This story is intended to be read by Pewter Insider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.
After a solid two-hour workout in the morning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the field at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex again on Tuesday afternoon in shorts, jerseys and helmets for a one and a half hour practice.
Weather conditions were extremely hot and humid. In fact, the thermometer underneath the scoreboard on the closest field read 110 degrees as the Bucs took the field for the practice.
Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker (knee), defensive end Charles Bennett (hamstring), tackle Torrin Tucker (knee), guard Toniu Fonoti (ankle), cornerback Juran Bolden and wide receivers Davin Boston and Ike Hilliard were held out of the afternoon workout.
Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden, who spent the beginning of the morning practice working with the offensive linemen, dedicated a significant amount of time in the afternoon practice to working with the wide receivers.
Bucs WR J.R. Russell, who returned to practice Tuesday after missing Monday’s practices with a toe injury, got some extra work in on Tuesday afternoon with Joey Galloway and Hilliard sitting out of the practice. But Russell struggled at times. Gruden yelled at Russell for running the wrong route early on in practice.
Later in the workout, Russell didn’t execute properly on a running play to Carnell “Cadillac” Williams in an 11-on-11 drill. Gruden once again jumped all over Russell.
“You’ve got to get after that guy,” Gruden said to Russell, referring to a defender. “He’s a (expletive) million dollar player.”
Gruden wasn’t the only coach getting after some of the players during practice. Bucs linebackers coach Joe Barry got after his players after the defense allowed running back Derek Watson to bust off a huge run to the left side of the field during an 11-on-11 session.
“Quit guessing and stop (expletive),” said Barry. “Do your job!”
Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin actually stopped a play before the ball was snapped after rookie defensive lineman Julian Jenkins lined up incorrectly. Needless to say, Kiffin wasn’t pleased with Jenkins, who has really struggled over the past several practices.
Tampa Bay dedicated a significant amount of the afternoon practice to scout team work for the New York Jets, who will invade Raymond James Stadium to clash with the Buccaneers on Friday night.
Bucs quarterback Jared Allen saw his first significant action of training camp by running the scout team offense on Tuesday afternoon. Allen struggled, having a pass intended for rookie tight end Tim Massaquoi broken up by safety Blue Adams. He also threw an interception to S Steve Cargile.
Rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski struggled a bit this afternoon. He threw to WR Mark Jones quite often, but overthrew him down the left sideline on one play. He also waited too long to release a pass to fullback Mike Alstott in the flat and had the pass deflected by defensive end Greg Spires during an 11-on-11 session.
Gradkowski continued to struggle by nearly having a pass he threw near the left sideline off of a bootleg intercepted. Instead, WR Paris Warren made a great play on the ball and came up with the grab. A few plays later, Gradkowski’s pass down the right seam of the field was intercepted by rookie CB Alan Zemaitis.
Bucs QB Tim Rattay continues to be inconsistent. He misfired to WR David Boston on a crossing route during an 11-on-11 session. However, he did connect on a nice pass to Massaquoi on a comeback route later in practice. A few plays later, Rattay received some help from WR Chas Gessner, who raced down the left sideline and miraculously came up with a one-handed catch against safety Donte Nicholson on a ball that appeared to be overthrown by the quarterback.
Bucs QB Chris Simms had an impressive practice. Most of his passes were quick releases and were delivered on three-step drops. He connected on short passes to tight end Anthony Becht and WR Michael Clayton, and one of his better throws was dropped by WR Edell Shepherd.
Tampa Bay dedicated several minutes to special teams this afternoon. Rookie CB Justin Phinisee, Jones, Shepherd and RB Michael Pittman returned kickoffs. Although Pittman is the leading candidate to win that job, Phinisee has been fielding the majority of kickoffs in practice. Don’t expect Pittman to return many kickoffs, if any, in preseason. The team already knows what he can do – they want to see if any of the other players are capable of unseating him for that job.
The Bucs didn’t take their normal cool-down period in the middle of the afternoon practice. Instead, they ended it about an hour and a half into the two-hour workout.
The Bucs are scheduled to hold two practices on Wednesday morning and afternoon, respectively.
This story is intended to be read by PewterInsider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers. Be sure to read the latest issue of Pewter Report on-line in PDF format on PewterReport.com. Visit BucGear.com today to view and choose from the largest selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers merchandise in the world.