Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Takeaways from Bucs' Practice – Aug. 21

It was a physical day in the brutal Florida heat as the Bucs got back to pads on Tuesday.

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-The linebackers seemed to be putting an emphasis on punching the ball out today, especially after the catch. They just would not leave ball catchers alone. I saw Jack Cichy swatting at a ball wide receiver Bobo Wilson hauled in over the middle. There was a swarm around tight end O.J. Howard after quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit a very tight window to get the ball in Howard's hands. He was holding on for dear life with the amount of defenders that closed in around him.

-Because of the pestering linebackers, ball carriers across the board got really physical and made some tough catches. Evans was wrestling balls away and running back Ronald Jones had a couple tough runs through traffic. He had a long catch in the end zone as well from quarterback Jameis Winston that he caught while in some pretty tight coverage. Overall, it was a very physical day on both sides of the ball. The defense set the tone and the offense finished it off in team drills with receivers refusing to give up on any passes thrown their way, even in the stifling heat.

-One of those receivers that had the play of the day was rookie Sergio Bailey. Up with the second team, he and quarterback Ryan Griffin connected in the back of the end zone. Later in his post-practice press conference, Coach Koetter said he's seen a ton of improvement in Bailey and he's been making plays every day.

-The Special Olympics was here for some post-practice drills with the team. After a long and grueling practice, the players were still more than happy to run around with the athletes on the field. Jason Pierre-Paul said afterward that it re-energized him and he loved all the excitement. Players were seen acting as blockers, throwing passes and of course, helping with the ever-important touchdown celebrations in the end zone. The event went on for nearly an hour following practice with the help of dozens of players and staff.

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