Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Takeaways from OTAs, May 23

A few notes from Tuesday's OTA practice at One Buccaneer Place.

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  1. J.R. Sweezy was working with the first-team.**
    OTAs are the first time that we see the Buccaneers' entire roster is out on the field together. With that, we get a first look at what the first-team offense and defense might look like. There were a handful of players who were unable to participate, but the Bucs' offensive line appeared to be fully intact. Sweezy, who missed all of 2016, was with the starters at right guard. Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson were lined up at tackle with Ali Marpet at center and Kevin Pamphile at left guard.

2. DeSean Jackson made his practice debut.
Jackson was finally out on the practice fields at One Buccaneer Place after signing with Tampa Bay this offseason as a free agent. While he will wear No. 11 on gameday, Jackson was wearing a No. 1 jersey for practice. Regarded as one of the NFL's top deep threats, Jackson was working against Vernon Hargreaves on a few fade routes during one-on-one drills. Head Coach Dirk Koetter said he was impressed with what he saw from his new wide receiver during their first practice together.

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  1. So did Ryan Fitzpatrick.**
    While Jackson has been a Buccaneer for several weeks, Fitzpatrick was signed by the team on Monday and was on the practice field the next day. Fitzpatrick's skillset matches well with the Buccaneers' scheme, Koetter said, so his transition with his new team should be seamless.

4. A handful of pass-rushers were sidelined.
It's just the first day of practice, but the Bucs were without a few of their top pass-rushers. Robert Ayers and Noah Spence, who combined for 12 sacks in 2016, were both unable to practice. Jacquies Smith, who missed the majority of last season with a knee injury, was sidelined, as was defensive end Ryan Russell.  

5. Devante Bond was with the ones.
Bond, a sixth-round draft pick a year ago who missed all of his rookie season with an injury, was working with the first-team defense as the strong side outside linebacker. That position had been filled by Daryl Smith last season and Danny Lansanah the year before. Bond appears to be the front-runner to land the job, with third-round pick Kendell Beckwith recovering from an ACL injury.

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