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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a two-hour practice at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Wednesday afternoon.

The workout was held under fairly clear skies and in hot and humid conditions, with temperatures in the low 100s.

The Bucs sported shorts, jerseys and helmets for the afternoon practice, which was mostly used to run scout team offense and defense as the team prepares to face the Miami Dolphins in their second preseason game on Saturday night.

Bucs assistant head coach/running backs coach Art Valero and linebackers coach Joe Barry run the scout-team offense and defense, respectively.

Bucs tackles Torrin Tucker (knee) and Kenyatta Walker (knee), defensive tackle Kevin Lewis (leg), running backs Derek Watson (ankle) and Michael Pittman (turf toe), wide receivers J.R. Russell, Joey Galloway (rest) and David Boston (rest), linebacker Shelton Quarles, and cornerback Juran Bolden (rest) were held out of the afternoon workout.

Tampa Bay's offensive players had a crisp outing in terms of catching the football in the morning warm-up and skeleton drills. However, they weren't as sharp this afternoon. Bucs WR Paris Warren dropped a pass during warm-ups, and he was seen doing push-ups a few minutes later.

Bucs quarterback Chris Simms picked up where he left off this morning by turning in an impressive afternoon workout. During an 11-on-11 drills, Simms launched a missile down the left seam to WR Edell Shepherd, who hauled in the pass for a touchdown against rookie cornerback Justin Phinisee.

Simms continued to work on the shovel pass this afternoon, and connected with running back Cadillac Williams on that play during the 11-on-11 team drill. Several plays later, Simms launched a perfect pass across the middle to rookie WR Maurice Stovall, who hauled in the pass for a touchdown against S Steve Cargile. During the same full-team drill, Simms threw a great pass down the right seam to WR Chas Gessner, who beat CB Dwight Ellick for the reception and score.

But Simms wasn't the only signal caller that performed well in practice this afternoon. Tim Rattay might have had his best training camp practice as a Buc, especially during the latter part of Wednesday afternoon's workout.

Rattay's passes to the flat were extremely accurate. He completed two straight passes to tight end Matt Kranchick and WR Michael Clayton, respectively, and during the final 11-on-11 session, Rattay caught fire by connecting with WR Chas Gessner twice in a hurry-up offense. Bucs cornerback James Patrick was in on coverage both times. During the same full-team drill, Rattay threw a beautiful pass into the end zone for Shepherd, but No. 86, who dove for the ball, couldn't come up with the grab. Like Warren, Shepherd punished himself by doing some push-ups.

Rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski also performed well, especially in the red zone session. He threw a great pass to Gessner on a slant for a 12-yard gain. Gradkowski also threw a high pass in the back of the end zone for WR Mark Jones, who leaped up in the air for the reception and score. Jones has put several impressive practices together over the past several days.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden was really challenging the defense to rise to the occasion on Wednesday afternoon. Before one particular play in an 11-on-11 session, Gruden singled out defensive end Andrew Williams.

"Come on, Andrew Williams," Gruden screamed. "Get off the (expletive) block. Let me see what you got, big boy."

Later in practice, Gruden lost his patience with the offensive unit and ordered them to huddle up again.

"If [Miami defensive end] Jason Taylor is the defensive end what's the call?" Gruden asked. "Huddle up. Get the IVs out of your ass!"

Bucs backup safety Donte Nicholson, who is on the bubble, had a solid outing on Wednesday afternoon. During 11-on-11 drills, Nicholson broke up a pass thrown down the middle of the field by scout team QB Jared Allen.

Bucs backup weakside linebacker Jamie Winborn put himself in position to intercept Allen during an 11-on-11 session, but he allowed the ball to bounce right off of his hands for the incompletion.

As usual, the Bucs dedicated several minutes to some special teams work. Bucs special teams coach Richard Bisaccia had this unit practice kicking and fielding onside kickoffs. Although this drill wasn't conducted at full speed since it was a practice and the players weren't sporting pads, safety Kalvin Pearson and rookie cornerback Alan Zemaitis show a real nose for the football on onside kickoffs.

The Bucs ended the afternoon practice nearly 30 minutes early since they did not hold a cool down period. They are scheduled to hold their final training camp practice on Thursday morning. Whether files a Pewter Insider report will depend on how long the morning practice actually goes.


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.

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