on ur boy just yet. Takes 2 years min to see if a player has or will develop into an NFL player. Wish him well, but really don’t think he will make it with some of these youngry and fast WRs in camp. Control ur destiny. Make plays when ur number is called, especially with Brady throwing the rock… drop it and it’s NEXT!

26 days ago

Wonder how JTS has performed so far? We need him to be an 8 sack guy this season, or at least come close. He’s definitely capable of it, let’s hope he can put it together!