Today was a maintenance day for a few players, giving them two days off with the mandatory off-day tomorrow. Those players included quarterback Tom Brady, outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, inside linebacker Lavonte David and wide receiver Chris Godwin. Head Coach Bruce Arians said it was pretty normal protocol, especially for his quarterbacks. He did a similar regimen in camp with Carson Palmer in Arizona. It was a way for him to get Brady two off days in a row that should leave him, "fresh as daisis" for the Bucs' next practice on Sunday.
Here are a few takeaways from Friday's practice:
- Wide receiver John Franklin III went down with a leg injury in practice. The severity of his injury is unknown until he undergoes an MRI later today. Arians added it, "didn't look good."
- With Brady off, quarterback Blaine Gabbert took on most of the workload. The first pass of the two-minute drill period of practice saw Gabbert thread the needle to wide receiver Justin Watson who made the catch as two defenders closed in.
- We heard from some of the safeties yesterday and Jordan Whitehead said how smart rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. looks to him. His actions in practice support that, too. He looks like he's reading the offense well and knows where he is supposed to be, which is super impressive for a first-year player who didn't have an offseason program to speak of.
- Rookie linebacker Chapelle Russell broke up a pass over the middle, jumping up in front of the pass. He was getting more work with Lavonte David taking a maintenance day.
- Dare Ogunbowale found a hole in the defense and took off, breaking off a good run largely untouched.
- Brady may not have been practicing, but he was still there watching everything with Arians and Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich. He'd react when a quarterback would misfire or a receiver would drop a pass. He was also still encouraging in good plays, too.
- The seven-on-seven period started with Gabbert hitting tight end O.J. Howard as defenders closed in on him, followed by a completion to Watson on a checkdown.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
- He managed a couple great throws to the birthday boy Mike Evans, who came down with even better catches.
- Griffin hit tight end Tanner Hudson twice in a row to start his seven-on-seven period off.
- The blitz period started again with a Gabbert to Howard connection. In fact, it was a pretty good day for Howard. This time, Gabbert found a soft spot in the zone and hit Howard in the middle of the field for a long completion.
- A couple plays later, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh would have had a sack on Gabbert after powering his way past the line before Gabbert could get rid of the ball to running back Ronald Jones.
- Cornerback Mazzi Wilkins had what looked like an interception off Griffin in the blitz period. He had another pass breakup during practice, too.
- Russell looked good in coverage in the blitz period, as well. He can track with receivers from how he moved.
- The highlight of the day was a long pass from Gabbert to Miller over the middle that Miller hauled in one-handed after getting behind the safety. It would have been an easy touchdown.
- The Bucs went through a mock situation where they were down two points with 19 seconds on the clock on their own 40-yard line. Gabbert started off with a dart to tight end Cameron Brate for a first down.
- It was inside linebacker Jack Cichy who broke up the final attempt by getting in front of the ball going to the flat.
- Griff's attempt ended in a 56-yard field goal by kicker Elliott Fry.
- The red zone period saw another good grab from Howard along the sideline to begin the period.
- Linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. got in Gabbert's face and batted a pass down at one point during the period.
- Running back LeSean McCoy danced all around the backfield looking for a hole, which he found and took off.
- Jones had a good day running again but he also came up with a good pass block for Gabbert that allowed him to connect with Howard again in the flat.
- In one-on-ones, rookie Tristan Wirfs held his own against defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
- Left guard Ali Marpet is, and I cannot stress this enough, good. Going against the lengthy Anthony Nelson, Marpet staved him off and maintained leverage the entire time. It was an extremely impressive rep.
- Watson has some sneaky speed that he showed off in one-on-ones as he streaked down the sideline.
- Evans isn't afraid to put his nose in there when it comes to locking up with defensive backs, even on his birthday. He was super physical off the line against cornerback Carlton Davis in one-on-ones.