Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Mini-Camp Takeaways: Day 2

Some younger players got opportunities that they made the most of today on both sides of the ball. Also, Chris Godwin can catch.


-Just call him All Day CG. Wide receiver Chris Godwin had a very rare down day in the indoor facility yesterday but when I tell you he came back to practice for Day Two of mini-camp with a vengeance, I mean it.

He started in offensive drills by making acrobatic catch after acrobatic catch. These were obviously uncontested with just the offense on that field. Then came seven-on-seven, which pins the skill positions against the linebackers and defensive backs. Godwin couldn't be stopped. He sniped a crossing route underneath and continued on his merry way for some yards after the catch. A few plays later, he was hit right in his chest plate. In situational team drills he made one contested catch after another, even in between as many as three defenders. He said after practice that he just wants to be that reliable guy for his team and he certainly showed it today all over the field.

-Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert has some sneaky fast feet. He took off during a scramble in situational drills and ended up running most of the way down the field. Granted, anyone who touched him would get a very stern and colorful talking to by Head Coach Bruce Arians as there isn't contact allowed during this time of the offseason, but he certainly proved he can be mobile when he needs to be.

-Younger receivers are getting their opportunities during mini-camp and Demarkus Lodge is continuing to do so the past couple of days. I wrote about him nabbing some great catches yesterday and today was no different. He made another tough catch in traffic up the seam and in two-minute situational drills was able to move the chains for the offense.

-The defense brought the pressure and, in some cases, the house. At one point, I think I counted seven guys bee-lining for the quarterback. From all levels. Then, just when you thought you knew what was coming with linebackers up on the line or the strong safety blitzing multiple times, the defense would show pressure only to drop most guys into coverage and proceed with a three or four-man rush. This defense is so ridiculously unpredictable and is giving the offense some great experience at this point of the offseason.

"We've had one or two guys miss quite a bit," Head Coach Bruce Arians said of the offensive line in particular. "So, about five guys haven't been out on the field together, which I'd like to see some chemistry that way, but we have plenty of time when we put the pads on to get that done. You can see they're seeing every blitz known to man that they've seen this spring and you see them starting to see it pop where they're coming from and it's not easy to pick up. I've been down this road with Todd once before and it's tough on the offense the first time around."

-Speaking of guys dropping into coverage, there was a play in seven-on-seven drills where linebacker Lavonte David was crossing through the underneath zone, presumably on his way to his assignment after the ball was snapped but he was watching the quarterback the entire time. Mid-run, David stuck his hand up and got a piece of the pass over the middle. It was impressive and nonchalant all at the same time.

-Just a few plays later, both David and rookie linebacker Devin White crossed underneath right at the point the ball was thrown and broke up the pass. I don't even know who actually got their hand on the ball or if it was some fun little tag team combination of both of them. They both just looked at each other and laughed right after the play.

-Offensively, the tight ends had a pretty good day. O.J. Howard was reliable as always and caught the last touchdown of practice. Antony Auclair made a great diving catch in the back of the end zone at one point and then Tanner Hudson did the same on a similar route from the opposite side of the formation a couple plays later.

View the top photos from the second day of Bucs mandatory mini-camp.

Hudson took advantage of all the work he got today with a couple extremely impressive catches on top of the aforementioned touchdown. He escaped to the flat in situational drills to make an easy catch, which he took down the sideline. During a two-minute situation, he also had a grab over the middle where he got UP to make the grab and pluck the ball out of the air in a very tight window. Punter Bradley Pinion was right next to me and let out an audible, 'Woo! Nice catch eight-eight' after Hudson made it.

-Wide receiver Breshad Perriman gets to the outside and escapes up field so easily. It's awesome to watch because you just still don't expect a guy that big to be that fast.

-It's usually very hard to talk about linemen at this pint because of the no contact but defensive interior Vita Vea has some moves on the inside. He spun around a blocker and would have had a clear shot at the quarterback in situational drills. I cannot stress enough how athletic he is at 340-plus pounds.

-An even younger guy on the defensive interior made a play on the ball himself today in Terry Beckner Jr. The team's seventh-round draft pick got his hands up at the line to deflect a ball. In college, Beckner always seemed to have an eye for the ball and where it was. It allowed him to be successful against the run and even grab himself an interception at one point. Now that his comfortability is improving, his ball awareness seems to be carrying over.


Ok, I'm cheating a little bit because this was a bunch of things, more specifically, a bunch of interceptions. I honestly stopped counting. Rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting, who was left out of the pick game yesterday when his fellow rookie drafted defensive backs in Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards each got one, nabbed himself not one but TWO interceptions today. The first came as he easily read the receiver's route and beat him to his position where the ball qas thrown quickly. Corners coach Kevin Ross turned to the rest of his group on the sideline after Murphy-Bunting made the play and said, "Make plays, make money!"

Murphy-Bunting's second pick then came to end the offense's two-minute drill hopes toward the end of practice. It was again a clean ball that he just sniped out of the air well ahead of the receiver.

As if those two plays weren't exciting enough, cornerback De'Vante Harris had one, too. Harris dropped into coverage, giving what his receiver thought was a cushion before creeping back up when he saw where the ball was likely going and cutting in front of the receiver to grab the ball. Cornerback Ryan Smith had one, too, but it was on a desperation throw that probably should have been called a sack anyway. It was still a great catch and came after he had a great pass breakup yesterday. 

"With the number of balls they're touching, the communication – I'm hearing a lot of communication and like I said, we've got a five corners, three or four safeties and now I think we have three rookies, that's a unique situation," Arians said of the secondary. "I don't give a [care] if they're rookies, these guys can play. They're getting their hands on a lot of balls. They're doing things that veterans do, because they listen and their smart. The veterans are helping them out and they've got very good coaching.