The Bucs put in a weekend's worth of hard work in the scorching summer sun in Tampa, and looked a bit sloppy and slow at times. But Monday was the start of a new week, and a general improvement over the prior few days of practice.
Let's start with the defense this time, where linebackers stood out from the rest...
Lavonte David and Danny Lansanah made the biggest splashes on Monday, as the duo of linebackers seemed to be around the ball in scrimmages all day. David, the team's unquestioned best linebacker, was unstoppable in running drills in the red zone, picking up multiple tackles for loss against the first team offense.
David continued to be around the ball in 11-on-11, but didn't make any plays quite as nice as the one Danny Lansanah made to end practice.
The backup linebacker leapt in the air to snag a Mike Glennon pass and return it for what appeared to be a touchdown. It was an acrobatic play that likely earned his coach's respect not only for the turnover created, but the balance and effort to land and get to the end zone.
Gerald McCoy was similarly good on Monday, earning what would have been a couple of sacks during 11-on-11 and being disruptive in running drills. The leader of the defense and a true fan favorite (he's been over to sign autographs before the practice every day since Saturday) made his presence felt often. However, he did get caught out trying to anticipate the snap, as Josh McCown drew him offside during rushing drills.
Michael Johnson and Adrian Clayborn both had moments of strong play rushing from the edges with the first team. No other defensive linemen stood out to me during scrimmages, which was the only time they spent on the main field.
Mike Jenkins looked good at corner playing in place of the sidelined Alterraun Verner. He had a couple of pass breakups and seemed to be around the ball quite a bit on his side of the field.
Johnthan Banks looks solid, as well, playing with a good sense of physicality. Mark Barron looks similarly good, getting downhill to play the run really well in 11-on-11.
Keith Lewis got plenty of reps, partially due to the injuries at corner, and struggled at times to keep up. The undrafted rookie isn't afraid to get physical, but he was too physical on occasion. But he's getting his chances, and considering he played his football at a very, very small school in central Virginia, it's reasonable to expect an adjustment period. He's also been spending time shagging punts before practice, which would be a good way to put his great speed to good use.
Josh McCown was yet again the better quarterback, making fewer errors and generally looking better than Mike Glennon (and the other backups). Glennon is, to his credit, miles ahead of either Mike Kafka and Alex Tanney, and not far behind McCown.
But McCown's vision, accuracy, and overall throwing ability are better than Glennon's to this point, and the veteran signal caller is well on his way to a Week 1 start against the Panthers.
Doug Martin continues to look explosive, both as a runner and a receiver, and has shown no signs of struggling to catch the football. Charles Sims looks good, as well, and Bobby Rainey continues to impress.
And with Jeff Demps making "wow" plays with his speed, Mike James is quickly becoming the odd man out at the running back position. James hasn't been poor, but as I said yesterday, his role isn't one well-suited to training camp.
Jorvorskie Lane maintained his lead on Lonnie Pryor at the fullback position, getting all of the first team reps at a position which may or may not even feature on the 53-man roster. Luke Stocker also spent time lined up as a fullback/
Speaking of Stocker, he has been the most complete tight end in camp so far. His advantage on the sleds is ridiculous, as he makes the other players at his position look like high schoolers when they hit the dummy as opposed to his violent but controlled blocking technique.
He hasn't dropped a ball (that I've seen) and moves as well as a man of his size and strength should. If he can stay healthy, he will almost certainly make the team in Tampa.
However, his lack of physical gifts is evident when his play as a receiver is compared to Tim Wright and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Both of the younger tight ends have shown well in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11, moving around the formation and getting open over the middle of the field.
ASJ in particular had a strong day as a receiver, but a weak day as a blocker, getting put on his butt by William Gholston in running drills.
Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson started camp off slowly, but kicked things into gear on Monday, putting in a solid performance. Evans caught multiple passes in traffic over the middle of the field, including one caught in stride between three defenders about 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Jackson looked like he has the past couple of seasons rather than the last couple of days, shaking off the rust to put in a solid day's work.
Skye Dawson did not have a good day, struggling to hang on to the football. Tommy Streeter, on the other hand, did turn in a nice performance. Robert Herron made a nice juggling catch along the sideline to highlight a decent day, while the other receivers put in solid shifts with no notable poor performers.
Along the offensive line, there was a lot of rotation at the guard spots, but it's tough to tell who's "winning" based on training camp. There is reason for concern along the line, but no way of knowing how things really look until the preseason begins.
And Connor Barth hit a 45-yard field goal on skinny goal posts with a 15 mile-per-hour wind blowing from left to right. It's nice to have Connor back in the fold.