The Bucs took the field for their first OTA practice at the AdventHealth Training Center on Tuesday under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. Several veterans were absent from the voluntary workouts, including quarterback Tom Brady. But new head coach Todd Bowles was pleased with the number of starters that did show up to work with their teammates.

“It was impressive,” Bowles said. “We had a lot of guys out there – a lot of starters. We got a lot of work done. The recall was pretty good.”

For a list of players that did not show up for the first OTA practice, click here.

Delaney Victimizes Both Trask And Gabbert

With Brady out, backup Blaine Gabbert was the starting quarterback. He seemed to split the reps about evenly with second-year quarterback Kyle Trask. Both quarterbacks made some good throws. Both were also victimized by cornerback Dee Delaney, who had one interception and forced another.

Delaney jumped a route and tipped a Trask pass up in the air to rookie linebacker Olakunie Fatukasi, who took it back for a pick-six. Later in practice, Delaney jumped up in front of 6-foot-6 tight end Codey McElroy to snare a pick against Gabbert.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Dee Delaney – he had an interception and he created another interception,” Bucs safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. said. “He stood out today, and had a great day. He always stands out every time I watch him play. Dee is a great player.”

Now that he’s the head coach, Bowles wasn’t as happy as he usually is about the interceptions.

“First day, it’s always good to get your hands on balls,” Bowles said. “But now that I’m the head coach and not the D.C., it’s great on one hand, but not on the other. We’ll watch the tape and correct it. Again, it’s the first day. Obviously, with competition spirits are high. We’ll see where we are in the middle of training camp.”

Gabbert threw another interception later in practice. Cornerback Jamel Dean stepped in front of Jaelon Darden and tipped the pass up to safety Mike Edwards, who took it back for a pick-six.

Gabbert And Trask Did Have Some Bright Spots

Those interceptions aside, both quarterbacks did make several good throws during practice. Trask threw a pair of deep outs to the right that were right on the money. The first was to Vyncent Smith with rookie Zyon McCollum in tight coverage. The second laser was to rookie Kaylon Geiger, Sr., who had fellow rookie Kyler McMichael draped all over him.

Trask did miss a couple of deep shots to his left, including one to a wide-open Jerreth Sterns, and another one to Geiger. But he did make amends with a nice deep out to Scotty Miller near the left sidelines.

Trask did end practice on a great note, hitting Darden for a touchdown bomb down the middle of the field against Delaney in coverage.

Bucs QBs Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert

Bucs QBs Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Gabbert was the more accurate quarterback on the day, but was also throwing to the more experienced targets in attendance. Like Brady would have, Gabbert wisely looked for veteran tight end Cameron Brate for most of the practice. Brate easily had the most catches on the day, mostly running short and intermediate routes.

Yet Gabbert did have one misfire to Brate where he threw it over his head, which prompted some teasing from the defensive players, who called the 32-year old quarterback out.

Gabbert was on the safer side with his throws. He went underneath most of the time. Trask was a little more assertive in looking to move the ball further down the field. Each quarterback had their moments.

New Bucs Starters – As Expected

It should come as no surprise that Aaron Stinnie got the first reps at left guard ahead of rookie Luke Goedeke. Stinnie is a veteran who helped the Bucs win Super Bowl LV, and Goedeke was the team’s second-round pick in his first practice with NFL veterans.

Bowles said that the battle at left guard has only just begun.

“It’s Day 1 – it’s open competition,” Bowles said. “It’s an opportunity for [the rookies] to learn the playbook and execute it. So going into training camp they have a fair shot once the battles commence.”

Goedeke got into a quick, minor pushing and shoving incident with veteran nose tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches, but it didn’t escalate.

Logan Hall, the first of two second-round picks, was the starting 3-technique defensive tackle next to nose tackle Vita Vea, as expected.

“He’s good,” Vea said of Hall. “This is our first day in. He showed some really good hustle. Especially in the film room, watching some of his film. He’s good, good young athletic guy. So expecting a lot from him this year.

“He is very explosive. He’s big, but an athletic type of player. You always love that in a D-lineman.”

Vea And Gholston Show Up

Bucs NT Vita Vea

Bucs NT Vita Vea – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Speaking of Vea, he looked overweight during Tuesday’s OTA practice. Vea was wearing a longsleeve sweatshirt under his jersey in an effort to help him shed some pounds. A Bucs source tells Pewter Report that Vea actually looks lighter than he did a year ago at this time.

Meanwhile, Will Gholston, who is entering his 10th season in Tampa Bay, looks like he’s in incredible shape. He stood next to Hall and both are definitely 6-foot-6. However, Gholston looks like he’s over 300 pounds, but has a lean, chiseled look about him. Gholston looks like how the Bucs will want Hall to look in a year or two.

First Look At Other New Bucs

Tuesday was also the first look at a few other new Bucs, including new defensive tackle Deadrin Senat. At 6-foot, he’s the shortest defensive lineman by far. Yet at over 300 pounds he looks like a muscle-bound fire hydrant. To see him go against 6-foot-1 right guard Shaq Mason was quite a sight to see with both undersized linemen squaring off against each other.

Bucs TE Ko Kieft and SS Keanu Neal

Bucs TE Ko Kieft and SS Keanu Neal – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

New strong safety Keanu Neal looks like a linebacker. He’s clearly the biggest safety on the roster at 6-foot, 211 pounds. The muscular Neal actually looks bigger than that.

Rookie running back Rachaad White had to wait for his turn behind Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who started, and Giovani Bernard, but had a really impressive run near the end of practice. On a stretch zone play, White waited for the edge to be sealed and then turned on the jets and turned the corner down the right sideline for a nice gain.

Center Ryan Jensen got out in space on that play and had a great downfield block. Jensen literally ran through linebacker J.J. Russell and sent the rookie flying.

One rookie undrafted free agent that popped up was outside linebacker Jordan Young out of Old Dominion. He beat a tight end on a passing play and got right into the backfield that would’ve typically ended a play. We know who the three outside linebackers will be on the depth chart, but there’s open competition for the fourth spot and one of these players has a chance to better their chacnes.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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1 month ago

I like that Trask is pushing it downfield, showing he can handle those big throws.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago

Dee Delaney and Fatukasi are going to be ballers. They are always around the ball because of their hustle. I hope both make the team.

1 month ago

Love the coverage. Keep up the great work. Also, let us know if our new FA WR ever shows up.

1 month ago

Best that can be said about all the injuries in the secondary is that we’ve uncovered the gem that is Dee Delaney. I hope he keeps pushing himself up the depth chart.

1 month ago

Let’s not declare anyone a star or a bust just yet. Like Spitfire noted, and as I observed in his very brief appearances last year, Kyle Trask tends to look downfield rather than the easy dump-off. Could it be that his “noodle-arm” isn’t so weak after all?

Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

Noodle or not he has to be accurate. He may end up being fine but right now we have no #2 QB and two #3’s.