The Buccaneers hit the practice fields at One Buc Place on Wednesday for their final practice before their first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled in the distance but the weather held out for the entirety of practice on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s low-intensity practice felt like a glorified walkthrough. The players were in shells instead of pads and contact was extremely limited as opposed to Tampa Bay’s previous practices. Much of practice was spent on going over offensive and defensive play-calls in 11-on-11 format.
The team started practice with individual drills led by the Buccaneers’ assistant coaches, and quickly transitioned into a special teams session.
The Buccaneers gunners got to practice pinning the ball as close as they could get to the end zone before the ball crossed the goal line. Punter Michael Koenen did a very good job of placing the ball inside the 10-yard line, giving the gunners great opportunities to pin the ball.
Receiver Eric Page continued to take most of the reps during punt return drills on Wednesday. He was joined by Vincent Jackson and Bobby Rainey who filled out the rotation.
Rainey bobbled and lost his first punt return attempt. He returned to the sidelines and did pushups as a punishment for his mistake.
Jackson was a surprise member of Tampa Bay’s punt returner rotation on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5 pass catcher muffed one of his punt attempts and it landed right in the arms of gunner Leonard Johnson, who chuckled as he strolled into the end zone.
The Buccaneers used a plethora of different players on kick returns on Wednesday, including Page, Rainey, Robert Herron, Charles Sims, Jeff Demps, Mike James, and Solomon Patton.
Tampa Bay rolled out their first team offense for walkthroughs, a group that featured Oneil Cousins and Jamon Meredith at the two guard positions. Jackson, Mike Evans, and Chris Owusu took hold of the receiver roles with Brandon Myers rounding out the group at the tight end position.
Cousins also joined the second-team offense, this time at the right tackle position. The rest of the second-team offensive line consisted of Kevin Pamphile, Jason Foster, Jace Daniels, and Patrick Omameh.
The offensive and defensive linemen usually run one-on-one drills while the rest of the team runs 7-on-7s, but they instead went through more walkthroughs with their position coaches.
McCown kicked off the session by over-throwing Jackson on a deep in route. The high throw bounced off of the veteran’s fingertips and into the hands of safety Dashon Goldson for an interception.
Former LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard made a nice catch on a high throw from quarterback Mike Glennon. Later on, Shepard made another catch on a pass thrown high down the seam for a big gain. After a poor start to camp filled with dropped passes, Shepard has elevated his game over the last few days.
Tight end Tim Wright got wide open on an out route, but the Rutgers product dropped the perfectly thrown Mike Kafka pass.
The most impressive player at Wednesday’s light practice was rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who caught every ball thrown his way.
The Washington product ran a great double-move route to beat the linebacker for a big gain down the seam. Later on, Seferian-Jenkins got wide open on a flag route to the left side of the end zone for a huge gain.
The Buccaneers are going to have a very hard time keeping Seferian-Jenkins off of the field. He’s a big-time weapon over the middle and has improved every day. For a player that was expected to be behind in his development, the 6-foot-5, 262 pound tight end has looked more like a veteran than a rookie so far this camp.
The team ended practice with a two-minute drill session with quarterback Mike Kafka at the helm.
With just 1:40 on the game clock, Kafka marched the Buccaneers down the field and threw a beautiful touchdown strike to wide receiver Skye Dawson in the right corner of the end zone from about 15 yards out.
UP NEXT: The Buccaneers do not practice on Thursday and will travel to Jacksonville for their first preseason game on Friday August 8. The team’s next training camp practice is scheduled for Sunday, August 10 at 2 P.M.
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