Just one day before the anticipated night practice at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers took to the fields at One Buc Place for an afternoon of practice. Field conditions were very warm on Thursday, with temperatures hovering in the lower 90s and just a few clouds in the sky.
The Buccaneers kicked off practice with individual drills and quickly moved into a period of special teams work. Special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea conducted the installation of punt returns, which featured Eric Page, Solomon Patton, Robert Herron and Skye Dawson. Robert Herron, who has struggled with drops as a receiver, bobbled and dropped the ball on one of his attempts. When the team moved into kick returns, Eric Page, Chris Owusu and Charles Sims were back to field the kicks.
Following the special teams period, an 11-on-11 walkthrough session took place. The first-team offense featured Oneil Cousins at left guard and Jamon Meredith at right guard. Holding down the tight end duties was veteran Brandon Myers. The second-team receiving group was made up of Chris Owusu, Louis Murphy and Lavelle Hawkins.
When walkthroughs wrapped up, the receivers and defensive backs joined forces for a one-on-ones on the south end of the west field.
Wide receiver Russell Shepard, who received some second-team reps on Thursday, got cornerback Anthony Gaitor to bite hard on a double move and drew a pass interference call from the referee.
Later on, receiver Tommy Streeter got great separation on safety Major Wright on a flag route and caught the pass for a touchdown. Streeter has been playing quite well over the course of the last few days.
Robert Herron’s problem with drops continued when he dropped a well-thrown deep ball that would have gone for a touchdown score. The Wyoming product is open consistently and has great speed, but he needs to catch the ball better before he can be relied upon.
Veteran wide receiver Louis Murphy made a tremendous diving catch on a fly route for a touchdown against safety Kelcie McCray. The 6-foot-2 pass-catcher used every inch of his height to reach out and catch the ball for the score.
Following the period of one-ones between the receivers and defensive backs, the running backs, tight ends and linebackers joined up for a one-on-one blitzing/pass-protection drill.
After getting beat on a few reps earlier in the drill, the coaches test rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and challenged him to do three reps in a row. The Washington product won all three reps, pancaking safety Michael Swaim on back-to-back plays. Seferian-Jenkins has all of the tools needed to be a dominant inline tight end and the coaches got to see the flashes of excellence on Thursday.
Another rookie, running back Charles Sims, disappointed during the blitz pickup drill. He was beat badly by second-team linebacker Dane Fletcher, who used a spin move to get to the dummy quarterback. Later on, Sims was beat by Danny Lansanah, who used an effective rip move. Pass-protection will be an important task for Sims, who is expected to be a role player on third downs for the Buccaneers.
Diminutive running back Jeff Demps was dominated throughout blitz pickup drills. The track star stands just 5-foot-8, 191 pounds and didn’t stand a chance again bigger players like Nate Askew or Ka’Lial Glaud.
Following that, the offensive and defensive lineman took part in one-on-ones on the east practice field, while the rest of the team ran through 7-on-7s.
So far this camp the defensive line has been getting the best of the offensive linemen in the one-on-one drills that normally take place about midway through practice, but on Thursday the offense showed some signs of catching up, and by PewterReport.com’s unofficial count, the offense won most often as the two units battled each other for nearly 25 minutes in the extreme heat.
Rookie Kevin Pamphile showed the most improvement over the previous week’s drills taking out training camp standout Scott Solomon on two different occasions. The rookie is still raw, but was able to get a wide base and lock his hands on the undersized defensive lineman. Jace Daniels continued his solid camp stopping Adrian Clayborn, Mathew Masifilo and Akeem Spence from getting close to the simulated quarterback. Guard Patrick Omameh put together a good day on Thursday getting the best of Euclid Cummings and Masifilo.
On of of the first one-on-ones Demar Dotson got the best of Clayborn causing the former Hawkeye to throw his helmet down in frustration after the rep. Clayborn made amends later is the drill getting by Daniels after a bull rush then using a quick inside move to win his next rep. Other offensive linemen who looked good in the drill were Jason Foster, Anthony Collins and even Matt Patchan, who has struggled this camp, had an improved day.
On the defensive side, Gerald McCoy continued his nearly unblockable ways on Thursday and free agent Clinton McDonald also was able to get some good penetration during his reps in front of defensive line coach Joe Cullen.
Quarterback Mike Glennon threw two interceptions during 7-on-7s. The first was thrown into traffic intended for Austin Seferian-Jenkins but linebacker Ka’Lial Glaud stepped in front of the pass and picked it off. Linebacker Danny Lansanah picked off the second pass which was tipped in the air by Jeff Demps on a ball thrown behind him. It was the start to a disappointing day for Glennon.
After another brief special teams period, 11-on-11s were next on the agenda, and the theme of the period was defense.
Michael Johnson got to quarterback Josh McCown in a hurry and would have sacked the journeyman quarterback if it had been a game situation.
On a later rep, rookie defensive tackle Euclid Cummings got to quarterback Mike Glennon for the would-be sack.
The sacks continued as the session went on. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy got to Josh McCown for a would-be sack, forcing him to throw the ball away.
Safety Keith Tandy made a great pass breakup against rookie receiver Mike Evans. Tandy stuck with the rookie in the back of the endzone and didn’t let the pass get anywhere near the 6-foot-5 receiver.
Second-year running back Bobby Rainey impressed on Thursday with his ability to knife in between the tackles and get to the edge on stretch running plays. The Western Kentucky product even got some work in with the first-team offense in relief of Doug Martin.
The final session of the day was the two-minute drill, which marked the first time the Buccaneers ran the situational drill.
With 1:30 left on the clock and the offense down two points, Josh McCown led the offense all the way down to about the 20-yard line, where kicker Connor Barth knocked the kick through the uprights for the win. McCown was fabulous, completing all five of his attempted passes during the session.
It was Mike Glennon’s turn to try and lead the offense down the field in the same situation, but the second-year quarterback didn’t have as much success as McCown. Glennon, who didn’t complete any of his three attempted passes, and the offense failed to gain a first down and went four and out.
NEXT UP: The Buccaneers will be holding a night practice at Raymond James Stadium tomorrow. The free admission practice starts at 7:30 P.M., with the gates opening at 5:00 P.M.
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