Day-6 of Tampa Bay Buccaneer
Day-6 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp began with Brenston Buckner dancing to House of Pain’s jump around, and during practice Buckner’s defensive front continued to show the kind of pressure the Buccaneers will need if they want to be successful in 2018.
Mike Evans had another solid day of practice, as did Chris Godwin who continues to catch everything. Evans may have had his first drop of the season, but he was covered well by rookie corner Carlton Davis who like fellow rookie corner M.J. Stewart who had yet another interception during Wednesday’s practice.
Dirk Koetter spoke Wednesday about the value of having officials at practice this week, and today was a prime example of why it helps players get ready for the season by better understanding the rules. Evans clearly thought he was interfered with by Davis on the play, and the two went to sidelines with an official who looks to have been explaining the play to both players. While the result of today’s play in practice wasn’t significant, the opportunity to learn what is and what is not OK come game time.
While it may seem like NFL players should have a strong understanding of the rules, ever shifting rules and points of emphasis change the way things will be called every season, so whether it’s a rookie corner like Davis, or a veteran wide out like Evans, clarifications on the rules, and how they’re going to be called is always a good thing. Shawn Hoculi and his crew spoke to the media Wednesday, and explained that offensive and defensive pass interference, as well as illegal contact will be a point of emphasis in 2018, so every bit of information Bucs receivers and defensive backs can gather in the next week will be quite valuable.
Thursday, the Buccaneers will have a “mock game,” in practice, looking to do more 11-on-11 work because the team practices for five days this week, and will be just a week away from their preseason opener in Miami. It will be interesting to see how the snaps are divided up at the quarterback position, as Jameis Winston continued to work with the second and third units during Thursday’s practice.
Asked about having Ryan Fitzpatrick taking the majority of the snaps with the first unit during camp today, Koetter explained that Winston has taken more snaps than any of the quarterbacks at camp, even if it wasn’t obvious while watching practice.
Thursday’s practice featured a lot of work on the run game, and Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, and Jacquizz Rodgers all showed flashes of what could make this a very formidable running attack this season. However, while he didn’t put the ball on the ground during 11-on-11s, Jones was stripped of the ball by one of his coaches during drills, furthering concerns that Jones needs to show more of a concerted effort to hold onto the football at all times. The only thing that will keep a rookie back off the field more than issues in pass protection is issues with ball security, and Jones has shown too much ability to be a game breaking back to have ball security issues keep him off the field.
The Bucs are back at it tomorrow at 8:45, and hold their second public practice this Saturday.