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5 Takeaways from Mini-Camp, June 15

Posted Jun 15, 2017

A few notes from Thursday's mini-camp practice.

1. A Buccaneer legend was in the house.
It’s not uncommon for former Buccaneers to stop by practice. Earlier in mini-camp, Ronde Barber stopped by to watch his former team and on Thursday, Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson was on the sidelines taking in practice. Jackson was selected in the fourth round by the Buccaneers in the 1999 NFL Draft and would play with the team until 2002, and then again from 2004 to 2005.

READ: QB, KICKER BATTLES FAR FROM OVER

2. O.J. Howard is going to be a nightmare in the red zone.

During each of the Buccaneers’ mini-camp practices, a specific portion is dedicated solely to working in the red zone. Head Coach Dirk Koetter said that team hopes to score touchdowns on 60% of the team’s trips to the red zone, upping last year’s goal of 50%. Based on the work he’s put in thus far, Howard is going to be a very difficult matchup. Jameis Winston has targeted Howard on several passes that look like a cross between a jump ball and a back shoulder throw, and Howard has had no problem going up and getting the ball.

3. The Bucs’ fullback might not be a fullback.
The Buccaneers’ solution at fullback recently has been to utilize a tight end instead of keeping a true fullback on the roster, and the team could follow a similar strategy this year. Luke Stocker has proven capable of lining up in the backfield, but Alan Cross has taken a significant number of reps during mini-camp lined up in the backfield with his hand in the dirt.

4. Gerald McCoy… a defensive end?
The Buccaneers’ defensive linemen are a versatile bunch, giving the team’s coaching staff flexibility on where and how to use each player. When lined up in a 3-4 during Thursday’s practice, McCoy was lined up at defensive end with Robert Ayers as the other end and Chris Baker as the nose tackle. Interestingly, all three of those players can play all three of those positions; Ayers and McCoy (obviously) can line up at tackle and Baker had played end in Washington’s 3-4.

MORE: DESEAN JACKSON MESHING WELL

5. The kickers came through.

The heat index was inching towards 110 degrees on Thursday, despite practice starting at 10:30 in the morning. Koetter promised the Buccaneers that practice would end a little early if both Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk made their kicks at the end of practice, and both delivered.