Training camp is now in full gear on day two, and it's easy to see that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a young team. We have many first-timers on the team including starting quarterback, head coach, GM, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. While there has been general excitement around the team, today was a day where some question marks started to slip in.
Day two of camp isn't the end of the world. I highly doubt that any team is firing on all cylinders, but with a young team, the concerns are there. One of the main concerns is inconsistency across all frontiers. It was well noted by any and every publication yesterday that the Bucs offense got the better of the defense. The routes were crisp, the blocking was good, the throws were delivered with authority and to the right players (though it's hard to screw up 7 on 7 drills). Today was a different story. Balls were dropped, throws were off the mark, snaps were fumbled. I fully expect this to continue, that is, to see the ups and downs of young players learning how to play while digesting a new playbook. It's no reason to declare the season as done, but will be something to keep an eye on.
The defense appeared to improve, generating some pressure and making some splash plays. Ryan Sims even managed to find the backfield and stay on his feet, an improvement over last year. Quincy Black is another name to keep an eye on. Looks like the coaches plan on moving him around and letting him rush the passer a bit. He seems to be a better fit in a 3-4 defense in the role of a Merriman, Ware or Harrison, but when you can make plays, the coaches will find a way to use you.
In fact, things were so off-kilter that Morris ordered the team to go full bore, contact, tackling etc for the last little bit of practice. Only caveat was, don't touch the QB. It's interesting to see Morris take charge and change the dynamic. I've been pretty impressed thus far, though I guess my expectations aren't sky high.
Some of the other quick notes. Leftwich is struggling, even with elementary tasks like taking the snap, as he fumbled a few. McCown still looks like the number one, though its a long way from over. Freeman is doing what rookies do, learning on tthe job. He did throw an interception, but it sounds more like a wrong route than bad pass.
The more mistakes they make now, the better they will be. It takes time to gel as a team and to understand your responsibilities in a system. I'd rather see blown coverage now, or a fumbled snap now than on September 13th with Dallas in town.
Day two is almost in the books. Still a lot to learn and a lot to see until the first game.