The first two days were good foundational work, but Day 3 is where the stars came to shine. During Thursday’s final day of Bucs Mini-Camp, there were red zone scores, athletic interceptions, clutch kicking and, of course, more trash talk.

After a spoiled day inside the Bucs new indoor practice facility — and I don’t say that talking about the players, we were the ones who were spoiled — the Bucs were back out under the Florida sun for their final practice before training camp in July.

As they have each day, the Bucs opened up the practice with the 1-minute drill where the team started from about their own 40 yard line and had to get the ball in the end zone. For quarterback Jameis Winston and the first team, they failed at that mission.

As was the situation on Tuesday, Winston and company drove the ball down into the red zone and knocked on the goal line but couldn’t quite punch it in. This time the drive was doomed by safety Justin Evans, who recorded his second pick of mini-camp week.

However, though the first team couldn’t get it done, the second and third teams were successful in getting six points for their side. The first touchdown was a nice throw from about ten yards out from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to tight end O.J. Howard and the second touchdown was a long, 20 or 30-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Griffin to wide receiver Chris Godwin. Both Howard and Godwin have excelled over the last three days, and their performances in the 1-minute drills were the icing on the cake for their well-performed mini-camp weeks.

We’ve talked a lot already this week about the trashing talking that some of the players have done. There’s been Kwon Alexander and Mike Evans, Kwon Alexander and O.J. Howard, Kwon Alexander and Peyton Barber — I think there’s a pattern here. But, apparently it has gone beyond the players, or at least the vocal part

This isn’t anything new, but linebacker’s coach Mark Duffner was definitely making his voice heard in some of the scrimmage drills with praise towards his linebackers. Players will often tell you they feed off the energy from their coaches. Duffner certainly energizes his group.

The highlight of the day was a sight that people have been waiting to see: Winston hitting Jackson deep down the field. It came in the second scrimmage portion of practice.

When Winston is about to hit Jackson, you can just see his eyes get bigger and his desire to go deep. This isn’t something Winston is ever going to be scared of. He wants this connection to happen more often just as much as anyone else does. You can tell he loves making magic down the field — especially when it results in a touchdown.

We talked on Wednesday about how active cornerback Vernon Hargreaves has been from the nickel position. On Thursday, he continued that and put his mark on a great mini-camp with a couple of very nice pass break ups and some good coverage against all sorts of receivers playing in the middle.

Finally, to cap off what really has been a pretty great week of mini-camp practices, after hitting his first three kicks, the Bucs put all the pressure on their new kicker Chandler Catanzaro to make his final 50-yard kick and potentially end practice a little bit early.

He missed.

But, he did back it up a few yards for redemption (likely from about 52-54 yards) and hit it right over the bar, as seen above.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Love hearing them havin a good time out there.. Definitely sounds like they’re having fun while doing something they love and getting paid for it.. Always a well written piece Trevor keep up the good work.. Love reading about my Bucs everyday.. Die hard Bucs fan here living among these horrible Eagles fan in Philadelphia..

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    • Thanks! Glad to have you reading!

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  2. Thank you Trevor for all the camp news these last 3 days. Who was your MVP for camp? Who was the most improved player?
    Which rookie stood out the most?

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    • Camp MVP: Kwon Alexander

      Most improved player: Vernon Hargreaves

      Best Rookie: M.J. Stewart

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  3. Winston throws 2 picks in the end zone? What’s new?

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    • Winston rarely throws picks in the end zone. In fact, he rarely throws them in the red zone.

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  4. So if Jameis has the same trouble when the real games start let Jameis get them down there, then put in Fitz and let him score the touchdown. Just win. If we had been that practical last year we would have had a great year!

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  5. Some of you guys need to go back to JoeBucsFan which I left because of all the ignorant moronic comments that were encouraged by the namesake of the site.

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