After the rain came down in the Bay area and caused the morning session to be postponed for a bit, the players got back at just before 5 PM to take part in the afternoon session. It was a bit of a lighter practice, with full pads not being mandated.
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- Dexter Jackson is still working on shedding his "soft" label. Until he takes a hit, it's hard to say how he will perform, but I like the way Raheem has been up front and told him you can't play scared.
- Injuries are piling up. The good news? They've been minor so far. Antonio Bryant was limited in the afternoon session, but he was out on the field jogging around. Michael Clayton is going to miss a few days, but nothing serious on the hamstring. Angelo Crowell is out until next week. He was supposed to be one of the leading candidates to step in at LB, but with all this missed time, it looks like the bench will be a-calling. Kellen Winslow was back at practice in the afternoon, a good sign for the oft-injured tight end.
- Kyle Moore may be a part-time starter in 2009. The coaches are definitely displaying confidence so far in the young defensive end. Seems to be a Bates' favorite already.
- Another solid day for the QB's. Luke McCown made some nice plays, but not a whole lot going on there. Byron Leftwich has picked up the hot hand, throwing 3 TD's on 12 plays in red zone drills. The deciding factor will be our O-Line. If they hold up consistently in the pre-season and give Leftwich time, I think he'll take the job. He's more experienced, has a cannon and is accurate (when given time). If our OL doesn't allow the QB much time, McCown and his mobility come into play, giving him the edge. Fairly simple.
- Coach Morris called out the team before Wednesday's practice by showing them tape of the Carolina games from 2002 until present day. He wanted to show how the Panthers had "out-muscled" us in all those games. If I was in that room as a player, I might have tried to hide. We've been bullied by them for the last few years. Doesn't mean we can't beat them, just that they've been the more physical team.
- Practice picks up again at 2:30 or 2:45 on Thursday.
The first preseason game is just around the corner. It's time to see how the Bucs look on the field in live action.