DT Chris Baker – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Buccaneers had their second OTA that was available for the media to view on Thursday. Below is a rundown of what took place inside the Bucs training facility.
The new crop of rookies from cooler climates up north have no idea what is in store for them. The Bucs OTA practice on Thursday was warm, but nothing like it will be in two months. Under partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the low 80’s and a cooling west breeze, so far the rookies haven’t experienced the heat that Tampa can deal you in late July and August.
On Thursday, the heat was on for one Bucs player in particular: kicker Roberto Aguayo, who had a dreadful day on Tuesday as he battles Nick Folk for the starting job. Aguayo rebounded nicely on Thursday, nailing 4-of-5 field goal attempts. However, his competition was once again perfect, hitting all five of his attempts from approximately 45 yards.
Defensive end George Johnson went down with an apparent right leg or hip injury and spent a few minutes on his back with a trainer working on his lower body. Johnson was eventually able to be helped up and limped off the field and did return to action. Johnson missed the entire 2016 season with a hip injury but head coach Dirk Koetter didn’t have any information on the type or severity of the injury. Bucs coaches have mentioned Johnson’s name a few times this offseason as a player to keep an eye on. For the team’s and Johnson’s sake, it appears the injury was just a minor tweak.
A number of Bucs players were held out of the late-morning workout, and a handful didn’t appear to be at practice on Thursday, including DeSean Jackson, who wasn’t spotted all day. Players of note not participating were wide receiver Mike Evans, defensive ends Jacquies Smith, Deondre Barnett, Ryan Russell, Noah Spence and Robert Ayers. Linebacker Kendall Beckwith was again observing practice along with running back Jeremy McNichols who are both recovering from injury. Defensive tackle Chris Baker saw action after not being here on Tuesday.
Javien Elliott and Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Buccaneers had a number of players fielding punts on Thursday, including a surprise in linebacker Lavonte David. David caught all three of his attempts, however don’t expect to see No. 54 lining up as a kick returner anytime soon. Players who do have a legitimate chance to see time at that position – Bobo Wilson, Vernon Hargreaves, Adam Humphries, Cody Riggs and Bernard Reedy – were all seen taking reps from the JUGS machine.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been an on-the-field leader, and that continued again on Thursday. From the opening air horn to the final one that ended practice, McCoy was always first in every rep and hustled from drill to drill. McCoy also doesn’t wave off reps, and will hold the blocking pads for the younger guys. We’ve seen it for years, but if any fans who think McCoy doesn’t put in the work just haven’t had the opportunity to witness it firsthand.
Hargreaves was caught on tape getting burned by Jackson in a rep on Wednesday and took abuse from some on social media. However, the former Gators standout also has two interceptions the last two days. Defensive backs are going to get burned. Even the best give up touchdown passes to receivers much less-talented than Jackson, so Hargreaves has nothing to be ashamed about. Look for Hargreaves to be one the most improved Bucs in 2017.
Defensive players working with the first team on Thursday: Will Gholston, Gerald McCoy, Chris Baker, George Johnson, Devante Bond, Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David, Javien Elliott, Ryan Smith, Vernon Hargreaves, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Folk has kids to feed.
I read “Aguayo rebounds” and I was half expecting to see him catch a ball that doinked off the goalpost.
Lol on the rebound remark. Folk is going to be our kicker. I think if it’s close at all they take the vet over the inconsistent Aguayo. Could be wrong but we will see.
Roberto Aguayo might be the worst draft pick in NFL history, please get rid of this guy. The worst kicker in the league last year, worst kicker in camp this year and with suspect leg strength lol. The only reason this is a competition is because he was foolishly drafted in the 2nd round. The only way we have a legit kicker battle is if we replace Aguayo and give Folk some real competition.
Aguayo is not even the Bucs’ worse draft pick. Picking Bo Jackson when he said he would not sign is the worse. That was a #1 overall pick.
But Aguayo was a stupid pick even if he turns out to be decent. Folk shows how easy it is to pick up a FA kicker.
We traded up into the 2nd round to get a downgrade at kicker. Bo at least had talent so we took a very dumb risk but at least it would’ve made the team better. the return never outweighed the risk and on a rebuilding team it was stupid then and even worse now.
Thinking outside the box… what if we sent Mr. Aguayo to the practice squad to let em get his spit together while Folk keeps us in games this season. I didn’t like that we picked him in the 2nd round, but it’s even worse if we gain nothing from that pick!
How did Aguayo rebound? At this point it seems all but certain that Folk will be our kicker this year. If we cut Aguayo do we get a compensatory pick? Or are we better off leaving him on the practice squad and hoping for a miraculous turn around?
No, no comp pick. Guys teams cut aren’t accounted for in the compensatory pick formula.
If we were a team building for the future still we wouldn’t have brought in fitzpatrick. This team is ready to win now. Berto’s misses yesterday, and even just his one miss today could’ve resulted in two losses. Folk was perfect, not much else to say.
Food for thought on the Aguayo situation
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