TAMPA BAY -- With each passing day at Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp, the likelihood of the intensity to increase in each practice is almost a sure thing. And that certainly was the case on Day 3 of Buccaneers Camp.
On Saturday with the Buccaneers hosting their first of Military Appreciation Camp Events & the number of people watching practice larger than the first two days, the increase of physical play between the players was evident. And although the defensive line was able to apply pressure during portions of the 11 on 11 drills, the offense did have some shining moments including the video above of a pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to wide receiver Mike Evans.
Because of starters like center Ryan Jensen & cornerback Vernon Hargreaves not practicing, players like offensive linemen Adam Gettis, Evan Smith & cornerback M.J. Stewart got an opportunity to work with the first team throughout the majority of the 11 on 11 portion of Saturday's practice.
Following the practice, Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter met with the media. Although these days the NFL is seen as a passing league, Koetter stressed how important it is to establish a running game. “Five-out-of-six teams in the league last year that rushed for over 2,000 yards made the playoffs. There was only one team that rushed for over 2,000 in the season and didn’t make the playoffs. That was the Cowboys. Two-thousand yards in a season averages out to 125 yards a game. That's where you'd like to be.”
During the media session, Koetter was also asked about Noah Spence, who ended Saturday's practice with sacks on back to back plays & how the new additions on the defensive line will affect the third year defensive end. Koetter said, "We had very high hopes for Noah both in this first two seasons and out of his control he got injured in both seasons. That defensive line group is pretty deep right now, so they can pick their spots and get him in there as a rusher. We’ll see how it sorts out.”
One of those new additions to the defensive line, Jason Pierre-Paul also spent time with the media on Saturday. Pierre-Paul spoke about having the ability to play anywhere along the defensive line, his desire to be known for more than just being a pass-rusher & he had high praise for his new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner. About Buckner, Pierre-Paul said, “He knows what it’s like to be on that D-line and you’ve got to stay consistent. Playing D-line is tough. Every day you are constantly hitting each other, you’re hitting the offensive line, playing the run. It’s tough to play D-line and Coach Buck does a very great job at teaching the fundamentals and what to do at what point.”