The Buccaneers put the pads back on Thursday morning, practicing outside during a typical sweltering summer day in Florida. It was a first for veteran center A.Q. Shipley, who was made an official member of the team this morning before taking the field with his new teammates.
Good luck out there, bud.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin also returned to practice along with others that had scheduled maintenance days off during yesterday's indoor practice.
Here are more takeaways from Day 14:
- During the start of individual drills, the quarterbacks were throwing (and doing my favorite drill at one point below), one of the pass-catchers was former NFL receiver and current Buccaneers offensive assistant Antwaan Randle-El. At one point, Randle El dropped a pass and quarterback Tom Brady kept giving him a hard time the rest of the drill.
- In the first 11-on-11 period, as it has been for most of camp, it's clear the defense has their eye on the ball. Even when it's in the hands of a running back trying to weave between the tackles, defenders are constantly trying to punch the ball out.
- Brady hit tight end Rob Gronkowski on a screen and Gronk turned it on, hustling down the sideline and barreling through defenders with his signature sound effects.
- A couple plays later, Brady hit wide receiver Mike Evans on a long sideline pass, putting this ball away from where the defender had leverage on Evans, as well as high enough that only Evans could grab it. Evans got his hands on it and managed to come down with the ball as he does with most contested catches thrown his way.
- Tight end Cameron Brate nabbed a sliding catch on the ground on a pass from Brady.
- It was a third-down situation in the blitz period and Brady fired off a pass to Justin Watson, who came up big with a good third down conversion, earning praise from his quarterback.
- Rookie running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn had a good catch and run on a screen from quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
- Veteran center A.Q. Shipley practiced with his new team for the first time. At one point during a break, he came over to talk to Gronkowski and the pair were laughing together. Outside linebackers coach Larry Foote came over then, too. Foote was an assistant coach in Arizona when Shipley played there and they just missed each other between Foote's two stints in Pittsburgh as a player.
- TE Cody McElroy had a couple good catches within just a few plays in seven-on-seven drills. His first catch was a good ball from Gabbert placed just ahead of McElroy right where he could grab it.
- Safety Andrew Adams had a leaping pass breakup and he almost hung on for the interception. He made a great read to get in front of the ball, though.
- Evans had a great day overall. During the seven-on-seven period Brady delivered Evans a nice strike on a slant to the far sideline.
- All we hear is about how smart rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is and it seems his confidence is going up, too. He was calling out pre-snap checks during the seven-on-seven period, helping the defense identify what the offense was trying to do and how to counter it.
- Gabbert fired off a long pass to the sideline to wide receiver Bryant Mitchel, who held on and got both feet in bounds before falling out of bounds.
- In the ensuing team period, Brady connected with Brate again – this time in the back corner of the end zone.