The Bucs Training Camp Diaries are an annual training camp feature on PewterReport.com and we are fortunate to have two really good players to profile in veteran linebacker Kevin Minter, who will offer up his perspective of Todd Bowles’ defense, and wide receiver Scotty Miller, the Bucs’ sixth-round pick, who will take PewterReport.com readers through the trials and tribulations of rookie life in Bruce Arians’ first training camp in Tampa Bay. Look for Miller’s and Minter’s Bucs Training Camp Diaries twice a week throughout training camp and the preseason.

Minter is in a unique position because no other Buccaneers defender knows more about Bowles’ scheme than he does, arriving in Arizona as a second-round pick out of LSU in 2013, which was the first year that Arians and Bowles coached the Cardinals. In addition to his inside linebacker duties, Minter will serve as a coach on the field, preparing Devin White, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick, to start and flourish as a rookie while Minter battles for the backup middle linebacker role behind him.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht signed Minter last year after Kwon Alexander went down with a knee injury, and Minter made an instant impact on special teams and recorded a sack against Carolina’s Cam Newton before a calf injury forced him to the injured reserve list. Minter will be challenged by Deone Bucannon, Devante Bond, Jack Cichy and newcomers Corey Nelson and Emmanuel Smith for one of the two reserve inside linebacker roles. The 28-year old Minter will have to prove he can once again cover kicks and punts, and make some splash plays on defense in the preseason to solidify a roster spot in 2019.

B.A. Wasn’t Happy With All Those Penalties

By Kevin Minter as told to Scott Reynolds

Very sad news about Steelers receivers coach Darryl Drake passing away [on Sunday]. He was our receivers coach in Arizona with B.A. (Bruce Arians).

Buc (inside linebacker Deone Bucannon) and I were talking to him before the game on Friday in Pittsburgh and he was just telling us how much he loved us and how much he missed us. When we heard the news this morning it was so eerie because of how he was talking to us. He was real affectionate and hugging us. I can’t do anything but pray for his family and pray for his people.

It did hit us hard this morning – we were all close out there in AZ (Arizona). When B.A. (Bruce Arians) came in and told us this morning it was really hard getting through that meeting.

Bucs ILB Kevin Minter
Bucs ILB Kevin Minter – Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Playing in Pittsburgh, I had five tackles and it definitely felt like a first game of the year for me – and a bunch of us. For the most part, I was pretty happy with the way I played, but I’m never satisfied. There are some things I need to work on. It’s been a while for me to play in a game because I came down here to Tampa last year and then wound up on injured reserve and I didn’t get to finish the season. I was definitely rusty on Friday night, but that was kind of across the board as a lot of guys were saying that, too. We’ll get better from it and keep improving.

“Nacho” (defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches) played really well and he played damn near the whole game too with Vita [Vea] and Beau [Allen] out. He played great. He’s kind of short in stature, but he plays balls to the walls on every play. And I love the “Nacho” nickname, too! Who wants to say Nunez-Roches all damn day? Do you know what I’m saying?

“Nacho” is a great guy. He plays forward whether it be pass or run, and he can play all up and down the line in several spots for us. He’s also a pretty smart player. He has great instincts and a really good football sense. He just needs to keep developing. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be in the rotation along the defensive line.

Noah [Spence] also played really well on Friday. I think this is his type of defense, playing outside linebacker in a 3-4. It’s more him, and you’re seeing it, obviously. He’s a grown man off that edge and you’re seeing it. I’m glad he’s finally found a place that is built for him.

My guy Buc got our first sack of the game – no surprise. That wasn’t even a called blitz. His man stayed in to block, so he came on a blitz and it was a great football play by Buc because he knows this defense. We led the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game with this defense. It’s a great defense. We were a Top 5 defense almost every year. That guy knows how to ball and he’s going to help Devin White out tremendously.

