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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What We Learned From Day One of Bucs' Training Camp

The first practice of Buccaneers' training camp is in the books. Here are a few observations from Thursday morning at One Buc.

View pictures from the Buccaneers' 2018 Training Camp practice on Thursday at One Buccaneer Place.

-The Bucs' new indoor training facility immediately came in handy for the first practice. Just as the team was supposed to start warmups, the siren sounded indicating that lightning had struck within six miles of the facility. Everyone then hightailed it indoors where the Bucs held the entirety of practice uninterrupted by the intermittent rain and thunder.

-Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick started practice off with the first team but it wasn't long before quarterback Jameis Winston was also mixed in. The two quarterbacks split reps with the 1s throughout practice as was suspected. It's not unfamiliar territory for Fitzpatrick, who started in place of an injured Winston for three games last season.

-One of the things to look out for during training camp has been the defensive line rotation. With so many versatile players, who lines up where has been an ongoing mystery. As of the first practice, the first team looked to be defensive end Vinny Curry on the left side, defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Beau Allen in the middle and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on the outside. What was interesting to see was what the Bucs decided to do while in their nickel package. JPP ended up rotating inside next to McCoy and then defensive end Noah Spence came off the edge instead.

-Speaking of rotations, the secondary is another one that has a lot of flexibility. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves started on the outside opposite cornerback Brent Grimes, but did come inside at nickel. In those situations, cornerback Ryan Smith replaced him on the outside. The second nickel looked to be rookie cornerback M.J. Stewart, but even when he was on the outside with the second and third teams, he could keep pace with any receiver he was covering – the guy is fast.

-Following practice, a few players got in some extra work. Fitzpatrick worked with veteran wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson – although the connection with Evans seemed to be there already. Evans made a nice sideline grab on the first play of team drills. He even juked the defender, getting past the last level for a would-be touchdown. He did say he wanted to get more yards-after-catch this year…

Gerald McCoy also stayed after, working with the younger defensive linemen. He was tutoring them on everything from footwork to hand placement and was still there even after the 20-minute long media availability.

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