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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a practice in shorts, jerseys and helmets on Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures were in the low 90s, but the feel-like temperature was over 100. The afternoon practice was held under partly cloudy skies and in high humidity.
Defensive tackle Ellis Wyms (shoulder), fullback Rick Razzano, center Scott Jackson, running back Michael Pittman and tackle Derrick Deese were all held out of the workout.
Two players who were held out of the morning session, wide receiver Joey Galloway (precaution) and cornerback Juran Bolden (hamstring), returned to action on Tuesday afternoon.
After stretching, the Bucs broke off into their respective positions to warm-up, with the wide receivers simply running routes and catching balls, the offensive line hitting the two-man sled and the defensive line running dummy drills.
The offensive line then came to midfield and worked on play recognition. With the defensive players on the far field, several assistant coaches sported black scout jerseys to help conduct this drill.
Wide receiver Terrance Metcalf caught the ire of head coach Jon Gruden early in practice after running the wrong route. “Outside, Metcalf,” Gruden yelled. “How the hell hard is it?”
From there, the Bucs went into 11-on-11 drills. Quarterback Brian Griese was noticeably off this afternoon. He was short on several throws and had a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage during the full team session. More than anything, it looked like fatigue might have set in. Up to this point, Griese had been outstanding in camp.
Galloway bailed Griese out on one play, coming back for an underthrown pass on the left sideline and not only preventing cornerback Torrie Cox from intercepting the pass, but hauling it in for a big catch.
Rookie running back Derek Watson has really cooled off since all of the hype started at the beginning of training camp. During 11-on-11s, Watson, who had trouble catching the ball during the morning session, let another pass slip through his hands. “That’s the eighth (expletive) drop today, Derek,” Gruden shouted.
A few plays later, Watson fumbled the ball after bursting through the line. Luckily for Watson, he recovered his own fumble.
While a good portion of the team looked fatigued, safety Jermaine Phillips picked up where he left off in the morning session. His ability to drop back in coverage from the line of scrimmage was extremely impressive. Phillips displayed good speed and diagnosed plays well this afternoon.
Quarterback Luke McCown has struggled in camp, and those woes continued this afternoon. Galloway got himself wide open down the field, but McCown’s pass hung up in the air too long, which allowed S Will Allen to recover and break up the pass.
McCown later threw a pass behind WR J.R. Russell during 7-on-7 drills, and it resulted in an incompletion.
During the 7-on-7 session, CB Ronde Barber intercepted a pass thrown by McCown on the left sideline. It’s understandable that McCown, who arrived in Tampa Bay last April, is still digesting Gruden’s offense, but his accuracy hasn’t been impressive.
The Bucs held a one-on-one (offensive lineman vs. defensive lineman) drill this afternoon, and the defensive players got the best of the offensive linemen.
Defensive end Greg Spires schooled rookie right tackle Chris Colmer on two consecutive tries. On the first play, Spires used a wicked punch to knock Colmer off balance.
Defensive end Simeon Rice knifed by left tackle Anthony Davis on their first play, but Davis rebounded on the next play to make this series a draw.
I haven’t heard this from the coaches, but I’m guessing DE Bryant McNeal is a quick study. Why? Because McNeal used the same knife maneuver Rice did on Davis to get by the left tackle just two plays after Rice had used it successfully vs. Davis.
Rookie guard Jonathan Clinkscale showed the ability to pass protect by holding off defensive tackle Chris Hovan on two straight plays.
Bucs DT Anthony McFarland used a nice swim move to work his way past G Matt Stinchcomb.
Defensive end Josh Savage has a great motor, but he’s had a hard time getting by offensive linemen on passing downs. During this drill, tight end Nate Lawrie did a nice job of not allowing Savage to fully complete his swim move and held him off.
Rookie DT Anthony Bryant used his speed to blow past rookie G Doug Buckles. On the next series, Buckles ripped Bryant’s helmet off, but that still didn’t stop Bryant from getting past him.
The only one who showed the ability to hold off McNeal on a consistent basis was TE Will Heller, who held him off on two straight plays.
Rookie DT Lynn McGruder, who struggled during the morning session, rebounded in this drill by using his quickness to get past rookie G Dan Buenning. He did it again on the very next play.
From there, the Bucs put two offensive linemen in to attempt to hold off two Bucs defensive linemen on stunts.
During 7-on-7 drills, linebacker Josh Buhl did a nice job of breaking on a pass thrown to the flat and causing TE Anthony Becht to drop it.
After a short cool down period, Tampa Bay held a special teams session, where a lot of starters, including LB Derrick Brooks, Ss Phillips and Dexter Jackson and Becht, participated. Even rookie RB Cadillac Williams fielded some kickoffs.
The Bucs held a goal line period again in the afternoon. Gruden has been calling a lot of play-action plays down near the goal line, and the offense has had some success.
Griese hit Becht in the back of the end zone for a touchdown after running play action. On the next play, Griese ran a bootleg to the left, but Hovan did a great job of diagnosing the play and sacked him.
On the third play, Griese’s throw to Heller was short, which caused an incompletion in the end zone.
Bucs QB Chris Simms saw some reps down here as well. He play-actioned and hit fullback Jameel Cook for a touchdown. Cook did a nice job of losing S Kalvin Pearson on the play.
Linebacker Marquis Cooper bit on McCown’s play-action play just enough to allow Lawrie to get open for a touchdown a few plays later. In fact, McCown finished practice strong by hitting rookie TE Alex Smith for a touchdown off of play action on the very next play.
The Bucs finished the practice by calling for a “sudden change” field goal. Kicker Todd France, who was 7-of-7 in the morning session, drilled the field goal attempt.
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