-In the first play of the blitz period, wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught a long fade route down the right sideline battling with cornerback Carlton Davis for the ball. It was the start of a physical night for Perriman, where he fought for contested catches – and won more often than not.
-Wide receiver Mike Evans had a beautiful stretch grab where he used his length to get a dart from Winston over the middle.
-During the same blitz period, the offensive line did a good job of picking up a five-man pressure that included two linebackers in on the blitz. It meant guys on the line ended up dropped, which is enough to make a lot of guys’ heads spin but the line help up and quarterback Jameis Winston was able to complete it to tight end Cameron Brate on a slant toward the left sideline.
-Speaking of linebackers blitzing and linemen dropping, there was a lot of pre-snap movement during the blitz period from various positions, especially the linebackers. They’d creep up to the line like they were coming and then drop back into coverage. Interior linemen were kicked out to the five-technique spot. It was anarchy in the best way. Even when it’s only a five-man rush, you really never know who’s coming.
-Second-year linebacker Jack Cichy was participating in team drills today on a limited basis but the team continues to ease him back in. It’s great to see him out there.
-Quarterback Jameis Winston went 3-for-3 in the first red zone period, throwing touchdowns on three consecutive plays to two different receivers. One of the touchdowns went to Perriman who caught another dart right at the goal line as Winston got rid of the ball quickly. More on those other two touchdowns later.
-Running back Dare Ogunbowale has clearly been working on his receiving game. He stretched out for a touchdown for a very impressive catch on a ball from quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the same red zone drill.
-Running back Peyton Barber has gone Hollywood. He sold a fake up the gut before quickly cutting outside on a hand-off from Winston. He used his deceptive speed to get around every defender and into the end zone during red zone drills.
-During one of the last team periods of practice, outside linebacker Shaq Barrett was lined up on the defense’s right side and wrapped all the way around to Gabbert’s front shoulder. The play was blown dead because Barrett would have had the easy sack.
-The very next play, Barrett was lined up on the opposite side and came right through the line almost untouched. The whistle immediately blew.
-Gabbert got a ball to wide receiver Scotty Miller that shouldn’t have happened. He threw into the tightest of windows between Barrett and cornerback M.J. Stewart. The two defenders collided but Miller somehow came up with the ball.
-Miller got a lot of variety today. We saw him used in an end-around play and use his speed out of the backfield. There was also an attempt to use him in a toss play and have him try to fight his way through the middle. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter made sure that didn’t happen but it was definitely a creative use of the speedy receiver.
-The offense continued to try to get creative, at one point splitting running back Andre Ellington out wide on the outside. Linebacker Devin White was lined up as the defender and matched Ellington stride-for-stride. White looked like a corner out there it was wild.
-There was one point when cornerback Carlton Davis thought he had gotten in front of a pass to Mike Evans, and he did, celebrating and getting a little hyped up with the defense and maybe throwing a little shade at the offense. Turns out, the play was ruled pass interference on the defense and Evans got Davis right back, signaling for the first down. It was a fun back and forth between the two sides but hey, can I get a challenge?
-Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves got almost horizontal in defending a pass intended for Chris Godwin. The play was actually ruled a false start by the offense. Two plays later though, Hargreaves got in front of Mike Evans and tipped the ball. He stretched back to catch it but couldn’t quite get there. Still a great read and effort by Hargreaves.
-A defensive back who DID get a pick was rookie safety Mike Edwards. He came over to the middle of the field and right into the route Winston was trying to throw and got the pick. He may be a rookie, and he may be in a different position than he was in the spring, but the kid looks to be really starting to get it.
-A couple plays later in the last team period, there was a rare tip by tight end Cameron Brate and the ball landed right in cornerback M.J. Stewart’s hands.
-Shaq Barrett added a strip sack before the evening was over. As Gabbert was going back to throw, Barrett came off the edge and got his hand on the ball to knock it out for the strip sack.
THE BEST THING I SAW:
Remember how I said I’d get to those other two touchdowns that Winston threw in the first red zone period? Well, while the second of the three went to Perriman the first and third went to tight end O.J. Howard. The first was on a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone over linebacker Devin White. The third came as Jameis was hurried in the pocket. He stepped up and threw one through the middle where it was caught by an outstretched Howard and pulled in. A guy that big should not be that athletic. I think he defies the laws of physics.