With temperatures in the mid-to-lower 80’s and no clouds in the sky, the weather couldn’t be any better for Friday’s practice under the lights at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers hit the field for a night of competition in front of a great showing of Buccaneers fans in the stands.
There was a six-man group of players that didn’t practice on Friday night including cornerback Alterraun Verner, safety Dashon Goldson, center Evan Dietrich-Smith, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, wide receiver David Gettis and cornerback Mike Jenkins.
The practiced kicked off with player introductions. Each position group ran out of the tunnel and through the smoke and flame filled entrance onto the field with their position coaches.
The first drill of the night was defensive back and wide receiver one-on-ones, which featured strong play by one of Tampa Bay’s rookie receivers.
Rookie receiver Solomon Patton made an excellent one-handed catch in the back of the endzone for a score. The Florida product has had a good start to training camp and continued his strong play on Friday.
Quarterback Alex Tanney overthrew receiver Mike Evans on a fade route. After the play Evans looked visibly frustrated, forcefully unbuckling his chin strap.
Cornerback Quinton Pointer did a great job in press coverage against Vincent Jackson. The rookie got into Jackson’s frame, which caused him to lose his balance and fall down.
Receiver Eric Page had to passes broken up in front of him during the session. The First was a great play by safety Bradley McDougald and the second was by newcomer cornerback Anthony Gaitor.
Wide receiver Skye Dawson blazed past safety Michael Swaim for a deep touchdown catch. The great play drew a roar from the Buccaneers fans in attendance.
Nickel cornerbacks coach Larry Marmie pulled Leonard Johnson aside and coached up the third-year cornerback after rep where he was beat.
The next session was a brief special teams period that featured punt returns and kickoff coverage. The returners back to receive the kicks were Eric Page, Solomon Patton, Robert Herron, and Bobby Rainey. Robert Herron’s struggles with catching the football continued on Friday night. He muffed a punt during a return rep.
Following the session of special teams, the team transitioned into offensive and defensive line one-on-one battles on the south end of the field.
The standout player from this session was guard Jace Daniels, who did a great job all night long. Daniels stuffed defensive tackle Clinton McDonald at the line of scrimmage and didn’t allow him to gain any ground. Daniels’ excellent play has earned him more reps as camp has progressed. He’s now running with the second-team offense, sometimes at playing at center.
Offensive tackle Matt Patchan had another rough day of one-on-ones, as his arch nemesis Scott Solomon continued to dominate the rookie out of Boston College. Solomon got a great jump and ran the arc around Patchan to sack the dummy quarterback. Later on Solomon overpowered Patchan with a strong bull-rush , which sent the rookie backwards. Solomon has had a very strong start to camp, while Patchan has really struggled so far.
After struggling against Gerald McCoy over the past few days, guard Patrick Omameh held his own against the standout defensive tackle on Friday night. He stonewalled McCoy, who tried to use a spin move on an early rep.
Rookie tackle Kevin Pamphile had an up and down session of one-on-ones. He was beat badly by Scott Solomon on an edge rush, but rebounded nicely and pancaked defensive end Chaz Sutton who tried to use an inside move.
Up next was a fun kicking competition between kickers Connor Barth and Patrick Murphy. Barth made his first four kicks but left the last one just short. He finished the game with four makes on five attempts. Murphy won the competition by making all five of his kicks, including the one from 50-plus yards away that Barth missed.
It was time for another game, but this time between the team’s passers. The quarterbacks were asked to hit three moving targets attached to golf carts that went across the field. The first target was about 10 yards away, the second about 20 yards away and the final target was about 30 yards downfield. Reserve quarterbacks Alex Tanney and Mike Kafka hit all three targets and tied for first place. Josh McCown hit two of the targets, and rounding out the group was Mike Glennon, who hit just one of the targets.
The fun challenges wrapped up and the team was ready to move on to full squad 11-on-11s.
Cornerback Danny Gorrer made grade pass breakup on a passes headed to Solomon Patton from Josh McCown.
Mike Glennon delivered a gorgeous pass down the seam for a touchdown to receiver Chris Owusu. The former Stanford receiver blew past safety Keith Tandy and Glennon put the ball right on the money. It seemed to be a blown coverage by the Buccaneers defense.
As usual, Gerald McCoy got to the quarterback for a would-be sack in the middle of the session. McCoy has been unblockable throughout camp and is poised for a huge season. Michael Johnson also joined McCoy on the stat sheet, recording a sacking of his own.
Vincent Jackson made an outstanding catch on the right sideline in between two defenders. The veteran receiver’s ability to high-point the football over defenders is remarkable. Jackson has shown no signs of slowing down and should be one of the top receivers in the league again in 2014.
Later on running back Mike James acted like he was going to rush the ball to the right but instead threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson in the endzone for a touchdown, drawing a huge applause from the crowd.
Running back Jeff Demps made the most of his goal line opportunity, bouncing off linemen on his way to the pay dirt.
The team gathered up for the final session of the day, which were two-minute drill simulations led by Josh McCown and Mike Glennon.
With just under two minutes on the clock and just one timeout, McCown drove the team 30-yards down the field and called a timeout on the 20-yard line with just two seconds left. Connor Barth nailed the field goal attempt and the Buccaneers offense won.
In the same situation, Mike Glennon delievered a strike to Louis Murphy which set up Patrick Murphy up with a game-winning field goal attempt with just a few seconds left on the clock. Murphy banged the ball through the uprights for the win for the Buccaneers offense. UP NEXT: The Buccaneers have an off day on Saturday and return to the practice fields on Sunday, August 3 for a 4:30 p.m. workout.
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