For the second day in a row, the Buccaneers donned pads in the sweltering Florida heat as they wrapped up their first full week of training camp. Head Coach Bruce Arians said it was a day filled with good competition and that he's pleased with the effort, so far.
That, however, didn't mean that Arians was pleased overall. While he said the effort and speed were there on Sunday, he said the team isn't playing very 'smart' football and that's going to have to change.
That fact was readily apparent when it came time for situational drills at the end of practice for the offense. The first team didn't have a successful drive thanks to a great effort from the Bucs' defense. At one point, quarterback Tom Brady got so frustrated on what would have been a third-down sack, that he took the football and punted it to the next field over. It actually happened to be a perfect spiral and traveled a good 40 yards because it's Brady and he's even good at getting mad.
This is, of course, the time where teams are trying out new things, seeing what works, what doesn't, etc. And rest assured, the offense had their moments throughout the day. But tip your cap to the defense for Sunday because they sure aren't making things easy for their offensive counterparts.
Here are a few more things that stood out on Sunday:
-In the first 11-on-11 period, Brady had a great thread-the-needly throw to wide receiver Mike Evans.
-The very next period, Brady sent another one soaring to Evans in what might have been the most beautiful pass we've seen in camp so far.
-Quarterback Blaine Gabbert came in for the second-team series and cornerback Nate Brooks tipped a pass of his up in the air to himself in what would have likely been a pick-six.
-With the first team back on the field, Brady launched another near-impossible throw – this one not quite so deep and to wide receiver Cyril Grayson – but it was in such a tight window that it caused two defenders to collide.
-Quarteback Ryan Griffin had his turn at a series and had a great throw to wide receiver Trav is Jonsen over the middle but safety Antoine Winfield Jr. met Jonsen almost immediately in contact you could hear from the sidelines.
-It was wide receiver Tyler Johnson's turn for heroics as he made a spectacular one-handed grab of a perfectly placed corner of the end zone pass from Tom Brady. There was simply no defending a throw or catch like that.
-Running back Giovani Bernard followed it up with an excellent play of his own as Brady fired to the back of the end zone. Bernard caught the ball halfway out of bounds but dragged both feet to complete the catch and would-be score in an extreme display of spatial awareness. He really can catch like a receiver.
-In seven-on-seven drills, safety Javon Hagan read a quick slant to Evans from Brady perfectly and had he been a half step faster, would have had the pick. He still managed the pass breakup, which was extremely impressive given the timing.
-While seven-on-seven was going on, the defensive line and offensive line were battling it out in more one-on-one drills. The outside linebackers came to join the part where rookie Joe Tryon had an excellent rep on newcomer Chidi Okeke. Tryon showed some of his power and quick hands as he slid right past Okeke. It even earned Tryon a hand slap from both Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
-As mentioned above, situational drills didn't go exactly as the offense might have hoped but there was an excellent pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski for about 20 yards to the sideline closest to the bleachers at one point. The fans certainly loved it as Gronkowski circled around past them to cheers of 'Gronk!'
-What was very interesting from the crowd was in that same series, a third-down chant of 'defense!' got going. Usually in these practices, everyone just cheers for offensive spectacles but in this case, they wanted the defense to succeed.
-And succeed they did. This is the point of practice when the defense managed a third down 'sack' of Brady and he punted the ball away in frustration. Also worth noting: 'sack' is in quotations because no one – I mean no one – touches the quarterback in a Bruce Arians practice.
-It was the first of two-straight forced punts by the defense – both for the first and second teams.
-When it came time for Griffin's series, the third-team defense seemed to again be holding up until a ball was tipped over the middle and took a fortunate spin into Jonsen's hands instead of the defense. The drive ended in a touchdown to wide receiver Josh Pearson.
-The last situational drill for the first team again ended in the defense's favor. Brady tried a last-ditch effort on a long ball to wide receiver Scotty Miller but two defenders made sure he had no shot on completing the catch.