For the second straight day, the skies were sunny and clear for Sunday’s training camp practice at One Buc Place. Field conditions were noticeably warmer than the previous two days of practice, with temperatures hovering in the lower 90s. Sunday was another heavily attended practice by Buccaneers fans, as the aluminum stands were nearly full with just a few seats left vacant. NFL Network’s Warren Sapp was in attendance as well as Co-Chairman Brian Glazer and a big group of Special Olympics participants, who hit the field after practice concluded.
The receivers ran short and mid-level patterns and caught balls from the quarterbacks. David Gettis, Louis Murphy, and Russell Shepard all dropped passes during this session, despite having nobody covering them. The Buccaneers receiving group as a whole has struggled catching the ball consistently to start training camp.
Special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea led the next period of practice, instructing players to get in groupings for a drill that resembled the “Oklahoma” drill. Each group featured one blocker and one attacker. The drill was the first real full contact that the team has seen since week 17 of last season.
The best matchup of the day was between battling nickel cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Quinton Pointer. Johnson absolutely mauled Pointer on the first rep, knocking the 5-foot-9, 186 pound corner flat on his rear end. On the next rep that they faced each other, Pointer got inside Johnson pads and threw him to the ground with force. It was a great battle to watch because both of the players are fighting for the nickel cornerback job.
After a short period of walkthroughs, it was time for a period of goal line work that featured the running backs, offensive line and the defensive front seven.
On the first play of the period, linebacker Jonathan Casillas plastered Doug Martin in the backfield for a loss. He shot through the “B” gap untouched and tackled the ball-carrier before he could get going.
Right guard Oneil Cousins got blasted by stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who went on to wrap running back Bobby Rainey up in the backfield for a loss. McCoy is picking up where he left off last season and is lighting up camp so far. Cousins recovered on a later rep and stopped McCoy from gaining any ground into the backfield. McCoy patted Cousins’ helmet after the play, letting him know that he did a good job against him.
Tight end Luke Stocker delivered a punishing seal block to a defender, which opened up a huge hole for running back Charles Sims to jet through. Although his chances of making Tampa Bay’s final roster aren’t great, he is still one of the Buccaneers’ best blocking tight ends.
Defensive end Scott Solomon, who was impressive throughout practice, made a strong tackle on speedy running back Jeff Demps in the backfield for a loss. On a rep later on in the period, coughed up a ball shortly after the exchange with quarterback Mike Kafka and Solomon fell on the loose ball.
While some of the team got goal line work in on the north end of the field, the rest of the team had a session of one-on-ones featuring the receivers and defensive backs.
Cornerback Alterraun Verner picked off pass headed towards receiver Russell Shepard deep down the field. It was an underthrown pass by the quarterback and an easy interception for the new cornerback.
Shepard struggled mightily on Saturday, dropping multiple passes and struggling to release from the line of scrimmage, but seemed to have a better overall performance on Sunday. He made an impressive leaping catch over cornerback Danny Gorrer on a deep ball down the right sideline.
The team then got together for a quick 11-on-11 session, which featured a big play from a linebacker that has a knack for making big plays against the pass.
Josh McCown tried to jam a pass into tight coverage to Tim Wright but was intercepted by middle linebacker Mason Foster. The veteran signal-caller started off practice slow but as practice went on his overall performance improved.
Sunday’s practice marked the first day that offensive and defensive linemen could go heads up in one-on-ones with pads on. The much anticipated one-on-ones between the offensive and defensive linemen in full pads didn’t disappoint on Sunday as every lineman got multiple reps and an extended look from the Bucs’ coaches and scouts.
With Sapp looking on, defensive end Michael Johnson took the first rep against left tackle Anthony Collins and was shut down. Sapp called out Johnson for lining up offsides.
Left end Adrian Clayborn took the next snap and rocked right tackle Demar Dotson backwards with a punch that was so violent, Dotson’s leg was tweaked as he replanted his foot. Clayborn clearly won that round.
Johnson got revenge in his next battle with Collins, beating him outside with quickness and great body lean by the 6-foot-7 defender.
Dotson also got revenge by pushing Clayborn way outside on his second pass rush.
Left guard Jamon Meredith got the best of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on their first clash, pushing McCoy away to the inside, but Meredith would get nicked up in the one-on-ones and his effectiveness would wane.
Da’Quan Bowers spent some time rushing inside at defensive tackle during the one-on-ones and beat Oniel Cousins twice – once with a bull rush outside and a rip move inside where he caught Cousins flatfooted.
Nose tackle Clinton McDonald struggled against Evan Dietrich-Smith in their reps as the center was both physically stout and technically sound in pass protection. Dietrich-Smith also had a great rep against reserve nose tackle Akeem Spence and was flawless on Sunday.
Spence got the best of Jason Foster with a rip technique showed great balance and quickness in breezing past him on one play, and then crossing the face of center Josh Allen the next and throwing a great rip move to blow past him.
