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Pewter Report was on hand to watch the one-on-one battles between Tampa Bay’s defensive backs and wide receivers in Tuesday morning’s practice at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. It was the second day in full pads, and the receivers have a decided advantage in this drill because they and the quarterback know which route is being run and the defenders don’t have any safety or linebacker help.
As they should, the offense won the drill 14-5. Over the 24 reps that Pewter Report saw, here is how the action played out. Quarterbacks Brian Griese, Josh Johnson, and Chris Simms started out the drill and Jeff Garcia and Luke McCown came in later after working with the offensive line and running backs in a separate drill.
• Wide receiver Antonio Bryant started the action against cornerback Ronde Barber. Bryant pulled away from Barber to haul in a pass on a crossing route.
• The rematch of Bryant and Barber was a draw. Bryant caught the ball on a five-yard stop route. Barber closed the cushion in a hurry and Bryant wasn’t able to have any run after the catch.
• Barber won his next matchup with a pass breakup.
• Wide receiver Michael Clayton won the next matchup as he beat cornerback Darrell Hunter on a deep cross. Clayton had room to run free after the catch as well.
• Wide receiver Micheal Spurlock separated from corner Eugene Wilson on a slant and ran up field.
• The next matchup was of rookie receiver Dexter Jackson and rookie cornerback Elbert Mack. This was a draw as the pass was thrown high and incomplete.
• Receiver Brian Clark won his matchup against cornerback Sammy Davis when he ran an out pattern and caught the ball and got in a few steps before going out of bounds.
• Safety Sabby Piscitelli was one of two safeties that was in the drill. In his first try he got the win against receiver Cortez Hankton. The pass was low and both players dove. As Hankton was coming down with the ball, Piscitelli knocked it loose.
• In the next matchup, cornerback Phillip Buchanon went against wide receiver Ike Hilliard. Hilliard got separation out of his cut and caught the pass from Simms.
• The next matchup was with Jackson and safety Sergey Ivanov. Defensive backs coach Raheem Morris yelled for Ivanov to jam Jackson at the line of scrimmage and not give him a cushion. Ivanov probably stood a better chance trying to beat Jackson with a jam than staying stride-for-stride with the speedy rookie. Jackson got by the jam and was wide open for Johnson, who lofted the ball in.
• Griese completed a pass to Stovall, who ran a 10-yard curl route and gave a big target for Griese. Buchanon was there to prevent any run after the catch, but Stovall still had won the matchup.
• Barber came the closest to getting an interception on a pass from Garcia. Barber was running with Bryant and the pass was in a spot for them to fight for it. Barber almost reeled it in, but Bryant had his hands in there and didn’t let Barber make the pick. Still, the defense won this matchup.
• The next matchup was an easy win for the offense as cornerback Aqib Talib stumbled and Warren pulled away to haul in a pass from Johnson.
• Simms threw a nice pass on the money to Clayton, who got open on a deep slant against Wilson.
• Garica came back to make a nice throw and hooked up with Spurlock on a deep cross. Talib was beaten on that play.
• Griese threw for Hankton, but Davis stayed with the receiver and was able to knock the ball away.
• Johnson took the next turn and threw a completion to Clark, who had gotten by Hunter to make the reception.
• Simms threw a completion to Hilliard, who had beaten Davis to get open downfield.
• Garcia completed a deep bomb on a pass to Chad Lucas. Lucas had raced away from defensive back Elbert Mack on a go route.
• Stovall made a great catch falling down on a pass from Johnson. The pass was low and Stovall was held by Ivanov. The big receiver held onto the ball as he landed hard the ground.
• Simms throw connected with Jackson, who ran what looked like a 12-yard in cut route. Jackson held onto the ball, but was knocked to the ground as Piscitelli came in to try and break the pass up.
• Garcia threw incomplete on a pass to Warren with Barber in coverage. Barber had good coverage and it likely would have been a pass-break up or interception had the ball been more accurate.
• McCown threw a sideline out pass for Spurlock, who hauled it in with Wilson trailing. Spurlock had good hands to hold onto the ball as he extended fully and got two feet down before going out of bounds.
• McCown threw a deep pass for the end zone that was in a good spot for Bryant. Bryant snagged the ball just past the goal line. Buchanon tugged at Bryant’s arm and the receiver dropped the ball. Bryant was upset with himself after dropping that pass.
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