Wednesday's morning practice had a special visitor for the Buccaneers. The Bucs' lone Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, was in attendance to watch a training camp practice.
With the Oklahoma product present, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin ran the Oklahoma drill in his honor. The Oklahoma drill is a one-on-one battle where a defensive player has to shed a block from an offensive player, and then make a tackle on a ball carrier. It is conducted in a narrow circle area as the teammates surround the drill.
"It brought back a lot of fond memories," said Selmon. "They were excited about it. It just kind of loosened some things up. Coach Gruden and coach Kiffin said ‘hey we have to do the Oklahoma drill.' So it was fun just to watch them. They hooped it up and had a good time I thought."
According to Gruden, the players should have seen the drill coming.
"Lee Roy Selmon showed up from the University of Oklahoma, so we ran the Oklahoma drill," said Gruden. "We ran it on his behalf. He asked for it. I think when they see Lee Roy Selmon here they should have an idea. That has been our history around here to jazz it up when our Hall of Famer shows up, and that is the way it should be.
"It is an offensive drill. I thought Kevin Carter made the play of the day. There were some good things on both sides. There was some physical play."
After practice, Selmon weighed in with Pewter Report on his observations of the Bucs practice.
"I was impressed with their outlook for the season from visiting with a few of them," said Selmon. "They are looking forward to this year with a lot of expectations for themselves. When you have that going, a lot of good things will happen. It tells me they are motivated and are ready to pay a huge price for that success. That is what I've enjoyed the most in talking with the guys out here today."
The Hall of Fame defensive end naturally zeroed in on the defensive line. While he watched them closely, he didn't get into giving them pointers.
"No, they are coached well," said Selmon. "I follow them around practice and watch them in their drills, they are ready to go. They are a good group."
A few of the Bucs lineman stood out to Selmon.
"I think Gaines Adams is really coming along," Selmon said. "He showed at the end of last year they expect him to have one of those breakout types of years. He is awfully quick. Chris Hovan's play speaks for itself, and says intensity galore. It is a great unit. They just have to stay healthy, and they can be as competitive as any unit in the league."
Throughout the offseason and the first week of training camp, there has been a lot of talk of the emergence of Adams. In the offseason, Adams took some extra weight and turned it into muscle. The change in Adams has been evident to Pewter Report while watching practice. Adams looks to have increased his pass-rushing repertoire due to his increased strength.
"Absolutely," said Selmon. "You find diversity with different techniques. A diverse group of moves really helps you a lot. Your offensive lineman then has to think ‘is he going to do a speed rush or a power rush? Is he going inside?' It makes them think a lot when you work on three or four moves that you execute really well, so you see that coming along in his game and it will help him tremendously because it helps to set up the offensive line by not knowing exactly what you'll do."
Last year, Adams played both right and left defensive end. This year, he is said to be playing right end, although Pewter Report has observed that Adams is still taking some snaps at left end occasionally. The switching of sides was something that Selmon admired.
"I always like to stay on my side," Selmon said. "I didn't have the ability to execute from the left side as effectively as I would have liked to. Certainly I could have gone over there and worked at it. Fortunately in the defenses I was in I didn't have to, and that was fine for me."
Certainly, it was fine for the Bucs as well. Selmon is the Buccaneers' all-time leader in sacks, and has been an active member of the Tampa Bay community. If the Buccaneers are able to have Adams turn into a player of Selmon's caliber, the drafting of Adams will go down as one of the best picks in team history.
Goal Line Drill Towards the end of practice, the Bucs ran a goal line drill where they ran six plays. The offense won the drill overall by scoring touchdowns on four of the six tries. All six attempts by the offense were runs.
"I was pleased with the offense. We ran the ball six times in the goal line situation and scored six touchdowns," Gruden said. "We came off the ball, and I was pleased with that."
Center Jeff Faine was pleased as well, and feels that it is a sign of things to come.
"It is huge," said Faine. "I thought once we were up there we could put it in every time. Any time you can do that it is encouraging and it is good to see your running back in that end zone. It is what we get paid to do." Troupe Returns Tight end Ben Troupe left yesterday's morning practice early after a hard hit. Troupe sat out Wednesday morning's practice with a mild concussion. Troupe came out to the field part way through to observe the remainder of the practice. After practice, Gruden updated his status.
"Ben Troupe didn't go today," said Gruden. "He got a mild concussion yesterday and he'll be back tomorrow."
Gruden spoke a little too soon as Troupe returned to practice on Wednesday afternoon. Bucs Sign Stewart The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed fullback Carl Stewart to the active roster. Stewart was on the Bucs roster throughout the offseason and was cut prior to training camp. With Stewart signed, the team now has three fullbacks on the roster with B.J. Askew and Byron Storer. Stewart will help the Buccaneers depth at the fullback position for the preseason games. Yesterday, cornerback Torrie Cox was placed on injured reserve for the season. Stewart takes the roster spot that Cox had. Number Change Lineabcker Geno Hayes has changed his number to 54. He previously wore No. 45.
Pewter Report On NFL Total Access PewterReport.com was a guest on the NFL Network's NFL Total Access show. To view the segment, which discusses the Brett Favre situation as it relates to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets, click here.
Quote of the Day Gruden on wide receiver Joey Galloway:
"He knows how I feel about this. He is not here to hit golf balls. He is here to help this team get to the championship. He knows he is a big part of it. We got to be smart with him. Nobody I've met trains like he does in the offseason. I think when you see him, he's kind of like the white tiger at Busch Gardens. He doesn't come out everyday but when he does, man, your glad you saw it because it is exciting. He has got a lot of football left in him and he'll be out here shortly. We aren't cutting him any slack. He understands as a leader and as a playmaker you got to be out here, and we're expecting to see him soon.
"We're hoping in the next day or so. Doug Williams threw him some balls yesterday and he is feeling much better, but we are treating him specifically and we don't treat him like everybody else. He's a strange bird to start with, so we keep our distance and we make sure we do things right." Quote of the Day II Gruden on wide receiver Michael Clayton:
"Well we know [Clayton] is a very good player," said Gruden. "What I've seen is five or six consecutive days where he has put his fist down and said, ‘I am a go to receiver.' If he continues to do that then he is going to be a big part of this offense again. Hopefully he stays healthy and continues to do exactly what he is doing. He is focused, he is all business and he is running all kinds of routes. He is running inside routes and he is running outside routes, and he is showing very good stamina. We know he can run with the ball after the catch. We like what he is doing but we got a long way to go.
"The bulls-eye is on everybody. He has done a lot of great things in the league. I'll be honest with you we've missed him. This is the time of year and this is the time in his career where he explodes. He is going into year five. We've missed Cadillac Williams. We've missed Petitgout. We've missed Galloway. All of those guys are counted on here to deliver. We know Michael Clayton has it in him and we're going to continue to stay with him."
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