In what felt like the hottest day yet, the Buccaneers took to the practice field in the sweltering Florida heat for the third day in a row. The team's first off day won't come until Thursday and the long days combined with a heat index of over 100 degrees is quickly getting players into shape.
Head Coach Bruce Arians was not shy about his displeasure with the last 30 minutes of practice on both Sunday and Monday. It was something he attributed to the climate and therefore, he decided to help his players out just a little bit on Tuesday. In a simulated halftime situation, he had the team go into the Bucs' indoor practice facility, which is air conditioned, for a whole seven minutes. That was apparently enough as the team finished that morning's practice on a good note with their head coach.
"Much better," Arians said of the last half of practice. "I thought that break worked. Again, we've got to check the tape."
Additionally, Arians said that he felt it was a pretty balanced practice, with the offense and defense winning their share of battles. Here are a few other things that stood out from today's back and forth practice.
-After being held out of yesterday's practice with possible positive COVID tests, both safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and wide receiver Tyler Johnson were back on the field after it was determined they were false positives.
-Johnson, as a result, resumed his role within the offense, getting quite a bit of work today. He had a nice catch over the middle from quarterback Tom Brady during an 11-on-11 period.
-Cornerback Carlton Davis has been quietly having a good camp, though he likely wishes he had a couple more interceptions. He's showing a lot of consistency in recognizing routes and being able to jump in front of receivers to break them up.
-Another day, another pass batted down at the line by outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. He's one of the best at being able to get his hands up and use his incredible length to get in the way of passes.
-Tight end Tanner Hudson was proving what an effort guy he is on Tuesday. He was running hard and did a nice job in one of the early team periods in shaking his defender off and switching directions to get open. His reward was an absolute dart thrown his way over the middle from Brady.
-Mike Evans may love the fans but I think they may love him more. Any time a ball was caught by Evans, whether it was a short slant or a longer ball over the middle, the bleachers would erupt in cheers for the Bucs' number one receiver.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
-Evans had a couple in the same series, the latter coming over the middle on a laser throw from Brady. Not only is Brady's accuracy almost alarming, the velocity in which he throws the ball is straight up impressive.
-Quarterback Blaine Gabbert side-armed a pass to running back Leonard Fournette on the run and more people need to talk about it. Patrick Mahomes who?
-Rookie wide receiver Jaelon Darden had an up and down day but he had an excellent diving grab in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown in red zone drills from Gabbert. Earned him a few, "Yeah, Darden!" cheers from the crowd.
-Not to be outdone, Brady threw his own beautiful back-corner fade to who else but Mike Evans. It was picture perfect as Evans caught the ball in stride, quickly getting both feet in bounds before his momentum carried him out.
-Brady to Gronk over the middle on a crossing route, stop me if you've heard that before. It happened in seven-on-seven and Gronk rounded the sideline closest to fans to a lot of cheers (of course).
-For trying out the center position for the first time just a few months ago, rookie Robert Hainsey has come a long way. He looks a lot more fluid in his snaps, which was apparent in seven-on-seven drills.
-In the same period, it was evident the defense is once again placing an emphasis on swarming the ball. It may only have been seven on seven, but if the offense completed a pass, there were immediately more defenders in the area.
-Defensive tackle Vita Vea said today that his fellow former Washington Huskie, Joe Tryon, looks explosive and I'd tend to agree. Even without contact being allowed you can tell how athletic he is. Also, if you're planning on lining up a tight end against him – don't.
-Cornerback Nate Brooks recorded two pass breakups in a row, getting there before the receiver and reading the quarterback's eyes the entire way.
-The play of the day had to be defensive tackle Vita Vea chasing running back Ronald Jones down the sideline after Jones made the catch on a short slant. He took off but Vea caught up to him with some insane closing speed for a guy who is well into the 300-pound range. It was an absolutely incredible effort.
-Even when Brady isn't on the field, he's locked in. Watching the 2s, he called Darden over after the play and proceeded to give him some tips on the route he had just ran.
-The next series that Brady came in, he delivered an absolute bomb to wide receiver Cyril Grayson, launching the ball 40-something yards after seeing Grayson had gotten behind the defense. Grayson took a few more strides and was in the end zone in no time.
-The team finished practice working through multiple situations, including two-minute drills. The first ended with a Brady touchdown pass to Gronkowski over the middle right after completing a sideline pass to his long-time receiver to get just outside the red zone. The pair look like they're in midseason form already.
-The defense got their revenge the next time around, stopping the series with what would have been a fourth-down sack to get off the field.