Head Coach Bruce Arians said yesterday's practice was a vast improvement by the offense, calling it a solid day in which both sides of the ball had their moments. Wednesday, however, was all offense.
"Again, a very, very good practice," Arians said. "Today's emphases were communication – a lot of shifts, a lot of motions, defensively making adjustments, offensively obviously executing those shifts and motions and the plays correctly. I was really pleased with it. It's a nice little buildup – obviously, [we] took the pads off – for Saturday night. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll have a decent game."
Arians has said that every player will play on Saturday night against Cincinnati, though playing time has yet to be determined. With so much continuity from last season, it isn't likely the coaches need to see much from the starters but it will be a chance for some bubble players to put some good things on film if not for the Bucs, but for other teams that will also be watching.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
Battles for the sixth and perhaps seventh receiver spots, fifth cornerback and even fourth safety will be ones to watch. Plus, preseason will be an opportunity for Bucs fans to get a better glimpse at second-round pick Kyle Trask, who will likely get an opportunity at some point this preseason to take the helm.
Trask showed some good things on Wednesday in the limited work he got, along with quarterbacks Ryan Griffin and Blaine Gabbert. Quarterback Tom Brady had a particularly good day, according to Arians.
"I thought it was outstanding," he said of Brady's practice. "He just got the guys going. He was very, very accurate. Just a typical solid Brady day."
With that, let's check out some things that stood out on Wednesday:
-In the first 11-on-11 period, Brady threw it for wide receiver Chris Godwin down the sideline in front of the crowd and though cornerback Herb Miller got a hand on it, causing Godwin to bobble it, Godwin eventually secured the ball and completed the catch much to the delight of the crowd.
-In the red zone, Godwin kept up his heroics with a good contested catch over the middle while tight end O.J. Howard made another tough grab for a touchdown.
-The offense found success later in the period on a screen from Brady to running back Leonard Fournette, who was able to grab the pass and escape up the sideline for a first down.
-Brady lobbed another pass up, this one intended for wide receiver Antonio Brown in the end zone, but rookie cornerback C.J. Wilcox turned his head at the right time and was able to bat down the pass before Brown had a chance with it.
-A few plays later, wide receiver Chris Godwin had the first of what ended up being a few circus catches of the day. Brady fired for the back of the end zone and placed the ball in a place only Godwin could get it. Godwin leapt up to make the grab and then had the awareness to drag his second foot after stepping down in bounds as he was falling over the line. It was an incredible display of athleticism and the aforementioned awareness, in case the Madden ratings people want to know.
-Tight end Cameron Brate, who is working his way back from injury, nabbed his first touchdown pass of camp from Brady in the red zone period. Brate said after practice that he got about four snaps in his first practice back yesterday and today received about 10. He clearly made the most of them.
-Like Arians said, the offense worked a lot on shifts and motions on Wednesday. Inside the five, we saw a 2x2 formation with Brown initially lined up to wide receiver Mike Evans' side before Brady then sent Brown in motion across the formation, making it a 3x1 alignment, to which the defense adjusted. Brady then immediately snapped the ball as soon as Brown was set and then fired to Evans who was across the goal line before you could blink.
-In seven-on-seven drills, Brady hit Evans again, this time on an inside slant that Evans caught in stride as two defenders were closing in quickly.
-A few plays later, Brady aired one out for rookie wide receiver Jaelon Darden down the seam. Darden, who had already gotten behind the defense, made the 40-or-so-yard-catch look effortless as he continued the rest of the way into the end zone.
-Brady hit Brown again on a ball that showed how in sync the two players are. Brown made a couple great adjustments at the point of catch and was able to snatch the ball away from a defender right on him. It got him an 'A-B' chant from the crowd.
-Trask showed off his arm as he threw a great pass over the middle that was caught by a leaping Codey McElroy and then taken for a few more yards.
-Wide receiver Tyler Johnson has been quietly consistent all camp and Wednesday was no exception. He went up for a jump ball from quarterback Ryan Griffin over the middle and wrestled it away from cornerback Nate Brooks in an excellent display of physicality. It was probably about a 45-yard pass and one of Johnson's longest catches in camp.
-Godwin had the final circus catch of the day on a perfectly placed ball by Brady. Three defenders were closing in but Brady again threw it up high and Godwin stretched out with both hands to nab the pass. There was no way to defend a ball like that and that type of play is exactly what Arians was talking about when he said how accurate Brady was on Wednesday.
-A couple players, including Rob Gronkowski, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh, all had veteran maintenance days on Wednesday. Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich was away from the team for personal reasons.