The Buccaneers wrapped up practice for the week on Thursday, continuing Phase Three of the offseason program. It was the third straight day in the hot Florida sun and let's just say the new faces in Tampa Bay are having to get acclimated to the weather in a hurry.
That didn't stop today's practice from being a productive one, though.
Here are some observations from Thursday:
-The outside linebackers turned a get-off drill into a competition, because of course they did. Coach Larry Foote had the infamous football-on-a-stick handy and he simulated the snap. Whoever got off the line of scrimmage first advanced against the next group. It came down to two: second-year player Quinton Bell and rookie Elijah Ponder and the latter won today's battle.
-In team drills, another outside linebacker started things off right on the defensive side of the ball, jumping up and batting down a pass at the line. Nelson is excellent at getting his hands up and using his length to disrupt the short passing game. He's batted down two career passes in the limited snaps he's had.
-Rookie cornerback Nate Brooks had a big-time interception. He timed his effort perfectly, reading the offensive play and jumping a route to get in front of the ball and get his hands on it. He was tackled by his teammates to the ground in celebration and even his coaches sang his praises.
-Wide receiver Cyril Grayson had the longest catch of the day, tracking a ball down the sideline and adjusting accordingly. It was rookie Kyle Trask that sent the ball about 45 yards down the field.
-New addition Raven Greene, a four-year veteran had a near interception but ended up getting the pass breakup in the last team period of the day. Greene is getting used to his new system after spending the last three years with the Green Bay Packers.
-Rookie inside linebacker K.J. Britt has been getting the green dot duties for the defense, relaying the defensive calls from Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles to the rest of the defense in practices each day. Him and Grant Stuard are the only two inside linebackers in attendance so they don't leave the field… like ever.
-Former right tackle turned possibly center Robert Hainsey has been working with new Bucs offensive assistant and former NFL center A.Q. Shipley each day. The team's third-round pick, Hainsey made every start at Notre Dame at the right tackle position but tried out center and guard at this year's Senior Bowl. He gravitated toward center and is now focused on learning the nuances of the position. He couldn't really be in a better place for that between Shipley and Assistant Head Coach and Run-Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin as his coaches.
-Wide receiver Jaelon Darden is learning the ins and outs of special teams as offseason workouts continue. Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong said that Darden has the potential to be both a punt and kickoff returner and that they're working with him on the positions now.
View the best photos from the third day of Bucs OTAs.