Rookie Kevin Pamphile lined up at left tackle and beat reserve right end Steven Means twice by getting an effective punch and then locking out his arms on the first rep and riding Means outside on the first one, and then cutting him off on the inside on the second rep.
One of the more effective pass blocking efforts was put forth by second-year player Jace Daniels on Sunday. He stonewalled Matthew Masifilo, Spence and McDonald throughout the reps. While Meredith sat out the team drills in the second half of practice, Daniels stepped in as the second-string left guard and performed well.
Defensive end Will Gholston beat rookie right tackle Matt Patchan in successive reps. In the first one, Gholston bull rushed Patchan, stood him up and drove him backwards. In the second one, Gholston easily beat the Boston College prospect with a rip move to the outside. Gholston appeared to be unstoppable until guard Patrick Omameh stoned his bull rush at the line of scrimmage.
Rookie guard Kadeem Edwards won a couple of reps against Masifilo and Bowers, but he has a tendency to hold at the end of his pass block. Edwards has the tools to be an effective NFL player, he just needs to work on his footwork so he won’t have to grab a defender as he goes by.
One of the more impressive players on Sunday was unheralded defensive end Scott Solomon, who bull-rushed right tackle J.B. Shugarts and drove him straight back on one rep. On his next rep, Solomon used a sick spin move to blow past Shugarts and beat him like a drum.
Solomon has an explosive first step and got two reps against Patchan, destroying him on back-to-back rushes. It will be interesting to see how Solomon performs against better competition later in camp.
Rookie guard Andrew Miller fared much better than either Shugarts or Patchan did. Playing right guard, he stoned both Bowers and Gholston on one-on-one pass rushes. Also, Foster won back-to-back battles with Masifilo.
Rookie defensive end Chaz Sutton split some reps with Cousins, who was playing right tackle, and Meredith, who also took a rep at right tackle. Sutton beat Cousins as he kept working towards the QB, but was shut down by Meredith, who drove him to the ground.
Bowers executed a nice hump move against a nicked up Meredith to win an easy one-on-one late during the drill.
Dotson and Clayborn had a great skirmish towards the end with Dotson displaying some great handwork for the win at the end.
Collins and Johnson split their final two reps with Johnson finally getting a win by effectively using his hands to brush past the left tackle to the outside.
McCoy, the team’s best defensive lineman, took the fewest amount of reps and beat Cousins inside with a great rip move.
Means ended his reps on a high note with a nice push-pull against Pamphile, and a nice inside rush on Edwards.
After the period featuring the one-on-ones, the Buccaneers got together on the west field for full squad 11-on-11s, which showcased excellent quarterback play from both Josh McCown and Mike Glennon.
Veteran receiver Lavelle Hawkins went up and over cornerback Johnthan Banks for a big catch down the left sideline. The pass was beautifully placed behind Banks and in front of the safety by McCown. Hawkins hasn’t received much buzz but he’s a solid receiver that shown some leadership among the Buccaneers receiving group.
Rookie Matt Patchan’s rough practice continued when he was flagged for a false start. He’ll need to have a bounce-back practice tomorrow in order to make up for his performance over the past couple of days.
A long touchdown was scored by Jeff Demps who caught perfectly thrown pass from Mike Glennon after running a wheel route up the left sideline. The 70-yard scoring play drew a roar of applause from the once again massive crowd of Buccaneers fans in attendance.
Later on in the session, rookie running back Charles Sims executed a devastating cutback run that shook defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo out of his shoes. Sims has a powerful first cut and looks to be a perfect fit for some of the zone-blocking schemes that the Buccaneers are implementing this season.
Getting open wasn’t a problem for Tim Wright on Sunday. He was wide open multiple times and caught all of the balls thrown his way. The second-year tight end caught a pass after running a deep out route, which gained about 20 yards for the offense.
Defensive tackles Akeem Spence and Euclid Cummings both got to the quarterback for sacks on Sunday. Spence is a feisty player with great strength and upside that had a solid first day of padded practice. Cumming underwhelmed in one-on-ones but was better in the live 11-on-11 session.
For the second straight day rookie receiver Robert Herron had some trouble catching the football. He bobbled and dropped a beautifully thrown Josh McCown pass near the end of practice. The Wyoming product has a ton of raw talent but the most important job for a receiver is catching the ball. He’ll need to catch the ball more consistently before he can be trusted enough to get a meaningful amount of snaps.
Wide receiver Tommy Streeter caught a gorgeous pass from Mike Glennon over the middle of the field. Glennon made great downfield throws with zip on Sunday and looked to be “in the zone” throughout practice. It was one of the best practices that PewterReport.com has seen from Glennon all offseason.
Luke Stocker continued his good day of practice by making an excellent diving catch after running an out route towards the left sideline.
McCown went 14 for 18 with an interception after combining the numbers for all of the 11-on-11 sessions. Glennon also had a good day, completing 12 of his 17 attempted throws.
NEXT UP: The Buccaneers will be back on the practice field tomorrow at 1 p.m. and the session is open to the public.
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