On Saturday, two days after playing their first preseason game of the year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held another open to the public practice. The practice began outdoors & during the early practice periods, the offense started slowly. And as Head Coach Dirk Koetter stated, ""Yeah, I think we started off a little sluggish. I mean, I'm not going to lie, I don't think those guys were crazy about practicing today. But it's training camp and we've got to work. We need to work."
Because of weather, the team moved the practice indoors. And once indoors, the tempo of the practice seemed to change. Koetter said after practice he noticed the change. "I thought actually coming in here today with the fans and the AC, that juiced them up a little bit. We finished better than we started." The tempo change included some well-thrown passes from quarterback Jameis Winston, including this pass on a crossing pattern by wide receiver Freddie Martino.
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick also seemed to enjoy throwing the ball indoors on Saturday as evidence by his short pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin, who comes out of the slot to grab this pass & head up field.
As well as both Fitzpatrick & Winston looked once the practice moved indoors, the best pass of the day is becoming a common theme & included Winston hitting wide receiver DeSean Jackson with a long pass, & Jackson leaping to make the catch. It seems like Winston hasn't gone two straight practices during this year's training camp without connecting on a long pass to Jackson. And today's Winston-Jackson connection was captured by our partners, Pewter Report.
After talking today about the team's tempo being better once practice moved indoors, Koetter spoke about how well Jackson is performing this camp. "DeSean's having an excellent camp. I think DeSean has really asserted himself not only as a veteran but as a leader. He's tried to take on more of a [leadership] role, and I'm very pleased." Koetter elaborate further about how Jackson's approach to training camp has affected his relationship with his younger teammates. "DeSean has instant street cred because of his career. The players respect the heck out of DeSean, so when DeSean has good body language – he's talked to the team at least twice so far. He's going to be the captain this week in Tennessee."
A veteran who is experiencing what Jackson experienced last year, being a new player in Tampa Bay, is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. But Pierre-Paul had a strong game on Thursday night in limited snaps, with three tackles & one quarterback pressure. And whether it's Thursday's game or the video below of Pierre-Paul doing some one on one work, it appears that he's adapting real well in his new uniform.
The team is off on Sunday but will practice again on Monday as they prepare to play their second preseason game on Saturday night in Tennessee against the Titans.
Following today's practice both Koetter & tight end Alan Cross spoke to the media. Click below to hear those interviews.