Three days before the Buccaneers preseason schedule begins against the Dolphins, Tampa Bay returned to the practice fields on Monday morning.
After a day off Sunday, the team had a good energy at practice, including from quarterback Jameis Winston. Perhaps the best news of the day, however, came when first round pick Vita Vea was seen walking without a boot for the first time since suffering a calf injury on July 29th. However, defensive tackle Mitch Unrein left the field due to an injury minutes after Vea walked onto the field.
"He's progressing, he's working hard," head coach Dirk Koetter said to the media when asked about Vita Vea's status. "He's on a training regimen inside. I can tell you he's getting his weight down, which you kind of worry about, but he's doing a great job on that. We just gotta let that calf get all the way healed up."
Koetter declined to offer an update on Mitch Unrein. To hear Dirk Koetter's full conversation, listen below.
Jameis Winston, who had looked off in the first days of camp, had his second consecutive sharp practice and looked as though he may be hitting a stride heading into preseason game one. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is expected to start the first three games of the regular season, did not look as sharp as he had earlier in camp.
The wide receivers continued to impress at practice, especially Chris Godwin, whose stock seems to be skyrocketing. He continued to have a very impressive camp for the Buccaneers.
As tight end O.J. Howard prepares for his second season in the NFL, he feels he has made positive strides throughout this off-season. "I would say I definitely took a step forward in the route-running game this year," Howard said to the media after practice. "It's not where I want to be yet, but a total upgrade from last year." To hear everything Howard had to say, listen below
Running back Peyton Barber also met with the media after practice, and talked about how much quicker he feels as he prepares for the season. "I think the end all goal for me is to be the starting running back for this upcoming season," Barber said. "The way I approach it is, I go into it as though it was my last game I'm ever going to play." Listen below to all of his comments.
The Buccaneers have one more practice day before they battle the Dolphins on Thursday night - that practice comes up Tuesday morning and is open to the public at One Buc Place. Ronnie & T-Kras will be broadcasting live from Tuesday's practice at a special time from 9 AM - 12 PM on 620 WDAE & 95.3 FM. Also, keep it locked to 620wdae.com for the Best Buccaneers Coverage.