-It was military appreciation day at Bucs training camp. The 8 a.m. practice was closed to the public except for military members and their families. There was a jump team intro and national anthem performance prior to practice. Then, there was a full-team autograph session following practice.
-In the first team period, cornerback M.J. Stewart went stride-for-stride with wide receiver Justin Watson and ended up breaking up a pass intended for the second-year receiver. Watson couldn’t get his body turned around or hands closed around the ball because Stewart was draped all over him. It was a real-world application to a mirroring drill the defensive backs do, where they mimic the footwork of a receiver to keep pace with them.
-Tight end O.J. Howard again proved a reliable target for quarterback Jameis Winston in the red zone period as he came down with a catch in the back left corner of the end zone.
-Rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting had great coverage on wide receiver Chris Godwin in the back of the end zone in the same red zone period. Godwin caught the ball but Murphy-Bunting made sure he couldn’t stay in bounds.
-Cornerback De’Vante Harris broke a pass from quarterback Ryan Griffin in the red zone, tipping the ball in the air and safety Isaiah Johnson came down with hit for the pick.
View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
-In situational drills, it was running back Dare Ogunbowale yelling out calls for the special teamers. He’s been doing well in the run game but also seems to have carved out a niche for himself on special teams.
-Tight end Cameron Brate caught a beautiful long ball from quarterback Blaine Gabbert down the right sideline in the seven-on-seven period. Brate did a great job tracking the ball in the air and getting open.
-Howard had another great long catch for the tight ends. This one was from quarterback Vincent Testaverde as he hit Howard on top of the numbers down the left side. Safety Jordan Whitehead was right there and dove for the ball while it was in the air but just missed it.
-Whitehead had a good day in the run game, though. Despite the fact that the team was only in shells, he still laid down an audible hit and got to the running back behind the line.
-At one point, defensive backs had a good run. Quarterback Jameis Winston went for a long pass to Mike Evans on the left side but he was well defended by cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. To make matters more tricky, rookie safety Mike Edwards came across and got in front of Evans to break up the pass. He actually dropped what should have been an interception and was not too happy with himself for doing so.
"So far, no. I mean, I don’t want to crown him yet," Head Coach Bruce Arians said on if the rookie Edwards will be an opening day starter. "But that’s the first time I saw him drop an interception. He made a great play out of centerfield but didn’t come up with it. He’s a very smart young man and he’s just continuing to get better and better. Again, I’d like to see him against somebody else, – not seeing the same plays over and over every day – seeing somebody else’s plays, and then we can better judge him.”
-Though the play probably would have resulted in a sack before it got going, Jameis Winston stepped up and bought himself time as wide receiver Chris Godwin was able to create some space in the middle of the field. Winston fired it into the tight window and despite being surrounded by red jerseys, Godwin leapt up to make the grab.
-Center Ryan Jensen found himself engaged with safety Kentrell Brice all the way out in the flat and managed to throw a good block for Ogunbowale as he found a lane down the left sideline for a big gain thanks to Jensen’s efforts.
-Rookie linebacker Devin White seems to be getting more comfortable with the defense by the day. He was yelling out checks from the sideline to his teammates even when he wasn’t in on the play.
-A couple plays later, wide receiver Mike Evans made a diving catch to get the offense to the 25-yard line. Clock read 13 seconds left in ‘the half’ with the Bucs needing points before halftime. Winston tried for a long ball to wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the back left corner of the end zone but cornerback Vernon Hargreaves was all over him. Offense got a field goal off and Matt Gay was good from 42 yards.
-The first-team offense got another crack at it but this time, there was less time on the clock and more field to gain. After the defense got the stop on the first play, it was field goal time – from 62 yards out. It’s a distance Gay has made during the kicking period indoors but here they were in a simulated game situation on the outdoor practice fields. It didn’t matter. Gay made it from that distance and ended the drive successfully.
-Head Coach Bruce Arians said today that veteran linebacker Lavonte David will miss some time this preseason after having a procedure done on his knee yesterday. David is still expected to be good to go for the regular season.
"Lavonte [David] had a little knee procedure," Arians said. "We’re going to hold him out for a while – nothing serious, just a little meniscus tear. [We] fixed it up yesterday, so he’ll be ready to go soon.”
THE BEST THING I SAW:
During a two-minute drill, Winston attempted the checkdown to running back Andre Ellington with all of his receivers covered downfield. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had other plans and ended up swatting the ball down at the line of scrimmage instead. He was incredibly nonchalant about it, too – knocking it down and then turning around and going right back into the huddle.