Bucs Training Camp Takeaways: Day 1

-Quarterback Jameis Winston got a short screen out to running back Peyton Barber juuust in time. Linebacker Lavonte David came in milliseconds later and would have had the pick if he was a quarter-step faster. Maybe not even that much. Linebackers, including David and first-round pick Devin White, were flying around all day in coverage but got incredible involved in the blitz, too.

-Winston hit Barber on another successful screen but this time, Barber had a nice little scamper as he danced around defenders to break loose and take the ball all the way down the field. Barber looked fast doing it, too. In case you thought he was just going to be a power back, he’s very much here to say he will take ALL the work, thanks.

-During the blitz period of practice, the defense showcased a variety of different packages. We saw blitzes from the nickel, corner and both safety positions. Oh, also the linebackers. A lot of linebacker blitzes.

-Though Winston was definitely made uncomfortable during that period, he still managed two of the best plays of the day. One was a pass over the middle to rookie wide receiver Scotty Miller in which the 5-10 receiver got up to make the grab over the defender. Miller then proceeded to take the ball the rest of the way into the end zone.

-Second-year safety Jordan Whitehead got a hand on the ball to break up a pass intended for tight end O.J. Howard. It’s not easy to get the right positioning on the 6-6 Howard as a safety, but Whitehead managed. Whether or not he would have taken Howard to the ground remains to be seen once contact is allowed in practice.

-The defense weren’t the only ones mixing it up. Offensively, wideouts were in a variety of alignments, including… Mike Evans in the slot? Say whaaaat? Earlier today, tight end Cameron Brate said he was looking forward to seeing how Coach Arians mixes up the wide receivers and tight ends. In the first practice of camp, he’s doing just that.

-Speaking of Mike Evans, he had two touchdowns in one period, alone. He’s come back looking refreshed as ever and connected with both Winston and backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert who hit him on a deep fade route.

View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.

-Gabbert hit wide receiver Breshad Perriman on another deep fade down the near sideline that was a thing of beauty. He dropped the ball right in the bucket just as Perriman crossed the plane into the end zone to the delight of the crowd in attendance.

-During one of the team periods later in practice, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, a rookie out of Buffalo signed as an undrafted free agent, made one of the most athletic catches of the day. He reached up and stretched out for a seam route then came down with it and took off to the outside, running it down the sideline to the end zone.

THE BEST THING I SAW:

So, remember how I said that Jameis had two of the best plays of the day during the blitz period? I named one. The other happened to be the best thing I saw and Scott Smith beat me to tweeting it. Winston hit tight end O.J. Howard on a deep pass down the far sideline into the front corner of the end zone. I know tight ends are usually used in shorter underneath routes and in the red zone but I don’t know if Howard is actually a tight end. Rookie linebacker Devin White isn’t either, for the record. He said so in his press conference yesterday.

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