Bucs Training Camp Takeaways: Day 4

-In the first 11-on-11 period, rookie outside linebacker Anthony Nelson scooped up a fumble and took it into the end zone. Nelson had great ball awareness in college and it doesn’t seem like anything has changed.

-Running back Dare Ogunbowale escaped to the outside twice in the first team period. He also had a great run on fourth down that saved the drive in another team period toward the end of practice and had a great day overall.

-Running back Ronald Jones didn’t fare as well a few plays later when rookie safety D’Cota Dixon came down and laid a huge hit on Jones to stop him in his tracks. The whole indoor facility heard that one.

-Outside linebacker Carl Nassib has another pass breakup today as the Bucs’ defense brought seven on the pressure, forcing the ball out quickly. Nassib was well into the backfield and got his hand up to bat down the throw.

-Rookie safety Mike Edwards had a day, nabbing two interceptions. The first came on what must have been a route miscommunication by the offense. Either way, Edwards read the play perfectly and easily got the pick down the right sideline. It may have been a little questionable in a game as Scott Smith pointed out, because Anthony Nelson came off the edge completely clean and would more than likely had a sack before the ball ever left the quarterback’s hands.

The second interception came later on in practice, again during 11-on-11 where he read the route better than the receiver he was defending, got in front of it and would have had a nice return.

-The very next play from Edwards’ second interception, rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting went toe-to-toe with his receiver and battled the ball out of his hands, forcing an incompletion. These rookie defensive backs really look like they get it.

-Defensive backs were batting down balls all afternoon. Vernon Hargreaves had a couple great pass breakups and almost-interceptions after getting one yesterday. Cornerback De’Vante Harris had a great break-up in front of tight end O.J. Howard, where Harris was super physical.

-Tight end O.J. Howard can catch. You know it. I know it. The world knows it. But Howard had a phenomenal block for running back Ronald Jones, allowing him extra yardage on a run.

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

-During red zone drills, quarterback Blaine Gabbert put one right in the breadbasket as he hit wide receiver Bryant Mitchell in the back right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Mitchell did a great job of keeping his feet in bounds, too.

-Another receiver who made a great play during the red zone period was Justin Watson who came across skimming the goal line to get the touchdown on a throw from quarterback Jameis Winston, ending the period successfully.

-Veteran linebacker Lavonte David was EVERYWHERE. He saw a screen to running back Peyton Barber from a mile away and made it over in time to break up the pass. He had back-to-back breakups on opposite sides of the field during one team period. He played the run well all day, too, laying down some great hits. He’s looking really physical and just plain looks like he’s having fun in his new role within the Bucs’ defense.

-Another linebacker who had a great day was Devante Bond. He had what was ruled a sack and then a broken up pass on consecutive plays during the last team period of practice. In general, these linebackers seem to be loving how involved they are in pressures and in coverage.

THE BEST THING I SAW:

During the last team period of practice, second-year defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter not only got his hand up to break up a pass, he actually caught the ball for a big-man interception. If there’s anything I like more than a big-man touchdown, it’s a big-man interception. Ledbetter has been doing well so far in camp and looks to have taken tremendous strides from last year.

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