The Buccaneers took to the field for the second of their 10 days of OTAs on Wednesday. The players are attempting to build on what they've learned so far of their new scheme this offseason in the classroom and in the prior phases. Phase III is where it can start to click with the offense and defense able to scrimmage, albeit still without contact, on the field. Now that the first day jitters have worn off, players know more of what to expect and you can see them start to understand their respective systems by the plays they end up making.
Here are a few things I took away from Wednesday's practice:
-Running back Peyton Barber is looking more and more like that three-down back that Coach Arians has said he has the potential to be. He got a lot of work catching passes on Wednesday and also showed off some moves in scrimmage drills. Again, there's no tackling, but Barber was spinning around defenders anyway while in traffic.
-Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett has some hops. He seems to be picking up the defensive scheme well enough to make some great reads and then do something about them. He got really high – I'm talking like three to four feet in the air in an attempt to bat down a pass at the line and it was impressive. He moves well in individual drills and looks to be very athletic, which more than makes up for his size in comparison to outside linebackers like Carl Nassib, who stands at 6-7.
View the best photos from the second day of Bucs OTAs.
-Tight end Antony Auclair has improved in his pass catching. He was making tough catches and I didn't see him drop one throughout practice. He seems to have taken a big step forward in that regard to become a more well-rounded tight end. He was primarily used for blocking last year but the way he's looked this offseason, he could be a threat in the passing game in the future as well.
-The defensive backs seem to be one group taking heed to the coaches' communication directive. Not only are the guys on the field talking but so are the guys watching on the sidelines. As a group they are constantly talking back and forth throughout the entirety of practice.
-Wide receiver Chris Godwin has got some sticky hands from all over the field, which I'm sure surprises you (not). He grabs them underneath, down the sideline, in space, in a close window, over the middle, you name it, he catches it. He's going to be a very big part of this offense if this offseason is any indication.
-Another impressive receiver, while we're on the subject, has been Breshad Perriman. His size makes you think he can't possibly be as fast as he is but here we are, watching him get behind defenders and taking passes to the house on an already daily basis. As soon as he makes the catch and turns on the jets, there really is no one that can keep up with him from the looks of it so far. You have to think with a guy who's 6-2, 215 pounds that he can get some yards after the catch, too. I'm excited to see more of how he's utilized in this offense.
BEST THING I SAW:
Rookie safety Mike Edwards was coming in on a blitz, never took his eyes off the quarterback and as soon as he went to throw, Edwards got UP and smacked the ball down. If this were the NBA, it would have been on a poster. The ball stood absolutely no chance and it was incredible to watch.