-OL Zack Bailey is standing out among the younger offensive linemen. With a chance to go against the defensive line in one-on-one drills, Bailey looked super physical and was able to push defenders clear off of him.
-Wide receiver Bobo Wilson looks like he’s taken a step forward from last year. He looks like he’s planning to contend for that fourth receiver spot and his kick-return ability helps his cause.
View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
-There a few position groups in particular that took advantage of finally being able to make contact and the safeties were one of them – in particular, Jordan Whitehead. The second-year safety came down and laid a hit on wide receiver Justin Watson that I heard from the opposite sideline. Whitehead also broke up a pass and looked good against the run.
-The secondary had a good day, in general. Rookie cornerback Jamel Dean was charged with keeping pace with wide receiver Chris Godwin. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert scrambled in the first team period to the outside and managed to get the ball to Godwin but before Godwin could secure it, Dean came in with a hit, forcing the incompletion.
-In the same period, Winston had to get the ball out quickly because of incoming pressure and fired off a quick slant to Bobo Wilson. The problem is that cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III got there at the same time and wrapped him up instantaneously, causing Wilson to drop the ball.
-The first of two Mike Evans’ long balls came as quarterback Blaine Gabbert took advantage of an obvious mismatch, seeing safety Kentrell Brice on Evans. Gabbert lobbed a pass to Evans down the right sideline, and Evans was able to stop and cut back, realizing it was a little underthrown and still make the grab.
-Evans’ second deep ball of the day came in the two-minute period at the end of practice where quarterback Jameis Winston dropped a dime on Evans, again down the right sideline (closest to the fans). Evans made the catch, contested by Hargreaves, and signaled for the first down, much to the delight of the crowd.
-It was much needed by the offense, who had given up most of the period to the defense. Just a couple plays earlier, Hargreaves had picked Winston on a pass intended for Breshad Perriman. Hargreaves made a perfect read to get underneath Perriman and was greeted on the sideline by his teammates who were going nuts.
-Corners weren’t the only ones getting their hands on the ball. Safety Jordan Whitehead had a broken-up pass, as I mentioned above. The guys at the front level got in on the action too with both Ndamukong Suh and Carl Nassib breaking up plays through the air.
-Also, Nassib looked great in more o-line/d-line drills.
-During the blitz period of practice, the defense showed a couple nickel blitzes. One came from rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on Gabbert, who had to get the ball out quickly and nearly had the pass picked by safety (at the time) Deone Bucannon. The next came from cornerback M.J. Stewart. The play was blown dead before Stewart actually got to Winston, who was the quarterback at the time, but the offense completely failed to pick him up.
-A member of the offense who did pick up the blitz in the same period was wide receiver Perriman, who took on the strong safety, and looked solid.
-It was a physical day for the linebackers, too. I could hear Kevin Minter’s hits a mile away. Veteran linebacker Lavonte David had one that had everyone taking a step back as he came down on running back Peyton Barber in red zone drills. Stopped him cold.
THE BEST THING I SAW:
Rookie running back Bruce Anderson tried bouncing out to his left where he was chipped by the linebacker. It wasn’t until defensive lineman Vita Vea came over that he was permanently wrapped up. Vea disengaged from his blocker and was able to get to the outside from the interior and bear-hugged Anderson as if to say, ‘You stay.’ I wish I had a video but man, is Vea athletic.