The Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed their first of two joint practices with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday in Nashville. Competition heated up as unfamiliar foes went head-to-head during 1-on-1 drills, 7-on-7, and 11-on-11 periods. The Bucs faced different scheme variations than what they are accustomed to in practice, which will cultivate growth ahead of the 2022 regular season and provide the coaching staff with insightful evaluations. Here are the top takeaways from Tuesday's exhibition including the debut of Carl Nassib in a Bucs' jersey and Devin White's stellar outing.
Devin White Standout Performance on Grass
On Wednesday, inside linebacker Devin White showcased his sideline-to-sideline prowess. He made several splash plays as the tone-setter in the middle of the defense. During 7-on-7, White blanketed a tight end, who was Ryan Tannehill's first read and the clear desired target on the play. When the quarterback opted to throw a quick flare to the running back, White redirected and immediately drilled the ballcarrier. Most notably, White registered an interception during the 11-on-11 period. Titans' rookie quarterback Malik Willis released the ball to an intended receiver running a deep crosser. White dropped in coverage after the snap and undercut Willis' pass for the first defensive takeaway of the day. He became the defensive catalyst on Wednesday, fortifying the unit. Entering Year 4, White looks the part of a dominant pass rusher, as well as a tight end/running back eraser. With a revamped defensive front, aimed at eating up blocks, the linebackers will be freed to roam at the second level. White is on pace for a potential breakout year in 2022.
Carl Nassib Reunites with Bucs Teammates
Carl Nassib re-signed with Tampa Bay, after previously starting 17 games for the club and producing 12.5 sacks during the 2018-19 seasons. The Buccaneers were thin at outside linebacker after Cam Gill suffered a foot injury during Saturday's preseason opener and Tampa Bay solidified the unit with the addition of Nassib. He spent the past two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders, accumulating 4.0 sacks, 49 combined tackles, eight tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits. Nassib now returns to the location of the most productive stretch of his career. In 2018 after working himself into Tampa Bay's edge rush rotation, Nassib posted a career-high 6.5 sacks, along with 12 quarterback hits. Gill's injury has recently been diagnosed as a Lisfranc injury, with an unknown return date. In the meantime, the Bucs have a loaded rotation featuring Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Nassib, Antony Nelson and several rookies. "I watched him during individuals – he looked good there – but we've got to see him in the heat and go a number of plays and get his fundamentals back down because he missed a lot of time," Todd Bowles stated on Nassib's incorporation. "We have a good relationship with him and thought he could still play. We thought he would be great because he brings a lot of versatility to what we do, and he knows the system. So, knowing the system, having the ability to still play, and having camaraderie with the guys was important for us." Nassib will don a No. 93 Bucs' jersey.
Scotty Miller Impresses in 1-on-1's
Several Buccaneers had a solid showing during the wide receiver-defensive back 1-on-1 drills, including Scotty Miller. Miller won all three of his reps, exemplifying craft enhancement. He put on a show with precision on routes. In one rep, Miller deceived the defender into thinking it was an out route, then quickly cut inside to make the catch. The ensuing rep, Miller made a lethal stutter step and gained leverage to the outside of the defensive back, quickly turned, and boxed out the defender on a comeback, which left the Titans' DB in the dust. Miller has shined in recent weeks during camp and will continue to vie for a cemented role in the Bucs' high-powered offense. No. 10 will be a player to watch during the final joint practice.