Coach [Todd] Bowles isn’t happy too often. He thought we played decent, but we have a lot of things we can work on to get better. We are not a Top 10 defense yet by any means, but we’re getting there. For the most he likes our potential, but he’s not close to being satisfied.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin – Photo by: Getty Images

B.A. wasn’t happy with all those penalties from Friday night. We had 14 and that’s too many. He’s always talking about having smart players, and if you’re dumb you aren’t going to be here very long. We’ve got to hone in and stop killing ourselves. B.A. yelled a little bit about it, but he’s not much of a yeller. He’ll just tell it like it is. You get it right or you get gone. That’s been his M.O. forever, and if we don’t get better with the penalties we’re going to be finding new jobs elsewhere.

We’ve got the Dolphins coming in this week and that will be cool to get some good work in against them. I know some of those guys, including wide receiver Brice Butler. He and I grew up down the street from each other in Georgia. Then you’ve got [defensive tackle] Davon Godchaux, who is an LSU kid, and of course, their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was with us last year. Obviously it’s going to be fun seeing Fitz in practice.

I’ve been on teams that have done joint practices with other teams before. It gets the job done. Do I like it? It is what it is. At the end of the day, as long as we are getting better that’s all that’s important. I am glad we’re the home team, though. This is my first time being the host team in this situation, so I definitely like that.

When you see the other team’s different colors it just raises your intensity. You don’t have to worry about them the rest of the season, so why not get a few extra licks in? We’re going to be smart about it and hopefully don’t do anything silly like get in fights. We’ve already been told by Coach not to get into fights. If we do the punishment is a whole lot of running – a whole lot.

Previous Minter’s Bucs Camp Diary Entries

Entry 1: Minter’s Bucs Camp Diary: With B.A. It’s Super Bowl Or Bust

Entry 2: Minter’s Bucs Camp Diary: We’re Going To Be A Top 5 Defense

Entry 3: Minter’s Bucs Camp Diary: Jameis Is On The Edge Of Being Great

Entry 4: Minter’s Bucs Camp Diary: It’s The Next Man Up

The next Minter’s Bucs Training Camp Diary entry will be published in a few days. Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers are encouraged to leave their comments or questions for Miller below, and to follow him on social media.

Kevin Minter on Twitter

@KMint_46

Kevin Minter on Instagram

Kevin.Minter

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

8 COMMENTS

  1. [quote]My guy Buc got our first sack of the game – no surprise. That wasn’t even a called blitz. His man stayed in to block, so he came on a blitz and it was a great football play by Buc because he knows this defense. [/quote]

    The heavens just parted…I think Bucs fans are going to like watching this defense evolve once the young kids fully grasp the freedom they have in this defensive scheme based on reading their cues.

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  2. Love his candor, great piece SR! Minter gives a great perspective, and never talks about himself. Props to him man.

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  3. I think Deone Bucannon will be one of the top dogs for us this season! Excited about Spence too! I would really love to see him live up to his potential… at one time, he was considered to be the #1 pick in the draft if I’m not mistaken. Go Bucs!

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  4. Did anyone hear anything about how Cappa graded out against the Steelers.

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    • https://www.pewterreport.com/forums/topic/cappa-and-white-ps1-all-22-and-pff/

      great breakdown in that thread. sounds like he graded out very well

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  5. No don’t know how graded but not hearing Cappas name is good thing.

    I really like Minter seems like smart football player and person.

    I’m ready to see little more of the starters next game!

    Go Bucs!

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  6. Nacho, I love it. He should put that on the back of his jersey, might get a Taco Bell deal! I’ve been one of Cappa’s biggest critics. I watched him Friday, and was pleased with his progress. He’s playing faster, and finished blocks the way you want to see O linemen finish. I have to believe Harold Goodwin will get more out of these players then Warhop ever did. Good start, now let’s keep building.

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  7. Gotta love hearing about BA putting boot to asses regarding the penalties! Hope to see a marked improvement throughout preseason as we work out all the kinks.

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