The Buccaneers are only days away from their first preseason game of the year, and preparations continued to get into game shape on Monday with practice at One Buccaneer Place.
The practice session featured a focus on special teams and some procedural walk-throughs (Hail Mary passes, no huddle offenses, free-kicks), but there were still the usual drills and scrimmages that gave the fans a window into how the team is shaping up.
Based on reports from Buccaneers' Night Practice and other training camp session I've missed in person, it sounded like Mike Glennon was doing very well, and outperforming Josh McCown.
After heading back to camp with hopes of seeing Glennon's improvement for myself, I was disappointed to see nothing but the same from a capable but still flawed quarterback.
Glennon and McCown both had their missteps on Monday, but what continues to stand out about McCown is how much quicker he looks around the field and processes information. Mike Glennon had a tendency to hold onto the ball forever in 7-on-7 drills only to drop the ball off to a running back.
Glennon continues to show good accuracy and improved ball placement on short to intermediate throws over the middle, an area where he flourished as a rookie starter in the NFL. But he hasn't shown much at all of his deep passing or made many intermediate sideline throws, two areas of concern from last year.
But it's primarily his decision making and vision that continue to come across as unimproved during camp. He did show some positive signs of being able to handle pressure on Monday, but as it stands, he's the backup for a reason.
Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans continue to lead the way at the receiver position, but with varying degrees of success. Jackson had a very solid day of practice on Monday, with a lone drop on a perfectly thrown Josh McCown pass representing the only negative in an otherwise solid day of work.
Evans continues to be a bit shaky, but the signs of what he could be continue to shine through. He had a drop or two on Monday, along with a fumble, but rebounded with some nice catches near the end of practice. He's getting good separation from defensive backs and his drops are not a result of poor technique, as his huge hands reach out well for the ball and snag it with ease.
Luke Stocker didn't work out due to "soreness" (and was wearing what appeared to be a sleeve on his right leg), so Cameron Brate got some extra work at tight end, and looked impressive. The undrafted rookie made some catches in one-on-ones and in scrimmages, and even earned an audible "atta boy" from his coaches when he led the way on a running play as a fullback.
Brate is certainly not as strong as Stocker, but he's a much better athlete, on par with Tim Wright in terms of physical ability as a receiver. He's probably a long shot to make the team, but he seems to be a strong practice squad candidate at the moment.
Charles Sims had a quiet day, as Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey had most of the notable running back performances. Martin continues to look very quick and 100% healthy, showing no hesitance after his 2013 season-ending injury.
Will Gholston had a big day, most notably during 7-on-7 running drills, where he found himself in the backfield on nearly every play. The second-year defensive lineman was primarily playing outside as an end, and looked quicker and more disruptive than he did last week.
Danny Lansanah continues to make his presence known at camp, as he intercepted another pass on Monday and was involved in a few run stops as well. Bradley McDougald, another rising star of training camp, broke up a pass and chipped in against the run as well.
Mark Joyce, a brand new signee, also made a pair of plays with the third-team defense, capitalizing on his chance to play with immediate highlight moments.
Defensive back injuries continue to limit the Bucs in practice, with Danny Gorrer and Deveron Carr working with the first team on occasion to fill in for Mike Jenkins and Alterraun Verner. Carr has been caught out by Vincent Jackson a few times during camp, but has otherwise been quiet, with Gorrer having his fair share of ups and downs as well.
Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron both had strong days of practice, with the former getting an interception and the latter involving himself in run defense in scrimmages. Goldson appears to be healthy and getting a full compliment of reps in practice, which is a good sign with the first preseason game approaching.