Day-7 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp was the quickest day of camp so far, but also the most fun for fans in attendance. The Bucs didn’t waste any time with position drills or breakdowns, it was just game situations being practiced for the season ticket holders in attendance Thursday.
For the Bucs, it was a great opportunity to practice in front of fans and officials in situations they usually won’t get to.
“A lot of situational work that usually we just do in like a walk through,” Dirk Koetter said. “Situational work that’s hard to practice full speed and with officials, so it was good situational work.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston had solid practices, but each were intercepted by a pair of veteran safeties as well. Fitzpatrick sailed a pass over the middle earlier in practice, and Chris Conte jumped in front of it to make a nice play to take the ball away for the defense. Later it was Keith Tandy making a play to take the ball away from Winston in the end zone during red zone work.
Dirk Koetter spoke after practice, and was asked which undrafted free agents had stood out to him to this point, but the Bucs head coach explained it’s too early to really point many guys out.
“Everybody out here is working hard,” Koetter explained. “I know you guys always want me to pick guys out. That’s just hard for me to do right now. Let’s get through some games. Let’s get through that Miami game next week, and we’ll have a better idea.”
While it may take him another week to notice some of the other undrafted guys, the one player Dirk did mention was rookie running back Shaun Wilson out of Duke. Wilson has flashed since rookie camp, and could push a guy like Charles Sims at the bottom of the depth chart. However, the coaching staff’s trust in Sims in third down situations and as a pass protector will be difficult for Wilson to overcome.
For the Buccaneers defense, there’s no question that nobody has been waiting to get into game situations, and just hit people, than middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. His energy can be felt at all times, and he’s clearly enjoying himself.
“It feels great to get out there and hit somebody,” Kwon exclaimed to the media after practice.
But for Kwon, there’s only so long he can keep hitting his brothers in red. Like players around the league, he’s definitely ready to, as the cliché says, hit somebody in a different color uniform. According to Kwon, the newcomers on the defense are ready to go as well.
“I’m just ready to go play somebody else,” Alexander said. “I got all the faith in my defense, and we’re going to be ready.
When it comes to the big boys up front who will surely make things easier for the Bucs middle linebacker, Kwon is very happy to have more room to roam.
“I’m gonna take those guys out for dinner,” Alexander told 620 WDAE. “They’ve been doing awesome keeping the o-line off me.”
The pass rush is going to be vastly improved in 2018, but the additions up front should make the Buccaneers much better against the run this season as well.
“Those guys are going to get after the quarterback. We’re gonna get a lot of sacks, a lot of turnovers, and then they can stop the run too,” Alexander said about his new teammates.
The Bucs get back to work Friday morning, with the next public practice coming Saturday morning.