The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the practice field in front of the fans one last time before their first preseason game on Friday evening against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here's a recap of some of the things I saw on Tuesday at One Buc Place.
Yes, we're leading off with special teams, because there were some interesting developments on Tuesday that could lead to some roster turnover by the end of camp.
Backup kicker Patrick Murray, an undrafted rookie from a season ago out of Fordham who didn't play in the NFL in 2013, took the first and only reps at punter, kickoff specialist, and placekicker on Tuesday, and looked good in every role. He did bounce a 41-yard field goal off of the uprights, but kicked every kickoff into the end zone, and looked good punting, too.
Mike Glennon also got involved in the special teams drills, holding on field goals for Murray.
Why is this noteworthy? The Buccaneers released their first depth chart of the season on Tuesday, and on it, Michael Koenen was removed from the kickoff specialist job, a title he held (for good reason) since his arrival in Tampa Bay.
But with Murray taking his job at punter and kickoff taker for a day, with Glennon holding (another of Koenen's jobs), there's reason to believe that the Bucs' "prized free agent acquisition" of a few years ago could be on his way out.
As for the players catching the kickoffs and punts, Eric Page remains the only consistent option in terms of actually catching the ball. Robert Herron, Jeff Demps and Skye Dawson have had their issues cleanly fielding kicks and punts so far in camp.
Both of the Buccaneers' quarterbacks looked sharp in camp on Tuesday, with Josh McCown hitting the bigger throws and helping run a strong first-team offense for most of the session. Mike Glennon looked good, but missed on a few throws and didn't strike for any big plays.
Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson had good days at receiver, making all of their catches, while Chris Owusu and Eric Page also put in performances of note at receiver. Robert Herron continues to have his fair share of issues, and doesn't seem to be acclimating to life in the NFL quite as quickly as fellow rookie Evans.
The tight end depth chart you may have seen in the link above is a lie. There is no tight end depth chart. Every tight end plays with every team during scrimmages and drills, and that includes undrafted rookie Cameron Brate running with the first-team offense.
Tim Wright and Austin Seferian-Jenkins have been used as wide receivers quite a bit, with as many as three tight ends on the field at any one time during scrimmages. The Bucs will use any and all tight ends on their roster interchangeably, and if today's practice was any indication, they might get away with keeping five on the roster since two (and maybe three if we're including Brate) can and will play outside.
In fact, we saw a good amount of tight-ends-as-wide-receivers on Tuesday, including Brate, Jenkins and Wright.
The offensive line has been a sore spot, but the offense won the goal line drill at the end of the practice, yet fell short at protecting quarterbacks during 11 on 11. There's work to do, but there are positive signs from the men in the trenches as well.
Camp star Danny Lanasanah got burnt on a wheel route by Jeff Demps, while linebackers Jonathan Casillas and Ka'Lial Glaud had solid days against the run and pass.
Along the defensive line, there were some injuries to account for and some decisions made to rotate players, so some new faces got a chance to shine. But it was a familiar old name, Gerald McCoy, who I noticed standing out the most in scrimmages.
Lavonte David had a memorable play, blowing up a block attempt from Cameron Brate on a screen to Austin Seferian-Jenkins. David might be a "small" linebacker but he had no trouble moving Brate around.
Anthony Gaitor has continually made plays on the football during his short time in camp, as has Kip Edwards. The two reserve corners do most of their work against the third and fourth-team offenses, but it's a good way to stick around in camp with Lovie Smith as coach.
Leonard Johnson and Major Wright both got caught out for long touchdowns on Tuesday, with both plays happening down the seam where the corners and safeties failed to properly account for a deep route.