Unlike yesterday’s practice, the weather at One Buc Place was sunny and free of rain. Co-Chairman Brian Glazer was in attendance at Saturday’s practice along with a massive crowd of Buccaneers fans. The stands wrapping around the west practice field were packed to the brim, leaving Bucs fans that showed up after the practice began with limited seating options.
After some stretching, the team split up into their position groups for individual work. The wide receivers worked with position coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker on their releases against press coverage. Receivers Tommy Streeter and Robert Herron received the most comments and coaching points from Hayes-Stoker on Saturday.
While the receivers worked on the north end of the field, the running backs and tight ends worked on blocking and protections on the south side. The defensive backs and linebackers worked on their backpedals and ball skills on the east field, while the defensive lineman worked through pass-rushing bag drills.
In case you didn’t know already, running back Jeff Demps is fast – really fast. The track star absolutely torched linebacker Jonathan Casillas on a deep corner route, creating a good five or six yards of separation on the veteran linebacker. Demps later burned Casillas for a second time on another deep pattern for a touchdown.
The crowd erupted when rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins went up and came down with a touchdown catch against safety Kelcie McCray. The Washington product ran a crisp corner route to the left pylon and snatched the ball out of the air for the score.
Linebacker Danny Lansanah made a great play against rookie running back Brendan Bigelow, where he swatted a pass away from the speedy back running an out pattern. Bigelow was forced to the sideline for the majority of spring practices with an injury and faces an uphill battle to make the roster with the Buccaneers running back stable as crowded as it is.
Safety Bradley McDougald picked off a pass intended for tight end Tim Wright, who ran a deep corner pattern to the left pylon. Wright didn’t dominate on Saturday like he did throughout spring practices.
Following one-on-ones, the Buccaneers transitioned into a walkthrough period, which showcased the first, second, and third-team offenses. The guard position continues to be a big question mark for the Buccaneers, especially with the departure of the injury plagued Carl Nicks. On Saturday, Oniel Cousins and Jamon Meredith were called on to run with the first-team offense, while Patrick Omameh and Kadeem Edwards handled the second-team reps.
Tight end Brandon Myers and wide receiver Chris Owusu both got the green light to run with the Buccaneers first-team on offense on Saturday. Tampa Bay’s first team nickel cornerback was third-year cornerback Leonard Johnson.
After walkthroughs, the skill players on offense and the back seven on defense joined forces for 7-on-7s on the east field, while the offensive and defensive linemen slugged it out in one-on-ones on the west field.
Wide receiver Solomon Patton made a strong grab over the middle after running a post pattern in front of the safety and behind the cornerback.
Cornerback Alterraun Verner smacked a Josh McCown pass away from veteran receiver Louis Murphy, who was running a comeback route. Verner has tremendously quick feet and can change direction in a flash. In short areas of the field where he can utilize his quickness, the free agent acquisition is an animal.
It looks like rookie wide receiver Robert Herron’s inconsistencies catching the football are carrying over from spring practices. The Wyoming speedster got wide open on a post pattern and dropped a very catchable pass.
Quarterback Mike Glennon hit wide receiver Tommy Streeter for a 50-yard touchdown strike later on in the session. Streeter (6-5, 215) is a height-weight-speed specimen who has great potential, but his chance to get significant playing time may not be with the Buccaneers due to a strong group of receivers. If he doesn’t make Tampa Bay’s final roster, he shouldn’t last long in the free agent market.
The offensive and defensive line one-on-ones featured excellent play from right tackle Demar Dotson. The sixth-year pro bullied Adrian Clayborn twice and didn’t allow him to gain much ground into the backfield. With that being said, Clayborn looked to be playing with more violence and energy. The Buccaneers will need the former Iowa Hawkeye to step up and take hold of the starting left end job.
There hasn’t been much buzz about defensive end Steven Means this offseason, but he has quietly performed well and put together a very good session of one-on-ones. He left tackle Kevin Pamphile in the dust by using a quick spin move from the right end position. Means later beat Pamphile for a second time on an edge rush.
Veteran offensive lineman Jamon Meredith showed off his versatility on Saturday by playing multiple positions along the line, including right guard, left guard and left tackle. He stonewalled Da’Quan Bowers at right guard but was beaten by Bowers on a rep at right tackle. It was a decent practice for Meredith, who is the front runner for one of the vacant offensive guard positions.
Second-year offensive guard Patrick Omameh had a good practice playing at the right guard position. The former Michigan Wolverine got the best of speedy defensive tackle Euclid Cummings and later beat Da’Quan Bowers. Gifted with quick feet and ideal size, Omameh carries a great deal of upside, which offensive line coach George Warhop hopes to tap into.
The player that struggled the most during the one-on-one session was rookie right tackle Matt Patchan. The former Boston College lineman was bullied by defensive end Will Gholston twice in a row on a bull rush and then an edge rush. The 6-foot-7, 300 pound tackle looked over-matched at Saturday’s practice, and will look to improve tomorrow when the pad come on.
The air horn sounded and the team moved into the final session of the day, which was full squad 11-on-11s.
Running back Charles Sims raced linebacker Danny Lansanah to the edge on a stretch running play to the left sideline and won. Like he did during spring practices, Sims continues to impress as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield.
Quarterback Alex Tanney made a poor decision and threw the ball into a crowd of defenders, leading to a linebacker Brandon Magee interception.
Josh McCown overthrew Robert Herron who was running a deep post and was picked off by safety Mark Barron. On the very next play, McCown regrouped and threw a beautiful touchdown strike to Vincent Jackson on a deep pattern down the right sideline, drawing a huge roar from the fans in attendance. It wasn’t McCown’s best practice of the offseason, but he performed well on Saturday.
Alterraun Verner welcomed rookie Mike Evans to training camp with a beautiful pass breakup on a pass thrown by Josh McCown. Evans attempted to get open on an out-route but Verner wasn’t fooled.
Free agent acquisition defensive end Michael Johnson sniffed out a bubble screen and batted the pass out of the air at the line of scrimmage. Left tackle caught the batted pass out of mid-air and attempted to run up field with it before the whistle blew, which drew a laugh out of the crowd.
Later on in the session, Tim Wright dropped a very catchable pass thrown by Mike Glennon over the middle. The drops continued as the session moved forward. Vincent Jackson got wide open on a slant route and had a ball clank off hands.
McCown completed seven of his 11 attempted passes in the 11-on-11 sessions. Glennon finished his day with eight completions on 10 attempts.
While the rest of their teammates signed autographs for the fans in attendance after practice, rookies Andrew Miller and Cameron Brate got in some extra work along with receiver Russell Shepard.
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