We are more than a week into Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp now. The players are getting comfortable, but at the same time they are getting very anxious to hit someone in a different colored jersey. When it gets like that things tend to lead to very entertaining practices for fans. That is what we got on Saturday. The practice featured the rowdiest fans yet and some physical play. You could tell that the fans and players were ready for this one bright and early.
Early on in practice there was a lot of individual work with the players working on their fundamentals in certain situations. The quarterbacks were working with the tight ends on a little bit of endzone work, we got our look at what some of the hands team might look like, and there were even some drills that involved volleyballs. The atmosphere of fans and switching things up with somewhat of a county fair approach had the players excited and ready to go in the heat.
Practice eventually moved inside to finish out the day, but there was still plenty of team work to get done outside. We got a look at who could possibly be the punt returners on this team as that got a lot of work. Old faithful, Adam Humphries fielded punts. The other 2 players who were back there were more interesting though. Rookie running back, Shaun Wilson and Bernard Reedy also got plenty of reps. If either is able to beat out Humphries to be the 1st team return man, that could be their answer to making the team. Once the team switched to 11-on-11 drills, the biggest thing to watch was the d-line against the offensive line. The o-line is currently dealing with quite a few injuries, so it led to a lot of young guys getting some work. Gerald McCoy showed some of the youngsters how it was done and wreaked havoc on a few plays, but rookie Alex Cappa also showed why he has a chance to be the starting right guard.
After that team period was up the fans and team migrated inside for the remainder of practice. The fans helped create the most game like atmosphere so far in camp. Some players seemed motivated by the fans and had their best performance of camp so far. Jameis Winston, who has looked tentative and inaccurate so far, showed why he is considered a franchise quarterback. He hit Bernard Reedy in between 2 defenders on a dime for a long touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick wouldn't be outdone though. He got a little help from Chris Godwin coming back to the ball, but it still resulted in an explosive touchdown. Caleb Benenoch was held out of practice with an undisclosed injury so Cappa got more and more reps with the 1st team offense.
After practice we had all of the big stories covered from every angle. Dirk Koetter told us how the offensive line is coming together and deflected a bit when asked how the team would split the preseason reps between Fitzpatrick and Winston. We talked to Justin Evans about his interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick and how different things are for him in his 2nd training camp. We also got the exclusives that you love on Facebook Live. Trey Downey spoke with one of the rookies that are shining in camp, Justin Watson. They chatted about his relationship with Winston and what he is learning from the veterans on the receiving corps. Finally, Zac Blobner spoke to Demar Dotson about what it has been like to go against that new look defensive line and what advice he is giving Benenoch and Cappa as they are battling for the opportunity to start beside him.